1. The different schools of psychology represent the major theories within psychology. The first school of thought, structuralism, was advocated by the founder of the first psychology lab, Wilhelm Wundt. Almost immediately, other theories began to emerge and vie for dominance in psychology. In the past, psychologists often identified themselves exclusively with one single school of thought. Today, most psychologists have an eclectic outlook on psychology. They often draw on ideas and theories from different schools rather than holding to any singular outlook. The following are some of the major schools of thought that have influenced our knowledge and understanding of psychology: Structuralism and Functionalism
Structuralism is generally thought of as the first school of thought in psychology. This outlook focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components and used techniques such as introspection to analyze the inner processes of the human mind. Major thinkers associated with structuralism include Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener. Functionalism formed as a reaction to the theories of the structuralist school of thought and was heavily influenced by the work of William James , John Dewey , Angell, Harvey Carr, and James Rowland . Functionalism is not associated with a single dominant theorist. Functionalist thinkers were interested in the role that mental processes play. Gestalt Psychology
Gestalt psychology is a school of psychology based upon the idea that we experience things as unified wholes. This approach to psychology began in Germany and Austria during the late 19th century in response to the molecular approach of structuralism. Behaviorism
Behaviorism became a dominant school of thought during the 1950s. It was based upon the work of thinkers such as: John B. Watson
B. F. Skinner
Behaviorism suggests that all behavior can be explained by environmental causes rather than by internal forces. Behaviorism is focused on observable behavior. Theories of learning including classical conditioning and operant conditioning were the focus of a great deal of research. Many of the ideas and techniques that emerged from this school of thought are still widely used today. Modern schools of psychology
Psychoanalysis is a school of psychology founded by Sigmund Freud. This school of thought emphasized the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior. Freud believed that the human mind was composed of three elements: the id, the ego and the superego and the interaction of these three elements was what led to all of the complex human behaviors. Other major psychoanalytic thinkers include:
Humanistic psychology developed as a response to psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Humanistic psychology instead focused on individual free will, personal growth and the concept of self-actualization. It differed considerably in its emphasis on helping people achieve and fulfill their potential. Major humanist thinkers include:
Cognitive psychology is the school of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember and learn. Cognitive psychology began to emerge during the 1950s, partly as a response to behaviorism. This period of time is sometimes referred to as the "cognitive revolution" .
The Biological Perspective
Researchers who take a biological perspective on psychology might look at how genetics influence different behaviors or how damage to specific areas of the brain influence behavior and personality. The Cross-Cultural Perspective
Cross-cultural psychology is a fairly new perspective .These psychologists and researchers look at human behavior across different cultures. The Evolutionary Perspective
Evolutionary psychology is focused on the study of how evolution explains...
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