Topics: Psychology, Cognition, Mind Pages: 5 (1725 words) Published: November 26, 2013
The Different schools of psychology
Structuralism- the first school of thought headed by Wilhelm Wundt, a German, and later by E.B. Titchener started in 1879 when experimental psychology was gaining more incentive. The structuralists, as they called themselves, thought of psychology as the study of conscious experience. They started components experience. They started that all complex substances could be analyzed through their component elements. They held that elementary mental states such as sensations, images and feelings form the structure of consciousness and are directly observable through introspection by careful empirical observation. They sought to discover the physiological bases of various types of conscious experiences, with emphasis on the knowledge of body structures. The methods used are introspection and experiment. The first laboratory was established in Germany, the center of study. Functionalism- Functional psychology or functionalism refers to a general psychological philosophy that considers mental life and behavior in terms of active adaptation to the person's environment. As such, it provides the general basis for developing psychological theories not readily testable by controlled experiments and for applied psychology. Functionalism arose in the U.S. in the late 19th century as an alternative to Structuralism (psychology). While functionalism never became a formal school, it built on structuralism's concern for the anatomy of the mind and led to greater concern over the functions of the mind, and later to behaviorism. Behaviorism- Behaviorism (also called the behavioral approach) was the primary paradigm in psychology between 1920s to 1950 and is based on a number of underlying assumptions regarding methodology and behavioral analysis: Psychology should be seen as a science.  Theories need to be supported by empirical data obtained through careful and controlled observation and measurement of behavior. Watson stated that “psychology as a behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is … prediction and control” (1913, p. 158). 

Behaviorism is primarily concerned with observable behavior, as opposed to internal events like thinking and emotion.  Observable (i.e. external) behavior can be objectively and scientifically measured. Internal events, such as thinking should be explained through behavioral terms (or eliminated altogether).

People have no free will – a person’s environment determines their behavior 

When born our mind is 'tabula rasa' (a blank slate).

There is little difference between the learning that takes place in humans and that in other animals.  Therefore research can be carried out on animals as well as humans.  Behavior is the result of stimulus – response (i.e. all behavior, no matter how complex, can be reduced to a simple stimulus – response association). Watson described the purpose of psychology as: “To predict, given the stimulus, what reaction will take place; or, given the reaction, state what the situation or stimulus is that has caused the reaction” (1930, p. 11). 

All behavior is learnt from the environment.  We learn new behavior through classical or operant conditioning.  Gestalt- Or gestaltism (German: Gestalt – "essence or shape of an entity's complete form") is a theory of mind and brain of the Berlin School; the operational principle of gestalt psychology is that the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies. The principle maintains that the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts, suggesting the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Gestalt psychology tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain stable percepts in a noisy world. Gestalt psychologists stipulate that perception is the product of complex interactions among various stimuli. Contrary to the behaviorist approach to...
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