What Is Psychology?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By ceiba123
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Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior and cognitive processes.
Psychology is really a very new science, with most advances happening over the past 150 years or so. However, it's origins can be traced back to ancient Greece, 400 – 500 years BC. The emphasis was a philosophical one, with great thinkers such as Socrates influencing Plato, who in turn influenced Aristotle.
Philosophers used to discuss many topics now studied by modern psychology, such as memory, free will, attraction etc.
In the early days of psychology there were two dominant theoretical perspectives. An American psychologist named William James (1842-1910) developed an approach which came to be known as functionalism. He argued that the mind is constantly changing and it is pointless to look for the building blocks of experience. Instead, focus should be on how and why an organism does something. It was suggested that psychologists should look for the underlying cause of behavior and the mental the processes involved. This emphasis on the causes and consequences of behavior has influenced contemporary psychology.
Structuralism was the name given to the approach pioneered by Wilhelm Wundt. The term originated from Edward Titchener, an American psychologist who had been trained by Wundt. Structuralism relied on trained introspection, a research method whereby subjects related what was going on in their minds while performing a certain task. However, it proved to be unreliable method because there was too much individual variation in the experiences and reports of research subjects.
Despite the failing of introspection Wundt is an important figure in the history of psychology as he opened the first laboratory dedicated to…...

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