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Psychology Blog





The All About Psychology Blog will be used to alert readers to all the latest content and resources added to the website.

It will also document a significant person, event or landmark in the history of psychology every day of the year.





Oskar Pfungst: Today in the History of Psychology (21st April 1874)




Oskar Pfungst was born. A comparative psychologist renowned for his detailed study of Clever Hans, a performing horse who tapped his hoof a given number of times in order to give correct answers to complex arithmetical problems. Pfungst concluded that it was unintentional conditioning, rather than intellectual ability which explained Hans's apparent mathematical genius. He wrote:

'Hans's accomplishments are founded first upon a one-sided development of the power of perceiving the slightest movements of the questioner, secondly upon the intense and continued, but equally one-sided, power of attention, and lastly upon a rather limited memory, by means of which the animal is able to associate perceptions of movement with a small number of movements of its own which have become thoroughly habitual.'

The case of Clever Hans served to demonstrate the need for rigorous methodological controls within experimental psychology and was the catalyst for research into experimenter expectancy effects.

Information via: On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments

Joseph Wolpe: Today in the History of Psychology (20th April 1915)




Joseph Wolpe was born. A hugely influential advocate of behavior therapy, Wolpe developed Systematic Desensitization, a revolutionary treatment for phobia induced anxiety based upon behaviorist principles of learning and 'unconditioning,' which he described as follows.

'The desensitization method consists of presenting to the imagination of the deeply relaxed patient the feeblest item in a list of anxiety-evoking stimuli - repeatedly, until no more anxiety is evoked. The next item of the list is then presented, and so on, until eventually even the strongest of the anxiety-evoking stimuli fails to evoke any stir of anxiety in the patient.'

In 1979 Joseph Wolpe received the American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology.

Information via: On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments

Gustav Theodor Fechner: Today in the History of Psychology (19th April 1801)




Gustav Theodor Fechner was born. A renowned philosopher and physicist, Fechner's lifelong interest in psychophysics - the quantitative study of the relationship between physical stimuli and the psychological sensations and perceptions they induce - had an integral influence on the development of experimental psychology.

Rightly considered a founder of modern psychology Fechner's papers were bequeathed to Wilhelm Wundt following his death in 1887.

See following link to learn all about the history of psychology.

History of Psychology

Broca's Area: Today in the History of Psychology (18th April 1861)




French physician, anatomist and surgeon Pierre Paul Broca performed an autopsy on Louis Victor Leborgne. Monsieur Leborgne more commonly known as 'Tan' due to the fact that this was just about the only word he could say is one of the most important patients in the history of neuropsychology.

Having autopsied Leborgne's brain, Broca reported that he had discovered an abnormality in the left frontal lobe and concluded that this must be the patient's cortical speech production center; a part of the brain that would subsequently become known as 'Broca's area.'

Information via: On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments

Hippolyte Bernheim: Today in the History of Psychology (17th April 1840)




Hippolyte Bernheim was born. An eminent French neurologist and early mentor of Sigmund Freud, Bernheim was appointed professor of clinical medicine at Nancy in 1879 where he helped pioneer the study and application of hypnotism within psychotherapy.

Information via: On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments

Guy Winch Interview

Guy Winch: Interview with psychologist, keynote speaker, and author Guy Winch, Ph.D.

Continue reading "Guy Winch Interview"

Interview With Dr. Gary Small

Gary Small. Fascinating interview with bestselling author Gary Small, director of the UCLA Memory and Aging Center at the university's Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior.

Continue reading "Interview With Dr. Gary Small"

Albert Hofmann: Today in the History of Psychology (16th April 1943)




Eminent Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann experienced the first ever LSD-induced 'acid trip.' Hoffman synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938 but was unaware of its powerful hallucinogenic properties until he accidentally absorbed a small amount of the drug, the effects of which he described as follows.

'...affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.'

Huge research interest in the clinical, psychological and psychiatric applications of LSD followed Hofmann's discovery; however, moral panic over its recreational use and concern over potential adverse psychiatric reactions led to a wide scale ban of LSD by the late 1960's.

In 2014 a study by Peter Gasser et al published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease entitled 'Safety and Efficacy of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated With Life-threatening Diseases' concluded that 'when administered safely in a methodologically rigorous medically supervised psychotherapeutic setting, LSD can reduce anxiety, suggesting that larger controlled studies are warranted.' This was the first controlled trial of LSD in more than 40 years.

Max Wertheimer: Today in the History of Psychology (15th April 1880)




Max Wertheimer was born. A founding figure within Gestalt psychology, Wertheimer's landmark paper 'Experimentelle Studien über das Sehen von Bewegung' (Experimental Studies of the Perception of Movement) ranks among the most important publications in the history of psychology.

This hugely influential paper is where Wertheimer first describes the phi phenomenon - the illusion of motion between stationary objects when presented rapidly in succession. Wertheimer's work in this area revolutionized the study of perception within psychology.

See following link to read 'Gestalt Theory' by Max Wertheimer in full for free! A classic text in the history of Gestalt Psychology.

Gestalt Theory

Edward C. Tolman: Today in the History of Psychology (14th April 1886)




Edward C. Tolman was born. A pioneering researcher within the field of learning theory and motivation, Tolman is best known for introducing "purposive behaviorism" his own brand of behaviorist inquiry which emphasized the role of cognition within the learning process.

Edward C. Tolman served as president of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1937 and received the APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions in 1957.

Information via: On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments

Only Great Psychology Books Make It On To This Page

Welcome to The All About Psychology Book of The Month page. Only the best, fascinating and most compelling psychology books will be featured here.

Continue reading "Only Great Psychology Books Make It On To This Page"

Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology: Learn all about this fascinating branch of psychology.

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Psychology Expert Interviews

Psychology Expert Q & A: Fascinating interviews with experts spanning a range of psychology topic areas.

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Blake Harvard Interview

Informative Q & A with AP Psychology teacher Blake Harvard

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Martha E. Bernal: Today in the History of Psychology (13th April 1931)




Martha E. Bernal was born. In 1962 Bernal earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Indiana University and in doing so became the first woman of Mexican descent to receive a PhD in psychology in the USA.

During the course of a very successful career Martha E. Bernal made a telling contribution to several areas of research, including human psychophysiology, Latino psychology and minority mental health issues.

See following link to learn about some of the most eminent women in the history of psychology.

Eminent Women in Psychology




Recent Articles

  1. Oskar Pfungst: Today in the History of Psychology (21st April 1874)

    Apr 21, 18 10:00 AM




    Oskar Pfungst was born. A comparative psychologist renowned for his detailed study of Clever Hans, a performing horse who tapped his hoof a given number of times in order to give correct answers to co…

    Read More

  2. Joseph Wolpe: Today in the History of Psychology (20th April 1915)

    Apr 20, 18 10:00 AM




    Joseph Wolpe was born. A hugely influential advocate of behavior therapy, Wolpe developed Systematic Desensitization, a revolutionary treatment for phobia induced anxiety based upon behaviorist princi…

    Read More

  3. Gustav Theodor Fechner: Today in the History of Psychology (19th April 1801)

    Apr 19, 18 10:00 AM




    Gustav Theodor Fechner was born. A renowned philosopher and physicist, Fechner's lifelong interest in psychophysics - the quantitative study of the relationship between physical stimuli and the psycho…

    Read More


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