Example and Hints

Psychology on Meaningful Dates

Suggestion:  Print this page and have it handy to review when preparing every assignment in the future.  Failure to follow these instruction will likely result in a fatal error one that will result in your assignment being automatically rejected.


Franzoi (2007) provides a great deal of historical information about psychology, particularly in Chapter 1.  Street (1999), however, provides much more information about the history of psychology.

Today:  Street (2001a), notes that on January 18:
1892 ­ Edmund Clark Sanford's Laboratory Course in Psychology was published.
1921 ­ Robert Glaser was born. Glaser's research in education developed from an early emphasis on individualized instruction and criterion-referenced testing to later explorations of cognitive models of classroom learning and "knowledge-dependent learning." APA Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology, 1987.
1971 ­ The Jean Piaget Society was incorporated in Pennsylvania, marking the official founding of the organization.

My Birthdate:  On September 8, according to Street (2001b),
1854 - The cornerstone was laid for the State Asylum for Idiots in Syracuse, New York, the first building in the United States expressly built for the care and training of people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. The program itself, directed by Harvey B. Wilbur, had begun in Albany in 1851. The institution's name was later changed to the Syracuse State School.
1932 - The APA voted to apply for membership in the Inter-Society Color Council, a group concerned with color perception and industry standards. Clarence Ferree, A. T. Poffenberger, and Forrest Lee Dimmick were the first APA representatives on the Council. Their first informal report to the APA was made on September 8, 1933, and their first formal report was made on August 25, 1934.
1938 - The APA Committee on Scientific and Professional Ethics was established. This was the APA's first group to deal with professional ethical issues, but it used unwritten, informal procedures to handle incidents that were brought to its attention. Robert S. Sessions chaired the committee.

On January 31 (A day of personal significance), Street (2001c) indicates that:
1931 ­ The Psychograph, a device consisting of a helmet and movable rods designed so measurements could be made at 32 points on the skull, made its public debut at the Twin City Auto Show. The device was an excursion into automated phrenology.
1961 ­ A chimpanzee named HAM performed a series of operant avoidance tasks during a space flight that was part of Project Mercury, the first American manned space flight program.  HAM, trained by Richard Belleville, contended with two schedules of bar-pressing for shock avoidance. In an 18-minute suborbital flight, HAM made only two errors.
1969 ­ Neal E. Miller's article "Learning of Visceral and Glandular Responses," describing instrumental conditioning of autonomic responses, was published in Science.

Reference List

Franzoi, S. L.  (2007).  Psychology: A Journey of Discovery, (3rd ed).  Cincinnati, OH:  Atomic Dog Publishing.

Street, W. R. (1999, October 25).  Today in the History of Psychology.   Retrieved January 25, 2002 from  http://www.cwu.edu/~warren/calendar/datepick.html

Street, W. R. (2001a, November 26). January 18 in Psychology. Retrieved January 25, 2002, from the American Psychological Association Historical Database Web site at Central Washington University:

Street, W. R. (2001b, November 26). September 8 in Psychology. Retrieved January 25, 2002, from the American Psychological Association Historical Database Web site at Central Washington University:

Street, W. R. (2001c, November 26). January 31 in Psychology. Retrieved January 25, 2002, from the American Psychological Association Historical Database Web site at Central Washington University:


I simply went to Warren Street's Today in the History of Psychology site.  I selected January 18 (today's date) and when the page loaded, I highlighted the information and copied and pasted it into my email program as part of a new message.  Then I returned to the calendar and did the same for my birthdate and a third date.  After I entered the information for all three dates and compiled the list of references, I posted the message to the class address (and CC'd a copy to the back-up address) with Psychology on Meaningful Dates shown in the "Subject:" line.

Note that normally, simply copying and pasting information into a report is not allowed.  In this case, I am specifically instructing you to do so because  I am not interested in providing you with the opportunity to practice your typing skills.  I see nothing to be gained by you spending the time rewriting what has already been written, in this case.  Be aware, however, that in most cases this would constitute plagiarism the "unforgivable" academic sin, and would normally result in severe penalties.

Don't forget to reference the source of the information.  If you do not, you will have committed plagiarism.  The citations shown above can serve as a model.  You can, if you wish, copy and paste them into your assignment message and then make the necessary changes.  Change the publication dates, page titles and retrieval date, as necessary.  Since the dates that you select will probably be different from the dates I used, you will also need to change the file name portion of the URL (cal0908.html, for example) so that the reader will be taken to the correct date.  Be certain, however, that you know and understand how to structure a reference properly that is one of the primary reasons for this assignment being required.  See the MegaPsych Article Writing Psychology Reports for specifics.

Most email programs today will automatically show the URL as an active link if you show the full URL including the "http://" part and the rest of the URL properly.  That includes not putting any sort of punctuation mark at the end of the URL.

The date in parentheses is the date the Web page was published or last updated.  If the author does not show that information on the page itself, you may have to do a little detective work.  You can often find that information by clicking on "View" and then "Page Info", if you use Netscape, or by clicking on "View" and then "Source", if you use Internet Explorer.

