The Evolution of Modern Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Wilhelm Wundt, William James Pages: 2 (439 words) Published: September 30, 2008
The evolution of modern psychology.
In the 21th century it is relatively easy to define psychology, however many forces has led to emergence of modern psychology. Much of the history of psychology has been characterized by heated debates about what constitutes the appropriate subject matter and methodologies for a science of mind and behavior. This ‘summary’ will be the period of history in which some of the critical groundwork for modern psychology has laid down. ‘Psychology has a long past but only a short history’ wrote Hermann Ebbinghaus (1908-1973), one of the first experimental psychologist. Since long, scholars have been asking questions about human nature; how one perceives reality, what is consciousness, what is the origins of madness.. But they were not able to answer those questions. Consider the classical Greek philosopher period. Although forms of psychology existed in old Asian yoga traditions, Western psychology traces its origin back to the dialogues of the great thinkers mentioned above. Toward the end of the 19th century, psychology began to emerge as a discipline when researchers applied the laboratory techniques from other sciences (physiology, physics) to the study of the fundamental questions of psychology. A critical figure was Wilhelm Wundt, who, in 1879 in Leipzig, founded the first formal laboratory devoted to experimental psychology. The students he educated at his laboratory often became founders of their laboratories all over the world. From here, psychology became established as a separate discipline and laboratories came to existence in universities all over northern America where Edward Tichener became one of the first psychologists. At the same time, William James, a young Harvard philosophy professor who had studied medicine, had developed a uniquely American perspective that he wrote down in ‘The Principles of psychology’ (1890-1950), which many experts consider to be the most important work about psychology ever written....
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