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History of Psychology
Transcript of History of Psychology
A Brief History of Psychology
Psychology is understanding human behavior. This understanding has grown over time. How did Sampson determine the cause of human behavior?
"SS…was sent to the State Prison for five years for assault and battery, with the intent to kill…(he wanted to) prove his own superiority as an animal…The drawing shows a broad, low head, corresponding with such a character. The moral organs are exceedingly deficient…If the higher capacities and endowments of humanity were ever found coupled with such a head as this, it would be a phenomenon as inexplicable as that of seeing without the eye, or hearing without the ear."
-Marmaduke B. Sampson (19th century Phrenologist)
Behavioral Psychology: Pavlov's Dogs
In the 1960's humanist psychologists began to describe human nature as evolving and self-directed. They argued that the environment and other outside forces are just a background to our own internal growth. Each person is different and has the ability to potential and to fully develop.
Psychologists have determined that the relationship between the mind and human behavior is far more complex than ever imagined.
5th, 6th c. B.C.
Renaissance (14-16th c.)
Attacking Dualism (17th c.)
The Story of Sigmund Freud
Though not a systematic study, the Greek philosophers set the frame for psychology by analyzing human behavior while assuming people were rational.
Refined approach of experimentation through observation.. (i.e. Copernicus, Galileo)
Rene Descartes disagreed with dualistic approach that mind and body are separate. He argued the mind is what controlled the body and together they formed one's experiences.
Wilhelm Wundt, the father of modern psychology, was a structuralist (a basic, systematic way of looking at psychology) that used a method of self-observation called introspection to gather information about the mind.
William James wrote "The Principles of Psychology" (1890) which focused on the functions of the mind and purposes of behavior. James concluded that the goal of the mind was to adapt and survive.
Sir Francis Galton began the first psychological evaluation of heredity. Galton determined that genius ran in families. Though neglecting environmental influences, his writing raised the issue if behavior is determined by heredity or environment.
Several German psychologiest argued that structuralism and behaviorism were short-sighted. A mind, in their eyes was more than just the sum of its parts. The whole pattern, or "gestalt" would have to be considered. A chair, or perceptive motion are examples of this.
According to Freud, our conscious experiences were only the tip of the iceberg. Human behavior was mostly driven by primitive, biological urges in conflict with societal standards. By using "free association", Freud felt as the psychoanalyst, the unconscious could be revealed. He also applied this method in dream analysis. "Case studies" were also a Freudian development.
Ivan Pavlov rang a tuning fork each time he gave his dog some meat powder. The dog would salivate each time the powder was in its mouth. After a while, Pavlov noticed the dog would salivate when it heard the tuning fork. Psychological conditioning taught that behavior could be the product of a previous experience. Behaviorists were psychologist who stressed investigation of observable behavior. This concept was taken further by John Watson and reinforcement was studied by B.F. Skinner.
Cognitivists focus on the processing, storing, retrieving and using of information. Behavior is influenced by more than just stimulus but is influenced by things like perceptions, memories, and expectations.
This studies the impact of biology on behavior. Psychobiologists study how the brain, the nervous system, hormones, and genetics influence behavior.
Studies the impact our cultural and ethnic backgrounds impact our behavior. This is the newest approach to psychology. They also study the impact of gender and socioeconomic class.
With which approach to psychology do you most agree? Why?