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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Notes Notes on the entire chapter in point form

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS101
Professor
Eileen Wood
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 1: The Evolution of Psychology How Psychology Developed: The term psychology comes from two Greek words, psyche meaning the soul and logos referring to the study of a subject th o The two Greek words were first put together in the 16 century to define a topic of study This was when psyche was used to refer to the mind, spirit or soul as distinguished from the body o In the early 18 century, the term psychology gained more than just rare usage among scholars By this time, psychology had acquired the literal meaning, the study of the mind People have always wondered about the mysteries of the mind therefore psychology is as old as the human race o It was only a little over 100 years ago that psychology emerged as a scientific discipline The Contributions of Wundt and Hall: Psychologys intellectual parents were the disciplines of philosophy and physiology o By the 1870s, a small number of scholars in both fields were exploring questions about the mind in their respective fields Wilhem Wundt: o A German professor, was the one who mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline o His campaign was a success and as a result in 1879, Wundt succeeded in establishing the first formal laboratory for research in psychology at the University of Leipzig As a result of this, historians have christened 1879 as psychologys date of birth o His campaign was so successful that hes widely characterized as the founder of psychology o In 1874, Wundt declared that the new psychology should be modelled after the fields physics and chemistry o According to Wundt, psychologys primary focus was consciousness (the awareness of immediate experience) therefore psychology became the scientific study of conscious experience This orientation kept psychology focussed on the mind and mental processes but it demanded that the methods psychologists used to investigate the mind be as scientific as those of chemists and physicists o Between 1883- 1893 some 24 psychological research laboratories sprang up in the United States and Canada Many of the labs were started by Wundts students or by his students students G. Stanley Hall: o Studied briefly with Wundt o Toward the end of the 19 century, Hall had many firsts for American psychology Established Americas first research laboratory in psychology at John Hopkins University in 1883 In 1887, he launched Americas first psychology journal In 1892, he was the driving force behind the establishment of the American Psychological Association (APA) and was elected its first president The APA is now the worlds largest organization devoted to the advancement of psychology with over 155 000 members and affiliates APA was at first created with Hall and 26 others members Structuralism vs Functionalism: The first two major schools of thought, structuralism and functionalism had the first great intellectual battle Structuralism emerged through the leadership of Edward Titchener, an Englishman, who emigrated to the U.S in 1892 and taught for decades at Cornell University o He earned his degree in Wundts Leipzig lab o Although he had great admiration for Wundts work, he brought his own version of Wundts psychology to America o Structuralism was based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related o Structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience such as sensations, feelings and images Most of their work concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing and touch To examine the contents of consciousness, they used a method called introspection which is the careful, systematic self-observation of ones own conscious experience Introspection required training to make the subject (person being studied) more objective and more aware Once trained, the subjects were typically exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions and visual stimuli under carefully controlled and systematically varied conditions and were asked to analyze what they experienced Limitation: if you depended only on an individuals reflection to document a phenomenon, there is no independent objective evaluation of that claim Functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness rather than its structure o William James, a brilliant American scholar, was the chief impetus for the emergence of functionalism Jamess formal training was in medicine but he found that it wasnt intellectually challenging and felt that he was too sickly to pursue a medical practice As a result, in 1872, he joined the faculty of Harvard University to pursue a different career His landmark book, Principles of Psychology (1890) became the standard reading for generations of psychologists and is perhaps the most influential text in the history of psychology His thinking illustrates how psychology, like any field, is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences He was impressed with Charles Darwins concept of natural selection According to the principle of natural selection, heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed onto subsequent generations and thus come to be selected over time o Darwins evolutionary theory suggested that the typical characteristics of a species must serve some purpose Applying this idea to humans, James (1890) noted that consciousness obviously is an important characteristic of our species therefore he contended that psychology should investigate the functions rather than the structure of consciousness James also argued that the structuralists approach missed the real nature of conscious experience He argued that consciousness consisted of a continuous flow of thoughts, by analyzing consciousness into its elements, the structuralists were looking at static points in that flow James wanted to understand the flow itself which he called the stream of consciousness o Functionalists were more interested in how people adapt their behaviour to the demands of the real world around them This led them to introduce new subjects into psychology Instead of focusing on sensation and perception, functionalists like James McKeen Cattell and John Dewey began to investigate mental testing, patterns of development in child, the effectiveness of educational practices and behavioural differences between the sexes These topics may have played a role in attracting women into the field of psychology o Margaret Floy Washburn was the first woman in the U.S to receive a Ph.D in psychology She was the author of the book The Animal Mind which served as a precursor to behaviourism o Leta Hollingworth did important work on childrens intelligence and was influential in debunking some of the theories current at the time that proposed to explain why women were inferior to men o Mary Whiton Calkins became the first woman to serve as president of the American Psychological Association The advocates of structuralism and functionalism saw themselves as fighting for the definition and future direction of the new science of psychology o Most historians would say that the functionalists won the battle o Both schools of thought gradually faded away but functionalism fostered the development of two descendants that has dominated modern psychology: behaviourism and applied psychology Watson and Behaviourism: Behaviourism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour o This definition suggested that Watson was proposing that psychologists
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