“A History of Psychology”Plato a student ofeachers advice “Knowle for psychologicalch about ourselves byeelings. Psychologistson.
Another Greek philosopher Aristotle, raised many questionsabout behavior.One of Aristotle´s work was the “Peri Psyches”, whichmeans about the mind. It is said that this book was written more than 2000 yearsago, it describes how people are motivated to seek pleasureand to avoid pain, Peri Psyches also explores topics such assensation, perception, thought, intelligence, needs, motives,feelings, emotions and memory.
The ancient greeks also theorized about psychological problemssuch as confusion and strange behavior, they attributed thesedisorders to supernatural forces, they believed that the godspunished people for their wrongdoing by causing them confusionand madness.However a Greek physician Hippocrates (c.460-c. 377B.C.),suggested that such problems were caused by abnormalities inthe brain, this idea that biological factors can affect our thoughts,feelings and behavior influenced thinking about psychology eversince.
The Middle Ages• During the middle ages, most Europeans believed that problems such as agitation and confusion were signs of demonic possession.• Several tests were use to determine whether a person was possessed or not.• For example: The water-float test, people were thrown into deep water, if they manage to stay above the water, they were executed and treated as possesed, if not, they drowned, and were treated as pure souls.
“The Birth of a Modern Science”• Psychology was born as a modern science, when psychologists opened psychological laboraties.• In these laboratories, phsychologists studied behavior and mental processes, most historians point out to the year 1879 as the beginning of psychology as a modern laboratory science. One of these psychologists was Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), Wilhelm Wundt created the first psychology lab, and establish psychology as a science.
Wilhem Wundt Wilhem Wundt and his students, founded a field of psychology that came to be known as “Structuralism”, they were concerned with studying the basic elements of consciousness. Wunt broke down the content of consciousness into two categories:Objective sensations and Subjective feelings.Objective sensations such as sight and taste wereassumed to reflect the outside world. Subjective feelingswere thought to include emotional responses andmental images.
William James A decade after Wundt established his laboratory, William James (1842-1910), thought that consciousness experience cannot be broken down as structuralists believed, he said that experience is a continous stream of consciousness.William James was one of the founders of the school ofFunctionalism, they were concerned with how mentalprocesses help organisms adapt to their environment. Theybelieved behaviors were adaptive because they weresuccessful, less adaptive behaviors were dropped ordiscontinued. If a behavior was successful, after lots of practiceit can become a habit (automatic behavior).
John B. Watson Behaviorism: John B. Watson (1878-1958) Behaviorists believe behavior can be studied in a methodical and recognizable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. Watson believed that it was unscientific to study consciousness as a private event , he asserted that if psychology was to be a natural science, it must be observable and measured. As a founder of the school of behaviorism, Watson defined psychology as the scientific study of observable behavior.
B. F. SkinnerB. F. Skinner (1904-1990) he added to thebehaviorist tradition reinforcement. Skinnershowed that when an animal is reinforced, orrewarded, for perfoming an action, it is morelikely to perform the action in the future.According to Skinner people learn the sameway animals do. Like animals people behavein certain ways because they have beenreinforced for doing so.
The Gestalt SchoolThe psychology of Gestalt which means shapeor form in German, is based on the idea thatperceptions are more than the sums of theirparts, rather they are wholes that give shape ormeaning.
Sigmund Freud and the School of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), was one of the most famous of the early psychologists. The school of thought that he founded was called “Psychoanalysis”, it emphasizes the importance of unconscious motives and internal conflicts and how they can influence behavior. Freud´s theory, more than others has become a part of popular culture, for example when you are trying to interpret a slip of the tongue, or when you try to figure out a dream.
• Structuralists, functionalists, behaviorists and Gestalt psychologists all conducted their research in a laboratory. However Freud gained his understanding of human behavior through consultations with patients.• Freud´s theory which is sometimes called “Psychodynamic Thinking”, assumed that most of what exists in a person´s mind is unconscious and makes us deal with conflicting impulses, urges and wishes. According to Freud, we are constantly trying to satisfy these desires, even though some of them might seem inappropriate or unacceptable in our society. Freud attempted to help people gain insight into their unconscious conflicts and find socially acceptable ways of expressing their wishes and meeting their needs.
Section Review What are the roots of psychology What does “Know Thyself” means? What is “Peri Psyches” about? Which Greek physician said that psychological problems were caused by abnormalities of the brain? According to the middle ages, what was the cause of psychological problems?
When was psychology a modern science? What is structuralism about? What is functionalism about? What do behaviorists believed? What is the Gestalt School about? What is the school of Psychodynamic about?