William James


When and Where

William James spent his long career working in Harvard University. He taught courses in Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology and Philosophy. His career lasted from 1872 to 1910 and in 1874 James becomes the first person to teach Psychology in America.


Throughout his lengthy academic profession he taught anatomy, physiology, psychology and philosophy. William James was the first person to offer classes in Psychology at an American university. James expanded the study of psychology to include the behaviour of animals, religious experience, abnormal behaviours and most notably, his outlooks on human consciousness.

School of Thought

William James wrote a chapter on Humanism in his book. Humanism is the study of the whole person. It focuses on an individual’s behaviour is and how it is linked to self concept.

Major Contribution to Psychology

Along with being the first to offer a course in Psychology, James also played a pivotal role to the development of Psychology especially with the publishing of his first book titled ‘Principles of Psychology’ (1890). This book contributed to the establishment of Psychology as a serious field of study.