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

Abnormal psychology


  • 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

Behavior genetics

  • Pearson K, Lee A. (1903). On the Laws of Inheritance in Man: Inheritance of Physical Characters. Biometrika, 2(4);357-462.
  • Fisher R.A. (1918). The Correlation Between Relatives on the Supposition of Mendelian Inheritance. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 52:399-433.
  • Wright S. (1921). Correlation and Causation. Journal of Agricultural Research, 20(7);557-585.
  • Holzinger KJ. (1929). The Relative Effect of Nature and Nurture Influences on Twin Differences. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 20(4):241-248X.
  • Vandenberg, SG (ed.), Methods and Goals in Human Behavior Genetics, Academic Press, New York and London
  • Erlenmeyer-Kimling L. and Jarvik, L. F.. (1963). Genetics and Intelligence: A Review. Science, 142, [1]
  • Eaves LJ. (1969). The genetic analysis of continuous variation: A comparison of experimental designs applicable to human data. Br J Math Stat Psychol 22(2):131-147
  • Heston LL. (1970). The Genetics of Schizophrenic and Schizoid Disease. Science, 167(3916):249-256.
  • Jinks JL, Fulker DW. (1970). Comparison of the biometrical genetical, mava, and classical approaches to the analysis of human behavior. Psychol Bull 73(5):311-349.
  • Scarr-Salapatek S. (1971). Race, social class, and IQ. Science 174:1285-1295.
  • Eaves LJ, Eysenck H. (1974). Genetics and the development of social attitudes. Nature 249(5454):288-289.
  • Eaves LJ, Eysenck H. (1976). Genotype x age interaction for neuroticism. Behav Genet 6(3):359-362.
  • Martin NG, Eaves LJ. (1977). The genetical analysis of covariance structure. Heredity 38:79-95.

Biological psychology

  • Lewett, D.L., Romano, M.N, & Williston, J.S. (1970). Human auditory evoked potentials: Possible brain stem components detected on the scalp, Science, 167, 1517-1518.

Clinical psychology

  • American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Author.
  • Beck, A.T., Rush, A.J., Shaw, B.F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Cicchetti, D., & Rogosch, F. A. (2002). A developmental psychopathology perspective on adolescence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 6-20.
  • Cleckley, H. (1941). The mask of sanity. St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
  • Ellis, A. (1962). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy.
  • Freud, A. (1937). The ego and the mechanisms of defense. London, U.K.: Hogarth Press.
  • Freud, S., & Breuer, J. (1895). Case studies in hysteria.
  • Freud, S. (1899[1900]). The interpretation of dreams.
  • Freud, S. (1901). The psychopathology of everyday life.
  • Freud, S. (1905). Three essays on the theory of sexuality.
  • Freud, S. (1917). Introduction to psychoanalysis.
  • Freud, S. (1923). The ego and the id.
  • Gannushkin, P.B. (1933). Manifestations of psychopathies: statics, dynamics, systematic aspects (In Russian).
  • Gessmann, H.-W. (1996) Humanistic Psychodrama. Vol. I-IV. Duisburg: publisher of Psychotherapeutic Institute Bergerhausen.
  • Hiller, J. B., Rosenthal, R., Bornstein, R. F., Berry, D. T. R., & Brunell-Neuleib, S. (1999). A comparative meta-analysis of Rorschach and MMPI validity. Psychological Assessment, 11, 278-296.
  • Kernberg, O. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. New York, NY: Jason Aronson.
  • Kraepelin, E. Dementia praecox and paraphrenia.
  • Kraepelin, E. Manic-depressive illness and paranoia.
  • Lichko, A.Y. (1977). Psychopathy and Accentuations of Character at Teenagers (In Russian).
  • May, R. (1950). The meaning of anxiety.
  • Meehl, P.E. (1954/1996). Clinical versus statistical prediction: A theoretical analysis and a review of the evidence. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Reprinted with new Preface, 1996, by Jason Aronson, Northvale, NJ.
  • Meehl, P.E. (1973). Why I do not attend case conferences.
  • Robins, E and Guze, SB. Establishment of diagnostic validity in psychiatric illness: its application to schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry 1970; 126:983-987.
  • Rogers, C. (1951). Client-centered therapy.
  • Shapiro, D. (1973). Neurotic styles. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books.
  • Shaver, P.R., & Mikulincer, M. (2005). Attachment theory and research: Resurrection of the psychodynamic approach to personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 39, 22-45.
  • Sullivan, H.S. (1953). The interpersonal theory of psychiatry.
  • Sullivan H.S. (1970). The psychiatric interview. New York, NY: Norton.
  • Szasz, T.S. (1960). The myth of mental illness. American Psychologist, 15, 113-118.
  • Wampold, B.E. (2001). The great psychotherapy debate: Models, methods and findings. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
  • Westen, D. (1998). The scientific legacy of Sigmund Freud: Toward a psychodynamically informed psychological science. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 333-371.
  • Wolpe, J. (1969). The practice of behavior therapy.
  • Wood, J.M., Nezworski, M.T., Lilienfeld, S.O., & Garb, H.N. (2003). What's wrong with the Rorschach?

