famous psychologists and their theories pdf

Famous psychologists and their theories pdf

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The Six Grand Theories of Psychology

10 of the Most Influential Psychologists

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By Dr. Saul McLeod , updated An approach is a perspective i. There may be several different theories within an approach, but they all share these common assumptions. The five major perspectives in psychology are biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive and humanistic.

The Six Grand Theories of Psychology

Psychology is a relatively young science with its experimental roots in the 19th century, compared, for example, to human physiology, which dates much earlier. As mentioned, anyone interested in exploring issues related to the mind generally did so in a philosophical context prior to the 19th century.

Two men, working in the 19th century, are generally credited as being the founders of psychology as a science and academic discipline that was distinct from philosophy. Their names were Wilhelm Wundt and William James. This section will provide an overview of the shifts in paradigms that have influenced psychology from Wundt and James through today.

Wilhelm Wundt — was a German scientist who was the first person to be referred to as a psychologist. His famous book entitled Principles of Physiological Psychology was published in Wundt viewed psychology as a scientific study of conscious experience, and he believed that the goal of psychology was to identify components of consciousness and how those components combined to result in our conscious experience. The second requirement was the use of repeatable stimuli that always produced the same experience in the subject and allowed the subject to expect and thus be fully attentive to the inner reaction.

This attempt to understand the structure or characteristics of the mind was known as structuralism. Wundt established his psychology laboratory at the University at Leipzig in In this laboratory, Wundt and his students conducted experiments on, for example, reaction times.

A subject, sometimes in a room isolated from the scientist, would receive a stimulus such as a light, image, or sound. He created the first laboratory for psychological research. However, despite his efforts to train individuals in the process of introspection, this process remained highly subjective, and there was very little agreement between individuals. William James — was the first American psychologist who espoused a different perspective on how psychology should operate [link].

Key to that theory is the idea that natural selection leads to organisms that are adapted to their environment, including their behavior. Adaptation means that a trait of an organism has a function for the survival and reproduction of the individual, because it has been naturally selected.

Functionalism focused on how mental activities helped an organism fit into its environment. Functionalism has a second, more subtle meaning in that functionalists were more interested in the operation of the whole mind rather than of its individual parts, which were the focus of structuralism.

Like Wundt, James believed that introspection could serve as one means by which someone might study mental activities, but James also relied on more objective measures, including the use of various recording devices, and examinations of concrete products of mental activities and of anatomy and physiology Gordon, William James, shown here in a self-portrait, was the first American psychologist.

Hysteria was an ancient diagnosis for disorders, primarily of women with a wide variety of symptoms, including physical symptoms and emotional disturbances, none of which had an apparent physical cause. The method of psychoanalysis, which involves the patient talking about their experiences and selves, while not invented by Freud, was certainly popularized by him and is still used today. Westen also argues that critics fail to consider the success of the broad ideas that Freud introduced or developed, such as the importance of childhood experiences in adult motivations, the role of unconscious versus conscious motivations in driving our behavior, the fact that motivations can cause conflicts that affect behavior, the effects of mental representations of ourselves and others in guiding our interactions, and the development of personality over time.

Westen identifies subsequent research support for all of these ideas. Some current practices in psychotherapy involve examining unconscious aspects of the self and relationships, often through the relationship between the therapist and the client.

These men are credited with introducing psychologists in the United States to various Gestalt principles. For example, a song may be made up of individual notes played by different instruments, but the real nature of the song is perceived in the combinations of these notes as they form the melody, rhythm, and harmony.

Unfortunately, in moving to the United States, these men were forced to abandon much of their work and were unable to continue to conduct research on a large scale. Despite these issues, several Gestalt principles are still very influential today. Considering the human individual as a whole rather than as a sum of individually measured parts became an important foundation in humanistic theory late in the century. The ideas of Gestalt have continued to influence research on sensation and perception.

Structuralism, Freud, and the Gestalt psychologists were all concerned in one way or another with describing and understanding inner experience. But other researchers had concerns that inner experience could be a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and chose instead to exclusively study behavior, the objectively observable outcome of mental processes.

