Foundations of Psychology Essay

840 WordsJul 26, 20124 Pages
Foundations of Psychology Separate from biology and philosophy, psychology was first established as a science in the late nineteenth century. There was much talk about how to depict and explain the human mind as well as behavior. Psychology is simply the scientific study of behaviors, affect, perceptions and cognitions. With many theories existing today, there are still only a few major schools of thought. Wilhelm Wundt “father of experimental psychology” and founder of the first psychology lab was an advocate for the first school of thought, structuralism. Other major schools of thought include functionalism, behaviorism, humanism, and psychoanalysis. The first school of thought, structuralism, is focused on breaking down the mental processes into the most central mechanisms. Wilhelm Wundt mentioned at the beginning along with his student Edward Tichener were two of the major structuralism thinkers. The periodic chart of “mental” elements, irreducible elements, and reverse engineering are a few key concepts. “Structuralists used techniques such as introspection to analyze the inner processes of the human mind.” (Cherry, n.d.) Once structuralism was established the door opened for many American perspectives influenced by thinkers such as Charles Darwin and William James. Some critics argue that the structuralism was overly concerned with internal behavior which cannot be observed and is in inaccurate. (Cherry, n.d.) Arguably indifferent from structuralism, functionalism also focuses on the conscious self. Formed as a reaction to structuralism, functionalism is heavily influenced by William James works and Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution. Other influential thinkers include John Dewey, Harvey Carr, and John Angell. “Functionalists sought to explain the mental processes in a more systematic and accurate manner. Rather than focusing on the elements of

More about Foundations of Psychology Essay

Open Document