Another possibility for checking the publication date is to "backtrack" the URL.  Until recently, none of Street's pages showed the publication date, and the "Last Modified" date on the "Page Info" page was shown as "Unknown".  In late 2001, he added a link at the bottom of each date page that will take you to a page on which he explains and illustrates proper APA-style referencing of his pages.

Before he added that feature (at my urging, I am a bit pleased to admit), I had to manually work through the process of discovering the "publication" dates. I am still showing you the process I used because you may have to do the same sort of detective work in order to find the proper information for other sites you use in the future.  This is how I did it.

Starting with the the URL for Street's "Calendar" page, http://www.cwu.edu/~warren/calendar/datepick.html, I deleted the last element (which is the filename), "datepick.html".  The URL "http://www.cwu.edu/~warren/calendar" revealed the "Index" page for Street's site.  The "Last modified" column showed the date as 25-Oct-99 for all of the pages that make up Street's Today in the History of Psychology site.  (When he updated the site in late 2001, of course, those dates changed.)

If that had not given me the information I needed, I would have next deleted the last element of the URL "http://www.cwu.edu/~warren/calendar" "calendar".  Had that not given me the information I was seeking, I might have then deleted the "~warren" portion of the URL.  (This backtracking technique can also help you find a page that has "disappeared" because the author has renamed it.)

If that information cannot be found, after all methods of investigating have been tried in good faith, use a notation that indicates "Publication date not indicated" in place of the publication date.  APA has recently settled on "(n.d.)" as the preferred way of indicating that  no date is shown.

Special Instructional Notes:
Note that Street, in the sample he provides, appears to violate one of the instructions I provide in the Writing article.  Instead of just showing "Retrieved January 25, 2002 from the World Wide Web...", he provides the more specific statement "Retrieved January 25, 2002, from the American Psychological Association Historical Database Web site at Central Washington University: ...".  There may be a good reason for this apparent conflict of information.

The Internet is fairly new.  The World Wide Web itself is barely 10 years old as this is being written in early 2002.  The wide range of material on the Web was only beginning to appear just five or six years ago.  Until very recently there was little guidance offered about how to reference electronic sources of information because there was little need for it since there was very little such information.  As that situation changed, APA began dictating how such sources were to be referenced in APA publications.  Since the situation is dynamic, and has been changing constantly (and is likely to continue to change considerably for the foreseeable future) APA has revised the format of references several times in the past five or so years.  The latest version of APA's Electronic References page is only about five months old, as this is written.  It is likely, I suspect, that the reference formats will continue to evolve in the next few years.  In particular, I think we are going to find that most people will have considerable difficulty determining the information to include in the more specific format unless those who create the web pages specify the source, as Street does.  It is my personal belief that most will decide that doing so is too much trouble.

For that reason, I will, for the time being, accept references shown with either the general or the more specific formats.  Be aware that other psychology professors you encounter in the future may specifically require that you use the most recent incarnation of APA's reference format.  Consequently, I would encourage you to get used to using the most recent format, whenever you can.  Feel free, however, to use the more general format whenever you cannot determine after a good faith effort the information to include in the more specific format.

Since Street does provide the specific information needed, at least for the specific date pages,
Street, W. R. (2001c, November 26). January 31 in Psychology. Retrieved January 25, 2002, from the American Psychological Association Historical Database Web site at Central Washington University:
is more appropriate, and is therefore required for this assignment, than would be
Street, W. R. (2001c, November 26). January 31 in Psychology. Retrieved January 25, 2002, from the World Wide Web: http://www.cwu.edu/~warren/calendar/cal0131.html

I kept the reference for the overall site in the more general format:
Street, W. R. (1999, October 25).  Today in the History of Psychology.   Retrieved January 25, 2002 from the World Wide Web: http://www.cwu.edu/~warren/calendar/datepick.html
for the simple reason that it is not entirely clear to me that the overall site is necessarily a part of the Historical Database site.  I think I could argue that the Today in the History of Psychology site utilizes the information in the Historical Database site, and that the Historical Database is a second-level site, subordinate to the Today in the History of Psychology site.  I can, at the same time, see that someone else might argue that the two cannot be functionally separated.  (See what I meant about it being difficult to determine the information to include?  If I cannot be sure, how can I demand that you determine it?)

I included the Today in the History of Psychology citation to make it easy for the reader to use Street's site from the normal entry point.  While including this citation may not be required in all cases, it seems like it is a good idea.  The three individual page citations are essential, however.  They are there so that readers can quickly and easily visit the specific sources of your information to see for themselves what Street says and see if you reported Street's claims correctly, or to perhaps seek further information on the topic.

The properly formatted APA-style reference for this page should look like:

Nichols, J. W. (2006, July 21).  Example and Hints for Psych3K -- Psychology on Meaningful Dates.  Retrieved August 25, 2006 from  http://www.tulsa.oklahoma.net/~jnichols/E&H1.html