Like any profession, psychology has evolved since its inception. It has been shaped by some of the greatest thinkers and scientists of the human mind. Their work has influenced society’s ability to understand why people are the way they are, why they do the things that they do and how their behaviors can be changed. Five famous psychologists in history stand out above the rest for their contributions to this field.
1. Sigmund Freud – Freud is perhaps the most well-known psychologist in history. He explored the personality and human psyche as it relates to the id, the ego and the superego. A phrase named after him is the Freudian slip. It refers to the subconscious substitution of one word for another that people sometimes make while they are talking to others.
2. B.F. Skinner – The study of behavior modification and reinforcement significantly influenced how people are treated in society today. He received several awards over his lifetime. These honors included the National Medal of Science in 1968, the Human of the Year Award in 1972 and a Citation for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology in 1990.
3. Albert Bandura – Bandura’s groundbreaking theories on personalities and therapy put him on the short list of famous psychologists in history. His approach is more oriented to action than that of others who came before him in this field. A native of Canada, the specialist in social cognitive theory has worked in the field of psychology in the U.S. for many years and is still active today. His work in a person’s ability to exercise control over their actions has been at the root of several 12-step programs.
4. Carl Jung – Jung was influenced by Freud in his work, although he disagreed with some of those theories. Jung’s contributions to psychology involved new ideas about the human psyche and the collective unconscious.
5. Mary Ainsworth – Ainsworth provided great insight into child behavior as it relates to development. She delved into the field of attachment theory and broke ground with her Strange Situation Assessment study on toddlers and their relationships with their parents.
Some of the greatest minds in psychology are quite famous. Their theories have led to breakthroughs in helping everyday people to cope with their lives and the world around them, but a psychologist doesn’t have to be famous to make a difference. If you’re in New York and you need clarity from a professional, Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Service can help. A psychologist in NYC can analyze the issues at hand regarding personal situations or business-related scenarios. Contact our office to find out how.