It is no secret that psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and B.F. Skinner were some of the most influential people in their profession in the past. There are several influential psychologists today who work on the counseling end. These are the top five living individuals and their contributions.
1. Albert Bandura
This man has made it into nearly every general and developmental psychology textbook because of his famous Bobo doll experiment, which was used to measure the physical reactions of children on a doll based on violent or non-violent movies viewed immediately before. Bandura was one of the most honored psychology professors at Stanford University. For about six decades, he contributed plenty of research on behaviorism, personality and social cognition. At the age of 82, Bandura received the Grawemeyer Award for his contributions to psychology.
2. Roy Baumeister
Roy Baumeister is a professor at Florida State University. Baumeister earned a doctoral degree from Princeton University, and his areas of interest in study included identity, sexual orientation and social networks. His well-known research focuses on self-regulation, self-defeating behavior, the human need to belong and irrationality. Although his research has spanned several years, his most current research focuses on making good decisions and self-control. In addition to his many published journal articles, Baumeister has written six books and remains active on social media.
3. Hans-Werner Gessman
This German counseling specialist is also a psychodramatherapist and a university professor. He is most known for his contributions in finding the causes of dyslexia. He was appointed as a visiting professor in 2013 at State University Smolensk. Gessman has trained an impressive 1,500 psychotherapists and is still training more. He is also known for founding the Psychotherapeutic Institute of Bergerhausen, which is one of the most prestigious training centers in the Duisburg area. It opened in the early 1970s.
4. Carol Dweck
As one of the most well-known professors at Stanford University, Dweck gained recognition for her research in social psychology and motivation. However, her biggest social psychology contributions were her theories on intelligence. These were outlined in her book called "The New Psychology of Success." In her research, she mostly focused on personality, developmental and social origins in psychology. She studied how these factors tied to peoples' mindsets and how they regulated their behavior. In addition to earning the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2013, Dweck has won several other awards and honors.
5. Susan Carey
Susan Carey is a graduate of Harvard University and works as a professor there today. Carey was also a professor at both NYU and MIT prior to becoming a professor at Harvard. She is a world-renowned counselor and psychologist. Carey is known for her work and research in language acquisition. In addition to this, she was the first female to earn the Rumelhart Prize. She received the prize in 2009, which paved the way for women to become leaders in the field of thought. Several of Carey's articles have been published in journals, and she also wrote a book called "Conceptual Change in Childhood." The book complemented prior animism research conducted by Piaget.
According to Lesley University, the best and most influential counseling psychologists must be good listeners, have a genuine interest in others, be able to reflect on themselves objectively, be accessible, be flexible and have a good sense of humor. It is never too early to start building solid character. The first and most important step toward being an influential psychologist is enrolling in a psychology degree program.