Famous Swiss Psychologists


Carl Gustav Jung standing in front of the Burghölzli Clinic, Zurich (cca 1910).

Psychology Corner starts this year with an article presenting the main Swiss contributors in the field of psychology. Carl Jung, Jean Piaget, Hermann Rorschach, and Max Lüscher have changed the way we understand and approach theory, development, and diagnosis in psychology.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) – Psychiatrist, founder of analytical psychology (also known as Jungian Psychology). He proposed many original concepts, such as archetype, the collective unconscious, complex, and synchronicity. He collaborated with Sigmund Freud and became Chairman for Life of the International Psychoanalytical Association. However, the two psychologists finally had different views on the unconscious, libido, and religion and therefore their collaboration stopped.

Jean William Fritz Piaget (1896-1980) – French-Swiss developmental psychologist, and philosopher; He is best known for organizing cognitive development into a series of four stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational.

Hermann Rorschach (1984 – 1922) – Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, best known for the development of the projective “Rorschach Inkblot Test”, which has a high psychodiagnostic value.

Max Lüscher (b. 1923) – Psychotherapist, inventor of the “Lüscher color test”, based on the idea that color preferences are subjective (perception of color is objective and universal) and that they allow the assessment of a subjective state of individuals.

Hans Zulliger (1893 – 1965) – Child Psychoanalyst, teacher; He is known for using psychoanalytical practices in the education of school children and for the invention of the projective Zulliger Z-Test, an analogue test to the Rorschach Inkblot Test.

Bärbel Inhelder (1913-1997) – Developmental psychologist, collaborator of Jean Piaget; Her most significant contribution is related to the discovery of the formal operational stage, regarding the transition between childhood and adolescence.

Richard Meili (1900 – 1991) – Scientist (Practical Psychology, Diagnosis, Personality Development, Intelligence); Successor of Jean Piaget and founder of the Psychological Institute of Berne University.

Klaus Scherer ( b. 1943) – Specialist in the psychology of emotions and founding editor of the American Psychological Association journal „Emotion”.

We also add to the list of famous Swiss psychologists the following: Hans-Werner Hunziker(educational psychologist, scientist, and author of interactive computer-based training programs for special education), Julius Friedrich Lehmann, Ignaz Paul Vital Troxler, and Théodore Flournoy (professor of psychology at the University of Geneva and author of books on spiritism and psychic phenomena).

Image information: This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923.

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