Essay about Discuss How Psychology Developed as a Scientific Discipline

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Discuss how psychology developed as a scientific discipline

Prior to psychology being recognised as a scientific discipline in its own right, it was mainly a philosophical concept developed by theorists in areas such as animism and dualism. However, these philosophies were not based on objectivity unlike today’s psychology which maintains that for an investigation to be deemed scientific it must be based on the scientific method, which involves gathering empirical and measurable evidence. A key figure in the development of psychology as a science is René Descartes; a French philosopher and mathematician. Descartes was most influential in his recognition of the body and mind being two separate entities. Descartes differed from
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Bishop George Berkeley argued that there may indeed be no such thing as matter, as Locke claims that all we ever see if primary and secondary qualities. Berkeley’s ideas are called idealism, and essentially state that all ideas come from the senses. However, it cannot be disputed that the work of Locke and Hume was greatly influential in psychology’s development as a scientific discipline. Indeed, these notions on habit and causality became important in the development of behaviourism and the work of Jean Piaget. The birth place of psychology as a scientific discipline was in Germany, with Wilhelm Wundt becoming the founding father of psychology as he was the first person to describe himself as a psychologist and to publish the first textbook on psychology. Wundt and many other German scientists held that the human mind can be studied scientifically. Germany was the birthplace of psychology as academics were open to the notion that psychology could be studied scientifically and not in a traditional philosophical way like other academics believed. Germany was also central in the development of experimental physiology, which was important in the progress of experimental psychology. Wundt was also responsible for developing the first proper school of thought in psychology: structuralism. Wundt also followed on
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