Famous People In Psychology

Descriptions Of Famous People In Psychology And What They Are Most Known For Or Associated With.  

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Wilhelm Wundt
Founder of scientific psychologyFounded first formal labStudied consciousness using introspection in Leipzig, GermanyAssociated with school of Structuralism - early psychological perspective...
William James 
"Father of psychology"Wrote Principles of Psychology James-Lange theory of emotion says emotion is the mind's perception of physiological conditions that result from some stimulusAssociated...
John Dewey
One of the founders of School of Functionalism and philosophy of pragmatism Carr, Mead, and Angell also proponents of Functionalism
John Watson
Established School of Behaviorism - analysis of behavior and reactions is the only objective method to get insight into human actions; learning as a result of experienceKnown for experiments...
B.F. Skinner
Part of the Behaviorist SchoolKnown for experiments in operant conditioningInvented the operant conditioning chamber ("Skinner box")Schedules of reinforcement 
Sigmund Freud 
"Father of psychoanalysis"Psychoanalysis - concerned with how unconscious instincts, conflicts, motives and defenses influence behaviorFree association, theory of transference, interpretation...
Josef Breuer
Helped lay foundation for psychoanalysisWorked with Freud
Carl Jung
Founder of analytical psychologyCollective unconsciousArchetypesAnima and animus 
Alfred Adler
Founder of the school of Individual PsychologyMost famous concept = inferiority complex and emphasis on power dynamics Personality types = getting/leaning, avoiding, ruling/dominant,...
Karen Horney 
Classified as Neo-Freudian Detailed theory of neurosis: a continuous process with neuroses occurring sporadically during life; named ten patterns of neurotic needs (moving toward,...
Heinz Kohut
Psychoanalyst known for development of Self Psychology Tripartite (three-part) self can only develop when the needs of one's self-states are met Extended Freud's theory of...
Carl Rogers
Among the founders of the humanist approach Person-centered or client-centered therapyPerceptual field = reality for an individual Phenomenal field = changing world of experience Behavior...
Abraham Maslow
Founder of the Humanistic approachConceptualized the "hierarchy of human needs"     Basic Needs     Security and Stability     Love and...
Joseph Wolpe
Developed systematic desensitization 
Dollard, Doob and Miller
Social learning theorists who proposed the frustration-aggression hypothesis
Wolfgang Kohler
Spent several years studying the problem-solving abilities of chimps and observed that animals often exhibit insight
Hans Selye
A noted stress researcher; identified the General Adaptation Syndrome (alarm, resistance, exhaustion)
Developed theory of emotion that says emotions originate in the subcortical brain structures and create the conscious or visceral feelings of emotions
Developed theory of emotion that says people determine the emotion from their physiological arousal and label that emotion to agree with their cognitive explanation for it (a cognitive...
Developed a relationship between arousal and performance (illustrated by a bell-shaped curve). Also developed a rule: For easy tasks, moderately high arousal is needed to do well. For...
David McClelland
Noted for work on achievement motivation and consciousness. Achievement motive found to be highly related to individual productivity and success. Levels of the need for achievement...
Konrad Lorenz
One of the founders of modern ethology. Studied instinctive behavior in animals (fixed action patterns) and rediscovered imprinting. 
Noam Chomsky
Developed theory of generative grammar whose properties arise from an innate universal grammar. 
Edward Tolman
Developed a motivation theory known as the expectancy-value theory which states Performance = Expectancy x Value. Also states that behavior results from the interactions between needs...
William McDougall
Developed the idea that each instinct is receptive to certain stimuli and that the receptivity and behavioral components of each instinct might change as a function of learning 
Clark Hull
Sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior. Also known for his drive theory: organisms are born with certain physiological needs and that a negative...
Leon Festinger 
Developed the theory of cognitive dissonance and social comparison theory. Cognitive dissonance states that inconsistency between beliefs and behaviors will cause intense psychological...
Gordon Allport 
One of the founding figures of personality psychology. Emphasized the uniqueness of each individual and the importance of the present context, as opposed to past history.   Known...
Hermann Ebbinghaus
Pioneered the experimental study of memory, and his known for his discovery of the forgetting curve, learning curve and spacing effect. 
Ivan Pavlov 
Described the phenomenon of classical conditioning (conditioned reflex)
Jean Piaget 
Developed a theory of cognitive development which consisted of four stages: Sensorimotor (circular reactions, object permanence), Pre-operational thought (magical thinking, egocentrism),...
Erik Erikson
Developed a psycho-social theory. Stages: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame/doubt, initiative vs guilt, industry vs inferiority, identity vs role confusion, intimacy vs isolation,...
Lawrence Kohlberg
Moral development theory: Pre-conventional (obedience & punishment orientation and self interest orientation), Conventional (interpersonal accord & conformity and authority...
Edward Thorndike 
His work on animal behavior and learning led to the theory of connectionism. Formulated the law of effect: responses that are closely followed by satisfying consequences become associated...
Theory of trichromatic color vision. 
Kurt Koffka, Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler 
Gestalt theorists 
Ernst Heinrich Weber
Saw that the relationship between stimulus and perception is logarithmic P=k ln S
Premack's principle = high probability behavior paired with low probability behavior results in increase of the low probability behavior. 
Albert Bandura 
Most famous for his social learning theory (observe and then imitate behavior) Bobo doll experiment. Found that self-efficacy beliefs mediated changes in behavior and fear-arousal. 
Token economy with monkeys. Secondary reinforcers become primary reinforcers
Martin Seligman
Studied learned helplessness in dogs
Developed three part memory model - Sensory, Short-Term and Long-Term
Gordon Bower
Looked at how context affects memory - Mood Congruent Memory
Benjamin Whorf
Known for his theories in linguistic relativity. Believed that language affects the way we see the world
Donald Broadbent 
Developed a Memory filter theory - thought process can be modeled in series of sequential stages and information is lost at each stage. Filter located between the sensory register and...
William Sheldon 
Somatotype Theory - Assigned people into three categories of body types: endomorphs, mesomophs and ectomorphs. 
Julian Rotter 
Social learning theory and locus of control = individual's belief about how much they control their destiny
George Kelly
Best known for developing Personal Construct Psychology which looks at how we develop bipolar mental constructs to judge and predict others behavior
Kurt Lewin
Often recognized as founder of social psychology. One of the first to study group dynamics and organizational development. Force field analysis = provides framework for looking at forces...

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