Nicolaus Copernicus established the idea that Earth was not the center of the universe, as many people previously thought.
Rene Descartes disagreed with the idea of dualism, the concept that the mind and body are seperate and distinct. He believed that there was a link between the mind and body. Descartes said that the mind controlled the sensations, body's movements, and perceptions.
Science in Psychology
Biologists announced that they discovered that cells are the building blocks of life. Chemists later discovered the periodic table of elements. Physicists further understood the atomic forces.
Sir Francis Galton was a scientist and mathematician who wanted to understand how heredity influences a person's abilities, character, and behavior. He published a book, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, which is regarded as the first study of individual differences. Galton raised the issue of whether behavior is determined by heredity or environment, through his writings, which is still a controversy today.
Father of Psychology
William James taught the first class in psychology at Harvard University . He is called the 'Father of Psychology' in the United States. He wrote the Principles of Psychology. James focused of the functions or purposes of the conscious mind and the goals. Functionalists are people who study how mental processes help animals and people adapt to their surroundings.
Laboratory of Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt started a Laboratory of Psychology. His efforts were to pursue the study of human behavior in a systematic and scientific way. He was trained in a physiology, but his interest was the study of the human mind. Wundt was a structuralist which means he was insterested in the basic elements of human experiences.
Ivan Pavlov charted a new course for psychological investigations. He did an experiment that when a dog ate food he rang a tuning fork and when the dog smelled the meat powder it would salivate. He repeated this many times. Then he rang the fork without the dog having food and it would salivate even with no food. The concept was used by many psychologists as a new tool for exploring behavior.
Sigmind Freud was a physician that was more interested in the unconscious mind. He thought that our unconscious minds expriences are the only are only a part of it, that beneath it there was primitive biological urges that are in conflicts unconscious motivations and that the conflicts are responsible for most of our human behavior.
Freud used a technique called dream analysis which is an extension of free assosication, but applied it to a patients dream. Free association is a method for studying the unconscious mind indirectly.
Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Koffka, disagreed with the ideas of structuralism and behaviorism. They believed that the perception is more than the sum of its parts. They said it involves a 'whole pattern' or in German, Gestalt.
John B. Watson believed that psychology should concern itself with only the observable things concerning behavior.
Different kinds of psycholoists
Humanists, such as Abraham Maslow descibre human nature as evolving and self-directed. It does not view humans as being controlled by events in the environment or by unconscious foreces. Cognitivists, like Jean Piagret, focus on how we process, store, and use information and how this informations influences us like our thinking, language, problem solving, and creativity. Psychobiologists study how the brain, nervous system, and hormones influence our behavior.