Psychology can be defined as the field of science that basically tries to study the mind and our behavior. There are various mental processes that any particular psychologist might be interested in studying. And some of the mental processes or behavioral processes include motivation, thoughts, actions, love, social prejudices, unconscious phenomenon, intelligence, aptitude, values, societal norms, and various other processes that are constantly happening around all of us. From the little explanation that we have mentioned this particular field of psychology, it might be quite clear as to why so many individuals are attracted towards this particular subject. Every single year, there are large numbers of students who wish to pursue their higher education in this particular subject. And if you are one of those individuals who is planning to take their career forward in this subject of psychology then it must go without saying that you find this subject to be quite interesting and captivating. But apart from your interest in this field of study, it is also important for you to be aware of the entire history of this field of study. And in this piece of essay writing, we will try to understand the history of this subject only.
The history of psychology at a first single glance might appear to be quite short. And this could be simply because of the fact that even the word ‘psychology’ only appeared for the first time in the year 1694 in a book named The Physical Dictionary. This book was written by Steven Blankaart and this book is extremely popular because of the fact that this is the book in which the word ‘psychology’ appears for the first time in the English language. However, if an individual decides to take a closer look at the study of this subject then one can easily find the principles and doctrines of psychology being applied even during the time of the early thinkers. This is one of the most interesting topics that is often discussed in different types of essay writing.
The Beginning of the Field
As we mentioned above, that the field of psychology did not emerge as a separate field of its own until the very end of the 1800s. However, if an individual is properly looking at the history of psychology then he or she would easily be able to trace the study of this subject to the time of the early Greeks. It is also commonly believed that the field of psychology originally came from the field of philosophy. And while the field of psychology during that time was extremely raw in its approach but still many foundational ideas can be traced back to that time. For example, Rene Descartes was a French philosopher who gave the entire idea of dualism. And the idea of dualism basically stated that both the body and the mind were two separate entities. And both of these entities interact together constantly to shape up the behavior of an individual. Hence, it can also be said that Rene Descartes can also be regarded as an early psychologist. If you wish to know more about the field of psychology during this time period then you can also look up some type of essay writing too.
Psychology as a Separate Discipline and the Structuralism
During the mid-1800s Wilhelm Wundt was one of those first psychologists who started out on their mission to set psychology as an entirely separate discipline on its own. Wilhelm Wundt successfully published his book in the year 1874. And that book was titled the ‘Principles of Physiological Psychology’. This psychologist further went ahead and was also successful in setting up the first laboratory of psychology in the year 1879 at the University of Leipzig. Wilhelm Wundt also helped out a number of students in his life. And he is also regarded as one of the pioneers of the first school of psychology. And that first school of psychology was Structuralism. This particular school of psychology dictated that the focus of psychology must be on the structures of the brain. There was a certain emphasis placed on taking a scientific approach to the study of the entire subject and the process of introspection was also developed. It can be easily concluded that Wilhelm Wundt had played a very important role in the history of psychology and can be easily be regarded as a psychologist who has given a lot to the field of psychology.
After Wilhelm Wundt gave his first school of psychology it was also observed that another school was also growing in response to the teachings of the Structuralism school of thought in psychology. William James then emerged as the psychologist who is not just the face of Functionalism but is also regarded as the father of American Psychology. In his school of psychology, William James basically stated that the focus of the field of psychology should not be on the structures of the brain but it should instead be on the functions of the brain. This was the second major school of thought that had now appeared in the entire history of psychology. And if you wish to know more about this school of psychology then you can also find various essay writing pieces too.
Sigmund Freud and the Emergence of Psychoanalysis
If you are a student of psychology or even if you have only read even a little bit about the subject of psychology then chances are that you are already somewhat familiar with the name of Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud is even to this date regarded as an exceptional psychologist who did not just gave rise to the school of thought of psychoanalysis but he further gave a number of different theories. And some of the theories which were given by the psychologist named Sigmund Freud are the theory of personality, the theory of the unconscious mind, the theory on hysteria, the theory on dreams and even psychological disorders. The field of psychoanalysis is definitely one of the most important parts in the entire history of psychology. You can also find different types of essay writing that can help you in learning more about this field of study.
In the early 20th century it was observed in the history of psychology that another major school of thought raised to the forefront. And that school of thought was Behaviorism. Ivan P. Pavlov and John B. Watson are some of the psychologists who are considered as the force behind this particular school of thought. And this school of thought basically dictated that the study of psychology should be extremely scientific and should only be focused on the things which are observable i.e. the behavior. This school of thought gave a number of different concepts and theories like conditioning, punishment, reinforcement, and many other concepts and theories. So, if you wish to learn about these concepts in details then it is suggested that you should go through some form of essay writing on this topic.
Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers were some of the biggest faces behind this school of thought. And the basic idea behind the field of humanistic psychology was that every human being has the potential to grow and develop. Abraham Maslow was also the psychologist who gave his hierarchy model of needs in which he has explained these concepts in greater detail.
Apart from the fields that we have mentioned above, Cognitive Psychology also played an important part in the history of the field of psychology. And with this, we finish our discussion on the topic of the history of psychology.