The history of psychology — the scientific study of behavior and mental processes — dates back to the ancient civilizations of the world, from Egypt to Greece to China. In ancient Greece, for example, philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle tackled the workings of the mind. The word “psychology” itself comes from the Greek word psyche, meaning spirit or soul, and logia, meaning to study or research.
Psychology as a field of study in its own right developed in the early 19th century. It then grew in stature and influence with the rise of psychoanalysis, driven by two titans in the field: Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Their work was heavy stuff, but nonetheless caught both the academic and public imagination, and soon permeated throughout Western thought and popular culture.
The scientific study of the mind has since been used to explore all manner of subjects, from childcare to education, cognition to racial inequality. Since the 1800s, psychotherapy has also played an increasingly prominent role in society, with therapists helping people to resolve problems, heal trauma, and find happiness. It is an ever-evolving and multifaceted field, and one that has given us many notable names and great intellects. Here are some quotes from famous psychologists both past and present, from Jung and Freud to Melanie Klein and Albert Bandura.
Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.William James
Perfect as is the wing of a bird, it never could raise the bird up without resting on air. Facts are the air of a scientist. Without them you never can fly.Ivan Pavlov
Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.Carl Jung
The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing. Ultimately, after endlessly repeated rebuffs, it succeeds.Sigmund Freud
Education, for most people, means trying to lead the child to resemble the typical adult of his society… But for me, education means making creators… You have to make inventors, innovators, not conformists.Jean Piaget
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.B.F. Skinner
I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.Abraham Maslow
Through others, we become ourselves.Lev Vygotsky
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.Anna Freud
No one needs to paint himself into a corner; no one needs to be completely hemmed in by circumstances; no one needs to be the victim of his biography.George Kelly
Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.” Mature love says: “I need you because I love you.”Erich Fromm
One of the many interesting and surprising experiences of the beginner in child analysis is to find in even very young children a capacity for insight which is often far greater than that of adults.Melanie Klein
The essence of creativity is figuring out how to use what you already know in order to go beyond what you already think.Jerome Bruner
People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be… When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right-hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.Carl Rogers
When people focus on not seeing color, they may also fail to see discrimination.Jennifer L. Eberhardt
It may be that we are puppets — puppets controlled by the strings of society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness. And perhaps our awareness is the first step to our liberation.Stanley Milgram
Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.Albert Bandura
In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do you ever find them.Joyce Brothers
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