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    1.2 History of Psychology – Introductory Psychology

    1.2 HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this section, you will be able to:

    Understand the importance of Wundt and James in the development of psychology

    Appreciate Freud’s influence on psychology

    Understand the basic tenets of Gestalt psychology

    Appreciate the important role that behaviorism played in psychology’s history

    Understand basic tenets of humanism

    Understand how the cognitive revolution shifted psychology’s focus back to the min

    Psychology is a relatively young science with its experimental roots in the 19th century, compared, for example, to human physiology, which dates much earlier. As mentioned, anyone interested in exploring issues related to the mind generally did so in a philosophical context prior to the 19th century. Two men, working in the 19th century, are generally credited as being the founders of psychology as a science and academic discipline that was distinct from philosophy. Their names were Wilhelm Wundt and William James. This section will provide an overview of the shifts in paradigms that have influenced psychology from Wundt and James through today.

    WUNDT AND STRUCTURALISM

    Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) was a German scientist who was the first person to be referred to as a psychologist. His famous book entitled Principles of Physiological Psychology was published in 1873. Wundt viewed psychology as a scientific study of conscious experience, and he believed that the goal of psychology was to identify components of consciousness and how those components combined to result in our conscious experience. Wundt used introspection (he called it “internal perception”), a process by which someone examines their own conscious experience as objectively as possible, making the human mind like any other aspect of nature that a scientist observed. Wundt’s version of introspection used only very specific experimental conditions in which an external stimulus was designed to produce a scientifically observable (repeatable) experience of the mind (Danziger, 1980). The first stringent requirement was the use of “trained” or practiced observers, who could immediately observe and report a reaction. The second requirement was the use of repeatable stimuli that always produced the same experience in the subject and allowed the subject to expect and thus be fully attentive to the inner reaction. These experimental requirements were put in place to eliminate “interpretation” in the reporting of internal experiences and to counter the argument that there is no way to know that an individual is observing their mind or consciousness accurately, since it cannot be seen by any other person. This attempt to understand the structure or characteristics of the mind was known as structuralism. Wundt established his psychology laboratory at the University at Leipzig in 1879 (Figure). In this laboratory, Wundt and his students conducted experiments on, for example, reaction times. A subject, sometimes in a room isolated from the scientist, would receive a stimulus such as a light, image, or sound. The subject’s reaction to the stimulus would be to push a button, and an apparatus would record the time to reaction. Wundt could measure reaction time to one-thousandth of a second (Nicolas & Ferrand, 1999).

    (a) Wilhelm Wundt is credited as one of the founders of psychology. He created the first laboratory for psychological research. (b) This photo shows him seated and surrounded by fellow researchers and equipment in his laboratory in Germany.

    However, despite his efforts to train individuals in the process of introspection, this process remained highly subjective, and there was very little agreement between individuals. As a result, structuralism fell out of favor with the passing of Wundt’s student, Edward Titchener, in 1927 (Gordon, 1995).

    JAMES AND FUNCTIONALISM

    William James (1842–1910) was the first American psychologist who espoused a different perspective on how psychology should operate (Figure). James was introduced to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection and accepted it as an explanation of an organism’s characteristics. Key to that theory is the idea that natural selection leads to organisms that are adapted to their environment, including their behavior. Adaptation means that a trait of an organism has a function for the survival and reproduction of the individual, because it has been naturally selected. As James saw it, psychology’s purpose was to study the function of behavior in the world, and as such, his perspective was known as functionalism. Functionalism focused on how mental activities helped an organism fit into its environment. Functionalism has a second, more subtle meaning in that functionalists were more interested in the operation of the whole mind rather than of its individual parts, which were the focus of structuralism. Like Wundt, James believed that introspection could serve as one means by which someone might study mental activities, but James also relied on more objective measures, including the use of various recording devices, and examinations of concrete products of mental activities and of anatomy and physiology (Gordon, 1995).

    Source : opentext.wsu.edu

    Psychology week 1 Flashcards

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    Psychology week 1

    who believed that the goal of psychology was to identify components of consciousness and how those components combined to result in our conscious experience. His view of psychology was known as structuralism. Structuralism provided the foundation for the experimental study of psychology?

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    Wilhelm Wundt believed that the goal of psychology was to identify components of consciousness and how those components combined to result in our conscious experience. His view of psychology was known as structuralism. Structuralism provided the foundation for the experimental study of psychol

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    who believed that psychology's purpose was to study the function of behavior in the world, and as such, his perspective was known as functionalism. Functionalism helped direct psychology toward a focus on solving problems?

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    William James believed that psychology's purpose was to study the function of behavior in the world, and as such, his perspective was known as functionalism. Functionalism helped direct psychology toward a focus on solving problems.

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    Terms in this set (16)

    who believed that the goal of psychology was to identify components of consciousness and how those components combined to result in our conscious experience. His view of psychology was known as structuralism. Structuralism provided the foundation for the experimental study of psychology?

