The first volume of the 'Journal of Applied Psychology' was published. Edited by G. Stanley Hall, John Wallace Baird, and L. R. Geissler, the first issue included articles on the psychology of a prodigious child, a test for memory of names and faces and psychology and business.
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The trial of U.S. v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola began. This famous federal lawsuit filed against the Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia under the 1906 food and drugs act alleged that Coca-Cola 'contained an added poisonous or added deleterious ingredient, caffeine which might render the product injurious to health.'
Prior to the trial the Coca-Cola Company called upon psychologist Harry Hollingworth for an opinion as to the influence of caffeine on mental and motor processes. In the absence of any reliable data on the subject, Hollingworth conducted a series of experiments to test the influence of caffeine on such things as perception and association, attention and judgment, steadiness, speed and coordination. Hollingworth testified that 'If the constant use of caffeine in moderate amounts would prove deleterious, some indication of such effect would have shown itself in the careful study of performance in tests covering a wide range of mental and motor processes.'
In the fourth week of the trial the case was dismissed, and for Coca-Cola, the rest, as they say, is history. By providing psychological information for the purpose of facilitating a legal decision, Hollingworth's testimony represents a landmark case in the history of forensic psychology. Hollingworth went on to become a renowned applied psychologist, conducting pioneering research within the field of industrial/organizational psychology and advertising. He was elected President of the American Psychological Association in 1927.
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'The Authoritarian Personality' by Theodor W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel J. Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford was published. The research underpinning this classic text was based on the authors strongly held conviction that a clear correlation exists between deep-rooted personality traits and overt prejudice.
In order to measure these traits among the public the authors developed and introduced the 'California F Scale,' a scale which became so popular that the study of authoritarianism dominated research within social psychology throughout the 1950's.
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'Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation' was first published. Written by art historian Ernst Hans Gombrich, this classic text explores theories of visual perception and mental sets to examine the idea that 'making precedes matching.' Namely that an artist does not simply copy what they see in front of them, but rather draws upon and manipulates inherited 'schemata.'
Catherine 'Kitty' Genovese, a New York bar manager, was murdered as she returned home to the Kew Gardens section of Queens. On the 27th March 1964 the New York Times reported the crime under the headline '37 Who Saw Murder Didn't Call The Police.' The article began 'For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.'
This infamous crime sparked years of research into the social psychology of helping; in particular bystander intervention and diffusion of responsibility. There is, however, real doubt as to the accuracy of the original version of events. In 2007, Rachel Manning, Mark Levine, and Alan Collins, authors of an article in American Psychologist, stated that 'there is no evidence for the presence of 38 witnesses, or that witnesses observed the murder, or that witnesses remained inactive.'
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Marion A. Wenger was born. A highly respected researcher renowned for his work on both the scientific study of human development and the central role played by the autonomic nervous system in the expression of affective behavior.
Wenger's best known work includes the monograph 'Studies of Autonomic Balance in Army Air Forces Personnel,' (1948) and 'Physiological psychology' published in 1956.
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Léopold (Lipot) Szondi was born. An endocrinologist with an interest in psychopathology and psychology, Szondi is best known for developing and giving his name to the Szondi Test; a projective test of personality based on his theory of genotropism (reciprocal attraction.)
The Szondi Test, details of which were first published in 1947, consists of presenting the test taker with photographs of extreme expressions of human drives e.g., sadistic, paranoid, depressive; which Szondi believed we all have to a greater or lesser extent. Photo choice during the test projected from the 'familial unconscious' was said to be reflective of the test takers own pathology.
In its day the Szondi Test generated a great deal of interest and debate. However, it is now rarely, if ever used in a clinical context due to major concerns surrounding its psychometric properties and scientific validity.
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Edwin A. Fleishman was born. An influential figure within the field of applied psychology, Fleishman's pioneering research on individual differences in relation to perceptual-motor skills and abilities has among other things been employed to explore and help predict job performance.
In 1980 Fleishman received the American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for the Application of Psychology and in 2004 the APA Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology.
Granville Stanley Hall opened the first experimental psychology research laboratory in the United States at Johns Hopkins University. The picture of Hall and the following related text is taken from an article about the history of 'mental laboratories' published in McClure's Magazine in 1893.
'Wilhelm Wundt founded at Leipsic, in 1878, the first laboratory in the world for regular scientific mental experimentation. Professor Wundt is the greatest psychologist now living in Europe, and a majority of the noted psychological experts, both of Germany and of America, have been his pupils.
One of these pupils, G. Stanley Hall, now President of Clark University, opened the first American laboratory at Johns Hopkins in 1883. To him must be credited the founding of experimental psychology in this country, and an eminent share of its present successful growth.'
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