Origins of Psychology

  • Created by: hmadyah
  • Created on: 07-11-17 11:38

Wundt and Introspection

First of all what is psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context

Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology lab in which he thought he will be able to describe human consciousness.

Introspection: Introspection is the first systematic experimental attenmpt to study the brain by breaking it up into structures e.g. thoughts, images and sensations. Isolating the structure of consciousness in this way is called structuralism.

The same standardised instructions were given to all the participants. the procedures could be replicated (repeated).

Although Wundts early attempt to stufy the mind would be seen today as naive, his work was significant as it marked the seperation of modern scientific psychology from its broader philosophical roots.

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Emergence of psychology as a science

1900s Early Behaviorists rejected introspection

John B. Watson argues that introspection was subjective which meant that it was based on personal feelings and that it varied from person to person.

1930s Behaviourist scientific approach dominated psychology

Behaviourists focus on learning and the use of carefully controlled lab studies.

BF Skinner established the behaviourist approach.The psychodynamic and behaviourist approaches dominate psychology over the next fifty years.

1950s Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow develop the humanistic approach. This was known as the third force in psychology. they rejected the views favoured by psychodynamic and behaviourism approach that human behaviour was not determined by the individual. Humanistic approaches focus on the importance of self-determination and free will.

1960s The Cognitive revolution came with the introduction on the digital computer.  The cognitive approach re introduces the study of mental processes but in a much more scientific way.

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Scientific approach

Watson and Skinner bought methods of natural science in psychology.

The legacy of behaviourisim can still be observed today as many modern psychologists continue to rely on experimental methods as pasrt of their research.

The cognitive revolution of the 1960s the study og the menatl processes is now known as a higly scientific area within Psychology.

The biological approavh also make use of the experimental data. researches within this area they have taken advatage of the technology to investigate psychological processes.

Scanning techniques such as FMRI and EEG.

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Some aspectsof Wundts methods would be classes as scientific today

He recorded the introspections within a contolled lab environment. he also standardised his procedures ao that all participants recieved the same information and were tested in the same way. For this reason Wundts research can be considered a forerunner to the later scientific approaches in psychology that were still to come.

Other aspects were considered unscientific today

Wundt relied on participants self reporting their private mental processes. such data is subjective and participants may not have wanted to reveal some of the thoughts they were having.  participants would also have not had the same thoughts so establishing general principles would not have been possible. Wundts early efforts to study the mind were naive and would not meet the scientific criteria.

One strength i sthat the research in modern psychology can claim to be scientific.

Psycholgys has the same aims as natural science. all the approaches rely on the use of scientific methods. throughout the 20th century psychology has established as a sf.dicipline.

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