The History of 20th Century Western Psychology

Timeline created by alanD
  • 1879 – Wilhelm Wundt founds the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany. The event is considered the starting point of psychology as a separate science. He is sometimes called the 'father of psychology'.

    1879 – Wilhelm Wundt founds the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany. The event is considered the starting point of psychology as a separate science. He is sometimes called the 'father of psychology'.
  • 1885 - Herman Ebbinghaus published his famous work Memory. A Contribution to Experimental Psychology. In the work, he describes his learning and memory experiments that he conducted on himself.

    1885 - Herman Ebbinghaus published his famous work Memory. A Contribution to Experimental Psychology. In the work, he describes his learning and memory experiments that he conducted on himself.
  • 1886 – Sigmund Freud begins providing therapy to patients in Vienna, Austria.

    1886 – Sigmund Freud begins providing therapy to patients in Vienna, Austria.
  • 1890- William James publishes Principles of Psychology.

    1890- William James publishes Principles of Psychology.
  • 1898 - Edward Thorndike develops the Law of Effect. This is a key feature in the development of Skinner's radical BEHAVIOURISM.

    1898 - Edward Thorndike develops the Law of Effect. This is a key feature in the development of Skinner's radical BEHAVIOURISM.
  • 1900 – Sigmund Freud publishes Interpretation of Dreams.

    1900 – Sigmund Freud publishes Interpretation of Dreams.
  • 1901 - The British Psychological Society is formed

    1901 - The British Psychological Society is formed
  • 1905 - Alfred Binet publishes the first intelligence test New Methods for the Diagnosis of the Intellectual Level of Subnormals.

    1905 - Alfred Binet publishes the first intelligence test New Methods for the Diagnosis of the Intellectual Level of Subnormals.
  • 1906 - Ivan Pavlov publishes his findings on classical conditioning.(This is the start of BEHAVIOURISM)

    1906 - Ivan Pavlov publishes his findings on classical conditioning.(This is the start of BEHAVIOURISM)
  • 1909- Sigmund Freud publishes his detailed case study of Little Hans and the Oedipus Complex ‘Analysis of a phobia of a five-year-old boy’. [Core study 1]

    1909- Sigmund Freud publishes his detailed case study of Little Hans and the Oedipus Complex ‘Analysis of a phobia of a five-year-old boy’. [Core study 1]
  • 1912 - Edward Thorndike publishes Animal Intelligence. The article leads to the development of the theory of operant conditioning.

    1912 - Edward Thorndike publishes Animal Intelligence. The article leads to the development of the theory of operant conditioning.
  • 1913 – Carl Jung begins to depart from Freudian views and develops his own theories, which are eventually known as analytical psychology.(Psychodynamic Perspective)

    1913 – Carl Jung begins to depart from Freudian views and develops his own theories, which are eventually known as analytical psychology.(Psychodynamic Perspective)
  • 1913- John B. Watson publishes ‘Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It’. The work helped establish behaviourism, which viewed human behaviour arising from conditioned responses.

    1913- John B. Watson publishes ‘Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It’. The work helped establish behaviourism, which viewed human behaviour arising from conditioned responses.
  • 1915 – Sigmund Freud publishes work on repression.

    1915 – Sigmund Freud publishes work on repression.
  • 1920 - Watson and Rosalie Rayner publish research the classical conditioning of fear with their subject, Little Albert.(BEHAVIOURISM)

    1920 - Watson and Rosalie Rayner publish research the classical conditioning of fear with their subject, Little Albert.(BEHAVIOURISM)
  • 1932 - Jean Piaget becomes the foremost cognitive theorist with the publication of his work The Moral Judgment of Children.

    1932 - Jean Piaget becomes the foremost cognitive theorist with the publication of his work The Moral Judgment of Children.
  • Egas Moniz carries out the first human lobotomy

    Egas Moniz carries out the first human lobotomy
  • 1938- B.F Skinner publishes ’The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis’ which sets out the theory and methods of operant conditioning and his ‘radical’ behaviourism.

    1938- B.F Skinner publishes ’The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis’ which sets out the theory and methods of operant conditioning and his ‘radical’ behaviourism.
  • 1942 - Carl Rogers developed client-centered therapy and publishes Counseling and Psychotherapy. His approach encourages respect and positive regard for patients.