Early work in the field of behavior was conducted by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov — Pavlov studied a form of learning behavior called a conditioned reflex, in which an animal or human produced a reflex unconscious response to a stimulus and, over time, was conditioned to produce the response to a different stimulus that the experimenter associated with the original stimulus.

The reflex Pavlov worked with was salivation in response to the presence of food. The salivation reflex could be elicited using a second stimulus, such as a specific sound, that was presented in association with the initial food stimulus several times. John B. Watson — was an influential American psychologist whose most famous work occurred during the early 20th century at Johns Hopkins University.

While Wundt and James were concerned with understanding conscious experience, Watson thought that the study of consciousness was flawed. Because he believed that objective analysis of the mind was impossible, Watson preferred to focus directly on observable behavior and try to bring that behavior under control. Watson was a major proponent of shifting the focus of psychology from the mind to behavior, and this approach of observing and controlling behavior came to be known as behaviorism.

A major object of study by behaviorists was learned behavior and its interaction with inborn qualities of the organism. Behaviorism commonly used animals in experiments under the assumption that what was learned using animal models could, to some degree, be applied to human behavior. Behaviorism is largely responsible for establishing psychology as a scientific discipline through its objective methods and especially experimentation.

In addition, it is used in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Behavior modification is commonly used in classroom settings. Behaviorism has also led to research on environmental influences on human behavior. Skinner — was an American psychologist [link].

Like Watson, Skinner was a behaviorist, and he concentrated on how behavior was affected by its consequences. Therefore, Skinner spoke of reinforcement and punishment as major factors in driving behavior.

As a part of his research, Skinner developed a chamber that allowed the careful study of the principles of modifying behavior through reinforcement and punishment. Skinner is famous for his research on operant conditioning.

The Skinner box is a chamber that isolates the subject from the external environment and has a behavior indicator such as a lever or a button. When the animal pushes the button or lever, the box is able to deliver a positive reinforcement of the behavior such as food or a punishment such as a noise or a token conditioner such as a light that is correlated with either the positive reinforcement or punishment. Despite this, conditioned learning is still used in human behavioral modification.

During the early 20th century, American psychology was dominated by behaviorism and psychoanalysis. However, some psychologists were uncomfortable with what they viewed as limited perspectives being so influential to the field. They objected to the pessimism and determinism all actions driven by the unconscious of Freud. They also disliked the reductionism, or simplifying nature, of behaviorism. Behaviorism is also deterministic at its core, because it sees human behavior as entirely determined by a combination of genetics and environment.

Thus, humanism emerged. Humanism is a perspective within psychology that emphasizes the potential for good that is innate to all humans. Abraham Maslow — was an American psychologist who is best known for proposing a hierarchy of human needs in motivating behavior [link]. Although this concept will be discussed in more detail in a later chapter, a brief overview will be provided here.

Maslow asserted that so long as basic needs necessary for survival were met e. According to Maslow, the highest-level needs relate to self-actualization, a process by which we achieve our full potential. Beginning with Maslow and Rogers, there was an insistence on a humanistic research program. This program has been largely qualitative not measurement-based , but there exist a number of quantitative research strains within humanistic psychology, including research on happiness, self-concept, meditation, and the outcomes of humanistic psychotherapy Friedman, Carl Rogers — was also an American psychologist who, like Maslow, emphasized the potential for good that exists within all people [link].

Rogers used a therapeutic technique known as client-centered therapy in helping his clients deal with problematic issues that resulted in their seeking psychotherapy.

Unlike a psychoanalytic approach in which the therapist plays an important role in interpreting what conscious behavior reveals about the unconscious mind, client-centered therapy involves the patient taking a lead role in the therapy session.

Rogers believed that a therapist needed to display three features to maximize the effectiveness of this particular approach: unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and empathy. Unconditional positive regard refers to the fact that the therapist accepts their client for who they are, no matter what he or she might say.

Humanism has been influential to psychology as a whole. Both Maslow and Rogers are well-known names among students of psychology you will read more about both men later in this text , and their ideas have influenced many scholars. View a brief video of Carl Rogers describing his therapeutic approach.

