Famous 19th Century Psychologists

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 1 
William James
(Philosopher, Psychologist)
William James
12
Birthdate: January 11, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: August 26, 1910

William James was an American psychologist and philosopher. Widely regarded as the father of American psychology and one of the most influential American philosophers, James was the first educator in the United States to offer a course in psychology. He is also credited with co-founding a psychological school of thought called functional psychology and establishing a philosophical school called pragmatism.

 2 
John B. Watson
(Psychologist)
John B. Watson
14
Birthdate: January 9, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Travelers Rest, South Carolina, United States
Died: September 25, 1958

John B. Watson was the first to introduce the theory of behaviorism to psychology. He believed human behavior, like animal behavior, should be studied under objective and experimental conditions. One of his experiments included conditioning the fear of white rats into an 11-year-old boy he named Little Albert.

 3 
Alfred Adler
(Austrian Psychotherapist and Founder of the School of ‘Individual Psychology’)
Alfred Adler
8
Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, Vienna, Austria
Died: May 28, 1937

Alfred Adler was an Austrian psychotherapist and medical doctor. He is credited with founding the school of individual psychology. He was also one of the founders of the psychoanalytic movement along with Sigmund Freud and Freud's colleagues. In 2002, a survey conducted by Review of General Psychology named Adler among the 20th century's most eminent psychologists.

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 4 
Wilhelm Wundt
(Philosopher)
Wilhelm Wundt
8
Birthdate: August 16, 1832
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
Died: August 31, 1920

Wilhelm Wundt was a German physiologist, professor, and philosopher. He is often counted among the founders of modern psychology and is widely considered the father of experimental psychology. He is also credited with founding the first laboratory for psychological research, which he founded at the University of Leipzig in 1879.

 5 
John Dewey
(Philosopher)
John Dewey
8
Birthdate: October 20, 1859
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, United States
Died: June 1, 1952

A staunch advocate of progressive education and liberalism, the American philosopher and psychologist was the founder of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. John Dewey’s famous writings included The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology and Human Nature and Conduct. According to him, passion for knowledge and intellectual curiosity were central to a teacher. He called himself a democratic socialist.

 6 
Alfred Binet
(Psychologist, Educationist)
Alfred Binet
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1857
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice
Died: October 18, 1911
 7 
Gordon Allport
(American Psychologist)
Gordon Allport
5
Birthdate: November 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montezuma, Indiana, United States
Died: October 9, 1967
 8 
G. Stanley Hall
(Psychologist, Science writer)
G. Stanley Hall
3
Birthdate: February 1, 1844
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Died: April 24, 1924
 9 
Edward Thorndike
(Psychologist)
Edward Thorndike
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Williamsburg, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 9, 1949
 10 
Fritz Perls
(Psychologist, Psychiatrist)
Fritz Perls
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: March 14, 1970

Fritz Perls initially fought in World War I, following which he treated brain injuries of soldiers. He was later drawn to Freudian psychoanalysis. During World War II, he was the psychiatrist for the South African military. His Gestalt therapy, which he co-created with his wife, Laura, redefined psychology.

 11 
Melanie Klein
(Austrian-British Author and Psychoanalyst)
Melanie Klein
5
Birthdate: March 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 22, 1960

Melanie Klein was an Austrian-British author and psychoanalyst. A key figure in the development of object relations theory, she is best known for her work in child analysis. She began her studies by observing her own children’s behavior while they were growing up. As a woman in a field dominated by men, she was also a feminist icon. 

 12 
George Herbert Mead
(Philosopher)
George Herbert Mead
5
Birthdate: February 27, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Hadley, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 26, 1931

American philosopher and social psychologist George Herbert Mead was one of the pioneers of pragmatism and symbolic interactionism. He taught at the University of Chicago, and his ideas later came to be known as the Chicago school of sociology. His notable lectures were published as books only after his death.

 13 
Gustave Le Bon
(French Polymath)
Gustave Le Bon
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou, France
Died: December 13, 1931

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is best remembered for his research on crowd psychology. In his iconic work La psychologie des foules, or The Crowd, he stated that people are driven by their emotions and not by their intellect when they act as part of a crowd.

