Harry Stack Sullivan

April 25, 2009


Born on a farm in upstate New York on February 2, 1892, Harry Stack Sullivan received his MD from the Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery, 1917. For most of his life, Sullivan served on hospital and medical school staffs, including St. Elizabeth’s in Washington, DC and the University of Maryland. At his death in 1949, he was the director of the Washington School of Psychiatry. [Read more]

Alexander Humboldt

April 17, 2009

The issue of animal electricity was resolved by German naturalist Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich von Humboldt. He concluded that Galvani’s animal electricity and Volta’s bimetallic electricity were related phenomenon. Animals do produce electricity (e.g., nerve conduction) but that does not rule out the production of electricity using metallic materials. Humbolt is also known for his exploration of Latin America, including Venezuela, Columbia, the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, and the Orinoco and Amazon river systems.

Gustav Theodore Fechner

April 15, 2009

A student of Weber, Gustav Theodore Fechner wrote Weber’s idea in the form of a formula, and called it Weber’s Law. He revised Weber’s law (showing it was logarithmic), and continued Weber’s work on jnd (just noticeable difference), applying it to weight, temperature, etc. [Read more]

Wolfgang Kohler

April 14, 2009

Born in Estonia and educated in Berlin, Wolfgang Kohler is best known for his insight experiments with apes. During WWI, Kohler was director of an anthropoid station on Tenerife (in the Cannery Islands). He was either there to study chimpanzees or as a spy to study Allied shipping; both interpretations are possible. [Read more]

Karl Marbe

April 14, 2009

A colleague of Kulpe, Karl Marbe conducted imageless thought studies, and introduced the concept of a mental set. Essentially, people acquire a rule of how to solve problems and apply that rule even after the circumstances have changed and the rule is no longer valid.

Julian Rotter

April 3, 2009

Like other social learning theorists, Julian Rotter (1916-present) combines behaviorism plus cognition. What we know about the environment impacts what we do. And the best way to predict what people will do is to understand how they think. [Read more]