In simple terms, psychology can be defined as the study of the mind and actions. The term “psychology” is derived from two Greek words, i.e. psyche which means “breath, spirit and soul” and loggia that can be translated to as the study of something. The Medilexicon dictionary defines the word psychology as a line of work, scholarly education and science that is related to the behaviors of not only humans but also animals. In addition, psychology entails mental as well as physiological procedures. Whereas, psychology may also involve a review of the mental status and behavior in animals, the article simply recognizes some of the world’s greatest psychologists who have managed to change the world.
The depth and assortment of psychology can be recognized by viewing the works of some of the greatest thinkers that have ever lived. In as much as different theorist may hold a different thought concerning different matters, all brought distinct and single voice and thought to a certain discipline of psychology. According to a study that was featured in the Review of General Psychology, the following are regarded as some of the best psychologists of all times. The research was based on three main factors, i.e. responses, journal citation and textbook citation.
The list below offers an overview of the top ten psychologists that were ranked as per the survey that was carried out. These persons are not only the best thinkers but also played a part in revolutionizing the history of psychology.
1. B.F. Skinner:
During a study to find out some of the most influential psychologists of the present century, B.F. Skinner made it to the top of the list. Skinner’s hard belief behaviorism is what made him to be dominant force in the field of psychology as well as therapeutic methodologies. These were based on the theories that he had and many of them are still in force today, for example, behavior modification and token economies.
2. Sigmund Freud:
When a majority of persons reflect on psychology, most tend to imagine of Sigmund Freud. His work was able to prove that not every mental ailment is as a result of psychological causes. In addition, he presented proof that various cultural varieties have an influence on psychology as well as behavior. It is because of his work that we are now able to comprehend personality, human growth, clinical psychology and unusual psychology.
3. Albert Bandura:
Albert Bandura’s effort is regarded as part and parcel of the cognitive transformation in the field of psychology that started way back in the 60s. The value of observational study, simulation and modeling was mainly brought out in Albert Bandura’s social learning theory. In his book Social Learning Theory that was published in 1977, Bandura said that education would be extremely backbreaking and dangerous only if individuals had to depend wholly on the consequences of their own behaviors to tell them what to do.
4. Jean Piaget:
Psychology as we know it today was mainly influenced by John Piaget’s study particularly our comprehending of children’s intellectual growth. The studies that he carried out mainly added to the developmental psychology, education, genetic epistemology as well as cognitive psychology. In fact, Albert Einstein illustrated some of his work, e.g. observation on children intellectual development as well as thought processes as “so simple that only a genius could have thought of it.”
5. Carl Rogers:
Carl Rogers work on psychology basically stressed on human potential. This was to later have a greater impact on not only psychology but also education. In fact, Carl Rogers is regarded as one of the most influential human thinkers and a force in therapy. His own daughter described him as “a model for compassion and democratic ideals.”
6. William James:
William James was not just a psychologist but also a philosopher. He has gone down the anal of history as the father of American psychology. His works are mainly responsible for creating psychology as a science. Furthermore, William James added to functionalism as well as pragmatism. While still teaching psychology, he managed to influence a majority of his students.
7. Erick Erikson:
Research on human growth via lifespan was mainly influenced by Erik Erikson theory based on psychosocial development. He managed to extend the psychoanalytic theory by looking at growth throughout a person’s life, i.e. events that occurred during childhood, adulthood and old age.
8. Ivan Pavlov:
Behaviorism in psychology was mainly influenced by Ivan Pavlov through his study on conditioned reflexes. His experimental techniques assisted shift psychology away from the traditional introspection to objective gauging of behavior.
9. Kurt Lewin:
Kurt Lewin is widely referred to as the godfather of contemporary social psychology. This is because of his ground-breaking study that used scientific techniques and experimentation to search as social behavior. His works has made him one of the most influential psychologists to have lived in the 20th century.
10. Eugene Garfield:
Eugene Garfield works are also known to have contributed greatly to modern psychology.
Whereas, the above persons are greatly regarded as the pioneers of modern psychology, we still continue to witness great works in the field of psychology. Basing their works on past studies in psychology, modern psychologists have managed to enhance different aspects of psychology which has enabled us to understand several actions and thoughts in human beings.
Psychology is divided into different branches, i.e. cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, forensic psychology and health psychology.