History of Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Behaviorism, Mind Pages: 3 (703 words) Published: February 28, 2013
History of Psychology
The word psychology comes from two Greek words: Psych and Logos. It was in the 18th century when psychology gained its literal meaning: the study of behavior. Today, psychology is defined as the scientific and systematic study of human and animal behavior. The term psychology has a long history (Feldman).

Psychology started within the fields of philosophy and physiology. But thanks to a German man named, Wilhelm Wundt, psychology became an independent field of its own. Wilhelm Wundt was the founder of experimental psychology and structuralism. He stressed how important the use of scientific methods in psychology was, mostly through the use of introspection. Functionalism focuses on the acts and functions of the mind rather than its internal contents. William James is the author of the book, “Principals of Biology”. It is considered to be one of the most important texts in modern history. In 1996 the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, introduced the term in a scholarly paper. He suggests that people are motivated by power, unconscious drives and conflicts. But Fraud was criticized for his lack of statistical data and the fact that he used a limited number of disturbed adults, mainly women, who were what his research was based on. This was very unscientific (Feldman).

The behaviorist approach studies observed behavioral responses of humans and animals. The behaviorist approach believes we learn to behave in response to our environment, either by stimulus-response association, or as a result of reinforcement. Founded by John B Watson in 1915, (Tankersley) behaviorists focus on the influence of the environment, they chose not to be concerned with the internal mechanisms that occur inside the organism, they believe that your behavior depends on what factors are present in the environment at any given time. Another big contributor to this approach is Ivan Pavlov who was made famous for conditioning in which he used dogs in an...

Cited: * Fredrickson, Joan. "Psychology in the Making." 12 Mar. 2010. Web. 26 Jan. 2013.
* Feldman, Robert S. "Chapters 1 & 10." Psychsmart. N.p.: Mcgraw-Hill Companies, n.d. 1+. Print
* Tankersley, John T. "Fathers of Psychology." N.p., 21 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2013
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