Psychology: Study of Human Behavior

By Dominic, CJ, Justin, and Gregorio

The Roots of Psychology

Psychology is the things you hear, see and feel everyday, that exist in ur mind and the external world. It can be traced back to Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, developing an elaborate theory of what they termed the psuchẽ.

The father of modern psychology was not Sigmund Freud but rather Wilhelm Wundt, a German Psychologist , who developed the first Psych lab with his first students in Germany. What they observed is very different to what we are studying today, but their approach was similar to what we practice now.

Wilhelm Wundt

The Father of Psychology. Wundt established the Institute for Experimental Psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879, signaling the beginning of psychology as a science. He separated psychology from philosophy by analyzing the workings of the mind in a more structured way, with the emphasis being on objective measurement and control.

How did Psychology develop?

  • Psychology has origins in both philosophy, which proposed many of the important questions and physiology, which provided the important tools for careful, scientific examination of these questions.
  • The establishment of Wilhelm Wundt's laboratory at the university of of Leipzig in 1879 marks the formal beginning of psychology as a scientific discipline.
  • Wundt employed the methods of introspection and experimental self-observation to pursue what he considered to be the task of psychology. A systematic study of the structure of the conscious adult mind.
  • Edward Titchener, who brought Wundt’s brand of psychology to the United States, introduced the label of structuralism to describe his attempt to develop a kind of mental chemistry by breaking experience down into its basic elements of structures.
  • Structuralism soon gave way to the practical psychology of William James, who emphasized the functional, practical nature of the mind. His conception of psychology’s proper task became known as functionalism
  • During the period when psychology was struggling to become more scientific and objective, Sigmund Freud traveled to a different rod as he developed his subjective psychoanalytic approach with its emphasis on the unconscious mind and repressed irrational urges and drives.
  • In the first few decades of the twentieth century. a new force in psychology called behaviorism emerged. This approach, championed by John B. Watson, defined the task of psychology as one of the simply observing the relationship between environmental events (stimuli) and an organism’s response to them. Modern behaviorism continues to be a powerful force with psychology today.

The Scope of Psychology

Psychology studies the behavior of both humans and other animals.
There are two sides to behavior: the side that can be observed directly and the side that is unobservable. Psychology studies both of these sides in great depth.
Why study animals?

While most people think of psychology as the study of human behavior, it also involves studying animal behavior.
There are five reasons to use animals as subjects.
1. Animals provide simpler models
2. Experimenters have greater control
3. Ethical reasons
4. Practicality
5. To study animal behavior

Fields in Psychology

The Goals of Psychology

The three main goals of psychology are understanding, predicting and controlling behavior.

-our understanding of behavioral phenomena is expressed in the language of theories. Theories are tentative attempts to organize and fit into a logical framework all relevant data or facts regarding certain phenomena

-Good psychological theories generate hypotheses, which are assumption on how people should react under certain conditions.