- 1927 – R.D. Laing, Scottish psychiatrist and author (d. 1989).
- 1926 – Emil Kraepelin, German psychologist and academic (b. 1856).
Ronald David Laing (07 October 1927 to 23 August 1989), usually cited as R.D. Laing, was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular, the experience of psychosis. Laing’s views on the causes and treatment of psychopathological phenomena were influenced by his study of existential philosophy and ran counter to the chemical and electroshock methods that had become psychiatric orthodoxy. Taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descriptions of personal experience rather than simply as symptoms of mental illness, Laing regarded schizophrenia as a theory not a fact. Though associated in the public mind with the anti-psychiatry movement, he rejected the label. Politically, he was regarded as a thinker of the New Left. Laing was portrayed by David Tennant in the 2017 film Mad to Be Normal.
Emil Wilhelm Georg Magnus Kraepelin (15 February 1856 to 07 October 1926) was a German psychiatrist.
H.J. Eysenck’s Encyclopaedia of Psychology identifies him as the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology and psychiatric genetics.
Kraepelin believed the chief origin of psychiatric disease to be biological and genetic malfunction. His theories dominated psychiatry at the start of the 20th century and, despite the later psychodynamic influence of Sigmund Freud and his disciples, enjoyed a revival at century’s end. While he proclaimed his own high clinical standards of gathering information “by means of expert analysis of individual cases”, he also drew on reported observations of officials not trained in psychiatry.
His textbooks do not contain detailed case histories of individuals but mosaic-like compilations of typical statements and behaviours from patients with a specific diagnosis. He has been described as “a scientific manager” and “a political operator”, who developed “a large-scale, clinically oriented, epidemiological research programme”.