Cognitive psychology

'Control theory' psychology

  • Powers, William T.(2005). Behavior: The control of perception (2nd Edition) New Canaan, Connecticut: Benchmark. The basic textbook on the control theory approach to understanding behavior and cognition.
  • Powers, William(2008). Living control systems III: The fact of control. Bloomfield, New Jersey: Benchmark
  • Marken, Richard S. (1992). Mind readings: Experimental studies of purpose., Los Angeles, CA:
  • Marken, Richard S. (2002). More mind readings: Methods and models in the study of purpose., St. Louis, MO: Newview.
  • Runkel, Phillip (2003). People as living things. The psychology of perceptual control.,Hayward, CA: Living Control Systems Publishing
  • Cziko, Gary (2000). The things we do: Using the lessons of Bernard and Darwin to understand the what, how and why of our behavior., Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Developmental psychology

  • Damon, W. & Lerner,R.M.(2007), Handbook of Child Psychology(6th edition), Wiley.
  • Baldwin, J. M. (1894). Mental development in the child and the race. New York: Macmillan.
  • Beilin, H. (1992). Piaget's Enduring Contribution to Developmental Psychology. Developmental Psychology, 28(2), 191-204.
  • Bowlby, J. (1969/1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Bringuier, JC. (Ed.). (1980). Conversations with Jean Piaget. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1977)
  • Chapman, M. (1988). Constructive Evolution: Origins and Development of Piaget’s Thought. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press.
  • Bronfenbrenner, Urie (1979). The Ecology of Human Development.
  • Gruber, HE, Vonèche JJ. (Eds.). (1993). The Essential Piaget: An Interpretive Reference and Guide (2nd ed.). Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.
  • Lourenço, O, Machado A. (1996). In Defense of Piaget's Theory: A Reply to 10 Common Criticisms. Psychological Review, 103(1), 143-164.
  • Jean Matter Mandler (2004). The foundations of mind: The origins of conceptual thought. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Piaget, Jean. (1952). The Origins of Intelligence in Children (M. Cook, Trans. 2nd ed.). New York: International Universities Press. (Original work published 1936)
  • Piaget, Jean. (1985). The Equilibration of Cognitive Structures: The Central Problem of Intellectual Development (T. Brown & K. J. Thampy, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1975)
  • Siegler, RS. (1996). Emerging Minds: The Process of Change in Children's Thinking. New York: Oxford University Press.

Educational psychology

  • Anderson, J. R., Corbett, A. T., Koedinger, K. R., Pelletier, R. (1995). Cognitive tutors: Lessons learned. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4, 167-207.
  • Bandura, Albert (1993). "Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning," Educational psychologist, 28, 117-148.
  • Cronbach, Lee J. (1957). "The two disciplines of scientific psychology," American Psychologist, 12, 671-684.
  • Cronbach, Lee J. and Meehl, Paul E. (1955). "Construct validity in psychological tests," Psychological Bulletin, 52, 281-302.
  • Mayer, R. E. (1997). "Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions?" Educational Psychologist, 32, 1-19.
  • Palincsar, A. S. (1998). Social constructivist perspectives on teaching and learning. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 345-375.
  • Skinner, B. F. (1958). "Teaching Machines," Science, 128 (3330), 969-977.
  • Spearman, Charles (1904). "General intelligence," objectively determined and measured]. American Journal of Psychology, 15, 201-293.
  • Sweller, J., van Merriënboer J. J., Paas F. G. (1998). "Cognitive architecture and instructional design," Educational Psychology Review, 10, 251-296.
  • Terman, Lewis M. (1916). "The uses of intelligence tests," in The measurement of intelligence (chapter 1). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Thorndike, Edward L. (1910). "The contribution of psychology to education," Journal of Educational Psychology, 1, 5-12.
  • Thurstone, Louis L. (1934). "The vectors of mind," Psychological Review, 41, 1-32.

