Famous Russian Psychologists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 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.

 2 Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: November 17, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orsha, Belarus
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.

 3 Sabina Spielrein

Sabina Spielrein
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: October 25, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rostov-on-Don, Russian Empire
Died: August 11, 1942

Sabina Spielrein was a Russian physician who also worked as a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and teacher during an illustrious professional career that spanned 30 years. A pioneer of psychoanalysis, Spielrein was the first person to bring in and popularize the concept of the death instinct. Sabina Spielrein was also one of the earliest psychoanalysts to study schizophrenia in detail. 

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 4 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.

 5 Wolf Messing

Wolf Messing
Famous As: Psychic
Birthdate: September 10, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Góra Kalwaria, Poland
Died: November 8, 1974

 6 Wolfgang Köhler

Wolfgang Köhler
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: January 21, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tallinn, Estonia
Died: June 11, 1967

 7 Alexander Luria

Alexander Luria
Famous As: Neuropsychologist
Birthdate: July 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kazan, Russia
Died: August 14, 1977

Alexander Luria was a Soviet neuropsychologist who served as the leader of the Vygotsky Circle, an informal network of psychologists, physiologists, neuroscientists, and medical specialists. Often referred to as the father of neuropsychological assessment, Luria came up with influential books that serve as psychological textbooks for students. His book The Mind of a Mnemonist inspired films like Away with Words.

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 8 Vladimir Bekhterev

Vladimir Bekhterev
Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: February 1, 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.

 9 Bluma Zeigarnik

Bluma Zeigarnik
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: November 9, 1901
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prienai, Lithuania
Died: February 24, 1988

Born to a Jewish family in southern Lithuania that was well-respected among the community, Bluma Zeigarnik grew up to be a renowned psychologist. She is best remembered for discovering what is known as the Zeigarnik effect, or the phenomenon of remembering incomplete tasks better than complete ones.