Scientific Method and Psychology
Topics: Scientific method, Science, Psychology, Research / Pages: 8 (1855 words) / Published: Jun 19th, 2006

1. "The earliest origins of psychology can be traced back several centuries to the writing of the great philosophers. More than two thousand years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote extensively about topics like sleep, dreams, the senses, and memory. He also described the traits and dispositions of different animals. Many of Aristotle's ideas remained influential until the beginnings of modern science in the seventeenth century. At that time, Rene Descartes proposed a doctrine called interactive dualism- the idea that mind and body were separate entities that interact to produce sensations, emotions and other conscious experiences. Today, psychologists continue to debate the relationship between mental activity and the brain. Philosopher's also laid the groundwork for another issue that would become central to psychology- the nature- nurture issue. For centuries, philosopher debated which was more important: the born nature of the individual or the environmental influences that nurture the individual. Psychologists continue to focus on the question, which today is usually framed in terms of heredity versus the environment. Such philosophical discussions influenced the topics that would be considered in psychology. But early philosophers could advance the understanding of human behavior on to certain. Their methods were limited to intuition, observation and logic. The eventual emergence of psychology as a science hinged on advances in the other sciences, particularly physiology. Physiology is a branch of biology that studies the functions and parts of living organisms, including humans. In the 1600's physiologists were becoming interested in the human brain and its relations to behavior. By the early 1700s, tit was discovered that damage to one side of the brain produced loss of function in the opposite side of the body. By the early 1800s, the idea that different brain areas were related to different behavioral functions was being vigorously debate.

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