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Chapter One – The Evolution of Psychology
The Development of Psychology
-psychology developed from philosophical speculations about the mind into modern
sciences, later, it became known as β€œthe study of the mind”
* William Wundt (1832-1920)
- German Psychologist
- made psychology an independent discipline rather than philosophy or psychology
- In 1879 Wundt succeeded in establishing the first formal laboratory for research in
psychology at the University of Leipzig
- established the first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology
- Psychology became the scientific study of consciousness and conscious experience
* G. Stanely Hall (1846-1924)
- studied briefly with Wundt
- launched the first American psychology journal and was the president of the American
Psychological Association (APA)
The Battle of the Schools (Structuralism vs. Functionalism)
*Edward Titchener  Structuralism
Structuralism is based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness
into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related
β€’Structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of
conscious experience such as: sensations, feelings and images
β€’Depended on the method of introspection: the careful systematic self-observation of
one’s own conscious experience ( this required training to make the subject – the
person being studied- more objective and more aware)
β€’Limitations associated with the use of introspection were a factor that contributed to
the demise of structuralism
*William James (1842-1910)  Functionalism
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Functionalism is based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or
purpose of consciousness rather than its structure
β€’James’ thinking illustrates how psychology, like any field, is deeply embeeded in a
network of cultural and intellectual influences
β€’James had been impressed with Charles Darwin principle of natural selection 
Heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more
likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and
thus come to be β€œselected” over time
β€’Said that the structuralists’ approach missed the real nature of conscious experience
*John B. Watson  Behaviourism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that
scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour
β€’We should study things that can be observed objectively
β€’For Watson, mental events were not important because they were seen as private
events and no one can see or touch another person’s thoughts
β€’Behaviour is determined by nature vs. nurture
β€’A stimulus can detect any able input from environment (light and sound waves)
β€’Emphasizing the importance of the environment over heredity, the behaviourists
began to explore stimulus-response relationships often using laboratory animals as
subjects
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*Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)  bringing the unconscious into the picture
β€’His approach to psychology came from his attempt to treat mental disorders (ie;
irrational fears)
β€’He also gathered material by looking inward and examining his own anxieties,
conflicts and desires
β€’According to Freud the unconscious contained memories, desires and thoughts that
are well below the surface of the conscious awareness but that nonetheless have a
great influence on behaviour
β€’Psychological disturbances are largely caused by personal conflicts existing at the
unconscious level
β€’Psychoanalytical Theory attempts to explain personality, motivation and mental
disorders focusing on the unconscious determinants of behaviour
β€’Made the discovery that people are not the masters of their minds and proposed the
idea that much of behaviour is influenced by how people cope with their sexual urges
β€’However, some scientists found that the psychoanalytical theory was an unscientific
speculation that would eventually fade away
β€’Nevertheless, many saw merit in the scientific methods to the topics of: personality,
motivation and abnormal behaviour
*Harvard B.F Skinner (1904-1990)  Free Will (Operant Conditioning)
β€’Emerging as a central figure in behaviourism
β€’He did not deny the existence of internal mental events but he redefined them as
private events and did not think that they should be given special status when
explaining behaviour
β€’Emphasized how environmental factors could mould behaviour , thus, he argued
that psychology could predict and understand behaviour adequately without
resorting to physiological explanations
β€’He found that organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes and
tend not to repeat responses that lead to negative or neutral outcomes
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