Your probably know some of the big names in the history of psychology. You surely know Sigmund Freud and maybe Carl Jung but there are many groundbreaking psychologists that you haven’t heard of. Here are 5 such psychologists whose contributions to psychology were so great that you just have to know who they are.
Wilhelm Wundt is one psychologist everyone should know. He was the first. He was the founder of psychology because he started work in this area and realized that this was a distinct discipline, unlike anything that had been studied before.
At the time he held the position of chair of the department of philosophy at the prestigious University of Leipzig which is located in Germany. His program on psychology was the authoritative one and therefore anyone in his time who wished to study this newly emerging discipline had to head to Germany. Wilhelm Wundt broke ground by being the first to study psychology even as he recognized it as a new discipline.
Karl Lashley worked with the famous John Watson but their research efforts ultimately ended up going in different directions. He was groundbreaking in his efforts to attempt to locate the physiological mechanisms that were responsible for behavior. He had rats learn a maze and then he started removing portions of their brains to see which portion would impair their ability to navigate the learned maze. He discovered that it did not matter what part of the brain was removed but it did matter how much of the brain was removed. This was a groundbreaking find and led to greater understanding of neural plasticity.
Lev Vygotsky was not limited to one aspect of psychology but rather enjoyed exploring diverse areas. He wrote a number of books on topics in this field. He focused on areas like child developmental processes, the education of children, and the processes of language development. He is perhaps best known for his popularized theories of the zone of proximal development and sociocultural theory. The first theory has to do with a child’s learning potential and the second has to do with the effects that society has on individuals and vice versa.
Philip Zimbardo is the psychologist who conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment. Twenty-four male students were assigned the roles of either prisoners or guards. The study was originally supposed to last two weeks but had to be cut short because of extreme reactions from the students playing these roles. This famous study showed how situations can impact human behavior, even when those situations are just pretend.
Karen Horney is a psychologist who you should know because of her work in feminine psychology. Psychology was historically a discipline that, like so many intellectual disciplines, was dominated by males. She rejected many of Freud’s theories regarding women including the infamous p?nis envy concept stating the opposing theory of womb envy which is the feeling of inferiority men have because they cannot bear children. Her theories of neuroses as coping mechanisms are still highly regarded.
T. Rheinecker is adamant about writing on how to search for the best masters in psychology programs.