The early work of the humanistic psychologists redirected attention to the individual human as a whole, and as a conscious and self-aware being. By the s, new disciplinary perspectives in linguistics, neuroscience, and computer science were emerging, and these areas revived interest in the mind as a focus of scientific inquiry. This particular perspective has come to be known as the cognitive revolution Miller, Although no one person is entirely responsible for starting the cognitive revolution, Noam Chomsky was very influential in the early days of this movement [link].

Chomsky — , an American linguist, was dissatisfied with the influence that behaviorism had had on psychology. Noam Chomsky was very influential in beginning the cognitive revolution. In , this mural honoring him was put up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. European psychology had never really been as influenced by behaviorism as had American psychology; and thus, the cognitive revolution helped reestablish lines of communication between European psychologists and their American counterparts.

Furthermore, psychologists began to cooperate with scientists in other fields, like anthropology, linguistics, computer science, and neuroscience, among others. This interdisciplinary approach often was referred to as the cognitive sciences, and the influence and prominence of this particular perspective resonates in modern-day psychology Miller, The science of psychology has had an impact on human wellbeing, both positive and negative.

The dominant influence of Western, white, and male academics in the early history of psychology meant that psychology developed with the biases inherent in those individuals, which often had negative consequences for members of society that were not white or male. Women, members of ethnic minorities in both the United States and other countries, and individuals with sexual orientations other than heterosexual had difficulties entering the field of psychology and therefore influencing its development.

They also suffered from the attitudes of white, male psychologists, who were not immune to the nonscientific attitudes prevalent in the society in which they developed and worked. In addition, the experimental subjects of psychology were mostly men, which resulted from underlying assumptions that gender had no influence on psychology and that women were not of sufficient interest to study.

An article by Naomi Weisstein, first published in Weisstein, , stimulated a feminist revolution in psychology by presenting a critique of psychology as a science. She also specifically criticized male psychologists for constructing the psychology of women entirely out of their own cultural biases and without careful experimental tests to verify any of their characterizations of women.

These include re-evaluating and discovering the contributions of women to the history of psychology, studying psychological gender differences, and questioning the male bias present across the practice of the scientific approach to knowledge. Culture has important impacts on individuals and social psychology, yet the effects of culture on psychology are under-studied.

In this sense, it has remained a descriptive science, rather than one seeking to determine cause and effect.

10 of the Most Influential Psychologists

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior, according to the American Psychological Association. It is the study of the mind, how it works, and how it affects behavior. Psychologists and psychiatrists work together to help people with mental health conditions, but they are not quite the same. A psychologist treats a patient through psychotherapy, helping to relieve symptoms through behavioral change. The role of the psychiatrist, who is a medical doctor, focuses more on prescribing medication and other interventions to manage mental health conditions. The work of a psychologist can range from counseling individuals with anxiety to advising companies on how to build better teams. Thought processes, emotions, memories, dreams, perceptions, and so on cannot be seen physically, like a skin rash or heart defect.

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Keep reading to find out all about the Six Grand Theories. Psychoanalysis is a theory discovered by Sigmund Freud and Eric Erickson. The discipline was established in Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques. The theory created by Freud and Erickson is a study of the unconscious mind, which deals with mental health disorders.

January 22, Staff Writers. Educational psychologists study learners and learning contexts — both within and beyond traditional classrooms — and evaluate ways in which factors such as age, culture, gender, and physical and social environments influence human learning. They leverage educational theory and practice based on the latest research related to human development to understand the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of human learning. Educational psychology can influence programs, curricula, and lesson development, as well as classroom management approaches.

Social Psychology Theories

Some of the most famous psychologists in history made important contributions to our understanding of the human mind and behavior. Some of these thinkers were also philosophers, educators, and therapists.

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The breadth and range of contemporary social psychology theories reflects the diverse intellectual origins of the various perspectives and approaches. Early discussions of social psychology focused on these distinctive intellectual origins by highlighting the differences between psychological and sociological social psychology. This representation of the field has been critiqued for its perpetuation of artificial boundaries that overlook significant connections between the shared subject matter of sociology and psychology.

Get psychology class 11 notes and psychology class 11 chapter 1 notes pdf. Psychology Then and Now pp. Chapter 1 History and Approaches. James, William, Literature Notes. Good psychology notes are important if you want to do well in your classes.

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19 Famous Psychologists and Their Theories


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