Foundations Of Psychology Essay

890 WordsNov 18, 20104 Pages
Foundations of Psychology Paper Brian K. Vanderhook Psy/300 September 8, 2010 Sarah Kirk Foundations of Psychology Paper The early foundation of psychology is derived from two main schools of thoughts with many underlying assumptions derived from early psychologist who studied the mind (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). The early school of thought developed by Edward Titchener known as structuralism, attempts to use the detailed mental self examination of your own feelings, thoughts, and motives as a method for uncovering the basic elements of consciousness and the way they combine each other into ideas (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). “Experimental psychologists who followed Titchener went even further, viewing the study of consciousness itself as unscientific because the data of sensations and feelings could not be observed by anyone except the person reporting them. Structuralism attempted to uncover the basic elements of consciousness through introspection” (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). The other early school of thought known as functionalism was influenced by Darwinian theory that looked at explanations of psychological processes in terms of their function in helping the individual adapt to the environment. From a functionalist perspective, it is no accident that the idea of running comes into consciousness when a person sees a bear showing its teeth but not when he sees a flower (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). “Consciousness serves a function, and the task of the psychologist is to understand that function. Functionalism attempted to explain psychological processes in terms of the function they serve” (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). Psychology lacks a unified paradigm, or a system of theoretical assumptions employed by a scientific community to make sense of a domain of experience. Instead psychology has a number of perspectives, or schools of thought,

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