THE GROWTH OF PSYCHOLOGY AS A SCIENCE
- started in late 19th century in Germany
PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS OF PSYCHOLOGY
- we are aware of our consciousness and tend to relate it to our behaviours
- animism: the belief that all animals and all moving objects possess spirits providing their
motive force. (things back then were explained this way, eg. Sun, wind. Tides, gravity…)
- today when we explain behaviours of people we still refer to the action of a motivating
spirit – namely a will.
- Psychology is strictly subjected to physical laws, this allows us to be disciplined (our
inclination might lead us to incorrect conclusions)
- Rene Descartes (1596-1650): the human body is controlled by natural causes and could
be understood by methods of science.
- reflexes: E. from outside reflected through nervous system, causing muscle to contract
- dualism: that belief that reality consist of mind and matter. (he believed physical bodies
do not think and minds are not made of ordinary matter. He believed the mind controlled the
body while the body supplied the mind with information
- model: a relatively simple system that works on known principles and is able to do at
least some of the things that a more complex system can do.
- John Locke (1963-1704): Took Decartes’s analysis 1 step forward
- empiricism: knowledge is obtained through experience (opp. of what Decarte’s said)
- George Berkeley (1685-1753): We must learn to perceive
- James Mill (1773-1836): Believed the mind, no less than the body was a machine
- Materialism: Belief that reality can be known only through understanding of the
physical world in which the mind is a part of.
BIOLOGICAL ROOTS OF PSYCHOLOGY
- Decartes’s muscle movement model was shown to be incorrect by Luigi Galvani
- Johannes Muller (1801-1858): Was a forceful advocate of applying experimental
procedures to the study of physiology.
- doctrine of specific nerve energies: different nerve fibres convey specific information
from 1 part of the body to the brain or from the brain to 1 part of the body.
- Muller concluded that since nerves are specific, there must be specific areas in the brain
specialized for different functions as well.
- Pierre Flourens (1774-1867): Provided experimental implications of Mullers D of nerve.