Modern Psychology

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CHAPTER 1: NATURE OF PSYCHOLOGY

PSYCHOLOGY
• It is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes • Greek word: psyche or soul; logos or study

RELATION OF PSYCHOLOGY TO OTHER SCIENCES
• Anthropology
• Biology
• Chemistry
• Psychiatry
• Sociology

GOALS OF PSYCHOLOGY
• Describe behavior
• Predict behavior
• Explain behavior
• Control or change behavior

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY (Early Schools of Thought) • Plato – (427-347 B.C.)
o He searched for the origin of knowledge by taking a position called rationalism • Aristotle – (384 – 322 B.C.)
o Empiricism
o Recognized the importance of knowledge

Christian and Medieval Eras
• Saint Augustine (354-430)
o Confessions – discussed the theological basis of memory, emotion, and motivation

Renaissance Period (14th-17th century)
• Rene Descartes- (1595-1650)
o Revived Plato’s proposition: Reasoning was the best means of gaining true knowledge o They rejected the authority of theologians to deal with psychological issues • John Locke (1632-1704)

o Tabularasa Principle
o Blank tablet or slate on which life experiences conveyed through the senses are written

Middle of the 19th Century
• Herman Von Helmholtz (1821-1894)
o Demonstrated through experiments that certain popular beliefs based on rationalism had no scientific basis to speak of • Gustav Fechner (1801-1887)
o Interested in the scientific study of mental processes: physical stimulation and mental experiences o Psychophysics
▪ Studies the relationship between the physical characteristics of stimuli and the conscious psychological experience they produce • Herman Ebbinghaus
(1850-1909)
o Psychology has a long past but only a short history

THE BIRTH OF MODERN PSYCHOLOGY
• Psychology would achieve its identity as a distinct academic and scientific discipline by 18th century when the German Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig in Germany, 1879 • Wundt is credited as the father of modern psychology

SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
Structuralism (1832-1920)
• Wilhelm Wundt & Edward Titchener
o It was the first school of psychology, and focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components o Introspection
▪ Observing one’s own thoughts, feelings, or sensations Functionalism (1842-1910)
o He came to believe that psychological processes developed through the process of evolution o It is an early psychological perspective concerned with how behavior helps people adapt to their environment o “Stream of thought, consciousness and subjective life” Psychoanalysis (1856-1939)

o Sigmund Freud
o Emphasized the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior o Psychic Determinism
o Unconscious psychological conflicts in the human mind usually related to sex and aggression motivated both normal and abnormal human behavior o Freud believed that the human mind was composed of three elements: the id, ego, and superego. Behaviorism (1878-1958)

o John B. Watson
o Rejected the study of the mind and mental experiences to explain human behavior o It suggests that all behavior can be explained by environmental causes rather than by internal forces o It is focused on observable behavior

Humanistic Psychology
o Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Victor Frankl
o Focused on each individual's potential and stressed the importance of growth and self-actualization o The fundamental belief was that people are innately good, with mental and social problems resulting from deviations from this natural tendency Gestalt...
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