 14 
Hermann Ebbinghaus
(Psychologist, Educationist, University teacher)
Hermann Ebbinghaus
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barmen
Died: February 26, 1909

Especially remembered for his pioneering work on rote learning and memory, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus became interested in the subject after reading Gustav Fechner's Elements of Psychophysics.  Eventually, he developed the experimental methods for measuring memory, using 2,300 three-letter nonsense syllables that he devised. Later, he also discovered the forgetting curve and the spacing effect and described the learning curve.

 15 
Mary Whiton Calkins
(Psychologist, University teacher)
Mary Whiton Calkins
2
Birthdate: March 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hartford
Died: February 26, 1930
 16 
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: January 2, 1972
 17 
Otto Rank
(Psychologist)
Otto Rank
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 31, 1939

Otto Rank was an Austrian psychoanalyst and philosopher. A close colleague of Sigmund Freud, Rank was also the managing director of Freud's publishing house. Rank was a prolific writer and wrote extensively on psychoanalytic themes. He was the first person who viewed therapy as a learning and unlearning experience focusing on feelings. Psychologist Rollo May was deeply influenced by Rank. 

 18 
Otto Weininger
(Philosopher, Writer, Psychologist)
Otto Weininger
3
Birthdate: April 3, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 4, 1903

Austrian thinker Otto Weininger, whose main areas of interests included philosophy of religion, logic, gender and psychology, lived in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His book Geschlecht und Charakter (Sex and Character), which gained popularity following his suicide by gunshot, became a sourcebook for anti-Semitic propagandists. Some of his writings were used by Nazi propaganda.  

 19 
Emil Kraepelin
(Psychiatrist)
Emil Kraepelin
5
Birthdate: February 15, 1856
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Neustrelitz, Germany
Died: October 7, 1926

The son of a musician, Emil Kraepelin, remembered as the founder of psychiatry, was the first to differentiate between dementia praecox, now known as schizophrenia, and manic-depressive psychosis. His classification of mental illnesses influenced much of the research on the subject in the 20th century.

 20 
Lewis Terman
(Psychologist, University teacher)
Lewis Terman
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1877
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johnson County
Died: December 21, 1956
 21 
Josef Breuer
(Austrian Physician)
Josef Breuer
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 20, 1925

Psychoanalyst and physician Josef Breuer inspired what later came to be known as Sigmund Freud’s cathartic method to treat mental ailments. His experiments with his patient Anna O. proved the therapeutic effect of the talking cure. He had also conducted research on the respiratory cycle and discovered the Hering-Breuer reflex.

 22 
Edward B. Titchener
(Philosopher, Psychologist, University teacher)
Edward B. Titchener
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chichester
Died: August 3, 1927
 23 
Émile Coué
(Psychologist)
Émile Coué
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1857
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Troyes, France
Died: July 2, 1926
 24 
Max Wertheimer
(Psychologist, University teacher)
Max Wertheimer
2
Birthdate: April 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: October 12, 1943
 25 
Toni Wolff
(Psychologist)
Toni Wolff
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zürich
Died: March 21, 1953

Denied formal education for being a woman, Toni Wolff later became one of psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s closest collaborators. She entered Jung’s life as a patient of depression after her father’s death. She later headed the Psychologischer Club Zürich as its president and is often described as an intellectual rival of Jung’s wife.

 26 
Charles Spearman
(Psychologist)
Charles Spearman
2
Birthdate: September 10, 1863
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 17, 1945
 27 
Gustav Fechner
(Physicist, Psychologist, Statistician, University teacher, Philosopher)
Gustav Fechner
2
Birthdate: April 19, 1801
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bad Muskau
Died: November 18, 1887

Gustav Fechner was a German physicist, philosopher, and experimental psychologist. A pioneer in the field of experimental psychology, Fechner is credited with founding psychophysics. Gustav Fechner inspired several philosophers and scientists like Jan Koenderink, David Heeger, and Farley Norman. In 1970, a crater on the Moon was named after him by the International Astronomical Union.

