On This Day … 25 October

People (Births)

  • 1918 – David Ausubel, American psychologist (d. 2008).
  • 1927 – Lawrence Kohlberg, American psychologist and author (d. 1987).
  • 1977 – Birgit Prinz, German footballer and psychologist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1826 – Philippe Pinel, French physician and psychiatrist (b. 1745).

David Ausubel

David Paul Ausubel (25 October 1918 to 09 July 2008) was an American psychologist. His most significant contribution to the fields of educational psychology, cognitive science, and science education learning was on the development and research on “advance organizers” since 1960.

He studied at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with honors in 1939, receiving a bachelor’s degree majoring in psychology. Ausubel later graduated from medical school in 1943 at Middlesex University where he went on to complete a rotating internship at Gouverneur Hospital, located in the lower east side of Manhattan, New York. Following his military service with the US Public Health Service, Ausubel earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Columbia University in 1950. He continued to hold a series of professorships at several schools of education.

In 1973, Ausubel retired from academic life and devoted himself to his psychiatric practice. During his psychiatric practice, Ausubel published many books as well as articles in psychiatric and psychological journals. In 1976, he received the Thorndike Award from the American Psychological Association for “Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education”.

Lawrence Kohlberg

Lawrence Kohlberg (25 October 1927 to 09 January 1987) was an American psychologist best known for his theory of stages of moral development.

He served as a professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Chicago and at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Even though it was considered unusual in his era, he decided to study the topic of moral judgment, extending Jean Piaget’s account of children’s moral development from twenty-five years earlier. In fact, it took Kohlberg five years before he was able to publish an article based on his views. Kohlberg’s work reflected and extended not only Piaget’s findings but also the theories of philosophers George Herbert Mead and James Mark Baldwin. At the same time he was creating a new field within psychology: “moral development”.

In an empirical study using six criteria, such as citations and recognition, Kohlberg was found to be the 30th most eminent psychologist of the 20th century.

Birgit Prinz

Birgit Prinz (born 25 October 1977) is a German retired footballer, two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year.

In addition to the German national team, Prinz played for 1. FFC Frankfurt in the Frauen-Bundesliga as well as the Carolina Courage in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women’s league in the United States. Prinz remains one of the game’s most prolific strikers and is the second FIFA Women’s World Cup all-time leading scorer with 14 goals (second only to Marta from Brazil). On 12 August 2011, she announced the end of her active career.

She currently works as a sport psychologist for the men’s and women’s teams of 1. Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Philippe Pinel

Philippe Pinel (20 April 1745 to 25 October 1826) was a French physician, precursor of psychiatry and incidentally a zoologist. He was instrumental in the development of a more humane psychological approach to the custody and care of psychiatric patients, referred to today as moral therapy. He worked for the abolition of the shackling of mental patients by chains and, more generally, for the humanisation of their treatment. He also made notable contributions to the classification of mental disorders and has been described by some as “the father of modern psychiatry”.

After the French Revolution, Dr. Pinel changed the way we look at the crazy (or “aliénés”, “alienated” in English) by claiming that they can be understood and cured. An 1809 description of a case that Pinel recorded in the second edition of his textbook on insanity is regarded by some as the earliest evidence for the existence of the form of mental disorder later known as dementia praecox or schizophrenia, although Emil Kraepelin is generally accredited with its first conceptualisation.

“Father of modern psychiatry”, he was credited with the first classification of mental illnesses. He had a great influence on psychiatry and the treatment of the alienated in Europe and the United States.

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