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Readers Respond: Who Is the Most Influential Psychologist?

Responses: 93


Friedrich Froebel

I believe that one of the most influential psychologist is Friedrich Froebel. He believed that nature and child's development were interrelated. He also believed and you should look at each child individually because of the different stages at the same age. He also so the importance of play to learn. He created the use of centers and kindergarten.
—Guest Elizabeth Baker

Maslow’s hierarchy

Maslow’s hierarchical schema focuses on the whole hierarchy of needs, wants, and strengths. Maslow examines the needs of a person as crossing over the physical (bodily needs), intellectual (cognitive needs), socio-affective (social/emotional needs), and spiritual (aesthetic needs) dimensions of persons. There is a difference between needs and a wants in the concern of the wellbeing of an individual. A need is very important in levels of living, human development, and psychosocial functioning. A want differs than a need among human growth. A want is a desire for something beyond the basic needs of human survival. An example of a want would be iPod over food. Needs are most common among most human environments. A question you want to ask to help understand the concept of Maslow’s hierarchy is “If you were cast away on deserted island, what would you desire the most?”
—Guest Alan

Lev Vygotsky

I believe that Lev Vygotsky should be number 10 because of his sociocultural theory. He stressed the importance of the social context of development. That children's learning is often promoted through assistance from adults or older peers who help the child learn new skills. If you really think about his concepts of learning between children and adults where the child learns specific cultural values, customs, and beliefs is true. Who influenced you a lot when you were a child? For most people it was their parents or someone older than them that they looked up to. This is why I believe that Vygotsky should be added.
—Guest tjc_1311_mnm

Vygotzky should have been listed #10

Lev Semenovich Vygotsky should have been added as the tenth most influential psychologist. While most psychologist focused primarily on the child in explaining how development occurs, but certainly not ignoring the importance of others, especially the family, other theorist had given much greater prominence to the importance of the cultural and historical context within which a child is socialized. Vygotsky , originator of the sociocultural theory, highly stressed the importance of the social environment to development. Vygotsky also investigated child development and how this was guided by the role of culture and interpersonal communication. The Zone of Proximal Development is Vygotsky’s term for the range of tasks that are too difficult for the child to master alone but that can be learned with guidance and assistance of adults or more-skilled children. Vygotzky is less known for his research on play, or child's game as a psychological phenomenon and its role in the child's develo
—Guest Francisca Perdomo

Friedrich Froebel

I believe Friedrich Froebal should have made the list. He believed in the the interrelatedness of nature. He believe education should be harmonize with inner development. He also believed children are in different stages at every age. He saw childhood as a stage with intrinsic value of its own. He stressed that play is very important in a child's development to achieve harmony. He created blocks that are still used in classrooms to this day. The word kindergarten came from his class's "garden for children." His classrooms were centered around play and sensory awareness.
—Guest Krista B


I believe that Vygotsky should be on the 10 most influential psychologists because of his cognitive development theory. He believe that children can do more with guidance of a person more experienced than they can do themselves. He believed that children learn from their interactions with their internment. I love the way he believes that a parent should be a part of the children's learning experience and how they can work as a team. Not only does the child learn faster and seem to understand things better, but also the child and the parents or helper can become closer and share an experience together. This can lead to a child being closer with his/her family and have better appreciation for his helper that helped him through his childhood experiences.
—Guest Elise

Friedrich Froebel

After reading over several great psychologists i believe that Friedrich Froebel deserves the 10 slot. It was Rousseau that saw the potential in children. He saw how noble and pure children are. And how they are full of knowledge. And he said that they need to be protected and nurtured in a way so that they maintain this pure knowledge. I agree with him but not only i agree with him, but Johann Pestalozzi agrees with him. Which built a school which than became a museum. After visiting this museum Froebel had some mixed feelings and was able to take these two men's insights and turn it into somethings miraculous. He saw how they learned at different stages in life and how play was so vital in a child's life which is why invented blocks. He came up with a class called "Garden for Children" where he incorporated art activities, games, finger paints, songs, blocks, stories,crafts and other similar activities to enhance a child's knowledge. And today we call this Kindergarten.
—Guest Alex Easterling

