Timeline of Modern Psychology: Major Events in the History of Psychology

  • G. Stanley Hall

    G. Stanley Hall
    Becomes the first American to earn a Ph.D. in psychology. Hall eventually founds the American Psychological Association.
  • Wilhelm Wundt

    Wilhelm Wundt
    Founds the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany. The event is considered the starting point of psychology as a separate science.
  • Wilhelm Wundt

    Wilhelm Wundt
    1881 --Wundt forms the professional journal Philosophische Studien (Philosophical Studies)
  • G. Stanley Hall

    G. Stanley Hall
    Opens the first experimental psychology lab in the United States at John Hopkins University.
  • Herman Ebbinghaus

    Herman Ebbinghaus
    Published his famous Über das Gedächtnis ("On Memory"), which was later translated to English as Memory. A Contribution to Experimental Psychology. In the work, he describes his learning and memory experiments that he conducted on himself.
  • Sigmund Freud

    Sigmund Freud
    Begins providing therapy to patients in Vienna, Austria.
  • James McKeen Cattell

    James McKeen Cattell
    Becomes the first professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • James McKeen Cattell

    James McKeen Cattell
    Publishes Mental Tests and Measurements, marking the beginning of the practice of psychological assessment.
  • G. Stanley Hall

    G. Stanley Hall
    Forms the American Psychological Association (APA), which initially has just 42 members.
  • Margaret Floy Washburn

    Margaret Floy Washburn
    Completes her training under Tichener
  • Alfred Binet

    Alfred Binet
    Forms the first psychology lab devoted to psychodiagnosis.
  • Edward Thorndike

    Edward Thorndike
    Develops the Law of Effect.
  • Sigmund Freud

    Sigmund Freud
    Publishes Interpretation of Dreams.
  • The British Psychological Society

    The British Psychological Society
    Is formed on this date.
  • Mary Whiton Calkins

    Mary Whiton Calkins
    Is elected the first woman president of the American Psychological Association.
  • Ivan Pavlov

    Ivan Pavlov
    Publishes his findings on classical conditioning.
  • Carl Jung

    Carl Jung
    Publishes The Psychology of Dementia Praecox.
  • Edward Thorndike

    Edward Thorndike
    Publishes Animal Intelligence. The article leads to the development of the theory of operant conditioning.
  • Carl Jung

    Carl Jung
    Begins to depart from Freudian views and develops his own theories, which are eventually known as analytical psychology.
  • John B. Watson

    John B. Watson
    Publishes Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. The work helped establish behaviorism, which viewed human behavior arising from conditioned responses.
  • Sigmund Freud

    Sigmund Freud
    Publishes work on repression.
  • Robert Yerkes

    Robert Yerkes
    Then president of the APA, Robert Yerkes writes the Alpha and Beta Tests for the Army to test intelligence.
  • John B. Warson

    John B. Warson
    Publishes Psychology, From the Standpoint of a Behaviorist.
  • John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner

    John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner
    Publish research the classical conditioning of fear with their subject, Little Albert.
  • Wolfgang Kohler

    Wolfgang Kohler
    Gestal Psychology is brought to America with the publication of Wolfgang Kohler’s Perception: An Introduction to the Gestalt Theory.
  • Jean Piaget

    Jean Piaget
    Becomes the foremost cognitive theorist with the publication of his work The Moral Judgment of Children.
  • Henry Murray

    Henry Murray
    Publishes the Thematic Appreception Test (TAT).
  • Carl Rogers

    Carl Rogers
    Developed client-centered therapy and publishes Counseling and Psychotherapy. His approach encourages respect and positive regard for patients.
  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published.
  • Abraham Maslow

    Abraham Maslow
    Publishes Motivation and Personality, describing his theory of a hierarchy of needs. He also helps found humanistic psychology.
  • Harry Harlow

    Harry Harlow
    Publishes The Nature of Love, which describe his experiments with rhesus monkey's on the importance of attachment and love.
  • Albert Bandura

    Albert Bandura
    Conducts his now famous Bobo doll experiment.
  • Albert Bandura

    Albert Bandura
    First describes the concept of observational learning to explain personality development.
  • Stanley Milgram

    Stanley Milgram
    Publishes Obedience to Authority, which presented the findings of his famous obedience experiments.

    The DSM-III is published.
  • Noam Chomsk

    Noam Chomsk
    Publishes On Nature, Use and Acquisition of Language.
  • Steven Pinker

    Steven Pinker
    Publishes an article in Science introducing his theory of how children acquire language, which he later details further in his book The Language Instinct.
  • DSM-IV

    The DSM-IV is published.
  • Mapping Genes

    Mapping Genes
    Genetic researchers finish mapping human genes. Scientists hope to one day isolate the individual genes responsible for different diseases.
  • Steven Pinker

    Steven Pinker
    Publishes The Blank Slate, arguing against the concept of tabula rasa.
  • George Mandler

    George Mandler
    Published A History of Modern Experimental Psychology[74]
  • DSM-5 Draft

    DSM-5 Draft
    The draft of DSM-5 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) was distributed for comment and critique.
  • 10-year BRAIN Initiative

    10-year BRAIN Initiative
    2013 - On April 2 U.S. President Barack Obama announced the 10-year BRAIN Initiative to map the activity of every neuron in the human brain.
  • DSM-5

    The DSM-5 was published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).