Psychology Timeline

  • Francis Bacon

    A founder of modern science due to his experiment-based conclusions. He reflected on the mind and its shortcomings. Bacon wrote Novum Organuum.
  • René Descartes

    René Descartes
    French philosopher and scientist who proposed that mind and body are distinct but related. He authored Treatise of Man.
  • John Locke

    British political philosopher who proposed the idea of tabula rasa, which led to the concept of empiricism, the idea that science should be based on observation and experimentation. Locke authored An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
  • Dorthea Dix

    Dorthea Dix
    Mental health treatment reformer who advocated gentler human treatment methods at mental hospitals.
  • Charles Darwin

    Naturalist and explorer who proposed the concept of natural selection in his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
  • G. Stanley Hall

    Wilhelm Wundt’s student who earned the first Ph.D. of philosophy in the United States from Harvard. Hall also established the first formal psychology laboratory in the United States at Johns Hopkins University. In 1892, he founded the American Psychological Association and became its first president.
  • Wilhelm Wundt

    Professor who, with his students, may have conducted the first psychological experiment. He also established the first psychological laboratory.
  • William James

    Functionalist professor whose greatest contribution may have been tutoring Mary Calkins despite the controversy of a female student at Harvard. James also wrote the Principles of Psychology.
  • E.B. Titchener

    E.B. Titchener
    Father of structuralism, which explored the structural elements of the human mind through introspection. While structuralism was flawed because of its inexactness, it was the predecessor to other schools of psychology. He Titchener also founded the organization of experimental psychologists.
  • Mary Whiton Calkins

    Mary Whiton Calkins
    The American Psychological Association’s first female president.
  • Rosalie Rayner

    Worked with John B. Watson in an experiment involving conditioning a fear reaction in a child refered to as “Little Albert”.
  • Margaret Floy Washburn

    Author of The Animal Mind and first female psychology Ph.D. She also became the APA’s second female president. As a woman, Washburn was excluded from the organization of experimental psychologists.