Theodul Ribo

Theodul Ribo

Psychologist, founder of the experimental direction in French psychology
Date of Birth: 18.12.1839
Country: France

Biography of Théodule Ribot

Théodule Ribot was a psychologist and the pioneer of the experimental approach in French psychology. He was born on December 18, 1839, in Guingamp, France. Ribot is best known as the founder and editor of the first psychological journal in France, "Revue philosophique."

Ribot held prestigious positions throughout his career. He became a professor at the Sorbonne in 1885 and later at the Collège de France in 1888, where he also served as the director of the first French psychological laboratory in 1889. In addition, Ribot was the chairman of the 1st International Psychological Congress held in Paris in 1889.

One of Ribot's major contributions to psychology was his criticism of the eclectic school of thought, which dominated French philosophy and psychology in the mid-19th century. He sought to formulate a new program for experimental psychology based on a critical analysis of the major contemporary psychological approaches, particularly English associationism (as described in his work "Contemporary English Psychology," 1870) and German atomism (as described in his work "Contemporary German Psychology," 1879).

Unlike Wilhelm Wundt, Ribot emphasized the importance of psychopathological experiments. This perspective greatly influenced the entire tradition of French psychology, with notable figures such as Pierre Janet, Jules Dejerine, Charles Blondel, Henri Wallon, Alfred Binet, Jean Piaget, Daniel Lagache, and Georges Faveret-Buton continuing his work.

Ribot gained particular recognition for his motor theory of voluntary attention and imagination, as well as his research on the psychology of emotions, which had a significant impact on English psychology, including the work of William McDougall and others.

Théodule Ribot passed away on December 9, 1916, in Paris, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the field of experimental psychology and psychopathology.