School of Thought in Psychology

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Schools of Thought in Psychology
There are many schools of thought that developed during the early years of the twentieth century but we shall take up only the ones that greatly influenced the present-day psychology.

Edward Bradford Titchener developed structuralism based on the concepts of his mentor Wilhelm Wundt. The followers of Titchener were called structuralists because they analyzed conscious experiences into its elements, namely: sensation, images, and affective states. These elements they called the structures of conscious experience. The method of study used was called introspection, a process of self-observation. In introspection, the researcher reports his own observation of himself. Many people questioned the validity and accuracy of the findings because the process is very subjective. It then paved the way for a new school of thought to emerge.

Functionalism emerges toward the middle of 1850’s through the effort of a group of American Psychologists. Most prominent of whom were William James and John Dewey. They redefined psychology as the study of the mind as it functions in adapting the organism to its environment. They studied consciousness as an ongoing process or stream instead of reducing it into elements. William James also argued that the proper subject mater of psychology was the study of the organism functioning as a whole in his environment. The method used by functionalists was objective observation and little of introspection.

While Functionalism was developing and structuralism was on its height, a revolution against the two was already in the mind of John Broadus Watson. He expressed dissatisfaction in the methods used. He instead advocated the use of objective experimental observation. He said the behavior and the behavioral acts are to be described objectively in terms of stimulus response, habit formation, and habit integration....
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