Famous 19th Century Psychologists

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 1 William James

William James.
Famous As: Philosopher, Psychologist
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 Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov.
Famous As: Physiologist
Birthdate: September 26, 1849
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ryazan, Russia
Died: February 27, 1936
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov is best remembered for his research in classical conditioning. He became the first Russian Nobel laureate after winning the 1904 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his study of the physiology of digestion. His experiment on conditioned reflex using dogs is still studied in colleges.
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 3 Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky.
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: November 17, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orsha
Died: June 11, 1934

Lev Vygotsky was a Soviet psychologist best remembered for his groundbreaking work on developmental psychology in children. He is also remembered for his work on the relationship between thought and language, which remains influential to this day. A man with various interests, Vygotsky's work covered topics like the philosophy of science and the psychology of art.

 4 Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler.
Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus
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.

 5 Wilhelm Wundt

Wilhelm Wundt.
Famous As: Philosopher
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.

 6 John Dewey

John Dewey.
Famous As: Philosopher
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.

 7 Alfred Binet

Alfred Binet
Famous As: Psychologist, Educationist
Birthdate: July 8, 1857
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice
Died: October 18, 1911
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 8 Gordon Allport

Gordon Allport
Famous As: Psychologist, Academic, University teacher, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: November 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montezuma
Died: October 9, 1967

 9 Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein
Famous As: Psychanalyst
Birthdate: March 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna
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. 

 10 G. Stanley Hall

G. Stanley Hall
Famous As: Psychologist, Science writer
Birthdate: February 1, 1844
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Died: April 24, 1924

 11 Fritz Perls

Fritz Perls
Famous As: Psychologist, Psychiatrist
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.

 12 Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: December 26, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adelaide
Died: September 7, 1949

Elton Mayo was an Australian-born industrial researcher, psychologist, and organizational theorist. As a psychologist, Mayo played an important role during World War I, helping soldiers returning from the war recover from the stresses. He also conducted psycho-pathological tests and is credited with pioneering the psychoanalytic treatment of shell-shock. Elton Mayo's works also laid the basis for the human relations movement.

 13 Gustave Le Bon

Gustave Le Bon
Famous As: Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou
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 Lou Andreas-Salomé

Lou Andreas-Salomé
Famous As: Psychoanalyst
Birthdate: February 12, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: February 5, 1937

Russian-born German author Lou Andreas-Salomé apparently rejected renowned philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s marriage proposal and then married a professor instead. A skilled psychoanalyst, she was also close to Rainer Maria Rilke and Sigmund Freud. She was one of the first to offer a psychoanalytic perspective to female sexuality.

 15 Mary Whiton Calkins

Mary Whiton Calkins
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: March 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hartford
Died: February 26, 1930

 16 Magnus Hirschfeld

Magnus Hirschfeld
Famous As: Physician, Writer, Psychologist, Screenwriter, Sexologist
Birthdate: May 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kołobrzeg
Died: May 15, 1935

Born in Prussia, Magnus Hirschfeld had initially studied languages and had then earned a medical degree. He grew up to be a prominent sexologist and gay rights activist who referred to the LGBT community as the “third sex.” His one-of-a-kind sexology institute was later destroyed by the Nazis.

 17 Hermann Ebbinghaus

Hermann Ebbinghaus
Famous As: Psychologist, Educationist, University teacher
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.

 18 Lillian Moller Gilbreth

Lillian Moller Gilbreth.
Famous As: Mother of Modern Management
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland
Died: January 2, 1972

 19 Otto Rank

Otto Rank
Famous As: Psychologist
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. 

 20 Emil Kraepelin

Emil Kraepelin.
Famous As: Psychiatrist
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.

 21 Lewis Terman

Lewis Terman
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: January 15, 1877
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johnson County
Died: December 21, 1956

 22 Otto Weininger

Otto Weininger
Famous As: Philosopher, Writer, Psychologist
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.  

 23 Edward B. Titchener

Edward B. Titchener
Famous As: Philosopher, Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: January 11, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chichester
Died: August 3, 1927

 24 Wilfred Bion

Wilfred Bion
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychanalyst, Psychologist
Birthdate: September 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mathura
Died: November 8, 1979

Born in British India, Wilfred Bion grew up to be a prominent psychoanalyst. He had fought during World War I. He is best remembered for his work on group dynamics and the object relations theory. He was also part of the Tavistock group of psychologists who founded the Tavistock Institute.

