The History of Psychology as a Science. Stages of Development
Published on Sunday, August 19th, 2012 at 7:43 pm and is filed under Psychological Science
As a science, psychology has been studying the evidence, mechanisms and patterns in everyday mental life. The history of psychology can describe and explain how these facts and the laws were made available to the human mind. The main objectives of the history of psychology can be identified:
-The need to examine the patterns of development of knowledge on all points of the psyche;
-The need for disclosure of the science of psychology with other sciences, influencing its development and achievements;
-The need to gain knowledge about the origin and development of science;
-The study of the role of personality and individual ways of its development.
The development of the history of psychology is a multistep process that seeks to obtain and develop ideas about the latest methods of psychological research and presentation of objects.
The main stages of the history of psychology are:
Stage I (up to the scientific stage – VII-VI centuries BC) - This stage is characterized by the study of of the soul. It was based on numerous legends, myths, fairy tales and the initial belief in religion, that will surely connect with the soul of specific creatures. At that time, the existence of the soul in every living being helped to explain all the phenomena occurring incomprehensible.
Stage II (research period – V – IV centuries BC) – This stage is characterized by the study of psychology as a science of consciousness. This need arises in the development of the natural sciences. As this stage was considered and studied at the level of philosophy, it was called – a philosophical period. Consciousness at this stage, was called the ability to feel, think and desire. The main method of studying the history of psychology was the observation of a man and the description of the facts obtained;
Stage III (pilot phase – XX c.) – This stage is characterized by the study of psychology as a science of behavior. The main task of psychology at this stage is the formation of experimentation and observation of all that can be directly studied. It could be the actions or reactions of a person’s behavior, etc. Thus, at this stage of the history of psychology can be viewed as the emergence of an independent science, as well as the formation and development of experimental psychology;
Stage IV – This phase describes the emergence of psychology as a science that studies the objective laws of the psyche, their manifestations and mechanisms.
The subject of the history of psychology and its main task
The subject of the history of psychology is the study of the formation of a specific representation of the psyche in various stages of development of scientific knowledge. As the history of psychology is singled out as an independent special area of expertise, it is inherent its own subject. As a direct component of culture, the history of psychology emerges and develops in all ages around the world. History of Psychology describes and explains the facts and laws that open the mind of man. Thus, the subject of the history of psychology is the direct activities of people who have the knowledge and the development of mental peace. This activity is carried out in the following coordinates: social, cognitive, and personality. Thus, scientific activity has a three-pronged integrated system:
-Review and study of the soul – in this case, the soul acts as the explanatory principle of all things happening with the living creatures;
-Review and study of consciousness – the consciousness performs two functions. First, it is an object of study. Second, acts as an explanatory principle;
-Review and study of the behavior – it is seen as the last new object. Its appearance led to the disappearance of the object of study, psyche and consciousness. The current stage of development is characterized by the close relationship between behavior and consciousness, and most activities.
The subject of the history of psychology has the following objectives:
-Analysis of the origin and development of scientific knowledge about the psyche from the perspective of the scientific approach of studying the representations of the psyche of living beings at all stages of evolution;
-Analysis of multidisciplinary links with science, which depend on the various achievements of psychology;
-The origin of the knowledge of the cultural, social and ideological influences;
-The study, analysis and development of the individual’s role in the formation of science.
-The main methods of the history of psychology.
Methods for the history of psychology course differ from the methods of scientific psychology. It is impossible to apply any method of mental science. Proper methods of the history of psychology can be borrowed from related disciplines such as history, science of science, sociology, etc., as they are in the context of scientific psychology, the particular historical situation and culture.
Considering the sources of the history of psychology (archival materials, scholarly works, the analysis of historical and sociological materials and literature), were identified several groups of methods for the history of psychology:
- Organizational methods, planning methods of historical and psychological study:
- Comparative method;
- Structural and analytical method:
- Genetic method;
- Methods based on the collection and interpretation of facts logical material:
- Analysis of the products work;
- Categorical and conceptual analysis;
- Methods of historical analysis of work and materials:
- The methods of historical reconstruction;
- Methods based on knowledge of case:
- Thematic analysis;
- The method of source analysis;
- The method of interview;
- Biographical method.
All of the above methods of the history of psychology are applied in a variety of exercise: materialistic doctrine in ancient psychology, idealistic teachings of Plato and Socrates, Aristotle’s doctrine of the soul, the teachings of the ancient physicians, etc.