Uploaded by Aira Jane Ortiz


Aira Jane A. Ortiz, RPm
Development of Psychological Thought
Discussion Questions
1. What can we learn from studying the history of psychology?
Studying the history of psychology can give us insight on how the theories emerge or
started. Learning the history or past of psychology can help us understand why different
areas and approaches emerge. Gaining knowledge in the history of psychology brings
order and imposes meaning on what appears to be chaos, putting the past into
perspective to explain the present.
2. Why can psychologists claim that psychology is one of the oldest scholarly
disciplines as well as one of the newest? Explain why modern psychology is a
product of both nineteenth-century and twentieth-century thought.
Psychology is among the oldest of all scholarly disciplines as well as the newest based
on its origin that can be traced into two different time periods. First, in the fifth century
BC when philosophers like Plato and Aristotle proposes philosophical and abstract
approach to define human behavior. In 19th century up to present when scientific
approach is applied in exploring questions about human sciences that lead to
separation of psychology from philosophical perspective and gain recognition to formaly
study the field as a disciplinary subject matter known as the modern psychology.
3. In what ways do the data of history differ from the data of science? Give examples
of how historical data can be distorted.
The difference between data of history and data of science, the formerly is used to
describe and understand the development of a discipline in manner based on written
manuscripts, journals etc. that cannot be replicated in same manner because each
situation written occurred at some point in the past while the latter used a scientific
method which the data produced can be tested . Common examples of how historical
data can be distorted is through lost or suppressed data (burned manuscripts),
distortion in translation from one language to another.
4. In what ways have contextual forces influenced the development of modern
The contextual forces like the economic opportunity of applying psychology as a
teaching profession, War as contextual force that allow the growth of psychology into
areas of selection and psychological testing help shaped in the development of modern
5. Describe the obstacles faced by women, Jews, and African Americans in pursuing
careers in psychology, especially during the first half of the twentieth century.
Discrimination against women has existed in psychology’s history for instance women
were denied admission to graduate school or excluded in faculty position. Jewish men
and women faced admission quotas in college and graduate school due to
discrimination and even they got to finish their degree the chance of being employed
and gaining academic position is tough.
6. How does the process of writing history in any field necessarily restrict the number of people
whose work can be singled out for attention?
The history is full of great works that have marked a turning point in the development of a
branch of knowledge, and in which the proposals for a new theoretical frame of reference or a
new systematization of the known facts were preceded by an extensive historical introduction
consisting in the evolution of the topic up to that moment.
7. Describe the differences between personalistic and naturalistic conceptions of
scientific history. Explain which approach is supported by cases of simultaneous
Scientific history of psychology can be view in two ways, first is the personalistic theory
which focuses on the achievements and contributions of specific individual. This implies
that the events never would have occurred without the appearance of monumental
figures and suggest that person makes the time. Second, the naturalistic theory of
history proposes that times make the person or at least make the recognition and
acceptance of what the person has to say possible. Example, three investigators
unknown to one another coincidentally discovered the work of
George Mendel and made it famous whose writings on genetics has largely been
ignored for 35 years. Instances of simultaneous discovery support the latters conception
of scientific history.
8. What is the Zeitgeist? How does the Zeitgeist affect the evolution of a science?
Compare the growth of a science with the evolution of a living species.
Zeitgeist is a German word means spirit of the time. The Zeitgeist within science has
inhibiting effect on investigation, theoretical formulations and the evolution of the subject
matter. Both science and species change or adapt in response to the demands of the
9. What is meant by the term “school of thought”? Has the science of psychology
reached the paradigmatic stage of development? Why or why not?
The term school of thought refers to a group of psychologists who become associated
ideologically and geographically with the leader of the movement. No, psychology has
not yet reached a paradigmatic stage because no single school has succeeded yet in
unifying or explaining the different school of thought in psychology.
10. Describe the cyclical process by which schools of thought begin, prosper, and then
Each school of thought in psychology was a protest movement. When a new and better
definitions and concepts in psychology emerge, it is the time of prosperity and the
opposition in the older system, the passion and ardor of the once-new movement die or
Studying the past is relevant to explain present events. Imagine your cheerful and kind
friend having unusual and disturbing behavior that sometime you’ve been hurt by what
she/he did, if you truly considered him/her as a friend you will not get angry easily but
instead you will ask him/her what happen. Knowing the history of psychology from
ancient time and gaining insight on how it develop into modern psychology can we truly
understand its concept. We will have our own Zeitgeist, if not now maybe in the near