Psychologists

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Nonetheless, Freud’s work has suffused contemporary Western thought and popular culture. W. H. Auden’s 1940 poetic tribute to Freud describes him as having created “a whole climate of opinion / under whom we conduct our different lives”.

By mid-September 1939, Freud’s cancer of the jaw was causing him increasingly severe pain and had been declared inoperable. The last book he read, Balzac’s La Peau de chagrin, prompted reflections on his own increasing frailty, and a few days later he turned to his doctor, friend, and fellow refugee, Max Schur, reminding him that they had previously discussed the terminal stages of his illness: “Schur, you remember our ‘contract’ not to leave me in the lurch when the time had come. Now it is nothing but torture and makes no sense.” When Schur replied that he had not forgotten, Freud said, “I thank you,” and then “Talk it over with Anna, and if she thinks it’s right, then make an end of it.”

Anna Freud wanted to postpone her father’s death, but Schur convinced her it was pointless to keep him alive; and, on 21 and 22 September, administered doses of morphine that resulted in Freud’s death around 3 am on 23 September 1939.

*6 May 1856, Freiberg in Mähren, Moravia, Austrian Empire (now Příbor, Czech Republic)

†23 September 1939, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.

Freud was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. He qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1881 at the University of Vienna. Upon completing his habilitation in 1885, he was appointed a docent in neuropathology and became an affiliated professor in 1902. Freud lived and worked in Vienna, having set up his clinical practice there in 1886. In 1938, Freud left Austria to escape Nazi persecution.

In founding psychoanalysis, Freud developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing its central role in the analytic process. Freud’s redefinition of sexuality to include its infantile forms led him to formulate the Oedipus complex as the central tenet of psychoanalytical theory. His analysis of dreams as wish-fulfillments provided him with models for the clinical analysis of symptom formation and the underlying mechanisms of repression.

On this basis, Freud elaborated his theory of the unconscious and went on to develop a model of psychic structure comprising id, ego and super-ego. Freud postulated the existence of libido, sexualised energy with which mental processes and structures are invested and which generates erotic attachments, and a death drive, the source of compulsive repetition, hate, aggression, and neurotic guilt. In his later works, Freud developed a wide-ranging interpretation and critique of religion and culture.

Though in overall decline as a diagnostic and clinical practice, psychoanalysis remains influential within psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy, and across the humanities. It thus continues to generate extensive and highly contested debate concerning its therapeutic efficacy, its scientific status, and whether it advances or hinders the feminist cause.


Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget

The resulting theoretical frameworks are sufficiently different from each other that they have been characterized as representing different “Piagets.” More recently, Jeremy Burman responded to Beilin and called for the addition of a phase before his turn to psychology: “the zeroeth Piaget.

The resulting theoretical frameworks are sufficiently different from each other that they have been characterized as representing different “Piagets.” More recently, Jeremy Burman responded to Beilin and called for the addition of a phase before his turn to psychology: “the zeroeth Piaget.”

He died in 1980 and was buried with his family in an unmarked grave in the Cimetière des Rois (Cemetery of Kings) in Geneva. This was per his request.

*9 August 1896, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

†16 September 1980, Geneva, Switzerland

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist known for his work on child development. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called “genetic epistemology”.

Piaget placed great importance on the education of children. As the Director of the International Bureau of Education, he declared in 1934 that “only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual.”His theory of child development is studied in pre-service education programs. Educators continue to incorporate constructivist-based strategies.

Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 while on the faculty of the University of Geneva and directed the Center until his death in 1980.The number of collaborations that its founding made possible, and their impact, ultimately led to the Center being referred to in the scholarly literature as “Piaget’s factory”.

According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, Jean Piaget was “the great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing.”However, his ideas did not become widely popularized until the 1960s. This then led to the emergence of the study of development as a major sub-discipline in psychology. By the end of the 20th century, Piaget was second only to B. F. Skinner as the most cited psychologist of that era.

Harry Beilin described Jean Piaget’s theoretical research program as consisting of four phases:

  • the sociological model of development,
  • the biological model of intellectual development,
  • the elaboration of the logical model of intellectual development,
  • the study of figurative thought.

Carl Gustav Jung

Carl Gustav Jung

In 1904, he published with Franz Riklin their Diagnostic Association Studies, of which Freud obtained a copy.

In 1905, Jung was appointed as a permanent ‘senior’ doctor at the hospital and also became a lecturer Privatdozent in the medical faculty of Zurich University .

In 1909, Jung left the psychiatric hospital and began a private practice in his home in Küsnacht.

Freud saw the younger Jung as the heir he had been seeking to take forward his “new science” of psychoanalysis and to this end secured his appointment as President of his newly founded International Psychoanalytical Association.

Jung’s research and personal vision, however, made it impossible for him to follow his older colleague’s doctrine and a schism became inevitable. This division was personally painful for Jung and resulted in the establishment of Jung’s analytical psychology as a comprehensive system separate from psychoanalysis.

Eventually, a close friendship and a strong professional association developed between the elder Freud and Jung, which left a sizeable correspondence. For six years they cooperated in their work. In 1912, however, Jung published Psychology of the Unconscious, which made manifest the developing theoretical divergence between the two.

