Newswise — WASHINGTON -- The American Psychological Association will mark its 125th anniversary at its annual convention Aug. 3-6 here, featuring sessions looking at the association’s history, a pop-up museum and a posthumous award to APA’s first female president.

This event is a milestone in the history of psychology and of our association,” said APA President Antonio E. Puente, PhD. “While we have been celebrating APA’s anniversary all year, this is the one time that thousands of our members will come together to reflect on our achievements and look ahead to continuing the organization’s mission of promoting psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.”

Puente will present a posthumous award at the convention’s opening session Aug. 3 to Mary Whiton Calkins, APA’s first female president, who served in 1905. Although she completed all the work for a PhD at Harvard under William James, the university refused to award her the degree on the grounds that it did not accept women. Later in her career, Calkins was offered a PhD from Radcliffe College in lieu of a Harvard degree, but she refused to accept it.

The award will be accepted by Mahzarin R. Banaji, PhD, chair of Harvard’s psychology department.

As part of the 125th anniversary celebration, the meeting will include special sessions looking back at the history of the organization. These include: “125 Years of Psychology as Science Within APA” and “Looking Back in our 125th Year—Acknowledging American Psychology’s Past.”

The meeting will also feature a pop-up museum displaying artifacts from psychology’s past, including the Bobo doll from Albert Bandura’s study on aggression and prisoner/guard uniforms from Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. The museum will include interactive stations on testing, early lab equipment, historical images of renowned scientists and photos from early APA meetings. The items come from the Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, located at The University of Akron in Ohio, and the APA archives.

In addition, APA will host an anniversary celebration for convention goers the evening of Aug. 5 at the National Museum of American History.

The meeting also marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s address at the APA convention, which will be recognized in two sessions: “Confronting Our Own Racism and That of Others---An Experiential Group Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “Creative Maladjustment to the Soul Poison of Racism--Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 APA Speech,” both on Aug. 4.

The meeting will be the first opportunity for many members to meet with APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD. Evans joined APA in March after serving 12 years as commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service, a $1.2 billion health care agency.

I look forward to welcoming our members to the nation’s capital and to celebrating APA’s anniversary with them,” Evans said. “This is the premier meeting of psychologists from across the country and around the globe and I am excited to be able to share my vision for our association’s future.”

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.



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American Psychological Association Convention