    1942 - Carl Rogers developed client-centered therapy and publishes Counseling and Psychotherapy. His approach encourages respect and positive regard for patients.
  • Cyril Burt publishes his first twin study on the genetic influence on intelligence.

    Cyril Burt publishes his first twin study on the genetic influence on intelligence.
  • John Bowlby publishes his classic research on the effects of maternal deprivation with 44 juvenile thieves. Bowlby is a key contributor to the DEVELOPMENTAL Approach in psychology.

    John Bowlby publishes his classic research on the effects of maternal deprivation with 44 juvenile thieves. Bowlby is a key contributor to the DEVELOPMENTAL Approach in psychology.
  • Alfred Kinsey publishes 'Sexual Behavior in the Human Male'

    Alfred Kinsey publishes 'Sexual Behavior in the Human Male'
    Alfred Kinsey (and his small group of interviewers) carried out over 18,00 self-reports examining sexual behaviour in Americans. His findings in this book (and a later book about female sexuality) revolutionised ideas about sexual behaviour, homosexuality and became an international sensation.
  • 1952 - The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is first published.

    1952 - The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is first published.
  • 1954 - Abraham Maslow publishes Motivation and Personality, describing his theory of a hierarchy of needs. He also helps found humanistic psychology.

    1954 - Abraham Maslow publishes Motivation and Personality, describing his theory of a hierarchy of needs. He also helps found humanistic psychology.
  • 1954- Corbett Thigpen and Hervey Cleckley document the first scientific case study of multiple personality with Eve White/Black ‘A case of multiple personality’ [Core study 11]

    1954- Corbett Thigpen and Hervey Cleckley document the first scientific case study of multiple personality with Eve White/Black ‘A case of multiple personality’ [Core study 11]
  • 1955- Soloman Asch carries out his classic research on conformity using a line judgement task and confederate participants.

    1955- Soloman Asch carries out his classic research on conformity using a line judgement task and confederate participants.
  • 1957- Daniel Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman find the first objective measurement of the brain activity underlying dreaming ‘The relation of eye movements during sleep to dream activity’ [Core study 7]

    1957- Daniel Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman find the first objective measurement of the brain activity underlying dreaming ‘The relation of eye movements during sleep to dream activity’ [Core study 7]
  • 1958 - Harry Harlow publishes The Nature of Love, which describe his experiments with rhesus monkeys on the importance of attachment and love.

    1958 - Harry Harlow publishes The Nature of Love, which describe his experiments with rhesus monkeys on the importance of attachment and love.
  • 1961 - Albert Bandura (and others) carries out research on observational learning and aggression ‘Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models’ [Core study 3]

    1961 - Albert Bandura (and others) carries out research on observational learning and aggression ‘Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models’ [Core study 3]
  • 1963-Stanley Milgram publishes Obedience to Authority, which presented the findings of his famous obedience experiments. [Core study 6]

    1963-Stanley Milgram publishes Obedience to Authority, which presented the findings of his famous obedience experiments. [Core study 6]
  • 1968- Roger Sperry conducts his research on patients with split brains ‘Hemisphere deconnection and unity in consciousness’ [Core study 8]

    1968- Roger Sperry conducts his research on patients with split brains ‘Hemisphere deconnection and unity in consciousness’ [Core study 8]
  • 1971- Philip Zimbardo carries out one of the most controversial studies in the history of psychology, the Stanford Prison Experiment which showed the situational effects of ‘evil’ environments

    1971- Philip Zimbardo carries out one of the most controversial studies in the history of psychology, the Stanford Prison Experiment which showed the situational effects of ‘evil’ environments
  • 1973- David Rosenhan and seven other ‘pseudo-patients’ fake mental illness to see what life is like inside psychiatric hospitals in America ‘On being sane in insane places’. [Core study 12]

    1973- David Rosenhan and seven other ‘pseudo-patients’ fake mental illness to see what life is like inside psychiatric hospitals in America ‘On being sane in insane places’. [Core study 12]
  • Homosexuality removed from the DSM3, previously it was regarded as a mental illness