Consequently, their personal and professional relationship fractured—each stating that the other was unable to admit he could be wrong. After the culminating break in 1913, Jung went through a difficult and pivotal psychological transformation, exacerbated by the outbreak of the First World War.

Around 1915, Jung commissioned a large red leather-bound book, and began to transcribe his notes, along with painting, working intermittently for sixteen years.

Jung made another trip to America in 1936, receiving an honorary degree at Harvard and giving lectures in New York and New England for his growing group of American followers.

In 1961, Jung wrote his last work, a contribution to Man and His Symbols entitled “Approaching the Unconscious” Jung died on 6 June 1961 at Küsnacht after a short illness.

*26 July 1875, Kesswil, Thurgau, Switzerland

†6 June 1961, Küsnacht, Zürich, Switzerland

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Jung’s work has been influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology and religious studies.

Jung worked as a research scientist at the famous Burghölzli hospital, under Eugen Bleuler. During this time, he came to the attention of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. The two men conducted a lengthy correspondence and collaborated, for a while, on a joint vision of human psychology.

Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder and a prolific writer. Many of his works were not published until after his death and some are still awaiting publication.

Among the central concepts of analytical psychology is individuation—the lifelong psychological process of differentiation of the self out of each individual’s conscious and unconscious elements. Jung considered it to be the main task of human development.

He created some of the best known psychological concepts, including synchronicity, archetypal phenomena, the collective unconscious, the psychological complex and extraversion and introversion.

After studying philosophy in his teens, Jung decided against the path of religious traditionalism and decided instead to pursue psychiatry and medicine. His interest was immediately captured—it combined the biological and the spiritual, exactly what he was searching for.

In 1895 Jung began to study medicine at the University of Basel. Barely a year later in 1896, his father Paul died and left the family near destitute. They were helped out by relatives who also contributed to Jung’s studies.

During his student days, he entertained his contemporaries with the family legend, that his paternal grandfather was the illegitimate son of Goethe and his German great-grandmother, Sophie Ziegler. In later life, he pulled back from this tale, saying only that Sophie was a friend of Goethe’s niece.

In 1900, Jung moved to Zürich and began working at the Burghölzli psychiatric hospital under Eugen Bleuler. Jung’s dissertation, published in 1903, was titled On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena. It was based on the analysis of the supposed mediumship of Jung’s cousin Hélène Preiswerk, under the influence of Freud’s contemporary Théodore Flournoy.


Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura

Upon graduation, he completed his postdoctoral internship at the Wichita Guidance Center. The following year, 1953, he accepted a teaching position at Stanford University, which he held until becoming professor emeritus in 2010. In 1974, he was elected president of the American Psychological Association (APA), which is the world’s largest association of psychologists.

Bandura was initially influenced by Robert Sears’ work on familial antecedents of social behavior and identificatory learning and gave up his research of the psychoanalytic theory. He directed his initial research to the role of social modeling in human motivation, thought, and action.

In collaboration with Richard Walters, his first doctoral student, he engaged in studies of social learning and aggression. Their joint efforts illustrated the critical role of modeling in human behavior and led to a program of research into the determinants and mechanisms of observational learning.

Bandura died at his home in Stanford on July 26, 2021, from congestive heart failure, at the age of 95.

A 2002 survey ranked Bandura as the fourth most-frequently cited psychologist of all time, behind B. F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, and Jean Piaget, and as the most cited living one. Bandura was widely described as the greatest living psychologist, and as one of the most influential psychologists of all time.

*4 December 1925, Mundare, Alberta, Canada

†26 July 2021, Stanford, California, U.S.

Albert Bandura OC  was a Canadian-American psychologist who was the David Starr Jordan Professor Emeritus of Social Science in Psychology at Stanford University.

Bandura was responsible for contributions to the field of education and to several fields of psychology, including social cognitive theory, therapy, and personality psychology, and was also of influence in the transition between behaviorism and cognitive psychology.

He is known as the originator of social learning theory (renamed the social cognitive theory) and the theoretical construct of self-efficacy, and is also responsible for the influential 1961 Bobo doll experiment. This Bobo doll experiment demonstrated the concept of observational learning.

The limitations of education in a remote town such as this caused Bandura to become independent and self-motivated in terms of learning, and these primarily developed traits proved very helpful in his lengthy career.

The summer after finishing high school, Bandura worked in the Yukon to protect the Alaska Highway against sinking. Bandura later credited his work in the northern tundra as the origin of his interest in human psychopathology. It was in this experience in the Yukon, where he was exposed to a subculture of drinking and gambling, which helped broaden his perspective and scope of views on life.

Bandura’s introduction to academic psychology arrived by a fluke; as a student with little to do in early mornings, he took a psychology course in order to pass the time and became passionate about the subject.

Bandura graduated in three years, in 1949, with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, winning the Bolocan Award in psychology, and then moved to the then-epicenter of theoretical psychology, the University of Iowa, from where he obtained his M.A. in 1951 and Ph.D. in 1952.

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