Chapter 1 Section 3

Chapter 1
Section 3
A History of Psychology
• Explain the historical background of the study
of psychology.
• Why don’t people’s actions always match their
• How do children learn right from wrong?
• These are questions about human behavior
that have intrigued people throughout the
Roots from Ancient Greece
• In ancient Greece, long before the time of Plato, and in
many other ancient cultures, people believed that
thoughts and dreams, as well as madness were sent by
the gods. Peoples of ancient Mesopotamia believed
that their gods sent them messages telling them when
to plant crops and against whom to make war. The
ancient Hebrews believed that God rewarded them
with good visions and punished them with evil spirits.
Beginning around the sixth century B.C., scholars in
India, China, and Greece all began to attribute human
thoughts and emotions to an internal source: the mind.
• Socrates coined the phrase “know thyself.”
This motto has remained a part of
psychological study. We can learn much about
ourselves by carefully examining thoughts and
• Introspection- is a method of learning to look
Something to think about
• Consider whether Socrates’ directive to “know
thyself” is useful advice.
• What role does introspection play in helping
people learn about themselves?
• How can learning to know yourself help you
understand the world and the people who
inhabit it?
• Aristotle(384-322 B.C.) Greek philosopher who
raised questions about human behavior.
• Associationism: a learning theory, Aristotle
showed how experiences often remind us of
similar experiences in the past. That the face
of a loved one makes us feel secure. How
thought leads to ideas as we dream and
• Peri Psyches: “about the mind” from the works
of Aristotle. He took the scientific approach
that human behavior, like the movements of
the stars and the seas, which is subject to
certain rules and laws. One law is that people
seek pleasure and avoid pain. The works also
explored sensations, memory, feelings and
• As discussed earlier, the Greeks generally
believed that the gods punished people for
wrongdoing by causing them confusion and
• Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) Greek physician
suggested that such problems were caused by
abnormalities in the brain. Biological based.
The Middle Ages
• Most Europeans believed that problems such
as agitation and confusion were signs of
possession by demons.
The Birth of Modern Science
• The first known written use of the term
psychology ( then psychologia) was in a
manuscript written about 1520 by a Croatian
writer named Marulic. About 70 years later,
the term appeared in the title of a German
encyclopedia about “the improvement of
man.” During the 1600s, the term psychology
gained widespread use.
• People in the 1500s,1600s, and 1700s were
shown great scientific and intellectual advances.
• 1500s-Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish astronomer,
challenged the view that the sun revolved around
Earth, suggesting instead that Earth revolves
around the sun.
• 1600s-Sir Isaac Newton, English scientist,
formulated the laws of gravity motion.
• John Locke, English Philosopher, theorized that
knowledge is not inborn but is learned from
• 1700s-Antoine Lavoisier, French scientist founded
the science of chemistry and explained how
animals and plants use oxygen in respiration.
• 1800s-scientific approach also led to the birth of
modern psychology.
• Psychological laboratories were established in
Europe and the United States. In the laboratories
psychologists studied behavior and mental
processes using methods similar to the study of
• 1879- is when many historians of psychology
as the establishment of the modern
laboratory science. German psychologist
Wilhelm Wundt established his laboratory in
• Create a two-column chart titled
“Early Perspectives in Psychology”
• Label one column Wilhelm Wundt and the
other William James.
• Directions: Complete your charts by
comparing and contrasting the schools of
thought introduced by these early
Calvin and Hobbes
• Review the comic strip on page 14.
• Analyze Calvin’s reactions to the experience of
learning to ride a bicycle.
• How might a structuralist view the experience?
(Calvin’s subjective, or personal, feelings that the
bicycle is dangerous are overwhelming his
objective sensations, which should indicate that
the bicycle is not actually going anywhere unless
he deliberately causes it to.)
• How might a functionalist view the same
experience? ( If Calvin’s father continues to
force Calvin to get on the bicycle before he is
ready, Calvin may stop trying to ride. However,
if Calvin experiences a few successes on the
bicycle, he will probably repeat his attempts,
and bicycle riding will gradually become easy
and habitual.)
