History of psychology
Name:G Stanley Hall.
Profession:Psychologist and also an educator.
Year/Period of activity:February 1st,1844- April 24th,1924.
Major contribution to psychology-He was the founder of psychology as a science and profession.He was
also the founder of the first American psychology laboratory.
Brief summary of theoretical approachto psychology-He was inspired by Wundt’s psychology book and
then decided to read psychology.This eagerness enabled him to become a psychologist and also gave
him the chance to become the first psychologist in America.
Profession:Scientist,Psychologist and also Philosopher.
Year/period of activity:6th May 1856 –September 23rd 1939.
Major contribution to psychology:Freud created a method which was known as psychoanalysis for
investigating and treating people with mind problem.
Brief summary of theoretical approach to psychology-He made people believe that childhood
experience affect the developing personality of children.As a result his investigation and treatment of
mind lead him to favour certain clinical techniques inorder to cure mental illness.
PERIOD OF MAJOR ACTIVITY: (335 B.C.-323 B.C.)
MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO PSYCHOLOGY: The theory of proto-psychology (the nature
of the mind, soul, and spirit). He wrote the first text on psychology called (para psyche).
SUMMARY OF THEORITICAL APPROACH: Aristotle was a great philosopher that lived
long ago. He provided useful information on the theoretical structure of the human mind and
also related the mind to behavior, urges and impulses. He proposed that the mind was the
center of the functioning of the body. He also proved that the soul is our link to the divine. He
believed that the mind could exist independently of the body. Majorly he addressed the
connection between the mind and behavior or impulses.
1. Name: Burrhus Frederic Skinner.
2. Profession: A psychologist, behaviour analyst, operant conditioning, verbal behaviour,
radical behaviourism and operant conditioning chamber.
3. Nationality: He was an American.
4. Year/period of activity: 1938-1990.
5. Major contribution to psychology: His major contribution was operant conditioning,
which is the process of the organism "operating" on the environment, which in ordinary
terms means doing what the world does.
6. Brief summary of theoretical approach to psychology.
B.F.SKINNER was entirely based on "operant conditioning”, which in ordinary terms
means doing what the world does or "operating" on the environment. During this
"operating" the organism encounters a reinforcer, this stimulus has the effect of
increasing the behaviour occurring just before the reinforcer. Therefore the operant
conditioning is the behaviour followed by a consequence and the nature of the
consequence modifies the organism’s tendency to repeat the behaviour in the future.
Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in Shrewsbury, England and
died at the Down House in Kent on April 19, 1882. He was born to Robert
and Susannah Darwin. Robert was a successful physician whose father,
Erasmus Darwin, had also been a physician but had made his name as a
poet of the natural world. Susannah Wedgwood came from a family of
potters; her father, Josiah Wedgwood, had made a small fortune making
high-quality pottery. Both sides of Darwin's family were liberal in their
politics and indifferent in their religion
Darwin spent his childhood playing at The Mount, the Darwin home and
estate in Shrewsbury. He was schooled at home by his sister Caroline until
he was eight years old and Susannah died. He then spent a year at a day
school and transferred to a boarding school, the Shrewsbury School, only a
mile away from The Mount. There he studied, getting acceptable but
unremarkable grades, until age sixteen, when his father sent him to the
University of Edinburgh to study medicine. Darwin focused on collecting,
hunting, and naturalizing instead of medicine. It was there that he first
learned to study and collect beetles. The marine biologist Robert Grant took
him under his wing. After two years, it was obvious that Darwin would not
become a doctor, so with the help of his father Darwin transferred to the
University of Cambridge to study for the clergy of the Anglican Church.
There he became friends with the older botanist John Henslow.
Soon after graduating, in 1831, Darwin was offered a position on board the
HMS Beagle, a ship that was mapping the coast of South America on a two
or three year voyage around the world. He eagerly accepted the opportunity
and spent the next five years on board the Beagle, taking copious notes and
sending thousands of samples and specimens back to Henslow in England for
When Darwin returned to England he found that Henslow and other
geologists, zoologists, and botanists were fascinated by the specimens he
had collected. He spent the next ten years cataloging and describing the
discoveries he had made on his journey. He wrote books on coral reefs and
volcanic islands, various papers, and a journal of his voyage. While working
on these, he also started to think about a deeper, more important problem:
the origin of species. He opened his first notebook on the topic in 1837,
more than twenty years before he would finally be confident enough of his
new theory of "evolution by natural selection" to publish it.