 28 
Wolfgang Köhler
(Psychologist)
Wolfgang Köhler
2
Birthdate: January 21, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tallinn, Estonia
Died: June 11, 1967
 29 
Edward C. Tolman
(Psychologist)
Edward C. Tolman
2
Birthdate: April 14, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newton
Died: November 19, 1959
 30 
Fredric Wertham
(Psychologist, Psychiatrist)
Fredric Wertham
4
Birthdate: March 20, 1895
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 18, 1981
 31 
Kurt Schneider
(Military physician, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, University teacher)
Kurt Schneider
4
Birthdate: January 7, 1887
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Crailsheim
Died: October 27, 1967

Chiefly known for his works on the diagnosis and understanding of schizophrenia, German psychiatrist Kurt Schneider published many papers on the subject, creating a list of the psychotic symptoms, today known as Schneiderian First-Rank Symptoms, to differentiate it from other forms of mental disorder. He also made significant contributions to personality disorders, coining term like endogenous depression and reactive depression.

 32 
Hugo Münsterberg
(Psychologist, University teacher, Philosopher)
Hugo Münsterberg
2
Birthdate: June 1, 1863
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gdańsk
Died: December 16, 1916
 33 
Louis Leon Thurstone
(Psychologist)
Louis Leon Thurstone
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 30, 1955
 34 
David Wechsler
(Romanian-American Psychologist)
David Wechsler
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lespezi, Romania
Died: May 2, 1981
 35 
Henry Goddard
(psychologist, educationist)
Henry Goddard
2
Birthdate: August 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: United States of America
Died: June 18, 1957
 36 
Pierre Janet
(Psychologist)
Pierre Janet
4
Birthdate: May 30, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 24, 1947
 37 
Clark L. Hull
(Psychologist)
Clark L. Hull
2
Birthdate: May 24, 1884
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York
Died: May 10, 1952
 38 
Johann Friedrich Herbart
(Philosopher, psychologist and founder of pedagogy as an academic discipline)
Johann Friedrich Herbart
2
Birthdate: May 4, 1776
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oldenburg, Germany
Died: August 14, 1841
 39 
Margaret Floy Washburn
(American Psychologist)
Margaret Floy Washburn
4
Birthdate: July 25, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: October 29, 1939
 40 
Kurt Koffka
(German Psychologist and Professor)
Kurt Koffka
1
Birthdate: March 18, 1886
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: November 22, 1941
 41 
William Stern
(Psychologist)
William Stern
1
Birthdate: April 29, 1871
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 27, 1938
 42 
Arnold Gesell
(Psychologist, University teacher)
Arnold Gesell
2
Birthdate: June 21, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Alma, Wisconsin, United States
Died: May 29, 1961
 43 
William McDougall
(English Psychologist)
William McDougall
1
Birthdate: June 22, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chadderton, Lancashire, England
Died: November 28, 1938
 44 
James McKeen Cattell
(Psychologist, University teacher)
James McKeen Cattell
1
Birthdate: May 25, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Died: January 20, 1944
 45 
Vladimir Bekhterev
(Russian Neurologist and the Father of Objective Psychology Known for Noting the Role of the 'Hippocampus' in Memory)
Vladimir Bekhterev
1
Birthdate: January 20, 1857
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sorali, Russia
Died: December 24, 1927

Neurologist and psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev is best remembered for his research on the brain and conditioned reflexes and for his pioneering research on objective psychology. He taught at institutes such as the University of Kazan and was also known for his rivalry with contemporary Ivan Pavlov.

 46 
Frederic Bartlett
(Teacher, Psychologist, University teacher)
Frederic Bartlett
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stow-on-the-Wold
Died: September 30, 1969
 47 
Robert S. Woodworth
(Psychologist)
Robert S. Woodworth
1
Birthdate: October 17, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belchertown, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 4, 1962
 48 
Mary Cover Jones
(psychologist)
Mary Cover Jones
1
Birthdate: September 1, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: July 22, 1987
 49 
Karl Lashley
(Psychologist, University teacher)
Karl Lashley
1
Birthdate: June 7, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Davis
Died: August 7, 1958
 50 
Fritz Heider
(Psychologist, Translator, University teacher, Writer)
Fritz Heider
1
Birthdate: February 19, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: January 2, 1988

Initially aspiring to be an architect and then a lawyer, Fritz Heider gradually deviated toward psychology. The Austrian psychologist was a prominent figure of the Gestalt school. Considered one of the pioneers of interpersonal social psychology, he made significant contributions to the theories of attribution, balance, and motivation.