Essay about History of Psychology

1417 Words Sep 1st, 2005 6 Pages
Explain the reasons for the development of psychology as an academic discipline in the 19th and 20th centuries, making explicit the important turning points and breakthroughs.

In this essay I am looking at where Psychology as a discipline has come from and what affects these early ideas have had on psychology today, Psychology as a whole has stemmed from a number of different areas of study from Physics to Biology,
But the first Psychological foundations are rooted in philosophy, which to this day propels psychological inquiry in areas such as language acquisition, consciousness, and even vision among many others.
While the great philosophical distinction between mind and body in western thought can be traced to the Greeks, it is to
…show more content…
Founded by John B Watson in 1915 the behaviourist approach studies observed behavioural responses of humans and animals. The behaviourist approach believes we learn to behave in response to our environment, either by stimulus-response association, or as a result of reinforcement.
Behaviourists focus on the influence of the environment, they chose not to be concerned with the internal mechanisms that occur inside the organism, they believe that your behaviour depends on what factors are present in the environment at any given time. Another big contributor to this approach is Ivan Pavlov who was made famous for conditioning in which he used dogs in an experiment.
"The behaviourist approach has been a dominant influence in psychology, it represents one of the ‘hardcore' approaches, which has contributed a great deal to our understanding of psychological functioning " (Malim & Birch, 1998)
a common criticism of this approach is that it does not address the possible role of biological factors in human behaviour. And also that it leaves no room for the free will of an individual.

In the wake of psychoanalysis and behaviourism, humanistic psychology emerges as the "third force" in psychology led by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. This approach came about just before the cognitive…