On This Day … 09 August [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1890 – Eino Kaila, Finnish philosopher and psychologist, attendant of the Vienna circle (d. 1958).
  • 1896 – Jean Piaget, Swiss psychologist and philosopher (d. 1980).
  • 1949 – Jonathan Kellerman, American psychologist and author.

People (Deaths)

  • 1949 – Edward Thorndike, American psychologist and academic (b. 1874).

Eino Kaila

Eino Sakari Kaila (09 August 1890 to 31 July 1958) was a Finnish philosopher, critic and teacher.

He worked in numerous fields including psychology (sometimes considered to be the founder of Finnish psychology), physics and theatre, and attempted to find unifying principles behind various branches of human and natural sciences.

Jean Piget

Jean William Fritz Piaget (09 August 1896 to 16 September 1980) was a Swiss psychologist known for his work on child development. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called “genetic epistemology”.

Piaget placed great importance on the education of children. As the Director of the International Bureau of Education, he declared in 1934 that “only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual”. His theory of child development is studied in pre-service education programmes. Educators continue to incorporate constructivist-based strategies.

Piaget created the International Centre for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 while on the faculty of the University of Geneva, and directed the centre until his death in 1980. The number of collaborations that its founding made possible, and their impact, ultimately led to the Centre being referred to in the scholarly literature as “Piaget’s factory”.

According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, Piaget was “the great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing”. However, his ideas did not become widely popularised until the 1960s. This then led to the emergence of the study of development as a major sub-discipline in psychology. By the end of the 20th century, Piaget was second only to B.F. Skinner as the most-cited psychologist of that era.

Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Seth Kellerman (born 09 August 1949) is an American novelist, psychologist, and Edgar- and Anthony Award–winning author best known for his popular mystery novels featuring the character Alex Delaware, a child psychologist who consults for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Born on the Lower East Side of New York City, his family relocated to Los Angeles when Jonathan was nine years old.

Kellerman graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a doctor of philosophy degree in psychology in 1974, and began working as a staff psychologist at the USC School of Medicine, where he eventually became a full clinical professor of paediatrics. He opened a private practice in the early 1980s while writing novels in his garage at night.

His first published novel, When the Bough Breaks, appeared in 1985, many years after writing and having works rejected. He then wrote five best-selling novels while still a practicing psychologist. In 1990, he quit his private practice to write full-time. He has written more than 40 crime novels, as well as nonfiction works and children’s books.

Thomas Thorndike

Edward Lee Thorndike (31 August 1874 to 09 August 1949) was an American psychologist who spent nearly his entire career at Teachers College, Columbia University.

His work on comparative psychology and the learning process led to the theory of connectionism and helped lay the scientific foundation for educational psychology. He also worked on solving industrial problems, such as employee exams and testing. He was a member of the board of the Psychological Corporation and served as president of the American Psychological Association in 1912. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Thorndike as the ninth-most cited psychologist of the 20th century. Edward Thorndike had a powerful impact on reinforcement theory and behaviour analysis, providing the basic framework for empirical laws in behaviour psychology with his law of effect. Through his contributions to the behavioural psychology field came his major impacts on education, where the law of effect has great influence in the classroom.

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