• Note, over the course of a school day, the
number of times your behavior is reinforced in
a positive way by other people. For example,
a teacher may congratulate you on a correct
answer, or a friend may compliment you on
your choice of clothing.
• Create a chart listing the name of each school
of thought covered in the section, each
school’s major theorist, and each school’s
main principles.
• John B. Watson-BehaviorismWatson believed in the functionalist idea to
focus on learning. He felt consciousness as a
private event that was only known to the
individual. If psychology was to be a natural
science-like physics or chemistry, must be
limited to observable, measurable eventsbehavior. He defined psychology as the
scientific study of observable behavior.
Quote from Watson
• “ Give me a dozen healthy infants, wellformed, and my own specified world to bring
them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one
at random and train him to become any type
of specialist I might select– doctor, lawyer,
artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even
beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents,
penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations,
and race of his ancestors.” John WatsonBehaviorism, 1930
• B.F. Skinner-Reinforcement
• “The consequences of behavior determine the
probability that the behavior will occur again.”
Skinner thought people learn in the same way animals
do. People learn to behave in certain ways because
they have been reinforced for doing so.
In 1953, after observing the instructional methods used
in his daughter’s elementary school, B.F. Skinner
concluded that his methods of teaching new behaviors
to animals could be applied to humans as well.
Skinner continued
Skinner believed that a learning task could be
broken down into small steps and placed in a
logical sequence. The learner would then follow
a programmed series of lessons that involved
learning a small bit of knowledge, answering a
question about it, and then immediately finding
out whether or not the answer was correct. In
this way, learning would be scientifically
reinforced. Many computer programs in use
today apply Skinner’s theory of learning.
The Gestalt (unified) School
• The drawings demonstrate the idea that the
perception of something is affected by the
context in which it occurs.
• German psychologists Max Wertheimer, Kurt
Koffka, and Wolfgang Kohler were interested in
the ways in which context influences people’s
interpretation of information.
• Gestalt psychology was founded in the 1920s.
Gestalt psychology rejects the structuralist idea
that experience can be broken down into
individual parts or elements.
Gestalt psychology
Gestalt psychology reject behaviorist idea about
observable behavior. They feel that learning
should be active and purposeful. They don’t
agree with the fact that learning is mechanical.
Learning, particularly problem solving is
accomplished by insight, not mechanical
Insight is the reorganization of perceptions that
enables an individual to solve a problem. Insight
is the appearance of the Gestalt or form that
allows the person to see the solution.
Sigmund Freud-Psychoanalysis
• Sigmund Freud-Psychoanalysis/ emphasizes the
importance of unconscious motives and internal
conflicts in determining human behavior.
• Freud is very much part of popular culture. For
example is the interpretations of dreams.
• Majority of psychologists conducted research in a
laboratory. Freud conducted research by understanding
human behavior through consultations with clients. He
felt that the unconscious feelings were more important
then conscious experience governing people’s behavior
and feelings.
• Psychodynamic thinking- this theory assumed
that most of what exists in an individual’s
mind is unconscious and consists of conflicting
impulses, urges, and wishes. People are often
consciously unaware of the real motivations
for their behavior.
Chapter 1/Section 3 Review
• 1. Describe the main differences between
structuralism and functionalism.
Structuralism breaks down conscious experience
into objective sensations and subjective
feelings; the mind functions by combining
these two basic elements. Functionalism
proposes that adaptive behavior patterns are
learned and maintained because they are
Section Review
• 2. How did the field of psychology develop?
Psychology began in ancient Greece and revived
during the scientific advances of the
1500s,1600s, and 1700s. Contributions of
modern psychologists such as William James,
B.F. Skinner, and Sigmund Freud.
• 3. Identify one example of the influence that
Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory has
had on popular culture.
Common slips of the tongue are often called
Freudian slips– “ I wish you were her.” A man
sent a postcard to his wife with the above
wording. Possibly indicating he was cheating
on her.

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