LECTURE TWO: WEEK 1:
Some Key Figures in the Development of Psychology: As I discussed in Lecture #1, week 1, the Origins of Psychology had roots in both philosophy and religion. Please re-read lecture if you need to. We will continue this lecture covering some of the more influential figures who help to form the foundations of modern psychology.
Although early philosophers laid the groundwork for the nature-nurture issues, which continues to be central to explaining human behavior in psychology, today the debate is often framed in terms of heredity [nature] versus environment [nurture]. Think of political or criminal behaviors of people. How do we attribute “causality?” Is it in their “genes” or were they the product of unfortunate environmental influences. Could it be a combination of both? What do you think? Pick an issue or event from you local newspaper/magazine, and using that as an example, be prepared to discuss you personal views on this debate.
Wundt (1832-1927), is considered the Father of
Modern Psychology. He published his landmark text, Principles of Physiological Psychology, in 1874. He is was most widely know for opening the first psychology research laboratory
at the University of Leipzig, Germany in the year 1879. Edward Titchener (1867-1927), who coined the term Structuralism [the first major school of thought in psychology], was originally
a student of Wundt. Structuralism emphasized
studying the most basic components, or structures,
of conscious experiences. Titchener trained
subjects in a procedure called introspection.
William James (1842-1910) probably one of the most influential
figures in psychology was an American physiologist and psychologist at
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was and Austrian physician and the founder of psychoanalysis. Ever make a “Freudian Slip?”(smile) Freud basically felt that ALL human behavior could be explained and was motivated by unconscious conflicts. These conflicts were almost always sexual or aggressive in nature. Also, central to Freud’s thinking was the strong influence from our past experiences, especially childhood experiences as critical to the formation of adult personality and behavior.
John B.Watson (1878-1958) founded Behaviorism, which emphasized the study of observable behavior
rejecting the Freudian notion of inner [subjective explanations of behaviors]
experiences. In the early 1900s, Behaviorism emerged as a dominating force in
a psychology which focused on overt behavior accompanied by rewards and/or punishments. Ivan
Pavlov (1849-1936) was a Russian physiologist who pioneering research on
learning helped contributed to the development of behaviorism; Pavlov
discovered a basic learning process [using a dog, food and a bell], called Classical
Conditioning [learning through association]. B.F. Skinner (1904-1990),
an American professor at
ASSIGNMENT: Chapter One: (1) Learn about Forensic Psychology which is relatively new and not covered in the textbook. Check out the Web site: http://www.unl.edu/apIs. What did you find here? (2) Thinking in terms of your own behavior, could you study behavior and mental processes from only one perspective? Which one would you most likely pick? Why?