Origins of Contemporary Psychology

By TienC
  • 400

    Philosophical roots of psychology-The three ancient founders

    Philosophical roots of psychology-The three ancient founders
    2000 years ago, Greek philosophers were questioning about human behaviours, feelings and all kinds of thoughts. They were Socates, followed by Plato and Aristotle.The curiousity lead to the study of human body and mind that nowaday,left us with many controversal questions.
  • 400

    The FIRST important IDEAS

    The FIRST important IDEAS
    The great three Greek philosophers were debating whether humans simply inherit genes that create who they are or they develop through life experinces. Today, we believe that both nature and nurture, genetic and enviromental factors are both equally affecting the develpoment of humans' behaviour and mental processes. Moreover, the operation of mind and body were very important as three of the phillosophers believed that each has their specific contribution in controlling humans' body.
  • The Dualism - French philosopher Rene Descaretes

    The Dualism - French philosopher Rene Descaretes
    Decartes gave reason support the idea that brain and body are connected. He reasoned that they are connected through the pineal gland which is a tiny structure loacted deep in the brain. The non-physical spiritual entity produces the existence awareness of our own existence .
  • A new turn in psychology – Science roots of Psychology

     A new turn in psychology – Science roots of Psychology
    By the nineteenth century, scientists became involved in the study of human behaviour and mental processes by starting to answer questions that were once just hypotheses through experiments and case studies. The philosophers weren’t convinced this was possible because that the brain isn’t a physical object that can be observed, measured or manipulated scientifically.
  • William James

    William James
    In late 1860s, one of Wundt’s articles had affected William to become interested in the emerging science of psychology.
    In 1980, he published a two volume textbook called “Principles of Psychology”. It focused on many original ideas such as consciousness, the relationship between conscious experience and the body, individual differences in people, sensation, perception, memory and emotion.
  • Structuralism

    Structuralism
    Another great contribution was from a physiologist named Wilhelm Wundt, who specialised in medicine but took interest in the scientific study of human consciousness. The development of structuralism was based on how chemists and physicists break down atoms into elements and into “bits” to understand it. Wundt adopted similar approach by looking through consciousness via different perspectives such as thoughts, feelings, sights, sounds and other sensation that people may be aware of.
  • Wilhem Wundt

    Wilhem Wundt
    In 1879, Wundt started to research about consciousness scientifically in his lab at the university of Leipzig in Germany. He and his students experimented on participants to observe their consciousness through tests and then recorded the results on the speed of mental process. Wundt announced that we can experimentally study attention, sensations, perceptions and feelings without any recognition from others at that time. Wundt’s ideas were adapted and influenced the psychology of the world.
  • Hermann Helmholtz

    Hermann Helmholtz
    Hermann von Helmholtz was a physiologist, who specialised in the structure and function of living things, mostly humans. He conducted an experiment using frog’s leg to measure the speed of the nerve impulses and it was very successful.
  • Hermann von Helmholts

    Hermann von Helmholts
    The success of this method gave more useful information about the inside of the brain such as the five senses we have, are operated by a system where information can be sent to the brain and our bodies through the work of nerve impulses along with message from hhormones .By applying this great method, Hermann von Helmholtz disclaimed the idea that neurological processes which underly mental events must be instantaneous for everything to be so closely synchronised.
  • Functionalism:

    Functionalism:
    James believed that psychology is not only to be studied in a laboratory but that direct observations of people and animals in their natural environments are beneficial. James then contributed his recognition of the benefits of psychological research to the community and humankind. Schools’ environments have applied the psychology into improving teaching and learning in schools and devising programs for children with special learning needs.
  • John B Watson

    John B Watson
    John B Watson approached psychology with his study on behaviour which is known as behaviourism. Watson defined that our behaviour is shaped and moulded by the interaction with experiences. Action such as rewarding and punishing does influence humans’ everyday activities. If things are repeated over time, we tend to have control over certain behaviour. Not only that, environment is another element that has power in controlling our behaviour.
  • Psychoanalysis

    Psychoanalysis
    Psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud. He studied about the unconsciousness conflict and motivations in understanding and explaining, behaviour and mental processes. Different from consciousness, according to Freud, unconsciousness was a negative side where it contained instinctive sexual and aggressive needs. If we took action on the unconsciousness, we might result in making inappropriate behaviour in society. Conflicts occur between both in trying to take control of our behaviours .
  • Psychoanlysis

    Psychoanlysis
    The first personality study in psychology was part of psychoanalysis that our early childhood experiences affected our character and behaviour. Freud believed that we have to resolve conflicts or emotional events that arise in each stage to be able to have a healthy personality. Also he developed a psychoanalytic theory of mental illnesses including a set of treatment methods. Today, the theory that mental processes can occur in the unconsciousness has come to prove that Freud’s right.
  • Humanism - Carl Rogers

    Humanism - Carl Rogers
    Humanism emerged in the 1950 as an alternative to psychoanalysis and behaviourism. Humanism, also called humanistic psychology, is an approach to understanding and explaining behaviour and mental processes that focuses on the uniqueness of each individual person and the positive qualities and potential of all human beings to fulfil their lives. Drawing on the meaning of the term ‘humane’, humanism is based on the assumption that all people are born good.
  • John B Watson

    John B Watson
    As a human, John B Watson arrogantly proposed that he had enough control over environment which he could manipulate people into whatever he wanted. His idea and theory opened a new important topic in the study of Psychology and became a dominant study. Once again, the contemporary ideas of psychology take in the behaviourism and adjust it into a new perspective with an emphasis on the thinking that accompanies learning.
  • Carl Rogers

    Carl Rogers
    Rogers believes we are in control of our own destinies and our choices and actions are the result of our free will. He truly believes that humans can excel in achieving their goals and we all have potential to become great. Also our personality develops as we strive to overcome obstacles. He developed his theories from case studies and focused on the positive aspects of his clients. He emphasized the whole person and each ones inner awareness and understanding of themselves and the world.
  • William James 2

    William James 2
    In contrast, he argued that consciousness was a wholeness, and that it shouldn’t be separated into different elements. Nevertheless, our consciousness has the adaptability and ability to change our behaviour when necessary to function effectively with the constantly changing environment. The very first and accurate description of consciousness is “a never-ending, constantly changing stream of thoughts, feelings and sensations”. This is from James
  • Carl Rogers

    Carl Rogers
    He didn’t conduct experiments because he believed that the experimental methods borrowed from other sciences such as physics and chemistry were inappropriate for studying people. With his person centred theory of personality he developed an approach called client centred therapy. He believes clients have the power and motivation to help themselves with guidance from a therapist. Humanism can be regarded as a philosophy rather than an approach to psychology.