Psychology deals basically with the human mind and the way it operates. It looks at the behavior of individuals and tries to analyze it from the basis of their mind. This field is set on a scientific background and various people have been involved in its study and consequent development. Individuals who venture into this field of study are aptly referred to as psychologists (White, 2008). Since its inception, different individuals have had different contributions to psychology. Some have made monumental impacts on the field and the way people view humanity. Their contributions have changed the perception people have about life and the way people relate amongst themselves. It has gone a great length in trying to unravel the mystery of human behavior at all levels.
Many names appear as pioneers, as well as, major contributors to the understanding of psychology today. Arguments abided as to which psychologist has had a major contribution to this field. However, ther is no doubt in the contributions of three of the most famous psychologists. One of these great contributors is Sigmund Freud (Nairne, 2005). His contribution, particularly towards the understanding of psychoanalysis is immense. This renowned Austrian scientist is credited with developing this discipline.
B.F. Skinner is another psychologist whose works have been highly acknowledged in psychological circles. He was an American whose works as a psychologist mainly revolved around the behavior of humans. He is credited with the invention of radical behaviorism as a discipline in psychology. His works alongside those of other scientists have found numerous applications in our daily lives as well as shaping up the way people view life. Albert Ellis is another renowned psychologist. Just like Skinner, Ellis was an American scientist as well (Skinner, 2011). He is well-known for his work in developing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Some quarters regard him as the best psychologist of the twentieth century. These three are just some of the famous people in psychology.
Works of Sigmund Freud
Freud is credited with a host of works in the field of psychology. Psychoanalysis is of greater note in his numerous works. His discovery and development of this discipline made him an icon in psychology. His thoughts more so on psychoanalysis attracted critics as well as supporters in equal measure (White, 2008). Alongside two other prominent scientists, Freud has been regarded as the pioneer of the school of suspicion. He also criticised religion and his various analogies regarding this issue were subjected to harsh criticism from religious circles. Through psychoanalysis, he was able to develop verbal psychotherapy. This method gained popularity in the clinical treatment of psychopathology. This is achieved through verbal communication between a patient and the analyst.
Through this, the analyst is able to diagnose the patient and offer therapeutic remedy. This has, however, declined the use in therapeutic treatment of psychopathology (Nairne, 2005). However, it is regarded as the precursor to all the other forms of psychotherapy in use today. In addition, Freud is credited with other various works in psychology. These works have had a major impact on the development of psychology as well. They provide diverse platforms through which humanity is interpreted and understood (Skinner, 2011). Freud postulated different theories concerning the unconscious mind. These theories have helped in the understanding of the way human behavior is influenced by this part of the mind. He also postulated on repression and its significance to human behavior. Freud also tried to explain the role of dreams in ensuring people gain the required rest during sleep. He explained that dreams tend to have the effect of ensuring undisturbed sleep through the perception that wishes are fulfilled in dreams (Kipp, 2009).
Just like Ellis’s and Skinner’s works, Freud’s works were mainly on human behavior. Though his works were specifically from a scientific perspective. Freud aimed at giving a clear understanding of human behavior and its relation to the mind. Both Freud and Ellis shared a common objective in their works. They were concerned with therapeutic solution to human behavior though different perspectives (Nairne, 2005). Ellis‘s approach was cognitive, whereas Freud’s was psychotherapeutic. The works of Freud differed from Skinner’s works. Freud employed a psychoanalytic approach, whereas Skinner used a socialistic approach in his works (Skinner, 2011). Generally, all three scientists had one goal in common and that was to understand human behavior.
Works of B.F. Skinner
Skinner invented his own theory in attempt to unravel behavioral mystery. This theory was given the name Radical behaviorism. His approach to psychology was from a socialistic point of view. He carried out his research on behavior through experiments. Through this, he was able to determine the response of organism to various situations and thus understanding the resultant behavior (White, 2008). Through this, he developed various experiments which were vital in the understanding of human behavior. One of his inventions was the operant conditioning chamber. Through this, he was to observe the behavior of organisms which were placed in the chamber.
Through observations of the organisms, he was able to come up with conclusions on the behavioral response to the prevailing environment. With this, he could deduce the relationship between the social setting of the organisms and the consequent behavior. He also developed the cumulative recorder (Skinner, 2011). This device was one of the many creations of the great inventor. It became easier to record behavior automatically on a graph. The behavioral analysis was greatly enhanced through graphical interpretations. He also developed a teaching machine. This helped in education since it helped in the understanding of the minds of the learners through programming (Skinner, 2011). It made great contributions to education since the interest of the learners could be easily sustained through it. Reinforcement was the basis of argument in his approach on psychology.
He has contributed immensely to education through his view that teaching ought to be active where everybody is involved in the process. Skinner’s objective in psychology has similarity to that of Ellis’s and Freud’s. All attempted to understand human behavior. However his approach differs from that of Freud’s. Most of his works were purely experimental whereas Freud’s were from a theoretical approach (Kipp, 2009). Skinner and Ellis share ideologies in their approaches, they share a common ground on the power of cognition and its influence on psychology.
Works of Albert Ellis
He is one of the greatest psychologists of the twentieth century. The American psychologist is credited with some creative and inspirational works in this field. One significant work which he has produced is the development of the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Ellis believed that action must be preceded by an understanding of a situation and the consequent reaction (White, 2008). He also developed the theory of cognitive behavioral therapies. Ellis was also among the developers of psychotherapy along with others such as Freud. In his works, Ellis emphasized the role of emotion in psychology and its ultimate influence on behavior. His works particularly on sex and religion attracted a lot of controversy (Nairne, 2005).
In addition to his immense contribution to psychology, he greatly influenced the way people perceive sexuality and religion. He provides a platform for even more psychological researches to the current generation. Just like Skinner and Freud, behavior is the central approach in Ellis’s works. In addition, his works are similar to those of Freud’s, since they are more concerned with psychotherapy. However, he differs in approach from Skinner who bases his approach on social response (Skinner, 2011). Skinner’s and Ellis’s works have similarities in the fact that both look at the cognitive capability of individuals and the way it affects their behavior.
Psychology is concerned with the understanding of the human mind. It seeks the relationship between the mind and the behavior of the individual. To get a clear understanding of psychology, various analysts have put theories forward in a bid to come up with a clear understanding of human behavior (White, 2008). Psychologists famous names exist and each has his or her own theory concerning the issue. Three psychologists discussed here contributed greatly in the understanding of psychology. Each has his own explanation to the rationale of the behavior of human beings.
Similarities as well as differences exist in the views of the psychologists in their various approaches. Feud was a proponent of psychoanalysis in the attempt to understand the behavior of humans (Nairne, 2005). On the other hand, Skinner proposed radical behaviorism as a mean of explaining behavior. Ellis also had his own theories on the issue. His theory is based on cognition. He tried to create an understanding of the role which is played by cognition in the behavior of human beings. All of these psychologists aim at creating an understanding the behavior. Each and every psychologist takes his own approach albeit aimed at one goal, which is to understand human behavior (Skinner, 2011). Despite the differences in their views, their contribution to the works of psychology is invaluable (White, 2008). The works of these three psychologists in particular have contributed immensely to the understanding of psychology and the way people relate with each other. Their works have placed them amongst the best psychologists in the history.