Foundations of Psychology

Essay by honeylove130University, Bachelor'sA, July 2008

download word file, 4 pages 4.5

Psychology is a science of behavior and mental processes. From the beginning, Aristotle has touched on every aspect of psychology but it was William Wundt who was known as the father of psychology. He established psychology as a field of scientific studies dependent from philosophy. When psychology was first founded, there were only a few foundations of psychology, Structuralism and Functionalism.

In the late 1800's, psychology started out through a number of schools of thought. As time progressed, more approaches to present day psychology emerged consisting of Gestalt, Behaviorism Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic, Human perspective and Cognitive. The first school of thought, Structuralism, studied conscious experience to discover the structure of the human mind. This thought posed the idea that the conscious experience can be divided in to basic elements. Structuralism is the element of consciousness and relies on introspection.

Functionalism is one of the major schools of thought. In recent years, both functionalist and dynamic systems approaches have assumed increasing prominence in the study of emotion and its development, but the similarities and differences between these perspectives remain largely unexplored and open to more systematic examination.

(Witherington & Crichton, 2007)The perspective is built upon twin emphases: application of the scientific method to the objective social world and use of an analogy between the individual organism and society. The emphasis on scientific method leads to the affirmation that one can study the social world in the same ways as one may study the physical world. (McClelland, 2000)Gestalt similar to behaviorism was developed as a reaction towards structuralism. Gestalt psychologists believed that humans and animals see the world as an organized pattern and not as individual sensations and believe that perceptions are more than the stimuli that create them. More meaning, the whole pattern is created by the stimuli. In other words, the total...