The Psychologists From Centuries Ago That Still Matter
Some Of The Most Influential Minds That Keep Impacting The World Of Psychology Psychology is the study of human behavior and state of mind.
Throughout the years, we have come to many different conclusions about ourselves and how our brains work. The field of psychology is where all that valuable knowledge is stored. Although psychology is a quickly developing science which talks about many different subjects, certain ideas were so revolutionary that they changed the collective worldview of future generations.
Some people’s insights were so unique and their work so diligent that they still have a massive influence centuries later. In this article, we have listed some of the pioneers of psychology in the previous centuries, that have had a great impact, that still matters!
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
He is the first person to discover and start using the scientific method. He was also the first to believe that grand theories and ideas should find their beginnings from more minor facts. He believed that these methods could be used when talking about human behavior.
The true character of any individual can be found through observation, and once you have gathered a considerable amount of information, you can deduct the individual’s future behavior. This was later recognized as the inductive method – the notion that specific facts which can be tested should lead to a general rule. He changed the way we collect and process information, which started the biggest trends in 17th-century psychology.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Known as the father of modern philosophy, Descartes was an astounding thinker in many fields. In psychology, he is most well known for his theory on dualism, in which he splits the world into two separate parts. One is the physical “realm of matter and energy” – the one which is quantifiable and can be researched.
The second is the “mental realm,” which cannot be measured and holds our behavioral and mental traits. He is also the pioneer in a field called rationalism – the concept that everything should be doubted until it is proven.
John Locke (1632-1704)
He is the person who introduced the concept of Tabula Rasa – the belief that the mind is a blank slate at birth and that every individual is formed thanks to their environment. Locke was a strong defender of the nurture side to the “nature vs. nurture” debate precisely because of his belief in Tabula Rasa.
Because in his eyes, every behavior, thought pattern, and inclination was learned, he believed that the first few years since birth are the most important ones for human development. He is also one of the biggest contributors to the liberal theory, seeing as he strongly believed in the natural right of life and freedom.
Imannuel Kant (1724-1804)
Immanuel Kant is famous for many things. He revolutionized the way we understand knowledge. Before him, people generally agreed that the minds are simple mirrors for the outside experience, and thus everything we knew was a simple reflection of our environment.
Kant said that our minds are responsible for all of our perceptions and that therefore they are the ones that shape our knowledge. He is also famous for trying to unite empiricism and rationalism. He believed that both experience and reason are equally important and that we should work with both of them all of the time. He explained why, by saying that all experience is subjective but using solely reason would only lead to illusions.
Gustav Fechner (1801-1887)
He is the German philosopher who founded psychophysics and formulated the Fechner law. This law states that the sensation a human experiences is proportional to the magnitude of the stimulus and is connected to Weber’s law. Fechner also conceptualized that the mind and body were two parts of the same thing instead of two completely separate systems.
This led him to panpsychism – the doctrine that the universe is created and governed by the mind or the soul. He also proved that physical stimuli have an effect on the human psyche. From that discovery, he started being an avid believer that the brain can be studied mathematically and that psychology, therefore, should be a quantified science.
Psychology has always been an interesting science, and by extension, psychologists have always been fascinating people. Most of the notions we connect to the field today have their foundations because of the people listed here! There truly are some genius minds, and it’s a wonderful thing that some chose to specialize in this enchanting field of study.
How do you like psychology, and which do you think are the people that most influenced this field of study? Comment below and let’s discuss!