On This Day … 15 January

People (Births)

  • 1842 – Josef Breuer, Austrian physician and psychiatrist (d. 1925).
  • 1877 – Lewis Terman, American psychologist, eugenicist, and academic (d. 1956).
  • 1958 – Boris Tadić, Serbian psychologist and politician, 16th President of Serbia

Josef Breuer

Josef Breuer (15 January 1842 to 20 June 1925) was a distinguished physician who made key discoveries in neurophysiology, and whose work in the 1880s with his patient Bertha Pappenheim, known as Anna O., developed the talking cure (cathartic method) and laid the foundation to psychoanalysis as developed by his protégé Sigmund Freud.

He graduated from the Akademisches Gymnasium of Vienna in 1858 and then studied at the university for one year before enrolling in the medical school of the University of Vienna. He passed his medical exams in 1867 and went to work as assistant to the internist Johann Oppolzer at the university.

Breuer, working under Ewald Hering at the military medical school in Vienna, was the first to demonstrate the role of the vagus nerve in the reflex nature of respiration. This was a departure from previous physiological understanding, and changed the way scientists viewed the relationship of the lungs to the nervous system. The mechanism is now known as the Hering–Breuer reflex.

Independent of each other in 1873, Breuer and the physicist and mathematician Ernst Mach discovered how the sense of balance (i.e. the perception of the head’s imbalance) functions: that it is managed by information the brain receives from the movement of a fluid in the semicircular canals of the inner ear. That the sense of balance depends on the three semicircular canals was discovered in 1870 by the physiologist Friedrich Goltz, but Goltz did not discover how the balance-sensing apparatus functions.

Lewis Terman

Lewis Madison Terman (15 January 1877 to 21 December 1956) was an American psychologist and author. He was noted as a pioneer in educational psychology in the early 20th century at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is best known for his revision of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales and for initiating the longitudinal study of children with high IQs called the Genetic Studies of Genius. He was a prominent eugenicist and was a member of the Human Betterment Foundation. He also served as president of the American Psychological Association. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Terman as the 72nd most cited psychologist of the 20th century, in a tie with G. Stanley Hall.

Boris Tadic

Boris Tadić (15 January 1958 to Present) is a Serbian politician who served as President of Serbia from 2004 to 2012. He was elected to his first term on 27 June 2004, when Serbia was part of Serbia and Montenegro, and re-elected for a second term on 03 February 2008, this time as president of independent Serbia. He resigned on 05 April 2012 in order to trigger an early election. Prior to his presidency, Tadić served as the last Minister of Telecommunications of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and as the first Minister of Defence of Serbia and Montenegro. He is a psychologist by profession.

Tadić finished Pera Popović Aga (today Mika Petrović Alas) elementary school and matriculated at the First Belgrade Gymnasium in Dorćol. During his teenage years he played water polo for VK Partizan, but had to quit due to injuries. He graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy with a degree in psychology, specifically social psychology in the department of clinical psychology.

He was arrested during his studies in July 1982 for protesting the arrest of a group of students, arrested for protesting against martial law in Poland and in support of the Solidarity movement. Tadić spent one month in penal labour prison in Padinska Skela.

He worked as a journalist, military clinical psychologist and as a teacher of psychology at the First Belgrade Gymnasium. Until 2003, Tadić also worked at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at the University of Arts in Belgrade as a lecturer of political advertising. He is a Senior Network Member at the European Leadership Network (ELN).

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