    Homosexuality removed from the DSM3, previously it was regarded as a mental illness
  • 1974- Elizabeth Loftus (& John Palmer) publish their classic research on eyewitness memory ‘Reconstruction of and automobile destruction’ [Core study 14]

    1974- Elizabeth Loftus (& John Palmer) publish their classic research on eyewitness memory ‘Reconstruction of and automobile destruction’ [Core study 14]
  • 1984- Judith Samuel and Peter Bryant publish their classic critique of Piaget’s methods ‘Asking only one question in the conservation experiment’ [Core study 2]

    1984- Judith Samuel and Peter Bryant publish their classic critique of Piaget’s methods ‘Asking only one question in the conservation experiment’ [Core study 2]
  • 1986- Sue Savage-Rumbaugh publishes her research on the language acquisition of the Bonobo chimps Kanzi and Mulika ‘Spontaneous Symbol Acquisition and Communication Use by Pygmy Chimpanzees’ [Core study 13]

    1986- Sue Savage-Rumbaugh publishes her research on the language acquisition of the Bonobo chimps Kanzi and Mulika ‘Spontaneous Symbol Acquisition and Communication Use by Pygmy Chimpanzees’ [Core study 13]
  • 1994 –Mark Griffiths carries out research on the thinking patterns of regular gamblers ‘The role of cognitive bias and skill in fruit machine gambling’ [Core study 12]

    1994 –Mark Griffiths carries out research on the thinking patterns of regular gamblers ‘The role of cognitive bias and skill in fruit machine gambling’ [Core study 12]
  • 1997- Simon Baron-Cohen (and others) publishes ‘Another Advanced Theory of Mind: Evidence From Very High Functioning Adults With Autism or Asperger Syndrome’ showing how people with these disorders have difficulty reading emotion from other people’s eyes.

    1997- Simon Baron-Cohen (and others) publishes ‘Another Advanced Theory of Mind: Evidence From Very High Functioning Adults With Autism or Asperger Syndrome’ showing how people with these disorders have difficulty reading emotion from other people’s eyes.
  • 2000 –Eleanor Maguire researches the hippocampi of taxi drivers’. [Core study 9]

    2000 –Eleanor Maguire researches the hippocampi of taxi drivers’. [Core study 9]
  • Reicher & Haslem (The BBC Prison Study): research into the effects of group identity on tyranny

    Reicher & Haslem (The BBC Prison Study): research into the effects of group identity on tyranny
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    History of Modern Psychology

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    Psychodynamic Perspective dominates psychology, particularly in the USA. The main assumption of the psychodynamic perspective is that all behaviour can be explained in terms of the inner conflicts of the mind. For example, in the case study of Little Hans

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    The Developmental Approach to psychology emerges and grows in popularity as Freud focuses on the importantance of childhood experiences. Developmental psychology is the scientific study of the psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings

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    The Behaviourists dominate psychology. Behaviorism was the main theory in psychology between 1920s to 1950 and is based on a number of underlying assumptions regarding methodology and behavioural analysis:* Psychology should be seen as a science. Theorie

    Chomsky on SkinnerAlthough difficult to say when the Behaviourist influence faded in psychology, Noam Chomsky's 1967 review of Skinner's Verbal Behaviour was a key turning point against the Behaviourists
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    The Individual Differences approach to psychology starts with early attempts to use psychometric tests to measure intelligence. The main assumption of the individual differences perspective is that to understand the complexity of human behaviour and exper

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    The rise of Physiological Psychology. This approach to psychology believes that behaviour and experience can be explained by physiological changes. This approach investigates the brain, the nervous system and other biological factors such as hormones.

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    The rise of Humanistic Psychology in psychology. Humanism is a psychological approach that emphasizes the study of the whole person. Humanistic psychologists look at human behavior not only through the eyes of the observer, but through the eyes of the per

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    Social Psychology becomes very popular, particularly in the USA until ethical guidelines restrict the type of research that can be carried out. Social psychology (or the social approach) is interested in studying individuals in a social context, such the

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    Cognitive Psychology (information processing) grows more influential as computers develop. Cognitive psychology studies our mental processes or cognitions. These mental processes that cognitive psychologists focus on include memory, perception, thinking a