In 1839, Darwin married Emma Wedgwood, his cousin, and they moved in
to a house in London where Darwin could focus on his work. Unfortunately,
his health started to fail mysteriously, so they moved to the country. They
lived in a small village where Darwin could find peace and quiet. After
completing his work on the results of the Beagle voyage, still not ready to
publish his thoughts on evolution, Darwin turned to what seemed at first like
a small, insignificant problem: the classification of different kinds of
barnacles. Darwin soon became entangled in the enormous project of
dissecting and describing all of the barnacles of the world for what
eventually became a four- volume work. Eight years later, in 1854, he finally
finished, and was able to turn back to the problem of evolution.
In 1857, Alfred Russell Wallace sent Darwin a paper regarding the evolution
of species. Wallace's theory was very similar to Darwin's. Wallace's paper
and a sketch of Darwin's theory were presented at the Linnean Society.
Darwin decided to produce an "abstract" of a longer book on evolution that
he was working on, so as not to let anyone else take credit for an idea he
had been developing for more than twenty years. The abstract was
published in 1859 as On the Origin of Species, or the Preservation of
Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. It was an immediate sensation,
selling out the first printing within a day. Debates over the meaning of the
theory for the nature of humanity began, though Darwin himself remained
above the fray in his self-imposed isolation at Down House. His friends
Joseph Hooker, the botanist, and especially Thomas Henry Huxley, the
zoologist, defended his theory to the world while he continued to do
In the 1860s, Darwin worked on three books. One was about variation under
domestication, which he saw as being parallel to variation in the wild.
Another was about the evolution of humanity and the role of sexual
selection. The final one regarded the expression of emotions. The book on
humanity and sexual selection, The Descent of Man, was published in 1871.
Darwin expected it to cause a sensation with its claims that humans were
descended from other animals, but most of the thunder had been stolen
twelve years ago by the Origin. In 1872, The Expression of Emotions in
Animals and Man was published.
In his last decade, Darwin turned away from evolution and focused on the
garden. His research on climbing plants and the geological role of
earthworms turned his workshop into a virtual greenhouse and resulted in
several books. The illness that had plagued Darwin throughout his life began
to abate somewhat, so that although he was still not strong, he was able to
enjoy his old age. By 1877, his theories were still controversial, but he was
so well respected that the University of Cambridge gave him an honorary
doctorate. In 1882, he weakened. Darwin died on April 19, 1882, at the
Down House. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Name: Dorothea Dix
Profession: Noted Social Reform
Year/Period of activity: 1841
Major Contribution to Psych : Leader of the movement on treating
mentally ill prisoners with some respect and being a part of the establishment of
32 out of 123 mental hospitals in the country.
Brief Summary of theoretical Approach to psych: Dorothea
travelled more than 10000 miles investigating prisons and how the mentally ill
were being treated. “Rome was not built in a day” so it is said and so was
Dorothea’s reformation of these appalling conditions where men and women
chained to walls and floors in dark and filthy rooms with a stench of feces and
urine. Dorothea would always gather information, investigating and obtaining
facts about a particular establishment, and then she would effectively make
known to the public the abuse of the mentally ill kept in those institutions.
Results were slow but she did see asylums built in many states and others
improved. Dorothea later joined the army as a superintendent of Female Nurses.
Following the war she returned to her life’s work. At the age of 80 she went to
live in a guest room in one of the mental hospitals in Trenton, New Jersey. She
lived there for 5 years and then died on July 18, 1887.
Name: Hermann Ebbinghaus
Year/Period of activity: 1878
Major Contribution to Psych: Developed the first scientific approach
to the study of a higher psychological process (memory).
Brief Summary of theoretical Approach to psych: Hermann
conducted his 1st set of memory experiments in 1878 and later had the 2nd
experiment in 1883. He was a lecturer at University of Berlin and opened an
Experimental Psychology laboratory while there. He later moved in 1894 and
became a professor at University of Breslau and established another Psychology
Laboratory over there. Hermann was the co-founder of the Journal of
Psychology and Physiology of the Sense Organs. Hermann also managed to
develop a children’s intelligence test in 1897. He later moved to the University of
Halle and there he died in 1908.
Ivan Pavlov was born September 14, 1849.
Died February 27,1936
CONTRIBUTIONS TO PSYCHOLOGY
Ivan Pavlov's discovery and research on reflexes influenced the growing behaviorist
movement, and his work was often cited in John B. Watson’s writings. Other
researchers utilized Pavlov's work in the study of conditioning as a form of learning.
