Put simply, the majority of people believe that psychology is the study of people’s minds as well as actions. As a matter of fact, the word psychology is of Greek origin namely psyche that means spirit, breath and soul together with loggia that means study. According to the Medilexicon dictionary psychology is a line of education, science and work that considers the behavior of all living species. Apart from that, it’s important to say that psychology requires psychological as well as mental processes and procedures. Even when psychology might probably require an analysis of the mental condition and behavior of animals, we are only going to focus on the top ten psychologists who have had a great impact on the world.
The scope and diversity of psychology can be understood by reading and analyzing some works of the best psychologists and thinkers of all times. It’s important to remember that there are as many theories as thinkers and theorists there are in the world and that each of them is used in different ways in psychology at present. As stated by a study conducted by the Review of General Psychology, the list you will find below is considered to have only the most important psychologies in the world. The study had three different factors into account namely responses, textbook citation and journal citation.
The following list will give you an idea of who are the top ten psychologists that appeared in the study conducted by the Review of General Psychology. These people represent the best thinkers and at the same time they had a major role in changing psychology.
1. B.F. Skinner:
Throughout the course of a study to find out who were the most important psychologists of the twenty-first century, Skinner was the one who received the most votes. He is very important not only to psychology but also to therapeutic methodologies because of his famous theory of behaviorism. His believes relied on the theories had come up with and which are still used at present such as the token economies and the behavior modification.
2. Sigmund Freud
When you think of psychology it’s almost inevitable to think of Sigmund Freud. His studies gave him the chance to demonstrate that not all mental illnesses appeared resulting from psychological problems. Apart from that, he showed proof that several cultural differences have a strong impact on behavior and psychology. Thanks to his studies we now have the skills to understand people’s personality, clinical as well as unusual psychology and human growth.
3. Albert Bandura
His work and effort is considered to an essential aspect of the cognitive transformation that took place in the 1960s and that influenced psychology so much. The significance of his observational research, encouragement and modeling was made known in Bandura’s theory of social learning. He wrote a book called Social Learning Theory that was launched in the late 1970s and in which he claimed that education would turn into a dangerous and demanding job if people only depended on the consequences of their actions to know how to act or what to do.
4. Jean Piaget
Jean Piaget’s work had a major impact on psychology and thanks to him we are now able to understand how children develop their intellectual thinking. The researches he conducted were really significant to different fields of study including developmental psychology, genetic epistemology, cognitive psychology and education. As a matter of fact, Einstein described his studies on the observation of the development of intellectuality and thought processes on kids as a very simple and he even tagged Piaget as a genius for his contribution.
5. Carl Rogers
The studies of Carl Rogers all focused mainly on the potential of human beings. His theory was so important that started to be used not only in the field of psychology but also in education. As a matter of fact, Rogers is considered to be one of the most powerful thinkers and a must in therapy. His daughter thought he was a perfect example of compassion and democratic views.
6. William James
William James was a lot more than a simple psychology because he was a philosopher too. He was able to be part of history because people consider him to be the father of psychology in America. His studies gave birth to a new way of psychology, which was now considered as a science. Apart from that, William was able to add pragmatism and functionalism to psychology. During his years as a university professor he had the chance to influence most of the students in his class.
7. Erick Erikson
Eris Erikson had the ability to create a theory relying on the psychological development that was essential to study the growth of human beings throughout their lives. He was able to expand the psychoanalytic theory mainly because he could follow a person throughout his or her life, which means that he was able to see events and situations that took place during the early and last days of a person.
8. Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov was the most important person to work with behaviorism in the field of psychology thanks to his research about conditioned reflexes. As the techniques he used were experimental, his studies were of great help to transform psychology from being really traditional to being a lot more objective.
9. Kurt Lewin
The majority of people consider Kurt Lewin to be the godfather of social psychology as we now know it. This is mainly due to the fact that he did an outstanding research that made use of experiments and techniques to find out everything about social behavior. His studies have turned him into one of the most powerful psychologists of the twentieth century.
10. Eugene Garfield
This psychologist is well-known for the amazing yet useful works he did that helped modern psychology to a great extent.
Even when most of the people mentioned in our list are considered to be the first to have worked with modern psychology, we still have the chance to see some innovative works. Present-day psychologists who based their studies on some previous research on the field have had the chance to improve several aspects of psychology, which at the same time as given us the chance to become aware of thoughts and actions of individuals.
It’s important to say that you can find different branches within psychology including developmental, cognitive, health and even forensic.