Evolutionary psychology

Evolutionary developmental psychology

Evolutionary educational psychology

Forensic psychology

  • Alan M. Goldstein (2003). Forensic Psychology. ISBN 0-471-61920-5. Forty seven forensic psychologists cover the theory and practice of forensic psychology in both civil and criminal litigation.
  • Hugo Münsterberg (1908). On the Witness Stand. Considered 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.

Genetic psychology

  • Baldwin, J. M.. (1896). A New Factor in Evolution. The American Naturalist, 30(354), 441-451.
  • Piaget, Jean. (1979). Behaviour and Evolution (D. Nicholson-Smith, Trans.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. (Original work published 1976)
  • Simpson, GG. (1953). The Baldwin Effect. Evolution, 7(2), 110-117.
  • Weber, BH. & Depew, D. J. (Eds.). (2003). Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. Cambridge, MA: Bradford/MIT Press.

Gestalt psychology

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

Health psychology

Humanistic psychology

  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, 1946.
  • On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers, 1961.
  • Gessmann, H.-W. Basics of Group-Psychotherapy - Humanistic Psychodrama, Vol I - Vol. IV. PIB Publisher Duisburg-Germany, 1984-1996.

Industrial and organizational psychology

  • Schmidt, F.L., & Hunter, J.E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 262-274.
  • Kraiger, K., Ford, J.K., & Salas, E. (1993). Application of cognitive, skill-based, and affective theories of learning outcomes to new methods of training evaluation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(2), 311-328.


  • Jack Cooper, Floyd Bloom, & Robert Roth (1996). The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510399-8.

Occupational health psychology

  • Everly, G. S., Jr. (1986). An introduction to occupational health psychology. In P. A. Keller & L. G. Ritt (Eds.), Innovations in clinical practice: A source book, Vol. 5 (pp. 331–338). Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Exchange.
  • Frese, M. (1985). Stress at work and psychosomatic complaints: A causal interpretation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 70, 314-328.
  • Karasek, R. A. (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24, 285-307.
  • Kasl, S. V. (1978). Epidemiological contributions to the study of work stress. In C. L. Cooper & R. L. Payne (Eds.), Stress at work (pp. 3–38). Chichester, UK: Wiley.
  • Kasl, S. V., & Cobb, S. (1970). Blood pressure changes in men undergoing job loss: A preliminary report. Psychosomatic Medicine, 32, 19-38.
  • Kelloway, E.K., Barling, J., & Hurrell, J.J., Jr. (Eds.) (2006). Handbook of workplace violence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Leka, S., & Houdmont, J. (Eds.)(2010). Occupational health psychology. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Parkes, K. R. (1982). Occupational stress among student nurses: A natural experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67, 784-796.
  • Quick, J.C., Murphy,L.R., & Hurrell, J.J., Jr. (Eds.) (1992). Work and well-being: Assessments and instruments for occupational mental health. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Quick, J. C., & Tetrick, L. E. (Eds.). (2003). Handbook of occupational health psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Raymond, J., Wood, D., & Patrick, W. (1990). Psychology doctoral training in work and health. American Psychologist, 45, 1159-1161.
  • Sauter, S.L., & Murphy, L.R. (Eds.) (1995). Organizational risk factors for job stress. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Siegrist, J. (1996). Adverse health effects of high effort-low reward conditions at work. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 1, 27-43.
  • Zapf, D., Dormann, C., & Frese, M. (1996). Longitudinal studies in organizational stress research: A review of the literature with reference to methodological issues. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 1, 145-169.

Personality psychology

  • Abraham Maslow (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.
In this paper the Maslow's hierarchy of needs was described. Online version
  • John, O. P. (1990). The "Big Five" factor taxonomy: Dimensions of personality in the natural language and in questionnaires. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 66–100). New York: Guilford.
  • Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Normal personality assessment in clinical practice: The NEO Personality Inventory. Psychological Assessment, 4, 5-13.
  • Goldberg, L. R. (1993). The structure of phenotypic personality traits. American Psychologist, 48(1), 26–34.
  • Digman, J. M. (1997). Higher-order factors of the Big Five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1246-1256.
  • Walter Mischel & Yuichi Shoda (1995). "A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: Reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure". Psychological Review. American Psychological Association. 102 (2): 246–268. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.102.2.246. ISSN 0033-295X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>




  • Gustav Fechner. (1836) Elements of Psychophysics. Foundation of the field of psychophysics.
  • Green, D.M. and Swets J.A. (1966) Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics.

Social psychology

  • Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • 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).

External links