Activity: Watch A Video
Watch this brief video that provides an overview of several Gestalt principles of perception:
Unfortunately, in moving to the United States, these men were forced to abandon much of their work and were unable to continue to conduct research on a large scale. These factors along with the rise of behaviourism in the United States prevented principles of Gestalt psychology from being as influential in North America as they had been in their native Germany . Despite these issues, several Gestalt principles are still very influential today. Considering the human individual as a whole rather than as a sum of individually measured parts became an important foundation in humanistic theory late in the century. The ideas of Gestalt have continued to influence research on sensation and perception.
Structuralism, Freud, and the Gestalt psychologists were all concerned in one way or another with describing and understanding inner experience. But other researchers had concerns that inner experience could be a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and chose instead to exclusively study behaviour, the objectively observable outcome of mental processes.
Scientific Psychology Comes To The United States
Wundts version of psychology arrived in America most visibly through the work of Edward Bradford Titchener . A student of Wundts, Titchener brought to America a brand of experimental psychology referred to as structuralism. Structuralists were interested in the contents of the mindwhat the mind is. For Titchener, the general adult mind was the proper focus for the new psychology, and he excluded from study those with mental deficiencies, children, and animals .
Experimental psychology spread rather rapidly throughout North America. By 1900, there were more than 40 laboratories in the United States and Canada . Psychology in America also organized early with the establishment of the American Psychological Association in 1892. Titchener felt that this new organization did not adequately represent the interests of experimental psychology, so, in 1904, he organized a group of colleagues to create what is now known as the Society of Experimental Psychologists . The group met annually to discuss research in experimental psychology. Reflecting the times, women researchers were not invited . It is interesting to note that Titcheners first doctoral student was a woman, Margaret Floy Washburn . Despite many barriers, in 1894, Washburn became the first woman in America to earn a Ph.D. in psychology and, in 1921, only the second woman to be elected president of the American Psychological Association .
Wilhelm Wundt And Introspection
The first psychological laboratory was opened by German philosopher Wilhelm Wundt, who in the mid-1800s used introspection to understand his participants thought processes. He was the first to introduce a scientific method for studying thought. This method was called introspection. Participants observed their own thoughts and feelings and reported back on them. Although in modern psychology we would consider this method unscientific because of subjective bias, it was very innovative for the time. Wundts work showed that psychology had the potential to become a valid scientific discipline.
Behaviourism And The Question Of Free Will
The most famous behaviourist was Burrhus Frederick Skinner , who expanded the principles of behaviourism and also brought them to the attention of the public at large. Skinner used the ideas of stimulus and response, along with the application of rewards or reinforcements, to train pigeons and other animals. And he used the general principles of behaviourism to develop theories about how best to teach children and how to create societies that were peaceful and productive. Skinner even developed a method for studying thoughts and feelings using the behaviourist approach .
Structuralism: Psychologys First School Of Thought
Edward B. Titchener, one of Wundts most famous students, would go on to found psychologys first major school of thought. According to the structuralists, human consciousness could be broken down into smaller parts. Using a process known as introspection, trained subjects would attempt to break down their responses and reactions to the most basic sensation and perceptions.
While structuralism is notable for its emphasis on scientific research, its methods were unreliable, limiting, and subjective. When Titchener died in 1927, structuralism essentially died with him.
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The Rise Of Behaviorism
Psychology changed dramatically during the early 20th-century as another school of thought known as behaviorism rose to dominance. Behaviorism was a major change from previous theoretical perspectives, rejecting the emphasis on both the conscious and unconscious mind. Instead, behaviorism strove to make psychology a more scientific discipline by focusing purely on observable behavior.
Behaviorism had its earliest start with the work of a Russian physiologist named Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov’s research on the digestive systems of dogs led to his discovery of the classical conditioning process, which proposed that behaviors could be learned via conditioned associations.
Pavlov demonstrated that this learning process could be used to make an association between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus.
An American psychologist named John B. Watson soon became one of the strongest advocates of behaviorism. Initially outlining the basic principles of this new school of thought in his 1913 paper Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It, Watson later went on to offer a definition in his classic book “Behaviorism“ , writing:
The impact of behaviorism was enormous, and this school of thought continued to dominate for the next 50 years. Psychologist B.F. Skinner furthered the behaviorist perspective with his concept of operant conditioning, which demonstrated the effect of punishment and reinforcement on behavior.
Types Of Psychology You Can Study
Psychology is such a broad field that conveying its depth and breadth can be difficult. As a result, a number of unique and distinctive branches of psychology have emerged, each one dealing with a specific subtopic within the study of the mind, brain, and behavior.
Understanding which subtopics exist can help you decide where your interests may lie. Here are 18 types of psychology you might wish to pursue if you are interested in studying, earning your degree, or creating a career in this expansive field.
