Psychology: 19th Century Timeline

Europe in 1815, after Napoleon’s defeat.


1801 Pinel writes text on Moral Therapy

1804 Immanuel Kant dies

1804 Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France

1807 Hegel completes The Phenomenology of Spirit

1808 Reil coins term “psychiatry”

1810 Gall publishes the first volume of Anatomie et Physiologie du Systèm Nerveux

1811 Sir Charles Bell reports to associates at a dinner party the anatomical separation of sensory and motor function of spinal cord

1815 Napoleon surrenders at Waterloo; the Peace of Paris ends the Napoleonic Wars; the Congress of Vienna firms up the old European monarchies

1816 Johann Friedrich Herbart publishes Lehrbuch zur Psychologie. Herbart’s text introduces the concept of repression.

1819 Schopenhauer writes “The World as Will and Idea.”

1822 Francis Magendie publishes an article which postulates the separation of sensory and motor function of the spinal cord.

1831 Goethe completes Faust — he dies the following year

1834 Johannes Müller publishes Handbüch des Physiologie des Menschen

1834 The German Customs Union – a major step towards German unification

1835 Colt invents the revolver.

1842 Auguste Comte completes his six-volume Course in Positive Philosophy

1843 Kierkegaard publishes Either/Or and Fear and Trembling

1845 Morton uses ether as an anesthetic

1845 The Irish famine — over one million die and another million leave Ireland

1847 Marx and Engels publish The Communist Manifesto

1848 Haucock performs first appendix operation

1855 Herbert Spencer publishes the two volumes of the Principles of Psychology.. Alexander Bain publishes The Senses and the Intellect

1856 Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz publishes the first volume of the “Handbuch der physiologischen Optik.”

1859 Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of the Species. Alexander Bain publishes “The Emotions and the Will.”

1860 Gustav Fechner publishes The Elements of Psychophysics

1861 Paul Broca shows that the loss of speech in one individual is due to a lesion in third convolution of the left frontal lobe.

1861 Italy is united under Victor Emmanuel II for the first time since the Roman Empire.

1861 The abolition of serfdom in Russia frees 40 million serfs

1862-1865 The American Civil War frees 4 million slaves — over 600,000 soldiers die.

1863 Wilhelm Wundt publishes Lectures on Human and Animal Psycholog I. M. Sechenov publishes a monograph Reflexes of the Brain, in which he attempted to analyze the higher order functions in terms of the reflex schema.

1864 Louis Pasteur invents “pasteurization”

1865 Mendel discovers the laws of genetics

1867 Lister invents antiseptic surgery

1869 Francis Galton publishes Hereditary Genius and uses the normal distribution for purposes of classification. Von Hartmann writes Philosophy of the Unconscious.

1870 G. Fritsch and E. Hitzig realize the first direct electric stimulation of the brain

1870 The Dogma of Papal Infallibility announced.

1870 – 1871 The Franco-Prussian War.

1871 Charles Darwin publishes The Descent of Man.

1871 Germany finally united under Prussian leadership: “The Second Reich.”

1873 Wundt publishes Principles of Physiological Psychology.

1874 Franz Brentano publishes Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint.

1876 Alexander Bain establishes Mind, the first journal devoted to psychological research

1879 Wundt establishes the first psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig in Germany.

1879 Lightner Witmer uses the term clinical psychology for the first time

1882 Charcot opens clinic at Salpetriere.

1882 Christine Ladd Franklin completes the doctoral program in mathematics at Johns Hopkins — no degree granted due to prohibition against granting doctorates to women!

1883 Francis Galton publishes Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development.

1883 Wundt establishes the journal Philosophische Studien to publish the results of his laboratory research. Kraepelin publishes list of disorders

1883 Nietzsche publishes Thus Spake Zarathustra.

1884 William James publishes What is an Emotion?

1885 Hermann Ebbinghaus writes On Memory.

1885-6 Freud studies hypnotism under Charcot

1886 Louis Pasteur cures rabies.

1889 William James publishes The Principles of Psychology.

1890 Ehrenfels writes About the Qualities of the Gestalt.

1892 The American Psychological Association is founded with 42 members.

1892 Edward Titchener introduces his version of Wundt’s structuralism to America.

1893 Oswald Külpe publishes Outline of Psychology.

1894 John Dewey publishes The Ego as Cause.

1894 Margaret Floy Washburn becomes the first woman to receive a PhD in psychology; her dissertation was supervised by Titchener.

1895 Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud publish Studies in Hysteria

1895 Gustave Le Bon publishes Psychologie des Foules.

1896 Dewey publishes in the Psychological Review his famous article The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology.

1896 Lightner Witmer establishes at the University of Pennsylvania a clinic of psychology, the first psychological clinic in America and perhaps in the world.

1897 Wundt publishes Outlines of Psychology.

1898 Titchener publishes The Postulates of a Structural Psychology.

1898 E. L. Thorndike publishes Animal Intelligence
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