Who are the most eminent psychologists of the modern era?

A new paper lists the top 200: the Research Digest takes a look, and we share links to our relevant coverage.

Twelve years ago the behaviourist B.F. Skinner topped a list of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century, followed by Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud. Now a team led by Ed Diener has used their own criteria to compile a list of the 200 most eminent psychologists of the modern era (i.e. people whose careers occurred primarily after 1956).

Take a look at our Research Digest coverage of the paper.

Christian Jarrett notes that many of those on the list have contributed to the Digest, and some have also written or been written about in The Psychologist. Here's a selection of links for the first dozen:

1) Albert Bandura: Social cognitive theory goes global

2) Jean Piaget: Looking back - recollections of Piaget (by Joan Bliss) 

3) Daniel Kahneman: The most important living psychologist?

4) Richard Lazarus: Book review

5) Martin Seligman: Positive psychology - fundamental assumptions

6) B.F. Skinner: An interview

7) Noam Chomsky: An interview

8) Shelley Taylor: Work discussed here and here

9) Amos Tversky: Work discussed here

10) Ed Diener: Acted as editor on the journal issue 'How can we improve psychological science?'

11) Herbert Simon: Appreciated here and here

12) Carl Rogers: Appreciated widely in our pages

… and then some for those 'bubbling under'

15) Paul Ekman: On one nagging thing he still doesn't understand about himself 

17) Gordon Allport: Lots of mentions across the years, particularly in the November 2014 issue

18) John Bowlby: Barbara Tizard looks back on his work

21) George Miller: Lots of mentions

25) Walter Mischel: Interview coming up in our December 2014 issue

30) Roy Baumeister: On self control, and being rejected and alone. Also a 'psychologist who rocks'!

32) Joseph LeDoux: Another psychologist who rocks!

37) Robert Plomin: Genetics and behaviour - peer commentary

40) Mary Ainsworth: Her 'strange situation' discussed here.

45) Michael Rutter: A documentary on his work reviewed

46) Hans Eysenck: Looking back on his controversial life, and his son reviews a book about him

47) John Cacioppo: Work discussed here

49) Alice Eagly: An interview

51) Alan Baddeley: Has featured many times over the years, including this interview and this 'One on One'. In 2015 he will be looking back at his influential working memory model.

55) Elizabeth Loftus: Numerous contributions, including this interview, this 'One on one' and this article

60) Robert Sternberg: On becoming immortalsearching for love, and half a career trying to find the right questions.

74) Howard Gardner: On 'good work' in psychology, and higher education in the era of globalisation.

82) Abraham Maslow: An article on his lesser known 'sixth level' coming up in the December 2014 issue.

99) Steven Pinker: One on one and much more

100) Anne Treisman: One on one

Outside the top 100, honourable mentions must go to Uta Frith (103): Lots of material, including this One on One, this interview, this introduction to a special issue on autism, and an online-only Festschrift; Stanley Milgram (187), who had an entire special issue devoted to him, and Adrian Furnham (192), another regular contributor.

For many of these eminent psychologists, there is much more in our back pages than we have linked to. Just search their names, enclosed by quote marks, to find more.

We will be getting in touch with some of those on the list who we haven't yet featured. If you think there is a glaring omission, why not suggest them in the 'comments' below? 

UPDATE: Another list, of 'The 50 most influential living psychologists in the world', appeared in January 2018. Although clearly US-centric and lacking in women, as is unfortunately common with such lists, it did nevertheless include some more of our past authors/interviewees, therefore making an addition to this piece seem appropriate. 

6) Lisa Feldman Barrett: A 2017 interview.

9) Paul Bloom: Lots of mentions.

10) David Buss

12) Daniel Gilbert

23) Alison Gopnik

24) Jonathan Haidt

25) Jerome Kagan: One nagging thing he still doesn't understand about himself, from our Research Digest.

47) Carol Tavris

50) Philip Zimbardo: A 2003 piece from the man himself, plus plenty of critical analysis of his work…

You might also like to peruse our 'Ultimate Psychology reading list', compiled from (and with links to) our 'One on One' interviews with many of the discipline's great and good.

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