History and Systems Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Clinical psychology, World War II Pages: 8 (2980 words) Published: May 1, 2013
It is interesting to explore the forces outside the psychology field that affected how and why psychology developed, because it will help to fully understand the history of psychology and what modern psychology is like today. The interest of psychologists in the history has led its formalization as an area of study for their specialty. The history of psychology is part of the requirement of most of the psychology courses offered in undergraduate colleges (Schultz & Schultz, 2004, p. 3) and that makes psychology unique of all the other sciences. Psychology is one of the oldest of the scholarly discipline as well as one of the newest (Schultz & Schultz, 2004, p. 1). This contradiction increases eagerness of the psychologists today to understand the speculations of human nature and behaviour that can be traced to the fifth century B.C. Psychology has its roots in several disciplines ranging from antiquity to modernity. Before psychology became an individual science, various disciplines such as philosophy, physics and physiology contributed limitlessly to psychology. These disciplines added more flavour to psychology because of their effects from dark ages and early demonology, somatogenesis, psychogenesis, and even the early psychiatry. At the early era of psychology, various schools of thoughts such as structuralism, functionalism and behaviourism became the main forces. After all, with the new theories of psychology (Gestalt psychology, Psychoanalytic psychology, Humanistic psychology and Existential psychology), it entered to the world of modern psychology. As psychology was becoming more and more scientific, Cognitive psychology and the Neuroscience have become the resent trends in psychology. In order to fully understand what psychology is all about, the common attempt is to go to the history before psychology, and to explore how this discipline originated. But it is equally important to look at how the external contexts in psychology influenced its development. Therefore, the main aim of this assignment is to look at how the external forces such as economy, War, prejudice and discrimination, influenced the way psychology developed. The idea is to stress on the ups and downs of these contextual factors and see how these outside forces contributed to the psychology and became part of the history of psychology. The Influence of External Contexts to Psychology

It is a very exciting experience to explore the external forces in psychology that are mostly on the silent side of the history of psychology. These contextual forces help to understand how psychology evolved in order to use it in a more applied nature. The intellectual climate of the times known as the zeitgeist as well as the existing social, economic and political forces and prejudice are taken into account (Schultz & Schultz, 2004, p. 10). Application of psychology became a great economic opportunity for the psychologists, especially in the United States, to earn a living by solving real-world problems. These dramatic changes were visible in the 20th century. Establishing psychology laboratories became one of the means of increasing job opportunities. But the scarcity of lab-jobs increased when many people started earning doctoral degrees in psychology. Even though the teaching jobs were increasing when the universities were established in Midwest and West, the income was not enough because psychology was a new science then. So the psychologists realized that they could use psychology in order to solve social, educational and industrial problems (Schultz & Schultz, 2004, p. 11). As a result of their effort, psychologists got the opportunity to apply their skills in the social changes that took place in the American population (Trull, 2007). They applied their knowledge and research methods to education. Therefore, application of psychology to issues of teaching and learning became the fundamental shift in American psychology,...
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