Dr. Bihan Al Qaimari
“Development of Psychology in China”
Name: Ahmad Shiber
Student number: 1071843
When we started this class, we started learning the history of psychology, its theories, and its development. I couldn’t help but notice that the course curriculum is focused on European and American psychologists and their theories, which gives us a very westernized view of psychology and the nature of humans and their humanity. Studying psychology from a western point of view also limits the horizons of applying psychology and how it explained since it will be connected to mainly western church ideologies and financial and political systems are in the west like capitalism and democracy. I developed an interest in far eastern cultures four years ago studying the common religions in that region basics of languages spoken there, and I even started studying the Japanese language as a second language. Thus, I was interested of how these cultures saw psychology and compare their psychological thinking with Greek and Islamic psychological thinking and philosophy which was covered in class. I was amazed by the sheer amount of knowledge these cultures had offered in psychology and I was disheartened on how it is almost never mentioned in psychology classes or when mentioned it gets marginalized. Of all the cultures that constitute the Far East, I chose China. In this paper I will discuss the development of psychology in this country from its historical roots till the modern day, along with all the ups and downs of this field. I hope to shed light on the amazing contributions to the psychology field in particular, and to humanity in general.
Attachment: a brief description of Chinese culture of well being.
The Historical Roots:
Modern psychology was brought to China from the West in the late 1800s, but the study and discussion of psychological issues had a long history in ancient China. Early psychological thinking in China not only was contained in diverse philosophical, political, military, and other literature but was also expressed through various practices in education, medicine, and human resource management. The influence of Chinese culture on world psychology has been widely recognized in current literature in the field and is attracting more and more attention (Jing, 1994; Murphy & Kovach, 1972; Wang, 1993). In China a rich body of psychological thought existed in the writings of the ancient Chinese philosophers. One of the most important figures was Confucius (551-479 B.C.) whose teaching has, for centuries, exerted a profound influence on the development of China's cultural history. Confucian thinking emphasized the discussion of human nature, education, human development, and interpersonal relationships. For example, when Confucius discussed human nature, he asserted that "human nature is the order of heaven" (Jing, 1994, p. 668). By this Confucius meant that our patterns of existence are determined by Nature or by God. He did not address this issue in order to differentiate whether human nature was good or evil but proposed it as a common heritage upon which personal and mental development could be based through education: "By nature close to each other, but through practice far from each other" (Analects 17:2, Dawson, 1993). This means that people are similar when they are born but that they become different as a result of social molding; hence the importance of learning. Confucius was a famous teacher as well as a philosopher; he advocated that all people should be educated, irrespective of their abilities. He categorized people into three types: superior, medium, and inferior and concluded that everyone should be educated according to their abilities. These ideas are in agreement with the modern idea of everyone's right to an education and the concept of individual differences and the need to provide education in a...