The Story of Psychology
Psychology is Born
December 1879 University of Leipzig, Germany, 2 graduate students and professor
Wilhelm Wundt conducted the first psychology lab to measure "atoms of the mind" by
having a ball hit a platform and have the participants press a key when hearing the
Structuralism used introspection to define the minds makeup. Functionalism focused on
how mental processes enable us to adapt, survive, flourish.
Edward Bradford Titchener aimed to discover mind's structural elements. Engaged
people in "introspection" (looking inward) to receive their immediate thoughts when
eating a certain food or hearing a sound. Results varied from person to person based on
their intelligence and verbal ability.
Philosopher Psychologist William James (popular for his writings) thought to consider
the evolved functions of thoughts and feelings. He tutored Mary Whiton Calkins who
was denied her earned Ph.D. at Harvard.
Wundt and Titchener focused on inner sensations, images and feelings. James
interested in introspective examination of the consciousness and of emotion.
"The Science on Mental Life" later changed in 1920 to "The scientific study of observable
John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner - Behaviourists
Sigmund Freud's - Freudian Psychology (focused on our unconscious thought process
and emotional responses to childhood experiences affecting our behaviour)
Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow - Humanistic Psychologists (Focused on ways current
environmental influences can nurture or limit growth potential and on the importance
of having our needs for love and acceptance satisfied
1960's - Cognitive Neuroscience - enriched our understanding of brain activity
underlying mental activity. Has help to treat ourselves with disorders
Debate over Nurture vs. Nature ongoing (twins ideal participants as they shed light on
Greek Philosopher Plato assumed we inherit character and intelligence. Aristotle argued
there is nothing in the mind that does not first come from external senses.
Charles Darwin (1831) argued that natural selection shapes behaviours as well as bodies Natural Selection: process by which nature selects from chance variations the traits the
best enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.
Depression can be both a brain and thought disorder
3 Main Levels of Analysis: Biopsychosocial Approach (offers a more complete view than just one
perspective could cover)