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Freud And Psychoanalytic Theory
Perhaps one of the most influential and well-known figures in psychologys history was Sigmund Freud . Freud was an Austrian neurologist who was fascinated by patients suffering from hysteria and neurosis. Hysteria was an ancient diagnosis for disorders, primarily of women with a wide variety of symptoms, including physical symptoms and emotional disturbances, none of which had an apparent physical cause. Freud theorized that many of his patients problems arose from the unconscious mind. In Freuds view, the unconscious mind was a repository of feelings and urges of which we have no awareness. Gaining access to the unconscious, then, was crucial to the successful resolution of the patients problems. According to Freud, the unconscious mind could be accessed through dream analysis, by examinations of the first words that came to peoples minds, and through seemingly innocent slips of the tongue. Psychoanalytic theory focuses on the role of a persons unconscious, as well as early childhood experiences, and this particular perspective dominated clinical psychology for several decades .
Are You Ready To Discover Your College Program
As the scientific study of the human mind and how it shapes behavior, psychology encompasses many areas of inquiry. A psychology degree offers applications for a variety of career paths. Most psychology positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, although an associate degree can lead to entry-level roles in psychiatric, social, and human services.
Psychology graduates can expect an overall 14% increase in employment between 2018-2028, with even higher job growth rates for clinical, counseling, school, and industrial-organizational psychologists. This page provides an overview of the types of psychology degrees and the minimum educational levels required for careers in child psychology, clinical psychology, sports psychology, and other in-demand fields.
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Etymology And The Early Usage Of The Word
The first print use of the term “psychology”, that is, Greek-inspired neo-Latin psychologia, is dated to multiple works dated 1525. Etymology has long been attributed to the Germanscholasticphilosopher Rudolf Göckel , who published the Psychologia hoc est: de hominis perfectione, animo et imprimis ortu hujus… in in 1590. Croatian humanist likely used the term in the title of a Latin treatise entitled Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae . Although the treatise itself has not been preserved, its title appears in a list of Marulic’s works compiled by his younger contemporary, Franjo Bozicevic-Natalis in his “Vita Marci Maruli Spalatensis” .
The term did not come into popular usage until the German Rationalist philosopher, Christian Wolff used it in his works Psychologia empirica and Psychologia rationalis . This distinction between empirical and rational psychology was picked up in Denis Diderot‘s and Jean le Rond d’Alembert‘s Encyclopédie and was popularized in France by Maine de Biran . In England, the term “psychology” overtook “mental philosophy” in the middle of the 19th century, especially in the work of William Hamilton .
Psychology As An Independent Discipline
The first use of the term “psychology” is often attributed to the German scholastic philosopher Rudolf GÃ¶ckel, who published the Psychologia hoc est de hominis perfectione, anima, ortu in 1590. However, the term seems to have been used more than six decades earlier by the Croatian humanist Marko MaruliÄ in the title of his Latin treatise, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae. The term did not come into popular usage until the German idealist philosopher Christian Wolff used it in his Psychologia empirica and Psychologia rationalis . In England, the term “psychology” overtook “mental philosophy” in the middle of the 19th century.
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Psychology In Everyday Life: How To Effectively Learn And Remember
One way that the findings of psychological research may be particularly helpful to you is in terms of improving your learning and study skills. Psychological research has provided a substantial amount of knowledge about the principles of learning and memory. This information can help you do better in this and other courses, and can also help you better learn new concepts and techniques in other areas of your life. The most important thing you can learn in college is how to better study, learn, and remember. These skills will help you throughout your life, as you learn new jobs and take on other responsibilities. There are substantial individual differences in learning and memory, such that some people learn faster than others. But even if it takes you longer to learn than you think it should, the extra time you put into studying is well worth the effort. And you can learn to learnlearning to study effectively and to remember information is just like learning any other skill, such as playing a sport or a video game.
Four Main Goals Of Psychology
Psychology is devoted to understanding an individuals emotions, personality, and mind through a series of scientific studies, observations, experiments, and research. Like every other subject, the study of psychology aims to achieve a specific set of goals. Basically, it has four primary goals: to describe, explain, predict, and control behavior .
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Psychology Emerges As A Separate Discipline
During the mid-1800s, a German physiologist named Wilhelm Wundt was using scientific research methods to investigate reaction times. His book published in 1873, “Principles of Physiological Psychology,” outlined many of the major connections between the science of physiology and the study of human thought and behavior.
He later opened the worlds first psychology lab in 1879 at the University of Leipzig. This event is generally considered the official start of psychology as a separate and distinct scientific discipline.
How did Wundt view psychology? He perceived the subject as the study of human consciousness and sought to apply experimental methods to studying internal mental processes. While his use of a process known as introspection is seen as unreliable and unscientific today, his early work in psychology helped set the stage for future experimental methods.
