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The most influential psychologists in the history of psychology


The breadth and diversity of psychology can be seen thanks to the influence of some of its thinkers who marked a before and after of this discipline with their amazing discoveries.

Each postulated theory could have been limited by a mainstream psychological current , however each of these thinkers made a great contribution to the world of psychology, raising their voice and providing a unique and individual perspective.

Here we will name some of the most influential thinkers in the psychological field and their contributions to this amazing world of psychology.

Sigmund Freud

Without a doubt, most people have ever heard this name; And it is that when we think about psychology the first thing that comes to mind is Freud .

“The father of psychoanalysis” was an Austrian psychologist and the forerunner of one of the most important psychological currents , picoanalysis. Thanks to his work and his theories, he made a great contribution to the world of psychology.

Freud proposed that not all mental illnesses have physiological causes , and he also offered evidence that cultural differences have a great impact on an individual’s psychology and behavior.

With his contribution he contributed to our understanding of the personality, behavior and development of the human being. His work had great impact and controversy, even today, Freud’s theories still continue to be a topic of debate.

William James

American philosopher and founder of functional psychology . William James postulated one of the most recognized theories about emotions . This theory holds that emotions are physiological reactions that are experienced by people when they are faced with a certain event.

James, also defined beliefs as ideals that serve a purpose, and developed a theory about truth that states that, a truth is legitimate if the statements are in line with a justified theory, but must also cohesively fit to be considered. legitimate or verifiable.

Jean Piaget

The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, also called “the father of genetic epistemology,” proposed a theory that had a profound influence on the field of psychology: the theory of cognitive development . This theory was considered a great contribution to the psychological field, since it cleared up several unknowns about the understanding of children’s intellectual growth.

You may also be interested in:   What are emotions?

This theory explains how a child builds his mental model of the world, and describes cognitive development as a process that occurs due to biological maturation and interaction with the environment.

His research contributed to the growth of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, genetic epistemology, and educational reform.

Abraham Maslow

American psychologist Abraham Maslow was one of the leading exponents of the humanistic psychology . He postulated the theory of human motivation ; theory that proposes that human beings tend to satisfy our needs according to how motivated we are.

For his theory of human motivation, Maslow created a pyramid of needs with 5 levels , in which the first 4 levels are constituted by the basic needs or deficiency, and the last level by the need for self-growth or self-realization.

Maslow’s contribution was essential for the advancement of humanistic psychology, which is why he is considered one of the most influential psychologists in the history of psychology.

Erik Erikson

The American psychoanalyst Erik Erikson postulated his theory about psychosocial development (theory that describes the personality of the human being), and contributed throughout his life, in multiple investigations about human development.

Erikson expanded psychoanalytic theory by exploring development throughout life, including events from childhood, adulthood, and old age .

The American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed one of the most widely used psychotherapy systems , cognitive-behavioral therapy. The type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is used to treat different types of psychological disorders -such as personality disorders- and other severe psychopathologies.

This system is based on the understanding of the behavior and the thoughts of the subject, to try to find the focus that causes said behavior.

Undoubtedly thanks to Beck, many of the mental illnesses that cause discomfort and prevent the individual from continuing with their normal life, today can be treated efficiently


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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