History of Psychology

  • 460


    (460-377 B.C.)
    Hippocrates was a Greek physician who suggested that psychological problems are caused by abnormalities in the brain.
  • Aug 24, 1500

    Nicolaus Copernicus

    Nicolaus Copernicus
    Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus challenged the view that the sun revolved around the Earth, suggesting that Earth revolved around the sun.
  • Sir Isaac Newton

    Sir Isaac Newton
    English scientist Sir Isaac Newton formulated the laws of gravity and motion.
  • John Locke

    John Locke
    English Philosopher who theorized that knowledge is not inborn but is learned from experience.
  • Antoine Lavoisier

    Antoine Lavoisier
    (late 1700s)
    French scientist who founded the science of chemistry and explained how animals and plants use oxygen in respiration
  • Wilhelm Wundt

    Wilhelm Wundt
    German psychologist who founded the filed of psychology known as structuralism.
  • William James

    William James
    Harvard University professor who was one of the founders of the school of functionalism. He wrote a book called The Principles of Psychology on the relationships between experience and behavior. Many people consider his book to be the first modern psychology textbook.
  • John B. Watson

    John B. Watson
    John B. Watson was asked the question "Does it seem absurb to try to place yourself in the mind of a rat?" to obtain his doctoral degree in psychology. He is the founder of the school of behaviorism.
  • B. F. Skinner

    B. F. Skinner
    Harvard University psychologist added to the behaviorist tradition by introducing the concept of reinforcement. He showed that when an animal is rewarded for an action, he is more likely to perform that action again.
  • Gestalt psychology

    Gestalt psychology
    German psychologists Max Wethheimer, Kurt Koffka, and Wolfgang Kohler founded the school of Gestalt psychology in the 1920s.
  • Sigmund Freud

    Sigmund Freud
    A Viennese physician, he was the most famous of the early psychologists. The school of thought that he founded was called psychoanalysis. His theory was called psychodynamic thinking.
  • biological perspective

    biological perspective
    The biological perspective emphasizes the influence of biology on our behavior. This perpsective has roots in our associationism. Psychologists assume that our mental processes are made possible by the nervous system
  • evolutionary perspective

    evolutionary perspective
    The evolutionary perspective focuses on the evolution of behavior and mental processes. British scientist, Charles Darwin, theorized that in the struggle for survival, the most-adaptive organisms have a greater chance of surviving to maturity when they can reproduce.
  • cognitive perspective

    cognitive perspective
    The cognitive perspective emphasizes the role that thoughts play in determining behavior. Cognitive psychologists study mental processes to understand human nature.
  • humanistic perspective

    humanistic perspective
    The humanistic perspective stresses the human capacity for self-fulfillment and the importance of consciousness, self-awareness, and the capacity to make choices.
  • psychoanalytic perspective

    psychoanalytic perspective
    The psychoanalytic perspective stresses the influence of unconscious forces on the human behavior. Psychoanalytic theory dominated the practice of psychotherapy and greatly influenced psychology and the arts.
  • learning perspective

    learning perspective
    The learning perspective emphasizes the effects of experience on behavior. The term learning has different meanings to different psychologists. For example, traditional behaviorists and social-learning theorists have different attitudes toward the rule of consciousness in learning.
  • social-learning theory

    social-learning theory
    Social-learning theory suggests that people can change their environments or create new ones. Furthermore, social-learning theory holds that people can learn intentionally by observing others.
  • sociocultural perspective

    sociocultural perspective
    The sociocultural perspective studies the influences of ethnicity, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status on behavior and mental processes.
  • Plato

    (428-348 or 347 B.C.)
    Plato recorded his teacher's advice: "Know thyself." This is the motto of psychology. Psychologists call this introspection, or "looking within."
  • Aristotle

    (384-322 B.C.)
    Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who raised many questions about human behavior. He outlined the laws of associationism, which are still at the heart of learning theory today. One of Aristotle's works is called Peri Psyches, which means "about the mind." He argued that human behavior is scientific and is subject to certain rules and laws.
  • Middle Ages

    Middle Ages
    During the Middle Ages, most Europeans believed that poblems such as agitation and confusion were signs of possession by demons. One of the most infamous tests used to determine if someone was possessed was the water-float test. This test was based on the principle that pure metals sink to the bottom during the smelting process whereas impure metals float to the surface.
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    History of Psychology