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History of Psychology

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The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the Ancient Greeks. There is also evidence of psychological thought in ancient Egypt.

Psychology was a branch of philosophy until the 1870s, when it developed as an independent scientific discipline in Germany and the United States. Psychology borders on various other fields including physiology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, sociology, anthropology, as well as philosophy and other components of the humanities.

Today, psychology is defined as "the study of behavior and mental processes". Philosophical interest in the mind and behavior dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Persia, Greece, China, and India. For a condensed overview of the subject see the Timeline of Psychology article.

Psychology as a self-conscious field of experimental study began in 1879, when Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research in Leipzig. Wundt was also the first person to refer to himself as a psychologist and wrote the first textbook on psychology: Principles of Physiological Psychology. Other important early contributors to the field include Hermann Ebbinghaus (a pioneer in the study of memory), William James (the American father of pragmatism), and Ivan Pavlov (who developed the procedures associated with classical conditioning).

Soon after the development of experimental psychology, various kinds of applied psychology appeared. G. Stanley Hall brought scientific pedagogy to the United States from Germany in the early 1880s. John Dewey's educational theory of the 1890s was another example. Also in the 1890s, Hugo Münsterberg began writing about the application of psychology to industry, law, and other fields. Lightner Witmer established the first psychological clinic in the 1890s. James McKeen Cattell adapted Francis Galton's anthropometric methods to generate the first program of mental testing in the 1890s. In Vienna, meanwhile, Sigmund Freud developed an independent approach to the study of the mind called psychoanalysis, which has been widely influential.

The 20th century saw a reaction to Edward Titchener's critique of Wundt's empiricism. This contributed to the formulation of behaviorism by John B. Watson, which was popularized by B. F. Skinner. Behaviorism proposed emphasizing the study of overt behavior, because that could be quantified and easily measured. Early behaviorists considered study of the "mind" too vague for productive scientific study. However, Skinner and his colleagues did study thinking as a form of covert behavior to which they could apply the same principles as overt (publicly observable) behavior.

History of psychology. The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the Ancient Greeks.

History of psychology

There is also evidence of psychological thought in ancient Egypt. Psychology was a branch of philosophy until the 1870s, when it developed as an independent scientific discipline in Germany and the United States. Psychology borders on various other fields including physiology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, sociology, anthropology, as well as philosophy and other components of the humanities. Structuralism (psychology) Structuralism in psychology refers to a theory of consciousness developed by Wilhelm Wundt, and his mentee Edward B.

Structuralism (psychology)

Titchener that brought Wundt's idea to the United States. Depending on who you asked it will be said either of them formally began this field of psychology but it is certain that Titchener expanded on what Wundt originally provided, and was also responsible for bringing this idea to America. Functional psychology. Functional psychology or functionalism refers to a general psychological philosophy that considers mental life and behavior in terms of active adaptation to the person's environment.[1] As such, it provides the general basis for developing psychological theories not readily testable by controlled experiments and for applied psychology.

Functional psychology

History[edit] William James is considered to be the founder of functional psychology. Although he would not consider himself as a functionalist, nor did he truly like the way science divided itself into schools. John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, Harvey A. Carr, and especially James Rowland Angell were the main proponents of functionalism at the University of Chicago. Behaviorists also rejected the method of introspection but criticized functionalism because it was not based on controlled experiments and its theories provided little predictive ability. Contemporary descendants[edit] See also[edit] Psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis is a set of psychological and psychotherapeutic theories and associated techniques, originally popularized by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and stemming partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others.

Psychoanalysis

Since then, psychoanalysis has expanded and been revised, reformed and developed in different directions. This was initially by Freud's colleagues and students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung who went on to develop their own ideas independently from Freud. Later neo-Freudians included Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Harry Stack Sullivan and Jacques Lacan. Being Defensive. Behaviorism. Behaviorism (or behaviourism), is the science of behavior that focuses on observable behavior only,[1] it is also an approach to psychology that combines elements of philosophy, methodology, and theory.[2] It emerged in the early twentieth century as a reaction to "mentalistic" psychology, which often had difficulty making predictions that could be tested using rigorous experimental methods.

Behaviorism

The primary tenet of behaviorism, as expressed in the writings of John B. Watson, B. F. Skinner, and others, is that psychology should concern itself with the observable behavior of people and animals, not with unobservable events that take place in their minds.[3] The behaviorist school of thought maintains that behaviors as such can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as thoughts and beliefs.[4] Versions[edit] Two subtypes are: Definition[edit] Experimental and conceptual innovations[edit] Relation to language[edit] Maslow’s hierarchy of needs & Social Media – a modern take. Cognitivism (psychology) In psychology, cognitivism is a theoretical framework for understanding the mind that gained credence in the 1950s.

Cognitivism (psychology)

The movement was a response to behaviorism, which cognitivists said neglected to explain cognition. Psychology in medieval Islam. Islamic psychology translates the term ʿIlm al-Nafs [ 1 ] ( Arabic , علم النفس ) the science of the Nafs (" self " or " psyche ") [ 2 ] and refers to the medical and philosophical study of the psyche from an Islamic perspective.

Psychology in medieval Islam

This article is about the subject during the Islamic Golden Age (9th–13th centuries). Existentialism. Existentialism is a term applied to the work of certain late 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences,[1][2][3] shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.[4] In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.[5] Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.[6][7] Definitional issues and background[edit] There has never been general agreement on the definition of existentialism.

Existentialism

The term is often seen as an historical convenience as it was first applied to many philosophers in hindsight, long after they had died. Existential therapy. Background[edit] The starting point of existential philosophy (see Warnock, 1970; Macquarrie, 1972; Mace, 1999; Van Deurzen and Kenward, 2005) can be traced back to the nineteenth century and the work of Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Existential therapy

Both were in conflict with the predominant ideologies of their time and committed to the exploration of reality as it can be experienced in a passionate and personal manner. Kierkegaard (1813–55) protested vigorously against popular misunderstanding and abuse of Christian dogma and the so-called 'objectivity' of science (Kierkegaard, 1841, 1844). He thought that both were ways of avoiding the anxiety inherent in human existence. He had great contempt for the way in which life was being lived by those around him and believed that truth could ultimately only be discovered subjectively by the individual in action. Nietzsche (1844–1900) took this philosophy of life a step further. Gestalt psychology. Gestalt psychology or gestaltism (German: Gestalt – "shape or form") is a theory of mind of the Berlin School.

Gestalt psychology

Humanistic psychology. Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective which rose to prominence in the mid-20th century in response to the limitations of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory and B. F. Skinner's behaviorism.[1] With its roots running from Socrates through the Renaissance, this approach emphasizes individuals' inherent drive towards self-actualization, the process of realizing and expressing one's own capabilities, and creativity. It helps the patient gain the belief that all people are inherently good.[2] It adopts a holistic approach to human existence and pays special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and positive human potential. History of Psychology.