20 Key Theories in Psychology

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Here is a handpicked selection of key theories in psychology that you need to know about. If there is one theory you haven’t heard about, check it out and broaden your general psychology knowledge. 

If you miss a theory, please leave a comment and explain why you think it should be on the list. I have already added one more theory to the list, so now it’s 21 key theories!

20 key theories in psychology

  1. The Attachment Theories
  2. The Altruism Theory by Frans B. M. de Wall
  3. The Classical Conditioning Theory by Ivan Petrovitj Pavlov
  4. The Cognitive Activation Theory of Stress by Holger Ursin and Hege R. Eriksen
  5. The Evolutionary Theory of Sexual Selection
  6. The Flow Theory by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  7. The Five-Factor Model of Personality Theory by McCrae and John
  8. The Learned Helplessness Theory by Martin E. P. Seligman
  9. The Multiple Intelligence Theory by Howard Gardner
  10. The Placebo Effect Theory
  11. The Psychic Crisis Theory by Johan Cullberg
  12. The Ripple Effect Theory
  13. The Self-Determination Theory by Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan
  14. The Self-Efficacy Theory by Albert Bandura
  15. The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Theory by Robert Rosenthal
  16. The Sense of Coherence Theory by Aaron Antonovsky
  17. The Theory of Cognitive Biases
  18. The Theory of Coping by Richard S. Lazarus
  19. The Theory of Political Extremism by Fernbach, Rogers, Fox and Sloman
  20. The Theory of Elementary Social Relations by Alan P. Fiske
  21. Cognitive Dissonance Theory by Leon Festinger
Image: Tal Bright