List of important publications in psychology

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This is a list of important publications in psychology, organized by field. Some reasons why a particular publication might be regarded as important:

  • Topic creator – A publication that created a new topic.
  • Breakthrough – A publication that changed scientific knowledge significantly
  • Influence – A publication which has significantly influenced the world or has had a massive impact on the teaching of psychology.

Historical foundations[edit]

Abnormal psychology[edit]


  • Watson, John B. (1913). "Psychology as the behaviorist views it," Psychological Review, 20:158-177. With his behaviorism, Watson put the emphasis on external behavior of people and their reaction to a given situation, rather than the internal, mental states of those people. He argued that the analysis of behavior and reactions was the only objective way to get insight into human actions. Online version
  • Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and Human Behavior. This is Skinner's seminal textbook, in which he discusses many subjects that are not usually covered, such as psychotherapy, self-control, and thinking. It was written as part of a publishing deal so that he could get his utopian fiction novel published. It has proven to be an enduring Radical Behaviorist treatment of the person and society. Pavlovian behaviorism has been absorbed into and obliterated by other theories of behavior, including Radical Behaviorism. Online version

Biological psychology[edit]

Clinical psychology[edit]

Cognitive psychology[edit]

Developmental psychology[edit]

Educational psychology[edit]

Evolutionary psychology[edit]

Evolutionary developmental psychology[edit]

Evolutionary educational psychology[edit]

Forensic psychology[edit]

  • Hugo Münsterberg (1908). On the Witness Stand. Considered[by whom?] to be the first publication to apply psychology to legal matters. Among the topics discussed are the reliability of witnesses' testimony and memory, lie detection, and methods of interrogating suspects of crime.

Gestalt psychology[edit]

  • Max Wertheimer (1912). Experimental Studies of the Perception of Movement. Considered[by whom?] to be the founding article for Gestalt psychology. The article described the Phi phenomenon.

Health psychology[edit]

Human behavior genetics / Genetic psychology[edit]

Humanistic psychology[edit]

Rogers, Carl (September 17, 1995). On Becoming a Person. Boston, MA: Mariner Books, 2nd ed. edition. ISBN 978-0395755310.

Industrial and organizational psychology[edit]



  • David Marr (1982-2010) Vision: A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-1284-9.[1]

Occupational health psychology[edit]

Personality psychology[edit]




Social psychology[edit]

  • Allport, G.W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. New York: Doubleday. This book expounds one of the most influential theories of prejudice reduction, known as the Contact Hypothesis: increasing contact between members of different groups is the foundation for reducing intergroup hostility.
  • Tajfel, H., & Turner, J.C.. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W.G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 33–47). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. (see Social identity theory).


  1. ^ Marr, David (2010). "Afterword (by Tomaso Poggio)" (PDF). Vision. A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information. The MIT Press. p. 362. ISBN 978-0262514620. Though it may not be true that this book started the field known as computational neuroscience, it is certainly true that it had a key role in its beginning and rapid growth

External links[edit]