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7 Famously Influential Behaviorists

A Look at Distinguished Thinkers in Psychology

Steve Maraboli

Behaviorism made Practical

After devoting over two decades to creating practical applications of Behavioral Science methods to Business and Personal peak-performance, history will record Steve Maraboli as a pioneer in the emerging field of Experiential Psychology.

A simple online search would reveal his profound influence on Pop Psychology, Social Philosophy, Performance Psychology, and Public Education.


Albert Bandura

Social learning theory

Albert Bandura is universally regarded as one of the greatest living psychologists. He has been a prolific author of books and journal articles over the last 60 years and is one of the most widely cited living psychologists.


Leon Festinger

Cognitive Dissonance

Leon Festinger a cognitive psychologist, best known for his theory of cognitive dissonance, according to which inconsistency between thoughts, or between thoughts and actions, leads to discomfort (dissonance), which motivates changes in thoughts or behaviors.

Festinger also made important contributions to the study of group behavior, self-evaluation, and attitude change.


Carl Rogers

Best known for Human Potential

Carl Rogers is considered one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. He is best known for developing the psychotherapy method called client-centered therapy and as one of the founders of humanistic psychology.


Melanie Klein

Play therapy and object relations.

Melanie Klein had a significant impact on developmental psychology which focuses on human growth throughout the lifespan.

Klein’s play therapy technique is still widely used today. Her emphasis on the role of the mother-child and interpersonal relationships on development also had a major influence on psychology.


Hugo Münsterberg

Applied Psychology

Münsterberg is noted for his influence on applied psychology, especially clinical, forensic and industrial psychology.

Hugo Münsterberg is also well-known for his contributions to forensic psychology. His 1908 book On the Witness Stand detailed how psychological factors can influence the outcome of a trial. In the book, he discussed problems with eyewitness testimony, false confessions, and interrogations.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow psychology and positive psychology.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the pioneers of the scientific study of happiness. He was born in Hungary in 1934 and, like many of his contemporaries, he was touched by the Second World War in ways that deeply affected his life and later work.

According to Csikszentmihalyi, people are happy when they are in a state of flow, a type of intrinsic motivation that involves being fully focused on the situation or task.

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