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In the 2002 study ranking the 99 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century,B.F. Skinnertopped the list. Skinner's staunchbehaviorismmade him a dominating force in psychology and therapy techniques based on his theories are still used extensively today, including behavior modification and token economies. Skinner is remembered for his concepts ofoperant conditioningandschedules of reinforcementWhen people think of psychology, many tend to think ofSigmund Freud. His work supported the belief that not all mental illnesses have physiological causes and he also offered evidence that cultural differences have an impact on psychology and behavior. His work and writings contributed to our understanding of personality,clinical psychology, human development, andabnormal psychology.Albert Bandura's work is considered part of the cognitive revolution in psychology that began in the late 1960s. His social learning theorystressed the importance of observational learning, imitation, and modeling."Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do," Bandura explained in his 1977 book Social Learning Theory.Jean Piaget'stheory of cognitive developmenthad a profound influence on psychology, especially our understanding children's intellectual growth. His research contributed to the growth of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, genetic epistemology, and education reform.Albert Einstein once described Piaget's observations on children's intellectual growth and thought processes as a discovery "so simple that only a genius could have thought of it."Carl Rogersplaced emphasis on human potential, which had an enormous influence on both psychology and education. He became one of the major humanist thinkers and an eponymous influence in therapy with his client-centered therapy. As described by his daughter Natalie Rogers, he was "a model for compassion and democratic ideals in his own life, and in his work as an educator, writer, and therapist."Psychologist and philosopherWilliam Jamesis often referred to as the father of American psychology. His 1200-page text,The Principles of Psychology, became a classic on the subject and histeachings and writings helped establish psychology as a science. In addition, James contributed tofunctionalism, pragmatism, and influenced many students of psychology during his 35-year teaching career.
How do psychologists think about and study the human mind and behavior? Psychology is such a huge topic and conveying the depth and breadth of the subject can be difficult. As a result, a number of unique and distinctive branches of psychology have emerged to deal with specific subtopics withinthe study of the mind, brain, and behavior.

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