The Origins of Psychology: History Through the Years - Deepstash

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The Origins of Psychology: History Through the Years

verywellmind.com

The beginnings of psychology differ significantly from contemporary conceptions of the field. Modern psychology covers a range of topics, looking at human behavior en mental processes from the neural level to the cultural level.

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The Beginnings of Psychology

Psychology was not separate from philosophy until the late 1800s.

  • During the 17th century, philosopher Rene Descartes introduced the idea of dualism - that the mind and body were two entities that interact to complete the human experience.
  • While early philosophers relied on ...

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  • During the mid-1800s, a German physiologist Wilhelm Wundt outlined many of the major connections between the science of physiology and the study of human thought and behavior.
  • He viewed psychology as the study of human consciousness and tried to apply experimental methods to study ...

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Structuralism

Edward B. Titchener found psychology's first major school of thought.

  • According to the structuralists, human consciousness consisted of smaller parts. Trained subjects would break down their reactions to the most basic sensation and insights.
  • Structuralism was unreliable, li...

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Functionalism

William James was one of the major American psychologists during the mid to late 1800s.

  • His classic textbook "The Principles of Psychology" became the standard text in psychology and served for the basis of functionalism.
  • Functionalism was about how behavior works to help pe...

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Psychoanalysis

  • Austrian physician Sigmund Freud proposed a theory of personality that emphasized the importance of the unconscious mind.
  • He believed early childhood experiences and unconscious impulses contributed to the development of adult personality and behavior.
  • He claimed psycholog...

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Psychology changed significantly during the early 20th century. Behaviorism rose to dominance and rejected the emphasis on both the conscious and unconscious mind.

  • Behaviorism aimed to make psychology a more scientific discipline by focusing only on observable behavior.
  • Russ...

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The first half of the 20th century was dominated by psychoanalysis and behaviorism. In the second half, a new school of thought, known as humanistic psychology, emerged. It is also referred to as the "third force" and emphasizes conscious experiences.

  • Psychologist Carl Rogers is cons...

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Cognitive revolution took hold in psychology during the 1950s and 1960s and began to replace psychoanalysis and behaviorism as the main approach to the study of psychology. Psychologists were more concerned with what was going on inside the mind.

Since then, cognitive psyc...

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Since 1960, psychology continues to develop new ideas and perspectives. Recent research in psychology looks at many aspects of human experience, from biological influences on behavior to the impact of social and cultural factors.

Today, psychologists focus on a specialty area or perspectiv...

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