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History of Psychology

History of Psychology PSY/310 August 29, 2011 Psychology was originated from the roots of philosophy Socrates, Aristotle and Plato asked many hard questions for example how the mind works. “According to psychology historian Morton Hunt, an experiment performed by the King of Egypt, as far back as the seventh century B. C. , can be considered the first psychology experiment (Hunt, 1993, p. 1). The king wanted to test whether or not Egyptian was the oldest civilization on earth.

His idea was that, if children were raised in isolation from infancy and were given no instruction in language of any kind, then the language they spontaneously spoke would be of the original civilization of man — hopefully, Egyptian. The experiment, itself, was flawed, but the king deserves credit for his idea that thoughts and language come from the mind and his ambition to test such an idea. ” Freud, Wundt, Piaget and Lossky I believe relate to the beginnings of psychology as a formal discipline. Piaget developed theories in child development and the brain development in children.

Freud was an early philosopher than borrowed the psychology discipline. His lecture on psychoanalysis showed the differences between science and philosophy. He called it the philosophy of life. He said that philosophy created an illusion of the universe without thinking of the intuitions that show the best picture of it. “In the theory of positivism, Freud rejected the notion which had been previously out forward by other philosophers that God would die and that there were no “scientific men” as the story of creation placed the theory.

This aspect of philosophy formed the basis of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory where he believed that human beings were driven by two major conflicting desires namely life drive and death drive. In this case positivism played a great role at ensuring that all human beings who were focused had to look up to God for survival and at the same time live positively. Positivism is a vital aspect in psychology as it was significant in the formulation of the discipline (Eijk, 2005). ” Wundt is known as the “father of experimental psychology. He started the first lab that dealt with mental disorders, religious beliefs, and abnormal disorders in the brain. He found that neural causes of mental problems came from psychology. “The school of thought that arose from the work of Wundt and his colleagues is called structuralism. The basic goal of structuralisms was to study consciousness by breaking it down into it components — mainly perception, sensation, and affection. Their basic method was to train their subjects in introspection, which was careful, systematic observation of one’s own conscious experience (Weiten, 1992, p. ). ” Ralph, Waldo, Gestalt and Abraham Maslow all were contributors to the western formation of psychology. Waldo developed/ believed in transcendent, which means man plus the world is connected to god. That our souls merge with nature to form a better learning process which allows us to open our way of thinking plus discover our inner self. Gestalt was a more structural organizer, not sensory. He believed our mind, inanimate nature plus our life as a human made up psychology.

Maslow believed that if we had our physical, psychological plus human needs met, then we have acquired our full potential. The most dramatic period in the development of the science of psychology in the 19th century too place when Wilhelm Wundt established the experimental study of self-conscious in his laboratory. This was a significant moment especially as the laboratory was exclusively used for psychological research in 1879. Similarly, the classical conditioning experiments by Ivan Pavlov were yet another milestone in the 19th century development of psychology.

The pioneer study of the human memory by William James was also made more rampant in this century (Kroker, 2003). After experimental psychology, other areas of specialization such as scientific pedagogy appeared in the early 1880s led by G. Stanley Hall and the educational theory by John Dewey was another milestone in the same era. The very first psychological clinic was built in the 1890s by James Cattell and it incorporated anthropometric methods which were used to test the mental condition of the clients.

Similarly, in 1898 Sigmund Freud was developing a new approach to the study of the mind known as psychoanalysis (Eijk, 2005). Reference Abul’khanova, K. A. & Slavskaia, A. N. (1997, November/December). On the history of the alliance between psychology and philosophy. Russian Social Science Review, 38(6), 40. Murray, D. J. (2002, February). The transformation of psychology: Influences of 19th-century philosophy, technology, and natural science. Canadian Psychology, 43(1), 62. Rutherford, A. 2004, Autumn). Where history, philosophy, and psychology meet: An interview with Wayne Viney. Teaching of Psychology, 31(4), 289-295. Academic writing tips (2011). History of modern Psychology. Retrieved from: http://academicwritingtips. org/component/k2/item/3325-history-of-modern-psychology. html? tmpl=component&print=1 Hunt, Morton (1993). The Story of Psychology. New York: Doubleday. Retrieved from: http://library. thinkquest. org/C005870/history/index. php? id=historyp1

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