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IB Psychology: Institutions & People


A number of universities, research institutes and Non-Governmental organizations have played an important role in the field of psychology. It is worth examining their websites for further information on the work they do and what their empahsis and specialisation is.  

Psychology MacArthur Fellows

The following people are some who have won the MacArthur "genius" fellowship for their work in Psychology.

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and Nobel laureate. He is notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics and hedonic psychology. 

Jonathan Haidt is an American social psychologist, whose work focuses on questions of morality. He is currently a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. His 2012 book,The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion examines the difference in thinking between conservatives and liberals.

Oliver Sacks is an Anglo-American biologist, neurologist and writer. He has practised medicine in the US for over 40 years and is the author of several bestselling books about neurological conditions, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1985) and, most recently,Hallucinations (2012). He is currently a professor at the NYU School of Medicine. 

Steven Pinker is a Canadian psychologist, linguist, cognitive scientist and author. An experimental scientist who is interested in all areas of the mind, Pinker’s research has included visual cognition and psycholinguistics. He has written six books for a general audience, beginning with The Language Instinct (1994). His most recent book isThe Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), which was shortlisted for the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize. In 2006, he was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.

Jennifer Richeson is a social psychologist who examines the behavioral and cognitive consequences of prejudice and racial stereotyping to reveal original insights into the dynamics of interracial interaction. Using a broad range of empirical methods, including fMRI measures, survey techniques, implicit cognitive processing measures, and self-report measures, Richeson analyzes the experiences of members of both minority and majority groups in their interactions with one another. 

Angela Duckworth is a psychologist whose studies are clarifying the role that intellectual strengths and personality traits play in educational achievement. Duckworth’s work primarily examines two traits that she demonstrates predict success in life: grit—the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward long-term goals—and self-control—the voluntary regulation of behavioral, emotional, and attentional impulses. A major difference between the two qualities is that grit equips individuals to pursue especially challenging aims over years and even decades, while self-control operates at a more micro timescale in the battle against what could be referred to as “hourly temptations.” 

Famous Psychologists in History

Who's Who

The field of psychology counts a number of famous psychologists. In the books, journal articles, videos, blogs and podcasts you should have encountered the following people: 

Joseph LeDoux  is a professor and a member of the Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology at NYU. His work is focused on the brain mechanisms of emotion and memory. In addition to articles in scholarly journals, he is author of "The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life" and "Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are."

Geert Hofstede conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture. Through the publication of his scholarly book "Culture's Consequences" (1980, new edition 2001), he became the founder of comparative intercultural research. His most popular book "Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind" (1991, new edition 2010, co-authored with Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov) has so far appeared in about 20 languages.

Thomas Szasz was Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C., author and lecturer. His classic The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) made him a figure of international fame and controversy. Many of his works--such as Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Ceremonial Chemistry, and Our Right to Drugs--are regarded as among the most influential in the 20th century by leaders in medicine, law, and the social sciences. 



Some other classic thinkers include:


Solomon Asch was a pioneer of social psychology.  The Asch conformity experiments or the Asch Paradigm were a series of laboratory experiments directed by Solomon Asch in the 1950s that demonstrated the degree to which an individual's own opinions are influenced by those of a majority group.
Henri Tajfel was a British social psychologist, best known for his pioneering work on the cognitive aspects of prejudice and social identity theory, as well as being one of the founders of the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology.
Albert Ellis developed rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), the pioneering form of cognitive behavior therapy. REBT is an action-oriented psychotherapy that teaches individuals to identify, challenge, and replace their self-defeating thoughts and beliefs with healthier thoughts that promote emotional well-being and goal achievement. 
Aaron Beck  is globally recognized as the father of cognitive therapy (CT) and one of the world's leading researchers in psychopathology. 
Roger Sperry was an American Psychobiologist who discovered that the human brain is actually made up of two minds. He found out that both the left and right parts of the human brain have specialized functions and that the two sides can operate independently.
Albert Bandura has been responsible for contributions to many fields of psychology, including social cognitive theory, therapy and personality psychology, and was also influential in the transition between behaviorism and cognitive psychology. He is known as the originator of social learning theory and the theoretical construct of self-efficacy, and is also responsible for the influential 1961 Bobo doll experiment.
Frederic Bartlett was the first professor of experimental psychology at theUniversity of Cambridge and one of the forerunners of cognitive psychology.  Other than psychology, Bartlett was interested in anthropology, moral science, philosophy, and sociology. His theory of Reconstructive Memory is crucial to an understanding of the reliability of eyewitness testimony as he suggested that recall is subject to personal interpretation dependent on our learnt or cultural norms and values, and the way we make sense of our world.
Philip Zimbardo is a psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is president of the Heroic Imagination Project. He became known for his Stanford prison study. He has authored various introductory psychology books, textbooks for college students, and books including The Lucifer EffectThe Time Paradox and the The Time Cure.