Sigmund Freud emphasized the unconscious thought process and how childhood experiences impacted behavior. Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis and developed a topographical model of the mind using an iceberg as a metaphor: the Id (instincts), Ego (reality), and Superego (morality).
Jean Piaget created a stage theory on cognitive development which includes sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages. Piaget focused on development rather than learning. The basic components to Piaget’s contributions are schema, equilibrium, assimilation, accommodation, and stages of development.
Erik Erikson was greatly influenced by Sigmund Freud. Erikson focused on the ego and emphasized the role of culture and society with regards to conflict within the ego. With regards to development, Erikson developed a lifespan model with five stages which account for growth and development throughout one’s life. Erikson focused on the adolescent period believing it is a vital stage in developing identity.
B.F. Skinner‘s practice was rooted in operant conditioning which is intentional actions have an effect on the surrounding environment. Skinner’s Law of Effect Reinforcement states that behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated and behavior that is not reinforced is weakened.
Carl Rogers was a humanistic psychologist which involves observing how current environmental influences impact growth potential in individuals. One of Rogers’ key contributions was the concept of self-actualization which is the basic motive to fulfill one’s potential to achieve at the highest level.
Albert Bandura establishes that behavior is learned from the environment through observation. The Bobo doll experiment results showed that children who observed adults expressing violent behavior were more likely to also express violent behavior than children who did not witness adults modeling violent behavior on the Bobo doll.
Albert Ellis founded Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) which is an action-oriented psychotherapy form of cognitive behavior therapy. REBT teaches clients to identify, challenge, and replace their self-defeating beliefs with healthier beliefs with the goal of promoting emotional well-being.