World’s influential Psychologists
5 of the most World’s influential Psychologists
Psychology is possibly one of the most interesting and thought provoking subjects in the world. People around the world have tried for hundreds of years to study the human psyche. There have been many theories some crazy and some so inspired that they have shaped the way we study psychology today. This blog looks at 5 of the most influential psychologist and gives a brief over view into the theories they came up with and how they have affected modern psychology. See if you agree with us!
- Carl Ransom Rogers
Born: January 8, 1902, Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: February 4, 1987, San Diego, California, United States
Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was a humanistic psychologist who to some extent agreed with Abraham Maslow, but added that for a person to “evolve”, they need an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood).
Rogers believed that without these three principles, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should. He thought that everyone can achieve their desires, goals and wishes in life. If this happened, he believed that self-actualization took place. This was one of Carl Rogers most significant contributions to the field. In summary he believed that for a person to reach their potential a number of factors must be satisfied.
- Jean Piaget
Born: August 9, 1896, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: September 16, 1980, Geneva, Switzerland
Piaget (1936) was the first psychologist to make an efficient study of cognitive development. His contributions to psychology comprise a theory of child cognitive development, detailed observational studies of cognition in children, and a chain of tests to reveal diverse cognitive abilities.
Before Piaget it was the common assumption in psychology that children were just less competent thinkers than adults. Piaget showed that young children think in strikingly different ways compared to adults.
Piaget believed that children are born with a very rudimentary mental structure (genetically inherited and evolved) on which all succeeding learning and knowledge is based. Albert Einstein once described Piaget’s considerations on children’s intellectual growth and thought processes as a finding “so simple that only a genius could have thought of it.”
- Albert Bandura
Born: December 4, 1925 (age 89), Mundare, Canada
Albert Bandura (1977) states behaviour is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning this is called the social learning theory. Unlike Skinner, Bandura (1977) believes that humans process information and think about the relationships between behaviour and its consequences. Unless cognitive processes were at work observational learning could not occur.
Children are known to observe the people around them, by doing so they see people behaving in a variety of ways. The famous Bobo doll experiment by Bandura in 1961 set out to prove this. Individuals that are observed are referred to as models. Children are surrounded by many influential models in society, such as parents, characters on TV, friends and teachers. To children the observation of these ‘models’ provide examples of behaviour to imitate, e.g. masculine and feminine
- Sigmund Freud
Born: May 6, 1856, Příbor, Czech Republic
Died: September 23, 1939, Hampstead
Freud believed that when we explain our own behaviour to ourselves or others (conscious mental activity) we rarely give a true account of our motivation. Yet this is not because we are deliberately lying; whilst human beings can be great deceivers of others, they are even more skilled at self-deception. We rationale our conduct by disguising the real reasons for our actions. Freud’s life work was his attempts to find ways of probing this often subtle and elaborate smokescreen that obscures the hidden structure and processes of personality.
Freud was the founding father of psychoanalysis; psychoanalysis is often known as the talking cure. Psychoanalysis is a method for treating mental illness but also a theory which explains human behaviour. Usually using psychoanalysis, Freud would encourage his patients to talk without restrictions (on his famous couch) to describe exactly what was on their mind regarding their symptoms.
- B. F. Skinner – Burrhus Frederic Skinner
Born: March 20, 1904, Susquehanna Depot, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 18, 1990, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Burrhus Frederic Skinner. Although, for obvious reasons he is more commonly known as B.F. Skinner.
Skinner believed that we do have such a thing as a mind, but that it is more productive to study observable behaviour rather than internal mental behaviour. The work of Skinner was rooted in a view that classical conditioning was far too simple to be a complete explanation of human behaviour. He believed that the best way to comprehend behaviour is to look at the cause of an action and its consequences. He called this methodology – operant conditioning.
Operant Conditioning deals with operates (intentional actions) that have an effect on the surrounding environment. Skinner set out to identify the processes which made certain operant behaviours more or less likely to occur.
Why not do a course on Psychology at Oakwood Home Learning? You never know, one day your name could be on this list!