Hypnotism is undoubtedly the most important, the most fruitful and far-reaching method of
William McDougall (1871-1938) was an early twentieth century psychologist who spent the first part
of his career in the UK and the latter part in the US.
He wrote a number of highly influential textbooks, and was particularly important in the development of
the Theory of Instinct and of Social Psychology in the English-speaking world. He
was an opponent of Behaviourism.
His work was influential in the creation of the Instincts Theory, although he ended up denying the
importance of instinct (see Psychological Aspects of Biodanza).
Instinct is an inate, inherited, psych-physical disposition which determines that the individual
perceives certain specific objects which make him act in a precise way.
Theory of Instinct - McDougall saw instincts as
having three components:
- Perception - We pay attention to stimuli relevant to our instinctual purposes,
- Behavior - We perform actions that satisfy our instinctual purposes,
- Emotion - Instincts have associated negative and positive emotions.
- This early theory by McDougall of colour vision proposed that all colours were reducible to three
basic or fundamental colours (reds, greens and blues), and that there are in the retina two distinct
receptor mechanisms for light: rods for dim light and cones for normal and intense light
Autobiography, A History of Psychology in Autobiography, Vol 1, pp 191-223, 1930:
Physiological Psychology, 1905:
Psychology, the Study of Behaviour, 1912:
Charles Hose and William McDougall,
The Pagan Tribes of Borneo, 1912:
An Introduction to Social Psychology, 1919:
Body and Mind: a History and a Defense of Animism, 1920:
The Group Mind, 1927:
An Outline of Psychology, 1949:
William McDougall (1871-1938): Heterodox and Angry with Psychologists by Nature, Nurture
and Circumstance, 1997:
Burrhus Frederic Skinner: American psychologist who invented
the Operant Conditioning Chamber, innovated his
own philosophy of science called Radical
Behaviorism, and founded his own school of experimental research psychology - the experimental
analysis of behavior.
Carl Gustav Jung: Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, emphasising understanding
the psyche through exploring the worlds of Dreams, art,
Mythology, world religion and philosophy
Charlotte Buhler: German psychologist considered to be one of the
founders of Developmental Psychology.
Claudio Naranjo: anthropologist and psychiatrist who is noted for his
inter-disciplinary work with mind-altering substances as well as the Enneagram of Personality and Gestalt Psychotherapy.
Erich Fromm: psychoanalyst and social psychologist and also an important
representative of 20th century Humanism.
Ernest Hilgard: psychologist famous for his research on Hypnosis, also proposed the theory of Neodissociationism, to re-explain
earlier ideas of Disassociation and Automatism
James Hillman: psychologist, considered to be one of the most original of
the 20th century, he developed Archetypal
Psychology (Polytheistic myth as psychology)
Jean Piaget: philosopher, natural scientist and Development Psychologist, known for his work
studying children, his theory of Cognitive Development and for his
epistemological view called Genetic
John Bowlby: Development Psychologist in the Psychoanalytic tradition, notable for his pioneering
work in Attachment Theory.
John Watson: psychologist who founded a branch of psychology called
Behaviourism, after doing research on animal
Sigmund Freud: neurologist and the founder of the Psychoanalytic school of psychology, best known for his
theories of the Unconscious Mind and the
defense mechanism of Sexual Repression.
Stanley Krippner: psychologist who spent the last several decades
investigating the field of human consciousness, conducting research in such areas as Dreams, Hypnosis, Shamanism, and Disassociation.
Wilhelm Reich: Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, best known for
his studies on the link between Human
Sexuality and Neuroses