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Psychology (1,066)
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Nigel Desouza

Prologue: The Story of Psychology What is Psychology? PSYCHOLOGICAL S CIENCE IS BORN • Before 300 B.C., Aristotle theorized about learning, memory, motivation, emotion, perception and personality • Some of his theories were jokes, others were very important • Birth of psychology in December 1879 at the University of Leipzig in Germany by Wilhelm Wundt • Measured time lag between people hearing a ball hit a platform and pressing a telegraph key • Trying to measure atoms of the mind • Fastest and simplest mental process • Became first psychological experiment • Science of psychology became organized into different schools of thought THINKING A BOUT THE MIND’S STRUCTURE • 1892, Edward Bradford Titchener introduced structuralism • Structuralism – an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind • Wanted to discover the structural elements of mind • Engaged people in self-reflective introspection (looking inward) • “there is only one thing, and only one in the whole universe in which we know more about than we could learn from external observation.” C.S. Lewis • That one thing is ourselves • Introspection required smart, verbal people • Proved somewhat unreliable, results varied • Sometimes we don’t know why we feel what we feel and do what we do • As introspection diminished, so did structuralism THINKING A BOUT THE MIND’S FUNCTIONS • William James focused on the evolved functions of our thoughts and feelings • Functionalism – a school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioural processes function-how they enable us to adapt, survive and flourish • Why does the nose smell, and the brain think? • Following Charles Darwin, James assumed thinking developed because it was adaptive • Consciousness is a function • Allows us to consider our past, change our present, and plan our future • Encouraged exploration of emotions, memories, willpower, habits and streams of consciousness • Greatest legacy came from his Harvard teaching and his writing • “the first lecture on psychology I ever heard was the first I ever gave.” • James tutored Mary Calkins after all males dropped his class (woman were not allowed) • Harvard denied her degree • Margaret Floy Washburn became first female psychology Ph.D • Washburn’s theory was the first foreign study Wundt published in his journal • She was still not allowed to join the organization of experimental psychologists due to her gender • James began writing a textbook in 1878 with publisher Henry Holt called Principles of Psychology • Took 12 years • This is still a well known book Psychological Science Develops • Young science of psychology developed from more established fields of biology and philosophy • Wundt was a philosopher and a physiologist, James was a philosopher, Pavlov was a physiologist, Freud was a physician, Piaget was a biologist • Above list
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