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Timeline of Personality Psychology

Personality Psychology Study Guide

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Explore this timeline of personality psychology to learn more about some of the important dates and discoveries that have had an impact on our understanding of human personality.

  • 1758 – The founder of phrenology, Franz Joseph Gall, was born. Phrenology was a popular pseudoscience that linked personality to head shape.

  • 1848 - Phineas P. Gage was injured in a dynamite explosion, blasting an iron rod through his brain. Personality psychologists often cite Gage to demonstrate the link between the brain and personality. While Gage survived the accident, his personality was drastically altered.

  • 1902Erik Erikson was born. An ego psychologist trained by Anna Freud, Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development described personality development from birth to death.

  • 1908 - Abraham Maslow was born. His hierarchy of needs is one of the most famous theories of motivation and personality.

  • 1916 - Hans Eysenck was born. His theory of personality described three dimensions: extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism.

  • 1921 - Hermann Rorschach's published his book Psychodiagnostik, which described his inkblot personality test.

  • 1923 - Sigmund Freud published The Ego and the Id. The paper outlined his structural model of personality.

  • 1938 - The Rorschach Institute was founded. It was later renamed the Society for Personality Assessment.

  • 1948 - Robert W. White's classic book The Abnormal Personality was published.

  • 1954 – Abraham Maslow published his book Motivation and Personality, describing his theory of a hierarchy of needs.

  • 1963 - Albert Bandura first described the concept of observational learning to explain personality development.

  • 1980 - Carl Rogers published A Way Of Being. Rogers is best remembered for his humanistic approach to personality theory.

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