History And Figures Of Psychology Essay

907 words - 4 pages

History and Figures of Psychology

Amanda Morris

University of Phoenix

History and Figures of Psychology

Psychology did not become a separate discipline until the late 1800s, however, its roots can be traced back hundreds of years. Greek philosophers like Socrates and Plato and French philosopher Rene Descartes established the basis of reflection that great thinkers have used for centuries to grow and foster their own ideas (Cherry, n.d).
Socrates’ most important contribution to the discipline to Western thought was his dialectic inquiry method, known now as the Socratic Method. He applied this method of searching for answers to examining broad moral concepts ...view middle of the document...

Ultimately, physiological studies contributed to having scientific methodologies applied to the study of the human brain, thoughts, and behaviors (Cherry, n.d).
During the mid-1800s, German physiologist Wilhelm Wundt was investigating reaction times and published his findings in 1874 in his book Principles of Physiological Psychology. In it, he discussed many connections between his physiological findings and the study of human thoughts and behaviors. Later, in 1879 at the University of Leipzig, he founded the world’s first psychology lab. This lab is generally considered the official starting point of psychology as an independent scientific discipline (Bantwal, 2011).
Edward B. Titchener, one of Wundt’s most famous students went on to found the first major school of thought in psychology, structuralism. According to this theory, human consciousness was broken down into much smaller parts. This theory was based on introspection and using this process, trained individuals would break down their responses and reactions to the very core of sensation and perception. Even though structuralism heavily emphasized scientific research, it was considered unreliable and very subjective. Structuralism basically ceased when Titchner died in 1927 (Bantwal, 2011).
In the mid- to late-1800s, psychology really thrived in America. William James became a major cornerstone for American psychology during this period. He published a classic textbook called The Principles of Psychology and essentially established himself as the father of American psychology. His book became the standard text used in psychology and functioned as the basis for functionalism, a new school of thought (Cherry, n.d).
Functionalism focused on how behavior works to assist individuals within their environment. While both structuralism and functionalism both emphasize the human consciousness, their notions about it differed greatly. While structuralists broke down the mental processes into...

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