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Famous Psychologists

A List of Famous Psychologists

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

He's an important contemporary psychologist, but one of your first questions is probably "How do you pronounce his name?" (It's me-HIGH chick-sent-me-HIGH-ee, by the way.) Learn more about his work and contributions to modern psychology in this brief biography.

John Dewey

John Dewey
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

John Dewey was an American psychologist, philosopher, writer and educational theorist. His work had a vital influence on psychology, education and philosophy and he is often considered one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th-century. His emphasis on progressive education has contributed greatly to the use of experimentation rather than an authoritarian approach to knowledge.

Erik Erikson

Erik Erikson
Public Domain
Erik Erikson's well-known stage theory of psychosocial development helped generate interest and inspire research on human development through the lifespan. An ego psychologist who studied with Anna Freud, Erikson expanded psychoanalytic theory by exploring development throughout the full lifespan, including events of childhood, adulthood and old age.

Hans Eysenck

Hans Eysenck
Image from the Wikimedia Commons / Sirswindon at en.wikipedia
Hans Eyesenck was a very prolific psychologist, publishing more than 75 books and 1600 journal articles. Prior to his death in 1997, he was the living psychologist most frequently cited in scientific books and journal articles. He was also a very controversial figure, and his outspoken views of subjects ranging from psychotherapy to intelligence made him the subject of criticism.

Leon Festinger

Leon Festinger was an influential social psychologist who is well-known for his theory of cognitive dissonance as well as his social comparison theory.

Anna Freud

Anna Freud began her career influenced by the theories of her father, Sigmund Freud. Far from living in her father's shadow, Anna made important contributions of her own to psychology. She founded child psychoanalysis and summarized the ego's defense mechanisms in her book The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936).

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud
Public Domain
Sigmund Freud may be one of the best known figures in history, but he is also one of the most controversial. He was the founder of the school of thought known as psychoanalysis. The legacy of his life and work provokes both impassioned acclaim from his supporters and disdain from his detractors. While some view him as a cultural icon and others see him as a pseudo-scientific charlatan, there is no question that Freud left an indelible mark on psychology as well as other disciplines.

Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm
Liss Goldring / Erich Fromm Estate
Erich Fromm was a neo-Freudian psychoanalyst who had a major influence on humanistic psychology. Today Fromm is remembered for his concept of freedom as a fundamental component of human nature.

G. Stanley Hall

G. Stanely Hall
G. Stanley Hall (front center). Public Domain.
G. Stanley Hall founded the first American experimental psychology lab at John Hopkins University and also became the first president of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1892. He had a huge influence on the development of early psychology in the United States and many of his students went on to become eminent psychologists, including Lewis Terman, John Dewey and James McKeen Cattell.

Harry Harlow

Harry Harlow is best-remembered for his shocking and controversial experiments demonstrating the effects of social isolation on young rhesus monkeys.

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