Psychology has historically been considered the ugly stepchild of science. There are some legitimate reasons for this. First of all, the average person associates psychology with the kooky antics dating a psychiatrist on-screen therapists in various movies and T.
Second, everyone considers him or herself an “amateur” psychologist. While most of us don’t have direct experiences with black holes, DNA, or atoms, we all have experienced and generated behavior, emotions, and thoughts. Finally, few understand that historically there were attempts to shape psychology as a science of human nature along the lines of physics or chemistry. Unfortunately, modern psychology is an incredibly fractured discipline with many components, some of more value than others. Psychology has, historically, been considered the ugly stepchild of science. While most of us don’t have direct experiences with black holes DNA or atoms, we all have experienced and generated behavior, emotions and thoughts.
Finally, few understand that, historically, there were attempts to shape psychology as a science of human nature, along the lines of physics or chemistry. Karl Lashley is a debatable choice for the tenth spot. I selected him because he was one of the first psychologists to try to understand the physiological underpinnings of behavior. Lashley was an American psychologist who initially worked with John Watson. However, Watson was never very interested in the brain-behavior relationship and Lashley eventually went his own direction. Lashley trained his rats to run a maze, systematically removed portions of their brains, and observed any effect it had on their ability to run the maze afterwards. Lashley found, to his astonishment, that it didn’t matter.
What did matter is how much of the brain was removed. Lashley would go on to train, and mentor, a number of psychologists and physiologists who built upon his early work linking brain and behavior. Currently, much of the work in modern experimental psychology is focusing on this topic. Skinner is one of the few psychologists with name recognition outside the field. Skinner was convinced that his approach to psychology was the only reasonable one, and had little patience with opposing views.
Arrogance aside, few men in history can claim to have created the vocabulary for an entire discipline. But his ideas go beyond terminology. In fact, in America, between the years 1930 and 1950, behaviorism WAS psychology. My first cheat: Piaget was not a psychologist. His training was as a natural scientist.