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The Origins of Psychology: History Through the Years

Behaviorism

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.
  • Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov proposed that behaviors could be learned through conditioned associations.
  • Psychologist John B. Watson outlined the basic principles of behaviorism in his 1913 paper 'Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It.'
  • Psychologist B.F. Skinner furthered the behaviorist perspective of operant conditioning, which showed the effect of punishment and reinforcement on behavior.
  • Behavioral psychology is still used in therapeutic techniques such as behavior analysis, behavioral modification, and token economies. Conditioning is used in situations ranging from parenting to education.

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Aphantasia: Image Not Found
Aphantasia: Image Not Found

Aphantasia is a phenomenon in which an individual cannot conjure an image of a face or thing in their minds. There is no inner ‘mind’s eye’ in these people and the mental imagery i...

Discovery of Aphantasia

Aphantasia was first described in the early 1800s by Francis Galton in a paper on mental imagery. It was not until 2015 that the phenomenon was further studied and the term was coined.

One of the major studies was with a patient who had undergone a minor surgery in 2005 and later could no longer generate visual images within the ‘mind’s eye’. The details of the study were published in 2010, which led to many others coming up with similar symptoms.

Binocular Rivalry

This was a technique used by the researchers to help test the image forming inside the brain of the individuals.

The experiment led to the finding that a recent viewing of an image had no correlation with the imagining of the image.

Repression as a defense mechanism
Repression as a defense mechanism

Repression can best be defined as the psychological defense mechanism that involves pushing undesired thoughts into the unconscious in order to not think about them anymore.

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Types of repression

Repression is of two types: primary and proper.

While the primary one takes into account the fact of hiding undesired thoughts or facts, the proper one takes place whenever an individual becomes aware of the thoughts that had initially been hidden and tries to hide them again.

Repression and its way of functioning

The objective of hiding our undesired thoughts in our unconsciousness is to feel less anxious.

However, Freud stated that this process can backfire at any point, as these hidden thoughts or feelings can still create anxiety, eventually leading to psychological distress.

Our Internal Biological Clock
Our Internal Biological Clock
  • If we want to get more out of each day, we might need to consider synchronizing with our own internal body clock, working according to our peak periods of creativity, energy...
Our Natural Internal Thermostat

Our mental alertness, mood, stress, hunger levels, heart mechanism, and immunity are controlled by the various rhythms synced to the thermostat-like biological clock in our body.

Circadian rhythms control our eating habits, body temperature, digestion, hormone levels, resulting in a huge impact on our overall health. Any interruption in our circadian rhythm can lead to many health conditions known as lifestyle diseases.

The Best Time For Our Activities
  • Sleeping: Our age determines our body’s sleep cycle, with teens leading more sleep than adults. Afternoon naps are great for your health.
  • Eating: The time we eat might help us control our metabolism and prevent gastronomical problems, and altering your eating schedule resets your biological clock.
  • Exercising: Regular exercise is a must, and physical strength is at its peak from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
  • Thinking: Our minds usually work best in the morning, making it the best time to tackle heavy activities. Concentration dips in the daytime when we feel sluggish, but new studies find that creativity is enhanced in a tired brain.