His research also demonstrated techniques of studying reactions to the
environment in an objective, scientific method.
Ivan Pavlov's primary interests were the study of physiology and natural sciences.
He helped found the Department of Physiology at the Institute of Experimental
Medicine and continued to oversee the program for the next 45 years.
While researching the digestive function of dogs, Pavlov noted that dogs would
salivate before the delivery of food. In a series of well-known experiments, he
presented a variety of stimuli before the presentation of food, eventually finding
that, after repeated association, a dog would salivate to the presence of a stimulus
other than food. He termed this response a conditional reflex. Pavlov also
discovered that these reflexes originate in the cerebral cortex of the brain.
Pavlov received considerable acclaim for his work, including a 1901 appointment to
the Russian Academy of Sciences and the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology. The
Soviet government also offered substantial support for Pavlov's work, and the
Soviet Union soon became a well-known center of physiology research.
OCCUPATION: Jean Piaget was a developmental psychologist and philosopher of
epistemological studies with children.
NATIONALITY: He was from Switzerland.
PERIOD OF MAJOR ACTIVITY: His period of major activity in his career was from 1921-
MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO PSYCHOLOGY: He contributed immensely to psychology by
creating the theory of genetic epistemology.
SUMMARY OF THEORITICAL APPROACH: Jean Piaget created the the theory of
Genetic Epistemology which is the study of the origins of knowledge. He also formed the
process of qualitative development of knowledge meaning he discovered the roots of different
varieties of knowledge since its basic form through to its zenith. He worked mostly on children
and hence supporting the idea that children at various stages of growth think different from
Mary Whiton Calkins
Profession: American philosopher and psychologist
Year/Period of activity: 1894-1910
Major contribution to psychology: the concept of self-psychology
Brief summary of theoretical approach to psychology: Her researches led her to the belief that
psychology was a self evaluation. She even defined the field as being the science of the self in the
reaction of the environment. Her three major concepts were the self, the object, and the relation
between the self and the object.
Carl Ransom Rogers
Profession: Humanist and psychologist
Year/Period of activity: 1951-1961
Major contribution to psychology: He developed the self-centered therapy
Brief summary of theoretical approach to psychology: He believed that human all have a basic need to
receive positive regard from people in their lives and if not they are likely to develop an unconditional
self regard. The therapy that makes us accept ourselves by upbringing our qualities as well as our
The principles of psychology,writings on functionalism and pragmatism
Brief summery: James wrote comsdirbly on the concept of pragmatism. According to pragmatism, the
truth of an idea can never be proven. James proposed we instead focus on what he call the " cash value"
on usefulness,of an idea in addition to his own enormous influence , many of James student went on to
home prosperous and influential career I psychology. Some of James students included "many whiten
calking" edward thorn dike John Dewey.
Margaret Floy Washburn
First female American Psychologist
Brief summery: Margaret was the first woman to ever receive a ho.D. In psychology. She was denied
admission to Columbia because she was a woman, so she received her degree from Cornell university.
She was a student of lilchener and was his first doctoral student. Her research focused on animal
behavior and the animal mind. She also studied music motor theory, and leaning in animal. She became a
professor, president of the APA and was a friend and mentor to many women. in the field she died of a
cerebral hemorrhage in 1939, at the age of 69.......
1. Name: Wilhelm Wundt.
2. Profession: He was a psychologist, philosopher and a physician.
3. Nationality: German.
4. Year/period of activity: 1879 – 1920.
5. Major contributions to psychology: His major contribution was that Wilhelm Wundt
was best known for establishing the first psychology lab in Leipzig Germany. Generally
considered the beginning of psychology as a field of science he’s known as the "father of
experimental psychology”, as a founder he also took it as his right to define the first
paradigm in psychology and structuralism.
6. Brief summary of theoretical approach to psychology.
Wilhelm Wundt was the founder of psychology and he was the first to build a laboratory
designed to exclusively study theories in psychology in Germany and this theory of
structuralism parallels the modern definition of psychology. Structuralism is a theory that
suggests that all experiences can be broken down into objectives and subjectives.
Structuralism was an attempt to study the mental world with introspection, the tool that
Descartes thought for the mental realm. It was attempted to use data to fit into the
mechanical realm of science but this attempt failed and thus the scientific necessity of
confirming results were not met.