The Foundation of Psychology

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The Science of Psychology
Marty Allen
PSY 300
August 8, 2010
Dr. Theresa Watts

Examine the major underlying assumptions of the various schools of thought in psychology. Edward Titchener initiated a school of thought called structuralism. He believed that experimentation was the best way for a science of psychology. He went further viewing the study of consciousness as something that was not scientific because sensations and feelings could not be seeing by anyone except the person reporting them. Structuralism dominated psychology in the earliest years. The other was functionalism. This school of thought focused on the role of psychological processes in assisting individuals to adapt to their environment. Williams James, a Harvard psychologist was one of the founders of functionalism. He believed that knowledge about human psychology could come from many different sources as the study of children, other animals, and people whose minds do not function effectively. He did not agree with the structuralisms. He believed that consciousness exists because it is a function, and a psychologist’s job is to understand it. These two schools of thought were only the first ones to start but not the last ones.

Explain how psychological research applies to various aspects of personal and social life. Psychologists use the scientific method to develop theories. The job of a psychological researcher is observed individuals’ actions and behavior to answer difficult questions. This way the construct a theory, using the theory to develop a hypothesis, measuring psychological responses and testing the hypothesis. Researchers do not rely on a single method but various like a theoretical framework, standardized procedures, generalizability, and objective measurement. Determine what guidelines should be applied to the evaluation of psychological research and practices. Individual psychologists were once free to make ethical decisions on their own. However, today the American...
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