psychology

Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff

Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff

On December 7, 1910, American psychologist Eleanor Jack Gibson was born. Gibson focused on reading development and perceptual learning in infants and toddlers. In the 1960s and 1970s Gibson, with her husband James J. Gibson, created the Gibsonian ecological theory of development which emphasized how important perception was because it allows humans to adapt to their environments. Perhaps her most well-known contribution to psychology was the “visual cliff“, which studied depth perception and…
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Jean-Martin Charcot – A Pioneer in Neurology

Jean-Martin Charcot – A Pioneer in Neurology

On November 29, 1825, French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot was born. Charcot is best known today for his work on hypnosis and hysteria, in particular his work with his hysteria patient Louise Augustine Gleizes. He is also known as “the founder of modern neurology“, and his name has been associated with at least 15 medical eponyms, including Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease and Charcot disease (better known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neurone disease, or Lou Gehrig…
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Robert Musil and the Man without Qualities

Robert Musil and the Man without Qualities

On November 6, 1880, Austrian philosophical writer Robert Musil was born. Musil‘s unfinished novel The Man Without Qualities (German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is generally considered to be one of the most important and influential modernist novels. “We do not have too much intellect and too little soul, but too little intellect in matters of the soul.”, Robert Musil, Helpless Europe (1922) Robert Mathias Musil was born in Klagenfurt, Carinthia, Austria, the only…
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Emil Kraepelin’s classification system for Mental Illness

Emil Kraepelin’s classification system for Mental Illness

On October 7, 1926, German psychologist Emil Kraepelin passed away. Kraepelin is considered the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology and psychiatric genetics. He developed a classification system for mental illness that influenced subsequent classifications. Kraepelin made distinctions between schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis that remain valid today. Youth and Education Emil Kraepelin was born as the youngest of three children of the music teacher and actor Karl Kraepelin. He graduated from high school in…
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E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

On August 15, 1890, American biostatistician and physiologist E. Morton Jellinek was born. Jellinek was a pioneer in the scientific study of the nature and causes of alcoholism and in descriptions of its symptomatology. He was an early proponent of the disease theory of alcoholism, arguing with great persuasiveness that alcoholics should be treated as sick people. Youth and Education Born in New York City, USA, Jellinek studied biostatistics and physiology at…
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Neal Elgar Miller and the Theory of Biofeedback

Neal Elgar Miller and the Theory of Biofeedback

On August 3, 1909, American experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Neal Elgar Miller was born. Miller is best known for being the first to identify and promote biofeedback. He demonstrated experimentally that individuals may learn to control their heart rate and digestion in the same sense that walking is a learned activity. Neal E. Miller was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where his father, Irving Miller, worked…
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Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her Research in Death

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her Research in Death

On July 8, 1926, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was born. Kübler-Ross was a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief. “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross [1] Elisabeth…
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Franz Alexander and the Foundation of Psychosomatic Medicine

Franz Alexander and the Foundation of Psychosomatic Medicine

On June 22, 1891, Hungarian-American psychoanalyst and physician Franz Alexander was born. Alexander is considered one of the founders of psychosomatic medicine and psychoanalytic criminology. He was a leader in identifying emotional tension as a significant cause of physical illness. Franz Gabriel Alexander, in Hungarian Alexander Ferenc Gábor, was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, to his father was Bernhard Alexander, a philosopher and literary critic. Alexander studied in Berlin. Already a physician, he…
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Hugo Münsterberg and Applied Psychology

Hugo Münsterberg and Applied Psychology

On June 1, 1863, German-American psychologist Hugo Münsterberg was born. Münsterberg was one of the pioneers in applied psychology, extending his research and theories to Industrial/Organizational, legal, medical, clinical, educational and business settings. He was a forerunner in the field of behaviorism: in theoretical psychology, his “action theory” defined attention in terms of the openness of the nerve paths to the muscles of adjustment. Hugo Münsterberg highly supported the idea that psychologists…
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Robert Yerkes – From Eugenics to Psychobiology

Robert Yerkes – From Eugenics to Psychobiology

On May 26, 1876, American psychologist, ethologist, eugenicist and primatologist Robert Mearns Yerkes was born. Yerkes is known for his work in intelligence testing and in the field of comparative psychology. He is referred to as a principal developer of comparative (animal) psychology in the U.S. and pioneered in the study both of human and primate intelligence and of the social behavior of gorillas and chimpanzees. Robert Yerkes first attended Ursinus College…
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