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History of Psychology
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Hi! This is Meghan Lynn Allen for About.com, and today we'll discuss the history of psychology.While psychology did not really emerge as a separate science until the latter half of the 19th century, its initial emergence can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks. And when we look at the 1600s, we turn to Rene Descartes. He's the famous French philosopher that introduced the concept of dualism - that the mind and the body were two separate entities that interacted together to form the normal human experience.Psychology emerges as a separate discipline during the mid-1800s, when physiologist Wilhelm Wundt first uses scientific methods to investigate reactions. Edward B. Titchener, one of Wundt's most famous students, would found psychology's first school of thought: structuralism.Psychology really flourished in America in the 19th century with the next school of thought, functionalism. William James came out on top as the leading psychologist of his time, and was referred to as the father of American psychology.Next up: Sigmund Freud. Until this point in psychology, the field had focused on the conscious mind. But this famous Austrian physician focused in a dramatic way on what happened with the unconscious mind.
Psychology evolves dramatically in the 20th century with the emergence of behaviorism and famed American behaviorist, B.F. Skinner. Behaviorism rejects the focus on the unconscious. It instead strives to make the field a more understandable one by focusing on observable behavior. That's a brief look at the beginnings of psychology - but psychology is an ever-growing field with new perspectives emerging all the time. Recent psychological research focuses on many aspects of the human behavior and experience, right from impact of cultural and social factors, to biological influences on human behavior.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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