The History of Psychology
How Far Back Was Psychology Used?Published on Saturday, March 17th, 2012 at 3:47 pm and is filed under Psychological Science
The History of Psychology and The Formation of Psychology as a Science
The subject of general psychology is the characteristics and mechanisms of functioning of the psyche. In the process of formation of psychology as a science occurred a number of changes in the subject of psychology.
The First Stage. Antiquity - the subject of psychology is the soul.
During this period, formed the two main directions in understanding the nature of the soul: the idealistic and materialistic. The founders of idealistic direction were Socrates and Plato (soul - is the beginning of immortal, a particle of the cosmos, or world peace of absolute ideas, the body is corruptible.)
The materialistic direction, in sense of soul, was developed by Democritus, Anaxagoras, Anaximenes, the Stoicism School. The basic idea - the soul is material, composed of atoms of different substances. The founder of psychology is considered Aristotle, who in his paper “On the Soul,” summarized the available knowledge at that time about the soul, meaning by this a way to organize the living body, he identified three types of soul: vegetative, nutritive, and rational.
The second stage XVII – XIX cc. The subject of psychology becomes the consciousness.
By consciousness was understood human ability to feel, to remember and to think. In the XVII century a large role in changing the subject of psychology was played by Descartes. He first outlined the psycho-physical problem, i.e. the relationship of body and soul. He introduced the concept of consciousness and reflex. The main method of studying the consciousness was introspection, this method was developed by John Locke.
The XIX century - Wilhelm Wundt. His approach is called structuralism, as Wundt considered the main task of psychology to study the structure of consciousness. Wundt is considered the founder of experimental psychology. Wundt and staff identified three major components of consciousness, sensations, images and feelings.
The American psychologist William James founded a new direction in the study of the mind - functionalism. The task of psychology, he considered to be the study of the functions of consciousness. The main function of consciousness, he thought is the adaptation.
The third stage during 1910-1920 - United States - arises the behaviorism.
The founder of behaviorism is considered J. Watson. The subject of psychology becomes the behavior. The essence of Watson’s behaviorism is expressed by the formula “S> R”, where S - external stimuli, R - response or behavior.
In the classical behaviorism was denied the role of consciousness in behavior. It was believed that during the formation of behavioral skills consciousness plays no role, and skills are formed by repetitive mechanical of the same action. Classical behaviorism does not deny the existence of consciousness.
The fourth stage 1910 – 1920 – Europe. The subject of psychology becomes the psyche.
There are various psychological directions and schools.
Psychoanalysis - was founded by Sigmund Freud. The subject was the relationship between consciousness and unconsciousness. Freud described the structure of the psyche in his theory of the unconscious and first described the structure of personality: preconscious, consciousness and unconsciousness. The content of the unconscious almost never go into the consciousness, it is hampered by the protective mechanisms of the individual. But sometimes, in a distorted form this content can manifest itself (for example in dreams or reservations).
From classical psychoanalysis, during 30-60 of the 20th century, stood out two major areas: depth psychology - Carl Jung, and analytical psychology – Alfred Adler. Carl Jung developed the theory of the collective unconscious, which described the structure of the psyche. He identified three components: collective unconscious or archaic psyche. Personal unconscious which includes the repressed traumatic experiences, thoughts, etc. formed by personal experience. Consciousness - the structures that can perceive, understand, remember and analyze incoming information. Jung described the archetypes that has a personality - this archetypes are: Persona and Shadow, Anima and Animus, the Self.
Adler’s position. In Adler’s conception of one of the key concepts is the inferiority complex, which affects the personal development and self-actualization.