5 Most Influential Psychologists in History

5 Most Influential Psychologists in History

Article by Jon Kristy

Great Psychologists have always had the power to radically change how human beings saw the workings of their own minds. These are the great thinkers of our age who have revolutionized the way we see ourselves, and have caused a great change in the way we understand others.

When we think of Psychology, we remember many great people who have changed the way in which we see ourselves, and how we see other people around us. Many influential psychologists have made it simpler for us to understand the common patterns of behavior, for example, and have helped us make our lives better via the knowledge of the human mind and its intricacies. Today, we will look at the top 5 psychologists who have been influential in causing this change in perception.

Sigmund Freud

When anyone thinks of Psychology, the firs person they think of is Sigmund Freud. He was the person who created and implemented several methods of Psychoanalysis. His work with the psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms and the theory of psychosexual development is considered to be the basis of so much future work in these fields that we can see today.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung is perhaps more well known for his work with personality types and the development of the psyche. He brought into focus concepts like archetypes, complexes and the collective unconscious. Jung also worked a lot with the symbolism present within dreams.

Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler worked in the field of Individual Psychology. He believed in trying to understand the experiences and the behavior of a person as an organized entity. Several concepts introduced by Adler include fictional finalism, superiority and teleology. He also constructed a number of personality types which include: the getting type, the ruling type, the avoiding type and the socially useful type.

Karen Horney

Karen Horney was involved with Social and Cultural Psychoanalysis and her theories on the Etiology of Neuroses is well known. She introduced three basic neurotic trends which are: the compliant type, the detached type and the aggressive type. She also contributed to Psychology with her theory about a Humanistic View of Development.

Erik Erikson

Erikson worked in the field of Psychoanalytic Ego Psychology. He worked in the areas of Ego Development Theory, which in turn greatly contributed in the area of Developmental Psychology. He used Freudian concepts as the basis of his work – but was deeply engaged in rectifying them as well.

This is quite a short list, but there are several such influential psychologists who have been able to uncover the deeper workings of our inner selves and of our mind. These people have helped others to understand how children learn and perceive things as they grow up, for example. They have been instrumental in human beings to understand themselves much better – thus helping them to find answers for their everyday and complex life problems. All of this has helped human beings to live their lives in a more fulfilling and complete manner.


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