The Origins of Psychology: History Through the Years
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The need to understand psychology
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.
The Beginnings of Psychology
Psychology was not separate from philosophy until the late 1800s.
Psychology as a Separate Discipline
Edward B. Titchener found psychology's first major school of thought.
William James was one of the major American psychologists during the mid to late 1800s.
Psychology changed significantly during the early 20th century. Behaviorism rose to dominance and rejected the emphasis on both the conscious and unconscious mind.
The Third Force
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.
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 psychology remains the dominant are of psychology and researchers continue to study things such as perception, memory, decision-making, problem-solving, intelligence and language.
Psychology Continues to Grow
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 perspective, drawing from diverse theoretical backgrounds.
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