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  1. 1. 1. Define General Psychology. The study of the basic principles, problems and methods that underlie the science of psychology. Includes human development, emotions, motivation, learning, senses, perception, thinking, memory, intelligence and processing. 2. Write the history of General Psychology. The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the Ancient Greeks. There is also evidence of psychological thought in ancient Egypt. Psychology was a branch of philosophy until the 1870s, when it developed as an independent scientific discipline in Germany and the United States. Psychology borders on various other fields including physiology,neuroscience, artificial intelligence, sociology, anthropology, as well as philosophy and other components of the humanities. Today, psychology is defined as "the study of behavior and mental processes". Philosophical interest in the mind and behavior dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Persia, Greece, China, and India. For a condensed overview of the subject see the Time line of Psychology article. Psychology as a self-conscious field of experimental study began in 1879, when Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research in Leipzig. Wundt was also the first person to refer to himself as a psychologist and wrote the first textbook on psychology: Principles of Physiological Psychology. Other important early contributors to the field include Hermann Ebbinghaus(a pioneer in the study of memory), William James (the American father of pragmatism), and Ivan Pavlov (who developed the procedures associated with classical conditioning). Soon after the development of experimental psychology, various kinds of applied psychology appeared. G. Stanley Hall brought scientific pedagogy to the United States from Germany in the early 1880s. John Dewey's educational theory of the 1890s was another example. Also in the 1890s, Hugo Munsterberg began writing about the application of psychology to industry, law, and other fields. Lightner Witmer established the first psychological clinic in the 1890s. James Cattell adapted Francis Galton's anthropometric methods to generate the first program of mental testing in the 1890s. In Vienna, meanwhile, Sigmund Freud developed an independent approach to the study of the mind called psychoanalysis, which has been widely influential.
  2. 2. The 20th century saw a reaction to Edward Titchener's critique of Wundt's empiricism. This contributed to the formulation of behaviorism by John B. Watson, which was popularized by B. F. Skinner. Behaviorism proposed emphasizing the study of overt behavior, because that could be quantified and easily measured. Early behaviorists considered study of the "mind" too vague for productive scientific study. However, Skinner and his colleagues did study thinking as a form of covert behavior to which they could apply the same principles as overt (publicly observable) behavior. The final decades of the 20th century saw the rise of cognitive science, an interdisciplinary approach to studying the human mind. Cognitive science again considers the "mind" as a subject for investigation, using the tools of evolutionary psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, behaviorism, and neurobiology. This form of investigation has proposed that a wide understanding of the human mind is possible, and that such an understanding may be applied to other research domains, such as artificial intelligence. 3. The contributors of general psychology. A.) Wilhelm Wundt's contributions to psychology are briefly mentioned here. For the remainder of the 19th century Wundt and his laboratory were the center of psychology, and anyone seriously interested in pursuing psychology traveled to Germany to study with Wundt. This situation changed rapidly by the beginning of the 20th century when America took a stronghold on psychology. Perhaps Wundt's greatest influence was the mentoring of students: over 160 students (an astounding number) received their Ph. D. under Wundt's supervision. One of those students was Edward Bradford Titchener, who studied with Wundt in Germany and then immigrated to Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) to promote his own variation of Wundtian psychology called structuralism.
  3. 3. B.) William James (1842-1910) is noted in this transition period from structuralism to functionalism for his clarity of thought and strong opposition to Titchener. At Harvard University in 1875-1876 he offered a course in "The Relations Between Physiology and Psychology." In 1890 James published a two volume Principles of Psychology which was an impressive work written with brilliance and clarity. James supported more than just the introspective method, and felt that more experimental procedures as well as comparative studies (between species) were valuable approaches. James contributed his honorable reputation and standing to oppose the division of consciousness into structures, offering an alternative approach for studying the mind. C.) James M. Cattell (1860-1944) was a student in G. Stanley Hall's laboratory course at Johns Hopkins University and went on to study with Wilhelm Wundt in Germany in 1883. Cattell was interested in studying human abilities and how they could be assessed and measured. Cattell brought this practical approach into the classroom where he was the first psychologist to teach statistics and advocate their use in data analysis. In 1888 he was appointed a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania; this type of appointment was the first in the world (at the time, all other psychologists held positions through a department of philosophy). Cattell's great contribution was his focus on a practical, test-oriented approach to studying mental processes rather than through introspective structuralism.
  4. 4. D.) Edward Titchener goal for structuralism was to use this rigorous introspective method to discover and identify the structures of consciousness, hence the title structuralism. Once the structures were understood, the laws of association could be verified and then one could study the physiological conditions under which ideas and concepts become associated. The ultimate goal was to understand the workings of the mind. Titchener contributed significantly to the rapid growth of psychology in America by having 54 Ph. D. students complete their work under his direction at Cornell University; he also separated the psychology department apart from the philosophy department there. Although the pursuit of structuralism basically died with Titchener (1867-1927), he provided a concrete system of psychology which would later be the subject and focus of major changes in psychology, resulting in a alternative approach to psychology: functionalism. 4. Why we study psychology? Psychology is useful Psychology has a broad range of real-world applications, ranging from stress, health, mental illness, artificial intelligence and human-machine interaction, to personal development, social interaction and the environment, to name but a few. 5. Write the perspective theory of psychology. Much of what we know about human thought and behavior has emerged thanks to various psychology theories. For example, behavioral theories demonstrated how conditioning can be used to learn new information and behaviors. Psychology students typically spend a great deal of time studying these different theories. Some theories have fallen out of favor, while others remain widely accepted, but all have contributed
  5. 5. tremendously to our understanding of human thought and behavior. By learning more about these theories, you can gain a deeper and richer understanding of psychology's past, present and future.
  6. 6. tremendously to our understanding of human thought and behavior. By learning more about these theories, you can gain a deeper and richer understanding of psychology's past, present and future.