Time Capsule

1839 On Sept. 21, John Conolly abolished the use of restraints at the Hanwell County Asylum of Middlesex, England. While humanitarian reforms in mental treatment were well under way by this time, eliminating mechanical restraints of all kinds was a radical and controversial move that made Conolly a prominent figure. His major work, "The Treatment of the Insane Without Mechanical Restraints" (1856), further promoted the nonrestraint movement.

1904 On Sept. 17, Oskar Pfungst began his examination of "Clever Hans," the horse supposedly endowed with human reasoning, reading and mathematical abilities. Pfungst found that the horse's behavior was attributable to subtle cues from human observers. The case is often cited in discussions of experimenter expectancy effects.

1917 On Sept. 20, behaviorist John B. Watson was ordered from his professorship at Johns Hopkins University into active military service. Watson went to England to test aviators for the Signal Corps. He irreverently assessed American officers as "nincompoops" and military service as "a nightmare." Despite a near court-martial, Watson was honorably discharged as a major on Nov. 30, 1919.

1970 Classes began on Sept. 21 at the California School of Professional Psychology's (CSPP) initial campuses in San Francisco and Los Angeles. CSPP was the nation's first independent professional school of psychology.

Further Reading

Source: APA Historical Database, created and maintained by Warren R. Street, Central Washington University, and published as "A Chronology of Noteworthy Events in American Psychology" (APA, 1994).