psychology

Gustave le Bon and the Behaviour of the Crowd

Gustave le Bon and the Behaviour of the Crowd

On May 7, 1841, French social psychologist, sociologist, anthropologist, inventor, and amateur physicist Gustave le Bon was born. Le Bon is best known for his study of the psychological characteristics of crowds, The Crowd, Study of Popular Mind. His writings incorporate theories of national traits, racial and male superiority, herd behavior and crowd psychology. “Logical minds, accustomed to being convinced by a chain of somewhat close reasoning, cannot avoid having recourse to this mode of…
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Kurt Koffka – Perception and Gestalt Psychology

Kurt Koffka – Perception and Gestalt Psychology

On March 18, 1886, German psychologist Kurt Koffka was born. Koffka along with Max Wertheimer and his close associates Wolfgang Köhler established Gestalt psychology. Koffka’s interests were wide-ranging, and they included: Perception, hearing impairments in brain-damaged patients, interpretation, learning, and the extension of Gestalt theory to developmental psychology. “Conduct, of course, is possible without science. Humans carried on in their daily affairs long before the first spark of science had been struck.…
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The Skull Collection of Franz Josef Gall

The Skull Collection of Franz Josef Gall

On March 9, 1758, German neuroanatomist and physiologist Franz Josef Gall was born. Gall was a pioneer in the study of the localization of mental functions in the brain and claimed as the founder of phrenology. “The fate of the physiology of the brain is independent of the truth and falsity of my assertions relative to the laws of the organization of the nervous system, in general, and of the brain in particular, just as…
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Friedrich Eduard Beneke and experimental Psychology

Friedrich Eduard Beneke and experimental Psychology

On February 17, 1798, German psychologist and post-Kantian philosopher Friedrich Eduard Beneke was born. Beneke argued that inductive psychology was the foundation for the study of all philosophical disciplines. He rejected the existing idealism for a form of associationism influenced by both Immanuel Kant and Locke. Beneke agreed with Herbart’s general idea that mathematics should be introduced into psychology, but he felt that Herbart’s attempt to quantify psychological phenomena was insufficiently empirical. Beneke…
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Hermann Ebbinghaus and the Experimental Study of Memory

Hermann Ebbinghaus and the Experimental Study of Memory

On January 24, 1850, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was born. Ebbinghaus pioneered the experimental study of memory, and is known for his discovery of the forgetting curve and the spacing effect. “When we read how one mediæval saint stood erect in his cell for a week without sleep or food, merely chewing a plantain-leaf out of humility, so as not to be too perfect; how another remained all night up to his…
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Vladimir Bekhterev and the Bekhterev’s Disease

Vladimir Bekhterev and the Bekhterev’s Disease

On January 20, 1857, Russian neurologist Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev was born. He is often referred to as father of objective psychology, but is best known for noting the role of the hippocampus in memory, his study of reflexes, and Bekhterev’s disease. Moreover, he is known for his competition with Ivan Pavlov regarding the study of conditioned reflexes.[1] “Only two know the mystery of brain: God and Bekhterev.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Theodor Kopsch, as…
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Marie-Louise von Franz and the Psychology of Fairy Tales

Marie-Louise von Franz and the Psychology of Fairy Tales

On January 4, 1915, Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar Marie-Louise von Franz was born. Von Franz is renowned for her psychological interpretations of fairy tales and of alchemical manuscripts. Her research showed common themes in tales from many cultures, which she linked with experiences in daily life. “The ego must be able to listen attentively and to give itself, without any further design or purpose, to that inner urge toward growth. “ —…
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Anne Anastasi and Psychological Testing of the Individual

Anne Anastasi and Psychological Testing of the Individual

On December 19, 1908, American psychologist Anne Anastasi was born. She is best known for her pioneering development of psychometrics. Her seminal work, Psychological Testing, remains a classic text in which she drew attention to the individual being tested and therefore to the responsibilities of the testers. She called for them to go beyond test scores, to search the assessed individuals’ history to help them to better understand their own results and…
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Benedict Morel and Dementia Praecox

Benedict Morel and Dementia Praecox

On November 22, 1809, French psychiatrist Bénédict Morel was born. Morel was an influential figure in the field of degeneration during the mid-19th century. In 1852, he coined the term ‘precocious madness‘ for a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood, today known as dementia praecox. Benedict Morel – Background and Career Bénédict Morel was born in 1809 in Vienna, Austria,…
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The Interpretation of Dreams according to Sigmund Freud

The Interpretation of Dreams according to Sigmund Freud

On November 4, 1899, Sigmund Freud’s “Die Traumdeutung” (Interpretation of Dreams) was published. The book introduces Freud’s theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation, and also first discusses what would later become the theory of the Oedipus complex. Freud said of this work, “Insight such as this falls to one’s lot but once in a lifetime.” Besides his later introduced structural model of the human psyche (1923) [1,2], the ‘Interpretation of Dreams’ is…
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