Developmental Psychology

  • First psychology laboratory

    Wilhelm Wundt opens first experimental laboratory in psychology at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Credited with establishing psychology as an academic discipline, Wundt's students include Emil Kraepelin, James McKeen Cattell, and G. Stanley Hall.
  • First American psychology laboratory

    G. Stanley Hall, a student of Wilhelm Wundt, establishes first U.S. experimental psychology laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Sigment Freud

    founder of psychoanalysis, begins treating patients in Vienna, Austria.
  • APA founded

    G. Stanley Hall founds the American Psychological Association (APA) and serves as its first president. He later establishes two key journals in the field: American Journal of Psychology (1887) and Journal of Applied Psychology (1917).
  • Interpretation of Dreams

    Sigmund Freud introduces his theory of psychoanalysis in The Interpretation of Dreams, the first of 24 books he would write exploring such topics as the unconscious, techniques of free association, and sexuality as a driving force in human psychology.
  • In UK

    The British Psychological Society is formed.
  • Ivan Pavlov

    Ivan Pavlov trains a dog to salivate on hearing the sound of a bell. Pavlov's dog becomes the first example of classical conditioning.
  • Carl Jung

    Carl Jung publishes The Psychology of Dementia Praecox. Jung begins to break away from Freud's ideas to develop his own theories of analytical psychology.
  • Psychoanalysts visit Clark University

    Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung visit the United States for a Psychoanalysis Symposium at Clark University organized by G. Stanley Hall. At the symposium, Freud gives his only speech in the United States.
  • Wertheimer

    Max Wertheimer publishes his research on the phi phenomenon, which contributed to the development of the Gestalt school of psychology.
  • Behaviorism

    John B. Watson publishes "Psychology as Behavior," launching behaviorism. In contrast to psychoanalysis, behaviorism focuses on observable and measurable behavior.
  • Watson

    John Watson becomes a founder of the school of behaviourism, believing that all thoughts, feelings and actions are developed through conditioning.
  • Piaget

    Jean Piaget publishes The Moral Judgment of the Child.
  • Gestalt psychology

    Kurt Koffka, a founder of the movement, publishes Principles of Gestalt Psychology in 1935. Gestalt (German for "whole" or "essence") psychology asserts that psychological phenomena must be viewed not as individual elements but as a coherent whole.
  • The Behavior of Organisms

    B.F. Skinner publishes The Behavior of Organisms, introducing the concept of operant conditioning. The work draws widespread attention to behaviorism and inspires laboratory research on conditioning.
  • Rogers

    Carl Rogers publishes Counselling and Psychotherapy, encouraging therapists to adopt a client-centred approach. This method becomes widely practised.
  • Maslow

    Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, publishes his theory of the hierarchy of needs.
  • Humanistic Psychology

    In the wake of psychoanalysis and behaviorism, humanistic psychology emerges as the "third force" in psychology. Led by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, who publishes Motivation and Personality in 1954, this approach centers on the conscious mind, free will, human dignity, and the capacity for self-actualization.
  • Psychopharmacology

    The development of psychoactive drugs in the 1950s and their approval by the FDA initiates a new form of treatment for mental illness. Among the first such drugs is Doriden, also known as Rorer, an anti-anxiety medication approved in 1954.
  • Ellis

    Albert Ellis publishes Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy, leading to the development of rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT).
  • Beck

    Aaron Beck publishes a model of depression that suggests thoughts play a significant role. He is seen as the founder of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Evolutionary psychology

    Richard Dawkins publishes The Selfish Gene, which begins to popularize the idea of evolutionary psychology. This approach applies principles from evolutionary biology to the structure and function of the human brain. It offers new ways of looking at social phenomena such as aggression and sexual behavior.
  • Cultural psychology

    In Acts of Meaning, Four Lectures on Mind and Culture, Jerome Bruner helps formulate cultural psychology, an approach drawing on philosophy, linguistics, and anthropology. Refined and expanded by Hazel Markus and other researchers, cultural psychology focuses on the influences and relationship among mind, cultural community and behavior.
  • Seligman

    Martin Seligman chooses positive psychology as the theme for his speech to the American Psychological Association, as its incoming president.