The Clinical Section of the American Psychological Association, 1919–1937
In 1919, the AACP dissolved itself, and a Clinical Section was begun within the American Psychological Association. The person who may have been most responsible for this merger was Robert M. Yerkes. Yerkes had been the President of APA in 1917 when the AACP was founded. He is best known as a comparative psychologist. For example, he was the author of a famous book, The Dancing Mouse (Yerkes, 1907). He stated the principle now known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law (Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). Eventually the Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology, now in Atlanta, Georgia, were named after him. In addition, in the era before and during World War I, Yerkes also had excellent credentials as a clinical psychologist. He worked extensively at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital with the psychiatrist E. E. Southard. He also worked with clinical psychologist Edmund B. Huey, a pioneer researcher on reading and reading disabilities. Yerkes and his colleagues (Yerkes, Bridges, & Hardwick, 1915) devised a scale of intelligence. The APA Committee on Psychological Examination of Recruits (accepted in November, 1917, as a subcommittee of the Psychology Committee of the National Research Council) met initially at Vineland, New Jersey, on May 28, 1917, for a period of about 6 weeks. The members of it who were later affiliated with clinical psychology organizations in some way included Edgar A. Doll, Henry H. Goddard, Thomas H. Haines, Lewis M. Terman, F. L. Wells, Guy M. Whipple, and Robert M. Yerkes, chair. During World War I, Yerkes’ committee developed Army Alpha and the Army Beta tests and evaluated 1,700,000 officers and enlisted personnel (Elliott, 1956).
KeywordsAmerican Psychological Association Reading Disability Juvenile Court Consult Psychologist Clinical Section
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