Introduction to Psychology
Course title: Introduction to Psychology
Course code: PSY-101
Muhammad Bilal Younas
On completion of this lecture the students will be
able to understand how Psychology has gained the
status of a social science going through different
periods of history.
Definition of Psychology
The word of psychology is derived from two Greek
words “Psyche and Logos”
Psyche means “Soul/Spirit/Mind” and Logos means
Psychology stands for the knowledge of mind/soul
Psychology is the science of mind and behavior
Subject Matter of Psychology
Subject Matter of psychology is A-B-C
A stands for Affect
B stands for- Behavior (Overt and Covert
C stands for- Cognition
Psychology for Eco students?
Understanding human tendencies to behave in
certain ways to different situations allows us a lot of
opportunity to create efficiency and success.
If we can better understand why people do what they
do, and how they react under certain circumstances,
we can create opportunities for individuals to succeed
and thrive based on their strengths.
These types of psychologists are interested in making
the worker/business more efficient.
They contribute to an organization's success by
improving the performance and well-being of its
Historical background of Psychology
The roots of Psychology can be traced back to some
half million years. Primitive people assumed that
behavior was caused by the presence of good and evil
People have been interested in the behavior of other
people throughout history so that roots of psychology
may be found in philosophy, religion, and science.
We can divide history period into two periods
Pre scientific period
Pre scientific period
Some of our modern ideas of mind came from ancient
Greece. Term Psychology was derived from the Greek
word ‘Psyche’ (soul) and ‘logos’ (knowledge). It
eventually came to mean the “study of the mind”
Pre scientific period can be divided into three sub
i) Greek period
ii) Middle ages
iii) Islamic period
Some early Greek philosophers regarded Psyche as a
substance. This substance was thought to control the
body. Some Greek philosophers are:
Hippocrates (430 B.C): Greek physician Hippocrates
thought that personality was made up of four
temperaments and these temperaments were influenced
by the presence of “humors or fluids” in the body. The
problem of interest to the early Greek philosophers was
the relationship between “mind” and body.
He stressed the controlling influence of soul or mind.
He postulated the theory of mind body dualism and
held the view that as long as the soul remains in the
body, the man is alive, and when it leaves the body,
the man dies.
Rejected the Plato’s theory and suggested that mind is a
function of the body itself just as vision is a function of the
His concept of mind as a function of bodily processes was
an important step in the direction of making Psychology a
Attention turned, eventually, from pure speculation about
the mind to the study of organism.
He was influenced by Plato and Aristotle’s thoughts.
He tried to understand religious beliefs through
Being a Christian philosopher, he believed that human
being is interaction of soul and body.
He was founder of introspective method.
He thought that an individual can understand his
own inner feelings.
If the ideas of modern Psychologists about mental
health are assessed, we come to know that these are
based on the views of Islamic philosophers and
The Muslim philosophers described the principles of
life in the light if Quran and the Sunnah.
Here a brief description of Muslim philosophers may
be added into the history of psychology.
He was a great Arab philosopher. He believed that
our souls have originated from God’s soul. According
to him, our real happiness lies in the reason and
He tried to combine religion and philosophy as both
seek reality; philosophy focuses on theoretical aspects
whereas religion stresses upon actions.
Al- Farabi (870-950)
He wrote more than 80 books on various topics. He
believed that a man is composed of body and soul,
which belong to God.
God is immortal and above all human thoughts.
Farabi was influenced by the teachings of Plato and
He was physician, poet and psychologist all in one.
According to him, there are three kinds of mind
:Human mind, Animal mind , and vegetable mind.
Only the Human mind possess reason and
intelligence. He said that physical illness could be
treated with medicine but mental illness could be
treated psychologically with religion.
He thought that body had no link with mind; body
perishes but mind remains alive.
Imam Ghazali (1058-1111)
He wrote a number of books on religion. According
to him those obsessed with love of God and treading
the right path do not contact mental disorders.
Therefore , he also instructed people to follow the
He said that , this world is a place of actions and hard
work and no body was allowed to remain idle in life.
He viewed that man was recognized by his actions.
He stressed upon children’s education. He said
children’s capabilities must be assessed for proper
education. He thought that mental diseases were
caused by negative emotional problems and one
should get rid of them.
Allama Bin Khaldun (1332-1406)
He proposed the theories of social psychology and
explained human beliefs , prejudices , attitudes and
other subject matters.
According to him , religion influences human mind
and whole life.
Shah Wali Ullah ( 1702-1763)
He wrote many books and made a deep study of human
mind and behavior. He discovered the causes of mental
disorders and treated them .
According to him conflict goes on between positive and
negative forces within human mind and healthy
personality develops only by striking balance b/w the two.
If irrational ideas are in excess, mental health is affected.
This period may be divided into two sub periods:
1. Renaissance Period:
Following are the important figures of this period:
Francis Bacon (1564-1642)
He was founder of modern science. He separated
science from religion and philosophy. He proposed
several theories upon education, habits and human
He emphasized the importance of observation
instead of speculation.
He thought organism as complicated mechanism
which could be activated by light, sound and other
Although he had a very inadequate concept of the
structures and functions of the nervous system, his
study of the human organism brought fresh insight to
John Lock (1632-1704):
He believed we were born with empty mind in the
world, like blank slates upon which all of life’s
experiences could be written .
Other influences on early psychology came from
biology and physics.
Charles Darwin (1809-1882):
In his book” The Origin of Species” in 1859,he
outlined his theory of evolution. In his theory he
suggested that animals and people show behavior that
is adaptive to the environment and helpful to their
Hermann Von Helmholtz (1820-1894)
He Measured the speed of nerve impulse and set
forth a theory of color vision for our perception of
Paul Broca (1860)
A French physician identified a part of the brain (still
called “Broca Area”) working as control centre for
Weber (1795-1878) :
About the middle of 19th
century the discoveries made
in physics gave rise to a new field known as
Weber observed the relationship between changes in
the physical stimuli and human ability to perceive
He looked into mathematical connection between the
physical and psychological changes.
For the first time it had been demonstrated that
psychological phenomenon could be quantified and
investigated with scientific method.