Lev Vygotsky- # 10

I think that Lev Vygotsky should be number 10 because he has to do with children's development. The more psychologists that study children's development, the better our children's future will be. After doing research, this is the only one that really caught my attention, it almost seems like the rest almost blended together. Vygotsky really stood out and seemed much different. I think that developmental issues need to be a main concern of more people because our world is in the hands of what our children "develop" it into. Most of his work, I totally agree with and wish that more people would think like that too. I love how he belives that a child's higher mental functions is developed through particular groups, especially parents, but other adults in the child's life. I think that the reason so many schools are having problems with children these days is because the parents are slacking on their part of raising them, so the teachers are the ones that are left to suffer.
—Guest Andrea Tarrant

Lev Vygotsky

I believe that Vygotsky should be on the list because of how much he was able to accomplish. His theories are still in practice everyday at the Best Practices of Education. I believe they are still in practice there because they really are the Best Practices in Education. He not only made many briliant practices to be used for students but also for the teachers teaching these students. His studies have been proven in Russia, which is where he is from, and also in the United States. The Vygotsky Math Project was proven to work by Susquehanna School in Binghamton, New York. This project is not just for one age group but for students ages 4-14. Vygotsky was able to make his theories for a wide range of students that were beneficial and effective for all of them. He said that speeking is just as important as writing. After looking of many of his theories, Vygotsky's overall influence I believe is more important and more in depth in the education of students and in teachers in this world.
—Guest Codi Potter

Abraham Maslow

I feel that Abraham Maslow should be considered for the #10 spot on the most influential psychologist list. Maslow is well known for his hierarchy of needs and is considered to be the founder of humanistic psychology. His hierarchy of needs are predetermined in order of importance and is depicted as a pyramid consisting of 5 levels. I feel that Maslow was right on key when creating these theories. Everyone struggles a little bit with "self-actualization and esteem". And of course everyone does need the bottom level which is psychological which is breathing, water, and food. I think this pyramid serves as great purpose and that Maslow played a great role in psychology.
—Guest Brittany Powell

Maslow's " Hierarchy of Needs"

I believe that Abraham Maslow should be a psychologist considered for the number 10 spot on the list. I think Maslow put the basic humans needs into perspective. I think that every person struggles with "Self-Actualization" and finding those things that seem to make their life complete and successful, one way or another. His ideas added somewhat of an organizational method to what a person needs, to reach that moment of self appreciation in their life. Maslow introduced a new way of thinking about things when it comes to success and fulfillment in our lives.
—Guest Shauna W.


Maslow should have made the list. I love the idea of the pyramid.
—Guest Shaquillia


Wundt for one....William James should be much higher, G. Stanley Hall...He brought psychology together for America!! Cattell?? I mean the top 9 are not bad choices...but ranking these guys...seems impossible. And I'm a sucker for Milgram...I think should be up there as well....okay I could do this all day!
—Guest Hmmmm

Top 10 Psychologists

Alfred Adler should be in the list, at the top. His ideas about Social Interest being vital to mental health are simple and yet profoundly humanistic. Society could be more equal and encouraged if we applied social interest to all situations. If we encourage social interest, we become less self-absorbed, we become interested in the welfare of others, we become outward-looking and this helps us grow personally, as our interaction with others also helps us individually. Adler's work on equality, on the PURPOSE of behaviours removes the necessity to medicalise "conditions" and to label people. Each person is equally valid, our behaviour, thoughts and feelings are purposive, we have choice, and by having choice, we can make a difference to our own feelings... So simple! and yet so difficult. Encouragement is the answer. We need to Connect, to feel Capable, to Count and to have Courage in order to be mentally healthy.
—Guest Elaine Parker

Hierarchy of needs

Maslov kind of says it all...even though daily our needs are changing but most important of all if we have to worry about anything how is it possible to be our best? Worry is a part of life but some things are totally out of hand and even senseless in todays society. Everyone has a different number one priority so the pyramid serves as a great way to prioritize and stay focused. Luckily for us all everyone of these "professionals" are dependent upon each others experiments and facts found. I agree there are far too many to make a top ten list--possibly a top twenty would be more appropriate.

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