Origins of Contemporary Psychology

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    Socrates, Plato and Aristotle- 2000 years ago

    Socrates, Plato and Aristotle- 2000 years ago
    Psychology first started 2000 years ago, when three Greek philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle began to question and have ideas about numerous aspects of the human mind. The Greek philosophers debated whether we are born with our thoughts, feelings and behaviour, or whether they are acquired through behaviour. Greek philosophers also debated on what is called the "mind-body problem". Generally, Greek philosophers believe that the mind and body are seperate and that the mind could control
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    Socrates, Plato and Aristotle- 2000 years ago. part 2

    Socrates, Plato and Aristotle- 2000 years ago. part 2
    the body, but the body could not influence the mind.The idea was popular for nearly 2000 years until a French philosopher Rene Descartes had a different view.
  • Rene Descartes Part 2

    Rene Descartes Part 2
    the body and vice versa. Though Descartes knowledge of the brain and roles of its structures were not great, so at times, he was wrong. Although, thanks to Descartes, the relation between the mind and body are closer than what had previously been considered not possible.
  • Rene Descartes

    Rene Descartes
    Rene Descartes a French Philosopher lived from 1596 to 1650. He suggested that the human mind and body are seperate, but interact through the brain. He is best known for his saying, 'I think, therefore I am'. Like the Greek philosophers, Descartes agreed that the mind and body are two different things. However, unlike the Greek philosophers, Descartes suggested that the mind and body come into contact through the pineal gland, a tiny part of the brain. Descartes also argued the mind could affect
  • Hermon von Helmholtz

    Hermon von Helmholtz
    Hermon von Helmholtz was one of the physiologists who began studying the brain and other psychologically relevant structures such as the nervous system and sensory organs, in the nineteenth century. Helmoltz ran some scientific research on the speed of nerve impulses in a frog's leg, with the experiment sucessful, Helmholtz made slight alterations to his intial experiment with the frog's legs, to test on humans. In the nineteenth century, it was believed that the mind processed information
  • Hermon Von Helmholtz

    Hermon Von Helmholtz
    to move ones body instantly. However, Hermon Von Helmholtz proved that theory wrong, through his experiments on nerve impules in the human body, Helmholtz provided evidence that nerve impules take time to travel to the brain. Not only did Helmholtz achieve that, though he also showed conducting research and experiments was a effective way to study the brain.

    The official starting date of psychology as a SCIENCE is considered to be 1879.
    In that same year, the very first psychology research laboratory was established by a man named Wilhelm Wundt, who was Hermon Von Helmoltz research assistant.
  • Structualism - Wilhelm Wundt

    Structualism - Wilhelm Wundt
    Wilhelm Wundt was a German physiologist who was interested in the scientific study of human consciousness. Wundt's perception, theories, scientific research and articles led to the establishment of the first school of thought in psychology, which wsas called structualism. Wundt showed that science and experimentation could be applied to psychology to study sesnsations, perceptions and feelings, which at that time was not recognised. Wilhelm Wundt had a strong influence on the development of
  • Wilhelm Wundt - Part 2

    of psychology as a science. Over Wund'ts life, 17000 students attended his lectures on psychology. Nearly 200 students from around the world travelled to the University of Leipzig especially to study experimental psychology and earn PhDs with Wundt's guidance.
  • Functionalism- William James

    Functionalism- William James
    WIllilam James had a great influence to establishing psychology in America. William James founded a centre of psychological research which is regarded as one of the most important in the world. william James graduated as a medical doctor and then became a lecturer at Harvard University, his lectures were initially in medicine, although James became more interested in psychology as a science so his lectures began to focus more and more on psychology rather than medicine. In 1890, he published a
  • William James- Part 2

    William James- Part 2
    book called "principles of psychology", his book inspired many psychologists and psychology students. His description of consciousness which is still accepted today is "a never-ending, constantly changing stream of thoughts, feelings and sensations". William James emphasised that consciousness and behaviour, when necessary change to "adapt" to function effectively in their constantly changing environment. This idea of adaptation was called "functionalism" which is the study of functions that
  • William James - the 3rd

    William James - the 3rd
    mental processes enable people to adapt to their environment. WIlliam James also believed psychology could be applied to improve teaching and learning in schools and could also help fulfil special learning needs of children.
  • Sigmund Freud

    Sigmund Freud
    In the twentieth century, Sigmund brought psychology to a whole different approach. Freud took on a whole different approach in psychology called psychoanalysis. Through psychoanalysis, Sigmund Fredud believed people of mental illnesses could be cured by bringing their unconsciousness into their conscious. He believed that our past experiences, particularly early childhood experiences play a major role in how we develop our personality and behaviours. This lead Freud to be the first
  • John B. Watson

    John B. Watson
    John B. Watson was an American psychologist who made a huge impact on the development of Psychology. Watson influenced many psychologists to change from studying consciousness to studying behaviour scientifically. Watson believed that psychology should focus on the scientific study of "observable" behaviour that could be measured and confirmed by reasearchers, through science, not focused on studyinging consciousness. Watson promoted the idea that psychology should be about studying, predicting,
  • John B. Watson - Part two

    John B. Watson - Part two
    ...understanding and controlling behaviour. Watsons approach to psychology became known as "Behaviourism". Behaviourism is the idea of understanding and explaining how behaviour is learned and changed by experience. Watson conducted research on learning, mostly on animalls. His research focused on the roles of rewards and punishments on learning. Watson also studied humans. He once said that, if he had enough control over a set environment, he could turn any infant into anything he wanted,
  • John B Watson - 3

    John B Watson - 3
    through learning experiences. By the middle of the twentieth centruy, it became accepted that psycholgoy was about the study of behaviour.
  • Humanism- Carl Rogers

    Humanism- Carl Rogers
    Humanism is a branch of psychology which focuses on the understanding and explaination of behaviours and mental processes that makes each individual person unique. Major founder and leader of humanism, Carl Rogers, was an American clinical psychologist who emphasised an individuals "free will". Meaning that as human beings we are free to behave however way we like and act according to what decisions we choose to make, and that we control our own destinies. Carl Rogerse believed that behaviour
  • Humanisim - Carl Rogers

    Humanisim - Carl Rogers
    is not beyond our control. Carl Roger believed that we are all born with potential and that through life experiences we can fulfil our potential. Carl Rogers believed incorporating experimental methods from physics and psychology were inappropriate to use to study humans. So Rogers did little research to test out his theories and gather evidence to support those theories.