    Wilhelm Wundt believed that the goal of psychology was to identify components of consciousness and how those components combined to result in our conscious experience. His view of psychology was known as structuralism. Structuralism provided the foundation for the experimental study of psychol

    who believed that psychology's purpose was to study the function of behavior in the world, and as such, his perspective was known as functionalism. Functionalism helped direct psychology toward a focus on solving problems?

    William James believed that psychology's purpose was to study the function of behavior in the world, and as such, his perspective was known as functionalism. Functionalism helped direct psychology toward a focus on solving problems.

    who founded psychodynamic psychology?

    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) founded psychodynamic psychology. He was an Austrian neurologist who focused on the unconsicous and childhood. In Freud's view, the unconscious mind was a repository of feelings and urges of which we have no awareness.

    what did Erik Erikson add to Psychology?

    Erik Erikson (1902-1994) followed the psychodynamic theory but added the importance of larger social influences. His theory on psychosocial development has had incredible staying power

    how did behaviorism emerge?

    As a reaction to the focus on the unconsicous, behaviorism emerged early in the 20th century. Championed by psychologists such as John B. Watson (1878-1958) and B. F. Skinner (1904-1990), behaviorism rejected any reference to mind and viewed overt and observable behavior as the proper subject matter of psychology.

    what emphasises the potential good innate to all humans?

    Humanism is a perspective within psychology that emphasizes the potential for good that is innate to all humans. Two of the most well-known proponents of humanistic psychology are Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. The early work of the humanistic psychologists redirected attention to the individual human as a whole, and as a conscious and self-aware being.

    how did cognitive psychology emerge?

    By the 1950s, new disciplinary perspectives in linguistics, neuroscience, and computer science were emerging, and these areas revived interest in the mind as a focus of scientific inquiry. This particular perspective has come to be known as cognitive psychology.

    what does psychology include today?

    Today, psychology includes many various subfields and remains important across a wide variety of domains, including medicine, sports, forensics, education, design, and the workplace

    psychodynamic psychology

    Psychodynamic psychology is primarily focused on the

    unconscious and on childhood. Names to know: Freud & Erikson. Behaviorism

    Behaviorism is primarily focused on observable

    behavior, learning, and

    conditioning. Names to know: Pavlov, Watson, &...

    Cognitive psychology

    Cognitive psychology is primarily focused on the mental processes and internal mental states. names to know: piaget, vygotsky, and Chomsky.

    Humanistic psychology

    Humanistic psychology is primarily focused on the good innate in humans and rejects a focus on disorders. Names to know:

    Maslow & Rogers.

    Dr. Lou is a __________ psychologist. His most recent study involved an exploration of how children understand the difference between a horse and a dog. Essentially, he is studying their _________ mental processes.

    Dr. Lou is a cognitive psychologist. His most recent study involved an exploration of how children understand the difference between a horse and a dog. Essentially, he is studying their internal mental processes.

    Dr. Khan wants to study the process of changing a habit. She is most likely a____________psychologist.

    Dr. Khan wants to study the process of changing a habit. She is most likely a behavioral psychologist.

    Source : quizlet.com

    Chapter 1 Quiz Flashcards

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    Chapter 1 Quiz

    20cards Psychology

    Introduction To Psychology

    Psychoanalytic theory focuses on ________ and early childhood experiences.

    The Unconcious

    Cognitive psychology focuses on studying _____. a) thoughts & their relationship to our experiences & our actions b) genetics & the effect of genetics on behavior c) the effect of gender, race, & class on behavior d) sensation & the effect of culture on perception

    a) thoughts & their relationship to our experiences & our actions

    Behaviorists study ________

    learned behavior

    Which individual believed that an unconscious mind controlled one’s behavior?

    Freud

    Whose name is associated with Functionalism?

    James

    Which is NOT one of the specific subfields in psychology?

    Emotional Psychology Definition

    Whose name is associated with Cognitive Psychology?

    Chomsky

    Who stated that “man is an animal?”

    Freud

    Wundt had his research participants verbally report what was going on in their minds. This research method was termed:

    Introspection

    Select the correctly ordered list of psychological perspectives, with the earliest perspective listed first.

    structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, humanism

    What is Abraham Maslow best known for doing?

    -proposed a hierarchy of human needs in motivating behavior -as long as basic needs for survival are met, a person's behavior will be determined by their higher-level needs

    Whose name is associated with Positive Psychology?

    Seligman

    Whose name is associated with Humanism?

    Rogers

    ____ is a perspective within psychology that emphasizes the potential for good that is innate to all humans. a) humanism b) behaviorism c) structuralism d) gestalt

    a) humanism

    Who conducted the first experiments in psychology?

    Wundt

    Psychology is defined as...

    The scientific study of behavior and mental processes

    Which of the following psychologists was a behaviorist?

    J Watson

    Psychology formally became a science in:

    1879

    According to William James, the purpose of psychology was to ________.

    study the function of behavior

    Marta is pursuing a graduate degree in psychology. As part of her program she must write a long research paper based on the data she spent the last year gathering. What is the long research paper called?

    dissertation

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