Topics: Psychology, Behaviorism, Mind Pages: 6 (1694 words) Published: December 12, 2013
History of Psychology
Psychology is defined as "the study of behavior and mental processes". Philosophical interest in the mind and behavior dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, China, and India. Psychology as a self-conscious field of experimental study began in 1879, when Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research in Leipzig. Wundt was also the first person who wrote the first textbook on psychology: Principles of Physiological Psychology. Other important early contributors to the field include Hermann Ebbinghaus (a pioneer in the study of memory), William James (the American father of pragmatism), and Ivan Pavlov (who developed the procedures associated with classical conditioning). Soon after the development of experimental psychology, various kinds of applied psychology appeared. G. Stanley Hall brought scientific pedagogy to the United States from Germany in the early 1880s. John Dewey's educational theory of the 1890s was another example. Also in the 1890s, Hugo Münsterberg began writing about the application of psychology to industry, law, and other fields. Lightner Witmer established the first psychological clinic in the 1890s. James McKeen Cattell adapted Francis Galton's anthropometric methods to generate the first program of mental testing in the 1890s. In Vienna, meanwhile, Sigmund Freud developed an independent approach to the study of the mind called psychoanalysis, which has been widely influential. The 20th century saw a reaction to Edward Titchener's critique of Wundt's empiricism. This contributed to the formulation of behaviorism by John B. Watson, which was popularized by B. F. Skinner. Behaviorism proposed emphasizing the study of overt behavior, because that could be quantified and easily measured. Early behaviorists considered study of the "mind" too vague for productive scientific study. However, Skinner and his colleagues did study thinking as a form of covert behavior to which they could apply the same principles as overt (publicly observable) behavior. The final decades of the 20th century saw the rise of cognitive science, an interdisciplinary approach to studying the human mind. Cognitive science again considers the "mind" as a subject for investigation, using the tools of evolutionary psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, behaviorism, and neurobiology. This form of investigation has proposed that a wide understanding of the human mind is possible, and that such an understanding may be applied to other research domains, such as artificial intelligence.

Goals of Psychology

1. Describe behavior: The first goal of psychology is to describe behavior. Description involves naming and classifying behavior. This description is based on careful, systematic procedure in contrast to haphazard description of common sense. Description is very important in that it makes u clear about what the phenomena under study. Only after we described the behavior or phenomenon clearly we can move to the other goals.

2. Understand or explain behavior: The second goal of psychology becomes explaining the behavior or phenomenon that was described. Psychologists who are concern this goal try to find out why such behavior occur. They take help of existing theories and knowledge to explain or understand behavior. In some cases if there are no theorizes or researches that can explain such behavior psychologists make tentative statements and try to test such hypothesis.

3. Predict the behavior: Another important goal for psychologists is to forecast future event. By carefully analyzing the relationship between different variables, psychologists can accurately predict what will be the relation in future between them. Prediction helps in modifying the behavior. It is facilitated by understanding of the relationship.

4. Control or modify behaviors: The fourth goal of psychology is to control, modify or change the existing...
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