 25 Josef Breuer

Josef Breuer
Famous As: Physician, Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: January 15, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna
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.

 26 Toni Wolff

Toni Wolff
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: September 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zürich
Died: March 21, 1953

 27 Max Wertheimer

Max Wertheimer
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: April 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prague
Died: October 12, 1943

 28 Wilhelm Dilthey

Wilhelm Dilthey
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: November 19, 1833
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Biebrich, Wiesbaden, Germany
Died: October 1, 1911

Wilhelm Dilthey was a German psychologist, sociologist, historian, and hermeneutic philosopher. An ardent admirer of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Dilthey helped revive the former's works on hermeneutics. Wilhelm Dilthey is also credited with teaching future philosophers like Hans Lipps, Eduard Spranger, and Theodor Litt.

 29 Franz Brentano

Franz Brentano
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: January 16, 1838
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rhine Province
Died: March 17, 1917

 30 Gustav Fechner

Gustav Fechner
Famous As: Physicist, Psychologist, Statistician, University teacher, Philosopher
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.

 31 Edward C. Tolman

Edward C. Tolman
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: April 14, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newton
Died: November 19, 1959

 32 Kurt Schneider

Kurt Schneider
Famous As: Military physician, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, University teacher
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.

 33 Harry Stack Sullivan

Harry Stack Sullivan
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Psychologist
Birthdate: February 21, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 14, 1949

 34 Fredric Wertham

Fredric Wertham
Famous As: Psychologist, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 20, 1895
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 18, 1981

 35 David Wechsler

David Wechsler
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: January 12, 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Iași County
Died: May 2, 1981

 36 Hugo Münsterberg

Hugo Münsterberg
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Philosopher
Birthdate: June 1, 1863
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gdańsk
Died: December 16, 1916

 37 Henry Goddard

Henry Goddard
Famous As: psychologist, educationist
Birthdate: August 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: United States of America
Died: June 18, 1957

 38 Clark L. Hull

Clark L. Hull
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: May 24, 1884
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York
Died: May 10, 1952

 39 Margaret Floy Washburn

Margaret Floy Washburn
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: July 25, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: October 29, 1939

 40 Sándor Ferenczi

Sándor Ferenczi
Famous As: Psychanalyst, Psychiatrist, Non-fiction writer, Neurologist
Birthdate: July 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Miskolc
Died: May 22, 1933

 41 Arnold Gesell

Arnold Gesell
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Physician
Birthdate: June 21, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Alma (town), Buffalo County, Wisconsin
Died: May 29, 1961

 42 William Stern

William Stern
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: April 29, 1871
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 27, 1938

 43 Kurt Koffka

Kurt Koffka
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: March 18, 1886
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: November 22, 1941

 44 William McDougall

William McDougall
Famous As: psychologist, university teacher
Birthdate: June 22, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chadderton
Died: November 28, 1938

 45 Lewis Fry Richardson

Lewis Fry Richardson
Famous As: Paramedic, Cartographer, Mathematician, Psychologist, Physicist, Meteorologist
Birthdate: October 11, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: September 30, 1953

British physicist, meteorologist, mathematician, psychologist and pacifist Lewis Fry Richardson was the first to apply modern mathematical techniques of weather forecasting to predict weather accurately. He also pioneered the use of similar methods in studying reasons of wars and the way to stop them. He proposed the iterative method called modified Richardson iteration for solving a system of linear equations.

 46 James McKeen Cattell

James McKeen Cattell
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: May 25, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Died: January 20, 1944

 47 Frederic Bartlett

Frederic Bartlett
Famous As: Teacher, Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: October 20, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stow-on-the-Wold
Died: September 30, 1969

 48 Mary Cover Jones

Mary Cover Jones
Famous As: psychologist
Birthdate: September 1, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: July 22, 1987

 49 Maurice Halbwachs

Maurice Halbwachs
Famous As: Sociologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Professor, Musicologist
Birthdate: March 11, 1877
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reims
Died: March 16, 1945

 50 Fritz Heider

Fritz Heider
Famous As: Psychologist, Translator, University teacher, Writer
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.