Foundations of Psychology Paper

Topics: Psychology, Nervous system, Brain Pages: 5 (1466 words) Published: September 13, 2013
Foundations Paper
Sharon Shanell
February 5, 2013
Karen Detweiler

The miscellaneous condition of psychology is a scientific investigation of humankind mind, body, and behavior. Psychology includes different departments of psychology to apprehend and supervise observations on the mental technique of a person mind and behavior. Psychology is regularly used to establish the secrecy of the human behavior. Observation was the way to study a person mind to become aware of the mental conscious and unconscious states. As time went by psychology was established, alone with some major schools of thoughts. The paper below will discuss the six major schools of thought in psychology, examine the foundation of psychology, and examine their major underlying assumptions, behaviorism, psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive. In addition, it will show how the primary biological foundations of psychology are linked to behavior such as, brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous System, and genetics/evolution. Behavioral Theory

Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a learning theory established on the notion that behaviors are gathered by conditioning. Conditioning develops from influenced of the environment. Operant and classical are the two major types of conditioning. A natural stimulus is paired with a response, when a procedure known as classical conditioning is the procedure used in behavioral training. When someone receives rewards and punishments for behavior that is what we call Operant conditioning. Behaviorists speculate that a person acknowledgement to environmental stimuli shapes a person behavior. Behaviorism made psychology more scientific by concentrating totally on observable behavior. This school of thought suggests that observable only behaviors should be studied.

Structuralism and Functionalism|
A German scientist, Wilhelm Wundt decided to take a structuralist approach to psychology after he founded his laboratory in Leipzig. An American, William James took the functionalist approach in his lab at Harvard. They both decided that since psychology was not being approached as a discipline of human behavior, they both decided to take their knowledge of the principles of scientific research and apply their study to human behavior. Psychology’s foundation as a science needs to be thoroughly understood, so let us take a look at both men’s foundation as scientists. Wundt's approach to the structuralist approach sought to identify the building blocks, or the structure, of psychological experience, in the same way other sciences had been broken down in this way before. Physics had its fundamental laws, just as chemistry had its periodic table of elements, and Wundt wanted to do the same for psychology, which would establish a series of fundamental relations or structures that could be used to explain all behavior.However, William James, over at Harvard, working on his functionalist approach, did not agree with Wundt’s scientific approach of structuralism. James thought that Wundt’s mental processes were to complex. Psychologists believe the method of measuring would always change what was always trying to be measured. Influenced by Darwin's theory of natural selection, James preferred instead to question why we behave the way we do. James wanted to understand the functions of behavior in our lives; in terms of either how it helped us or hurt us and why certain behaviors were more common than others, such as why do humans feel jealousy. | |

Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Theory
Various kinds of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies have been established. In the twentieth century, Freud was an important scientific thinker and his theories have influenced cultures and counseling and psychotherapy practices. Freud believed that personality is shaped by biological drives expressed early in life through preoccupation with specific parts of the...

References: Wickens, A. (2005). Foundations of Biopsychology Harlow, England: Prentice Hall.
Retrieved electronically November 26, 2007 from:
James, W. (1904) The Chicago school. Psychological Bulletin. 1, 1-5.
Retrieved electronically February 6, 2013 from:
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