Brief History Of Psychology Essay

1823 words - 8 pages

Brief History of Psychology

The objective of this essay is to give an overview of the history of psychology. Within this essay I shall be studying the main themes of Psychology including; Psychoanalysis, Gestalt, functionalism, behaviourism, structuralism and humanistic psychology. I shall be looking at specific psychologists in relation to their respected fields within psychology. In regards to psychoanalysis, I will be studying the works of Sigmund Freud and Jean Piaget. Within behaviourism I shall be studying the theories developed by John B. Watson. In Gestalt psychology I will be looking at Max Wertheimer. Edward B. Titchener was credited for developing structuralism. William James ...view middle of the document...

At around the age of 4-5, the boy begins to see his father as competition for the mother’s attention. However, the unconscious mind represses erotic feelings for his mother and identifies with his father and in turn his masculinity. He also states that young girls suffer from ‘penis envy’ and therefore relate to their mother and take the submissive role as ‘second best’. After the age of 6 the child goes into the latency period which lasts until puberty.
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a psychoanalysis who took inspiration from Freud’s work. He presented the first systematic study of cognitive development of the child. He used a clinical or empirical methodology. He believed that in the first six years of a child’s life, some of the most important developments are cognitive. Children have a basic mental structure and go on to develop the capacity to learn, through biological maturation and environmental experience. He stated that cognitive evolution occurs in the child in two stages; the sensorimotor and the preoperational. The first stage, sensorimotor, takes place from birth to two years. During this stage the child is egocentric. They do not have the mental capacity to understand that a world exists outside of their own. The second stage which takes place in a child’s early life is the preoperational stage, two-seven years. It is during this stage that the child begins to develop the cognitive thought processes that are required later in life. He formed the theory of Schemas. These are building blocks of knowledge and behaviours that are imbedded in the child unconscious. They are subsequently used by the child unconsciously to learn and adapt new information and develop cognitively. These Schemas can be broken down into three general groupings; assimilation, accommodation and equilibration. Assimilation is the use of an existing Schema to deal with a new object or situation. For example, a two year learns how to ride a tricycle, over time they move on to a two wheeled bicycle. They do this by applying their existing Schema of how a tricycle works to how a bicycle works. Accommodation is when an existing Schema can no longer be applied and needs to be changed in order to deal with a new object or situation. Equilibration is a natural force which moves cognitive development forward. This progression occurs in ‘leaps’ when a child’s Schemas are unable to understand new information through assimilation or accommodation. Equilibration is the process of balancing both assimilation and accommodation to achieve cognitive evolution.
Behaviourism became extremely popular and influential in the field of psychology in the 1920s. John B. Watson (1878-1958) helped develop this theory. He believed behaviourism was far more objective than any other psychology theory. He used observational and clinical methods. He conceived that people have no free will and that the environment in which someone is exposed to influences their...

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