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Even though its language and ideas have inltrated everyday culture, most people have only a hazy idea of what the subject is about, and what psychologists actually do. For some, psychology conjures up images of people in white coats, either stafng an institution for mental disorders or conducting laboratory experiments on rats.
Others may imagine a man with a middle-European accent psychoanalyzing a patient on a couch or, if lm scripts are to be believed, plotting to exercise some form of mind control. Although these stereotypes are an exaggeration, some truth lies beneath them.
It is perhaps the huge range of subjects that fall under the umbrella of psychology and the bewildering array of terms beginning with the prex psych- that creates confusion over what psychology entails; psychologists themselves are unlikely to agree on a single denition of the word.
Psychology comes from the ancient Greek psyche, meaning soul or mind, and logia, a study or account, which seems to sum up the broad scope of the subject, but today the word most accurately describes the science of mind and behavior.
The new sciencePsychology can also be seen as a bridge between philosophy and physiology. Where physiology describes and explains the physical make-up of the brain and nervous system, psychology examines the mental processes that take place within them and how these are manifested in our thoughts, speech, and behavior.
Where philosophy is concerned with thoughts and ideas, psychology studies how we come to have them and what they tell us about the workings of our minds. All the sciences evolved from philosophy, by applying scientic methods to philosophical questions, but the intangible nature of subjects such as consciousness, perception, and memory meant that psychology was slow in making the transition from philosophical speculation to scientic practice.
In some universities, particularly in the US, psychology departments started out as branches of the philosophy department, while in others, notably those in Germany, they were established in the science faculties. But it was not until the late 19th century that psychology became established as a scientic discipline in its own right.
The founding of the worlds rst laboratory of experimental psychology by Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig in marked the recognition of psychology as a truly scientic subject, and as one that was breaking new ground in previously unexplored areas of research.
In the course of the 20th century, psychology blossomed; all of its major branches and movements evolved. As with all sciences, its history is built upon the theories and discoveries of successive generations, with many of the older theories remaining relevant to contemporary psychologists.
Hermann Ebbinghaus 11 earliest days, undergoing different interpretations by the various schools of thought, while others have fallen in and out of favor, but each time they have exerted a signicant inuence on subsequent thinking, and have occasionally spawned completely new elds for exploration.
The simplest way to approach the vast subject of psychology for the rst time is to take a look at some of its main movements, as we do in this book. These occurred in roughly chronological order, from its roots in philosophy, through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and the study of cognitive, social, and developmental psychology, to the psychology of difference.
Two approachesEven in its earliest days, psychology meant different things to different people. In the US, its roots lay in philosophy, so the approach taken was speculative and theoretical, dealing with concepts such as consciousness and the self.
In Europe, the study was rooted in the sciences, so the emphasis was on examining mental processes such as sensory perception and memory under controlled laboratory conditions. However, even the research of these more scientically oriented psychologists was limited by the introspective nature of their methods: Although they used scientic methods and their theories laid the foundations for the new science, many in the next generation of psychologists found their processes too subjective, and began to look for a more objective methodology.
In the s, the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov conducted experiments that were to prove critical to the development of psychology in both Europe and the US. He proved that animals could be conditioned to produce a response, an idea that developed into a new movement known as behaviorism.
The behaviorists felt that it was impossible to study mental processes objectively, but found it relatively easy to observe and measure behavior: They began to design experiments that could be conducted under controlled conditions, at rst on animals, to gain an insight into human psychology, and later on humans.
The behaviorists studies concentrated almost exclusively on how behavior is shaped by interaction with the environment; this stimulusresponse theory became well known through the work of John Watson. New learning theories began to spring up in Europe and the US, and attracted the interest of the general public.
However, at much the same time as behaviorism began to emerge in the US, a young neurologist in Vienna started to develop a theory of mind that was to overturn contemporary thinking and inspire a very different approach.
William James 12 a return to the study of subjective experience.
He was interested in memories, childhood development, and interpersonal relationships, and emphasized the importance of the unconscious in determining behavior.
Although his ideas were revolutionary at the time, they were quickly and widely adopted, and the notion of a talking cure continues within the various forms of psychotherapy today. New elds of studyIn the midth century, both behaviorism and psychoanalysis fell out of favor, with a return to the scientic study of mental processes.
This marked the beginning of cognitive psychology, a movement with its roots in the holistic approach of the Gestalt psychologists, who were interested in studying perception. Their work began to emerge in the US in the years following World War II; by the late s, cognitive psychology had become the predominant approach.
The rapidly growing elds of communications and computer science provided psychologists with a useful analogy; they used the model of information processing to develop theories to explain our methods of attention, perception, memory and forgetting, language and language acquisition, problem-solving and decision-making, and motivation.
Even psychotherapy, which mushroomed in myriad forms from the original talking cure, was inuenced by the cognitive approach.
Cognitive therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy emerged as alternatives to psychoanalysis, leading to movements such as humanist psychology, which focused on the qualities unique to human life. These therapists turned their attention from healing the sick to guiding healthy people toward living more meaningful lives.History Of Modern Psychology Aspergers Syndrome Activity One What Is Hypnosis?
Schizophrenia Understanding Communication In Close Relationships Biography Of William D. Ross Brain Parts Profie Of Jean Piaget Habit Guts Academic Writing Psychsim Little Albert Existentialism In Psychology And Religion Workplace Ethical Delimma MmpiReview The. Albert Ellis’s major contribution to the field of psychology was the introduction of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, or REBT.
Developed in the s, it challenged the deliberate, slow-moving methodology of Sigmund Freud, the prevailing psychotherapeutic treatment of that time. Related Posts: A comparison of fairfield college prep and jesuit college prep; Albert ellis and william glassers major contribution to modern psychotherapy.
1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia2.
Lexicographical order TRANSCRIPT. When Albert Ellis created REBT in the 's he met with much resistance from others in the mental health field. Today it is one of the most widely-practiced therapies throughout the world. Salem Trial in The Crucible by Arthur Miller an analysis of the theme of evil in macbeth a play by william shakespeare Essay Home Literature a personal narrative about ones life .