Famous Psychologists of our time

We, of course, all know everything about the famous psychologists in history. We all have heard about Pavlov, Piaget, Rogers and Freud. The influence they made, the new ideas and the big questions they solved are all familiar to most Psychology students. But what about famous psychologists that live now? They come up with new ideas, but sometimes those are not yet discussed in school books and are not even close to as famous as psychologists from history. 

But what are the ideas that they came up with? The most influential psychologists of the 21st century are discussed here! 

Martin Seligman

Martin Elias Peter Seligman was born on  August 12 in 1942. He is an American psychologist, educator, and author of self-help books. Seligman is a strong promoter within the scientific community of his theories of positive psychology and well-being. 

One of the theories he came up with is his theory of learned helplessness, which is popular among scientific and clinical psychologists. In simplified terms, Seligman found that if a subject believes their situation to be truly helpless, they will do little to nothing to try and change it and accept their fate. He identified this as “learned” helplessness, which requires intervention to overcome. His book “A Review of General Psychology survey”, published in 2002, ranked Seligman as the 31st most cited psychologist of the 20th century. 

Steven Pinker

Steven Arthur Pinker was born on September 18 in 1954. Steven is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, psycholinguist, popular science author and public intellectual. He is an advocate of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. 

Pinker is recognized for his interdisciplinary work, combining psychology, cognitive science, and linguistics, and is a vocal proponent of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. Though he has several decades of research and academic work to his name, Pinker is best recognized as an author of popular science books in which he expounds on ideas from linguistics and evolutionary psychology in a way accessible to a mainstream audience. In particular, Pinker often builds on the ideas of Noam Chomsky, arguing that language is a unique and innate faculty of the human mind and that (his own stance) it emerges from evolution and natural selection.

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman, who was born on March 5 in 1934 is an Israeli-American psychologist and economist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, as well as behavioural economics, for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with Vernon L. Smith). His empirical findings challenge the assumption of human rationality prevailing in modern economic theory.

With Prospect Theory, the work for which Kahneman won the Nobel Prize, he proposed a change to the way we think about decisions when facing risk, especially finances. Alongside Tversky, they found that people aren't first and foremost foresighted utility maximizers but react to changes in terms of gains and losses.

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