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The Most Famous

PSYCHOLOGISTS from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Psychologists. The pantheon dataset contains 183 Psychologists, 20 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the 2nd most number of Psychologists.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Psychologists of all time. This list of famous German Psychologists is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Psychologists.

Photo of Wilhelm Wundt

1. Wilhelm Wundt (1832 - 1920)

With an HPI of 77.34, Wilhelm Wundt is the most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 70 different languages on wikipedia.

Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (; German: [vʊnt]; 16 August 1832 – 31 August 1920) was a German physiologist, philosopher, and professor, known today as one of the fathers of modern psychology. Wundt, who distinguished psychology as a science from philosophy and biology, was the first person ever to call himself a psychologist. He is widely regarded as the "father of experimental psychology". In 1879, at the University of Leipzig, Wundt founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research. This marked psychology as an independent field of study. By creating this laboratory he was able to establish psychology as a separate science from other disciplines. He also established the first academic journal for psychological research, Philosophische Studien (from 1883 to 1903) (followed by another: Psychologische Studien, from 1905 to 1917), to publish the institute's research.A survey published in American Psychologist in 1991 ranked Wundt's reputation as first for "all-time eminence" based on ratings provided by 29 American historians of psychology. William James and Sigmund Freud were ranked a distant second and third.

Photo of Erich Fromm

2. Erich Fromm (1900 - 1980)

With an HPI of 77.25, Erich Fromm is the 2nd most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 69 different languages.

Erich Seligmann Fromm (; German: [fʁɔm]; March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was a German Jew who fled the Nazi regime and settled in the US. He was one of the founders of The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology in New York City and was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.

Photo of Erik Erikson

3. Erik Erikson (1902 - 1994)

With an HPI of 75.72, Erik Erikson is the 3rd most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Erik Homburger Erikson (born Erik Salomonsen; 15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994) was a German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychological development of human beings. He coined the phrase identity crisis. Despite lacking a university degree, Erikson served as a professor at prominent institutions, including Harvard, University of California, Berkeley, and Yale. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Erikson as the 12th most eminent psychologist of the 20th century.

Photo of Hermann Ebbinghaus

4. Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850 - 1909)

With an HPI of 69.05, Hermann Ebbinghaus is the 4th most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Hermann Ebbinghaus (24 January 1850 – 26 February 1909) was a German psychologist who pioneered the experimental study of memory, and is known for his discovery of the forgetting curve and the spacing effect. He was also the first person to describe the learning curve. He was the father of the neo-Kantian philosopher Julius Ebbinghaus.

Photo of Karen Horney

5. Karen Horney (1885 - 1952)

With an HPI of 68.66, Karen Horney is the 5th most famous German Psychologist.  Her biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Karen Horney (; née Danielsen; 16 September 1885 – 4 December 1952) was a German psychoanalyst who practised in the United States during her later career. Her theories questioned some traditional Freudian views. This was particularly true of her theories of sexuality and of the instinct orientation of psychoanalysis. She is credited with founding feminist psychology in response to Freud's theory of penis envy. She disagreed with Freud about inherent differences in the psychology of men and women, and she traced such differences to society and culture rather than biology. She is often classified as neo-Freudian.

