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Research Foundational Theorists

Sigmund Freud contributed many concepts and theories to the psychoanalytic school of psychology. Freud speculated that there were three components of the personality that existed at separate levels of consciousness -- id, ego and superego. The id controls what the person wants and nothing more, the ego tries to appease the id in realistic ways, and the superego aims for perfection, often acting as the conscience by making the person feel guilty about misbehaving (Freud, 1990). Freud also initiated the talking treatment as a way of healing, which is when a person would simply talk their way through their problems, enabling Freud to pinpoint the cause of their problems. This method is one of the more common approaches in therapy today.
Harry Harlow also made his own contributions to the behaviorist school of psychology in regard to the need for a human to have a feeling of attachment to someone and to create a bond, demonstrating the importance of companionship in social and cognitive growth. He proved this by isolating baby monkeys from their mother and seeing if they preferred a wire parental figure or a cloth one. The results showed that they preferred the cloth one, as it was more warm and comfortable.
Philip Zimbardo brought insights to the social school of psychology through his famous Stanford Prison experiment, which helped to understand institutional norms. Zimbardo picked a sample of normal people, brought them to a makeshift prison and gave them roles. It was not long before the “prison guards” began to treat the “criminals” as if they were real criminals. The experiment ended up getting out of hand, with many subjects experiencing severe emotional disturbances (Zimbardo, 2007). By easily falling into their roles, Zimbardo proved that people are impressionable and obedient when provided with sound ideology and social and institutional ...Show more

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Three of the most important theorists and founders of psychology are Sigmund Freud, Harry Harlow, Philip Zimbardo, and Jean Piaget. Freud is associated with the…
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