While the psychology of today reflects the discipline’s rich and varied history, the origins of psychology differ significantly from contemporary conceptions of the field. In order to gain a full understanding of psychology, you need to spend some time exploring its history and origins. How did psychology originate? When did it begin? Who were the people responsible for establishing psychology as a separate science? Why Study Psychology History?
Contemporary psychology is interested in an enormous range of topics, looking a human behavior and mental process from the neural level to the cultural level. Psychologists study human issues that begin before birth and continue until death. By understanding the history of psychology, you can gain a better understanding of how these topics are studied and what we have learned thus far. Questions in Psychology
From its earliest beginnings, psychology has been faced with a number of different questions. The initial question of how to define psychology helped establish it as a science separate from physiology and philosophy. Additional questions that psychologists have faced throughout history include:
* What topics and issues should psychology be concerned with? * What research methods should be used to study psychology? * Should psychologists use research to influence public policy, education, and other aspects of human behavior? * Is psychology really a science?
* Should psychology focus on observable behaviors, or on internal mental processes?
The Beginnings of Psychology: Philosophy and Physiology
While psychology did not emerge as a separate discipline until the late 1800s, its earliest history can be traced back to the time of the early Greeks. During the 17th-century, the French philosopher Rene Descartes introduced the idea of dualism, which asserted that the mind and body were two separate entities that interact to form the human experience. Many other issues still debated by...
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