psychology

Rudolf Goclenius the Elder and the Philosophical Discipline of Ontology

Rudolf Goclenius the Elder and the Philosophical Discipline of Ontology

On March 1, 1547, German scholastic philosopher Rudolph Goclenius the Elder was born. Goclenius made significant contributions to the field of ontology. Since he introduced the term “ontology” in German language, he is also referred to in my lectures on ontologies in computer science [13]. Goclenius extended the development of many ideas from Aristotle and is often credited with coining the term “psychology” in 1590. Rudolph Goclenius – Early Years He was born…
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Masters and Johnson – The Masters of Sex

Masters and Johnson – The Masters of Sex

On December 27, 1915, American gynecologist William Howell Masters was born. He is best known as the senior member of the Masters and Johnson sexuality research team. Along with Virginia E. Johnson, he pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunctions and disorders from 1957 until the 1990s. Probably you might have heard of  them because of the popular tv series ‘Masters of Sex‘ that…
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Christine Ladd-Franklin and the Theory of Colour Vision

Christine Ladd-Franklin and the Theory of Colour Vision

On December 1, 1847, American psychologist, logician, and mathematician Christine Ladd-Franklin was born. She is known for contributions to the theory of color vision accounting for the development of man’s color sense which countered the established views of Helmholtz, Young, and Hering. Her position was that color-sense developed in stages. Christine Ladd-Franklin – Early Years Christine Ladd was born in Windsor, Connecticut, to Eliphalet Ladd, a merchant, and Augusta Niles Ladd. She began…
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Rensis Likert and the Likert Scale Method

Rensis Likert and the Likert Scale Method

On August 5, 1903, American social psychologist Rensis Likert was born. Likert is primarily known for developing the Likert scale method, an approach to creating a psychometrically sound scale based on responses to multiple questions or “items.” Likert’s method has become a time-honored way to measure people’s reactions such as to opinion surveys as well as personality tests. “A number of statistical assumptions are made in the application of his (Thurstone’s) attitude…
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Gustav Fechner, Psychophysics, and the Ultimate Philosophic Problem

Gustav Fechner, Psychophysics, and the Ultimate Philosophic Problem

On April 19, 1801, German philosopher, physicist and experimental psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner was born. An early pioneer in experimental psychology and founder of psychophysics, he inspired many 20th century scientists and philosophers. He is also credited with demonstrating the non-linear relationship between psychological sensation and the physical intensity of a stimulus, which became known as the Weber–Fechner law. “Man lives on earth not once, but three times: the first stage of…
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B.F. Skinner and his Idea of Radical Behaviorism

B.F. Skinner and his Idea of Radical Behaviorism

On March 20, 1904, American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher Burrhus Frederic (B. F.) Skinner was born. His pioneering work in experimental psychology promoted behaviorism, shaping behavior through positive and negative reinforcement and demonstrated operant conditioning. The “Skinner box” he used in experiments from 1930 remains famous. “The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.”…
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Camille Flammarion and his Balancing Act between Popular Science and Science Fiction

Camille Flammarion and his Balancing Act between Popular Science and Science Fiction

On February 26, 1848, French astronomer and author Nicolas Camille Flammarion was born. He maintained a private observatory, where he studied double and multiple stars, the moon and Mars. He is best known as a prolific author of more than fifty titles, including popular science works about astronomy, several notable early science fiction novels, and works on psychical research and related topics. “May we attribute to the color of the herbage and…
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Phineas Gage’s Accident and the Science of the Mind and the Brain

Phineas Gage’s Accident and the Science of the Mind and the Brain

On September 13, 1848, Phineas Gage (aged 25) was foreman of a work gang blasting rock while preparing the roadbed for the Rutland & Burlington Railroad outside the town of Cavendish, Vermont, when a large iron rod was driven completely through his head. Much of his brain‘s left frontal lobe was destroyed, reportedly affecting his personality and behavior. Phineas Gage influenced nineteenth-century discussion about the mind and brain, particularly debate on cerebral…
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J.C.R. Licklider and Interactive Computing

J.C.R. Licklider and Interactive Computing

On March 11, 1915, American psychologist and computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider, known simply as J.C.R. or “Lick“, was born. He is particularly remembered for being one of the first to foresee modern-style interactive computing and was one of the most distinguished Internet pioneers. “[…] we are entering a technological age in which we will be able to interact with the richness of living information – not merely in the passive way that…
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Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff Phenomenon

Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff Phenomenon

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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