An estimated 17,000 students attended Wundts psychology lectures, and hundreds more pursued degrees in psychology and studied in his psychology lab. While his influence dwindled as the field matured, his impact on psychology is unquestionable.
Overview Of The Branches Of Psychology
Each of the branches or types of psychology look at questions and problems from a different perspective. While they all have their own focus, they still share a common goal of studying and explaining human thought and behavior.
Because human behavior is so varied, the number of subfields in psychology is constantly growing and evolving. Some of these subfields have been firmly established as areas of interest, and many colleges and universities offer courses and degree programs in these topics.
Each type of psychology represents a specific area of study focused on a particular topic. Oftentimes, psychologists specialize in one of these as a career. The following are just some of the major branches of psychology. For many of these, working in that specific area requires graduate study in that particular field.
Psychology can be roughly divided into two major areas:
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Toward A Functional Psychology
While Titchener and his followers adhered to a structural psychology, others in America were pursuing different approaches. William James, G. Stanley Hall, and James McKeen Cattell were among a group that became identified with functionalism. Influenced by Darwins evolutionary theory, functionalists were interested in the activities of the mindwhat the mind does. An interest in functionalism opened the way for the study of a wide range of approaches, including animal and comparative psychology .
William James is regarded as writing perhaps the most influential and important book in the field of psychology, Principles of Psychology, published in 1890. Opposed to the reductionist ideas of Titchener, James proposed that consciousness is ongoing and continuous it cannot be isolated and reduced to elements. For James, consciousness helped us adapt to our environment in such ways as allowing us to make choices and have personal responsibility over those choices.
A Prehistory Of Psychology
Precursors to American psychology can be found in philosophy and physiology. Philosophers such as John Locke and Thomas Reid promoted empiricism, the idea that all knowledge comes from experience. The work of Locke, Reid, and others emphasized the role of the human observer and the primacy of the senses in defining how the mind comes to acquire knowledge. In American colleges and universities in the early 1800s, these principles were taught as courses on mental and moral philosophy. Most often these courses taught about the mind based on the faculties of intellect, will, and the senses .
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Women In Psychology History
As you read through any history of psychology, you might be particularly struck by the fact that such texts seem to center almost entirely on the theories and contributions of men. This is not because women had no interest in the field of psychology, but is largely due to the fact that women were excluded from pursuing academic training and practice during the early years of the field.
There are a number of women who made important contributions to the early history of psychology, although their work is sometimes overlooked.
A few pioneering women psychologists included:
- ,who rightfully earned a doctorate from Harvard, although the school refused to grant her degree because she was a woman. She studied with major thinkers of the day like William James, Josiah Royce, and Hugo Munsterberg. Despite the obstacles she faced, she became the American Psychological Association’s first woman president.
- Anna Freud, who made important contributions to the field of psychoanalysis. She described many of the defense mechanisms and is known as the founder of child psychoanalysis. She also had an influence on other psychologists including Erik Erikson.
- , who was a developmental psychologist, made important contributions to our understanding of attachment. She developed a technique for studying child and caregiver attachments known as the “Strange Situation” assessment.
The Major Branches Of Psychology
Through careful observation, psychologists around the world study the connections between our mind, behavior, and surrounding environment.
Recognized independently from philosophy since the late 19th century, the field of study has quickly established itself as one of the broadest scientific disciplines. From researching unusual behaviors to helping athletes harness their peak performance, psychologists work in a wide-range of settings. This variety is likely the reason psychology is one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S., with careers available in many of its subsections.
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The Five Domains Of Psychology As A Science
There are a lot of ways to study the way people think and behave. With all of these different approaches, there are five specific concerns or areas of practical application that psychologists usually focus on. The five major areas or domains of psychology are:
|Relationships, family, motivations, emotions, and character traits industrial-organizational psychologists, forensic psychologists, and marriage and family therapists
|Evaluating, diagnosing, preventing, and treating mental disorders psychologists, professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and group therapists
Maslow Rogers And Humanism
During the early 20th century, American psychology was dominated by behaviourism and psychoanalysis. However, some psychologists were uncomfortable with what they viewed as limited perspectives being so influential to the field. They objected to the pessimism and determinism of Freud. They also disliked the reductionism, or simplifying nature, of behaviourism. Behaviourism is also deterministic at its core, because it sees human behaviour as entirely determined by a combination of genetics and environment. Some psychologists began to form their own ideas that emphasized personal control, intentionality, and a true predisposition for good as important for our self-concept and our behaviour. Thus, humanism emerged.Humanism is a perspective within psychology that emphasizes the potential for good that is innate to all humans. Two of the most well-known proponents of humanistic psychology are Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers .
Figure 7.Figure 8.
Humanism has been influential to psychology as a whole. Both Maslow and Rogers are well-known names among students of psychology , and their ideas have influenced many scholars. Furthermore, Rogers client-centered approach to therapy is still commonly used in psychotherapeutic settings today
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