Photo of Hans Eysenck

6. Hans Eysenck (1916 - 1997)

With an HPI of 67.30, Hans Eysenck is the 6th most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Hans Jürgen Eysenck (; 4 March 1916 – 4 September 1997) was a German-born British psychologist who spent his professional career in Great Britain. He is best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, although he worked on other issues in psychology. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the most frequently cited living psychologist in the peer-reviewed scientific journal literature.Eysenck's research purported to show that certain personality types had an elevated risk of cancer and heart disease. Scholars have identified errors and suspected data manipulation in Eysenck's work, and large replications have failed to confirm the relationships that he purported to find. An enquiry on behalf of King's College London found the papers by Eysenck to be "incompatible with modern clinical science".In 2019, 26 of his papers (all coauthored with Ronald Grossarth-Maticek) were considered "unsafe" by an enquiry on behalf of King's College London. Fourteen of his papers were retracted in 2020, and journals issued 64 statements of concern about publications by him. David Marks and Rod Buchanan, a biographer of Eysenck, have argued that 87 publications by Eysenck should be retracted.During his life, Eysenck's claims about IQ scores and race, first published in 1971, were a significant part of his public reputation. Eysenck believed IQ scores were hereditary and genetically influenced by biological race. He had cited studies which claimed black children's average IQ score was 12 points lower than white children. Eysenck's writing on this belief was used as justification for discriminatory schooling in Britain in the 1970s. Eysenck's beliefs on race have been disputed by subsequent research, and are no longer accepted as part of mainstream psychology.

Photo of Fritz Perls

7. Fritz Perls (1893 - 1970)

With an HPI of 64.21, Fritz Perls is the 7th most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Friedrich Salomon Perls (July 8, 1893 – March 14, 1970), better known as Fritz Perls, was a German-born psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and psychotherapist. Perls coined the term "Gestalt therapy" to identify the form of psychotherapy that he developed with his wife, Laura Perls, in the 1940s and 1950s. Perls became associated with the Esalen Institute in 1964 and lived there until 1969. The core of the Gestalt therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion, and behavior, in the present moment. Relationship is emphasized, along with contact between the self, its environment, and the other.

Photo of Ernst Kretschmer

8. Ernst Kretschmer (1888 - 1964)

With an HPI of 62.23, Ernst Kretschmer is the 8th most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Ernst Kretschmer (8 October 1888 – 8 February 1964) was a German psychiatrist who researched the human constitution and established a typology.

Photo of Kurt Koffka

9. Kurt Koffka (1886 - 1941)

With an HPI of 61.55, Kurt Koffka is the 9th most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Kurt Koffka (March 12, 1886 – November 22, 1941) was a German psychologist and professor. He was born and educated in Berlin, Germany; he died in Northampton, Massachusetts from coronary thrombosis. He was influenced by his maternal uncle, a biologist, to pursue science. He had many interests including visual perception, brain damage, sound localization, developmental psychology, and experimental psychology. He worked alongside Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler to develop Gestalt psychology. Koffka had several publications including "The Growth of the Mind: An Introduction to Child Psychology" (1924) and "The Principles of Gestalt Psychology" (1935) which elaborated on his research.

Photo of Ernst Heinrich Weber

10. Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795 - 1878)

With an HPI of 61.46, Ernst Heinrich Weber is the 10th most famous German Psychologist.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Ernst Heinrich Weber (24 June 1795 – 26 January 1878) was a German physician who is considered one of the founders of experimental psychology. He was an influential and important figure in the areas of physiology and psychology during his lifetime and beyond. His studies on sensation and touch, along with his emphasis on good experimental techniques led to new directions and areas of study for future psychologists, physiologists, and anatomists. Ernst Weber was born into an academic background, with his father serving as a professor at the University of Wittenberg. Weber became a doctor, specializing in anatomy and physiology. Two of his younger brothers, Wilhelm and Eduard, were also influential in academia, both as scientists with one specializing in physics and the other in anatomy. Ernst became a lecturer and a professor at the University of Leipzig and stayed there until his retirement.

Pantheon has 20 people classified as psychologists born between 1795 and 1941. Of these 20, 1 (5.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living psychologists include Uta Frith. The most famous deceased psychologists include Wilhelm Wundt, Erich Fromm, and Erik Erikson. As of April 2022, 2 new psychologists have been added to Pantheon including Frieda Fromm-Reichmann and Uta Frith.

Living Psychologists

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Deceased Psychologists

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Newly Added Psychologists (2022)

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Which Psychologists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 19 most globally memorable Psychologists since 1700.