- Created by: CharlotteL
- Created on: 16-03-19 16:29
ORIGINS OF PSYCHOLOGY
- The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those functions affecting behaviour in a given context
- The means of acquiring knowledge through systematic and objective investigation
- The aim is to discover general laws and cause and effect
- Opened the first lab dedicated to psychology in Germany 1897
- This objective was to describe the nature of the human consciousness (the mind) in a carefully controlled and scientific environment - a lab
- This is known as introspection
- Involved Wundt and his co-workers recording their own conscious thoughts, with the aim of breaking these down into their constituent parts
- Isolating the structure of consciousness is known as structuralism
- The first systematic experimental attempt to study the mind by breaking
up conscious awareness into basic structures of thoughts images and sensations
- Although Wundt's early attempt to study the mind would have been seen as naive today, Wundt used methods that might be considered scientific today
- All introspectives were recorded under strictly controlled conditions
- E.g they used the same stimulus every time
- The same standardised instructions were given to all participants
- This allowed the procedures to be repeated
- For instance, participants were given a ticking metronome (to pace their responses) and they would report their thoughts, images and sensations, which were then recorded.
- The belief that all knowledge is derived from sensory experience.
- It is generally characterised by the use of the scientific method in psychology
EMERGENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY AS A SCIENCE
- The beginning of the 20th-century people were questioning the value of introspection
- John B. Watson argued that introspection:
- Was too subjective
- Varies from person to person
- Is difficult to establish general laws
- Focuses too much on private mental processes
- He said that scientific psychology should only study phenomena that can be observed and measured.
SCIENTIFIC APPROACH - Behaviourist
- Thus, the behaviourist approach was born and psychology emerged as a science
- Watson and Skinner brought the language and rigour of the natural sciences into psychology.
- The behaviourists focus on learning, and the use of carefully controlled lab studies would be the focus of psychology for the next few decades.
- Many psychologists still use experimental methods today but the scope has broadened significantly since then
- Following the cognitive revolution of the 1960s, the study of mental processes was seen as legitimate within psychology.
- Although mental processes remain 'private', cognitive psychologists are able to make inferences…