Major Specialists and Areas of Study Psychology: The scientific

Major Specialists and Areas of Study
A Psychology: The scientific study of mental processes and behavior.
Where it all began
A In the early 1800's, Charles Darwin traveled the world on the H.M.S. Beagle.
1 Darwin eventually made his way to the Galapagos Islands of the coast of
South America.
 He noticed animals that were present in other locations that had
developed differently.
2 Darwin noted physical as well as behavioral differences.
3 Darwin's observation led scientists to curiosity about human behavior.
B Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
1 The Father of Psychology
2 Background Information
 Began his professional life as a German Physician.
 Also a Philosopher, a Professor, and a Physiologist.
3 1879: Wundt founded one of the first facilities dedicated to the research
and study of Psychological Research at the University of Liepzeig in
 The laboratory enabled him to study and identify disorders and
behavioral issues which allowed him to establish Psychology as a
separate, stand-alone science.
4 Wundt authored the text, "Principles of Physiological Psychology" in 1874.
5 Wundt studied the human experience in terms of sensation and feelings,
or it's structure.
 To do this, he asked his subjects to describe experiences through a
process of introspection.
 This was the origin of the Psychological School of thought that has
come to be known as "Structuralism".
C Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
1 "Theories of Personality"
2 General Information
 Freud was an Austrian Physician who founded the "Psychoanalytic
School of Psychology".
 Freud developed one of the first comprehensive, or all-inclusive
theories of personality.
 Freud was primarily interested in how personality develops, what
goes wrong, and how to correct the problem.
3 Freud postulated that issues in a persons' unconscious conflict led to the
development of personality issues later in life.
 Freud believed that events and occurrences in the first 5 or 6 years
of life impacted the problems that manifest in adolescence and
4 Freud's point of view was very popular in the 1950's and then reemerged
in the 1960's through the 1980's.
5 Freud is well known for his belief in dream interpretation as a tool for
insight into everyday issues.
6 Freud openly postulated that the primary motivational factor in a human
beings' life was sexual desire.
D William James (1842-1910)
1 "Psychology is the science of mental life"
2 General Information
William James was a philosopher and a Harvard Professor.
Widely considered to be one of the founders of American
 James published one of the first widely used tomes (textbooks) on
Psychology in 1890. The book was more than 1400 pages long and
took over a decade to compose.
3 James was interested in how humans were impacted by their
4 Fundamental belief was that no single law or psychological principle could
encompass all of human kind. He believed that Psychology must not ever
forget the individual being.
E John Broadus Watson (1878-1958)
1 Father of Behaviorism
2 General Information:
 Studied the impact of learning on emotion.
 Typically associated with Behaviorism.
3 What we feel and do depends largely on connections we have made.
4 We are what we learn to be.
5 Believed that proper parenting could prevent the development of
psychological issues.
6 Wrote a book to teach people how to properly parent because he believed
that the methods of parenting being used were inadequate.
7 Pioneer of Learning Theory, which is still in use today in several forms
within the mental health profession.
How Do we Study Psychology Today?
A Biopsychological Approach
1 Examining behavior from the physical changes and events occurring
within the body.
B Behavioral Approach
1 We are the products of learning and associations. Essentially, we draw
from experience.
2 We experience an event, we classify our experience in our memory, and
we use this to make decisions in the future.
C Psychoanalytic Approach
1 Sigmund Freud. Belief that within each one of us is a teeming cesspool of
desire, and repressed sexuality ready to explode.
2 These desires govern our behavior from beneath the surface of our
D Humanistic Approach
1 Human beings are inherently good, and if things were to go properly,
human beings could eventually reach a state of perfection.
2 Environment does not factor into the development or the choices made by
human beings.
E Cognitive Approach
1 The most important human ability is that we can assimilate information
from our environment, process it, and develop a solution to a problem.
2 We are fundamentally thinking creatures.
F Sociocultural Approach
1 Incorporates the impact that social, racial, ethnic, and religious affiliation
can have on the manner in which an individual conducts him or her self.