If you're interested in learning more about the history of psychology, one of the best places to start is to learn a bit more about the people behind many of the best-known psychology theories. Here are just a few interesting tidbits about some of the most prominent figures in psychology.
- B.F. Skinner earned his undergraduate degree in English Literature and spent some time as a struggling novelist before changing his focus to psychology.
- Jean Piaget published his first scientific paper at the tender age of 11.
- Erik Erikson's interest in identity began early in life. At temple school, he was teased for being tall, blond and blue-eyed, while his grammar school classmates rejected him for his Jewish background. He later learned that his biological father had abandoned the family and that the man Erikson thought was his father was actually his stepfather.
- William James, often called the father of American psychology, was also the brother of the writer Henry James. He also studied painting with William Morris Hunt, but eventually went on to study medicine at Harvard Medical School.
- Mary Whiton Calkins was denied a degree from Harvard simply because she was a women, despite the fact that she has completed all of the necessary coursework for a doctorate degree.
After you have learned a bit more about these famous psychologists, test your knowledge of the lives, careers and contributions of a number of prominent psychologists in this psychology quiz: Who Am I? - A Quiz on Famous Thinkers in Psychology
Also, be sure to check out our list of some of the most influential psychologists and share your own opinion about who else deserves to be called one of psychology's most eminent thinkers.