June 9, 2014
Foundations of Psychology
Psychology is the science of the mind and behaviors. When we think of psychology, we think about the thoughts, feelings, and actions of everyone. In order to understand how psychologists create such apprehensions, we must first learn about the schools of thought. The early schools of thought, known as structuralism and functionalism, demonstrate the various processes that psychologists went through to help them understand the mind at the first stages of psychology. Later the school of thoughts became known as perspectives in which we will discuss psychodynamic, behaviorist, cognitive, and evolutionary perspectives. Then we can go beyond and learn about the biological foundations of psychology.
The first school of thought evolved from using the Wilhelm Wundts introspection method known as structuralism. Structuralism developed by Edward Tichtener, one of Wundts students. Tichteners structuralism sought to reveal the elements of consciousness through self-examination. An example of this concept would be when a person describes an object such as a grapefruit their perception may invoke “cold,” “juicy,” and “bitter.”The assumption of structuralism is that it mainly focuses on the structure of the minds conscious. This school of thought later was diminished because, in laments terms, it did not have the consistent results of the studies. Everyone’s conscious has its own way of thinking, therefore if you ask a group of people to describe an object all the answers will not have the same outcome.
The second early school of thought that was established by Williams, James is known as functionalism. Functionalism helped psychologists figure out why and how the conscious helps us adapt to our surroundings. Functionalism improved the consistency of Charles Darwins theory of evolution by providing the fundamental aspect of the minds conscious was developed to serve a purpose. Charles Darwins theory of evolution consists of the hypothesis that everyone has a common ancestor. Functionalism helped with the consistency of his theory by making it somewhat accurate.
The psychodynamic perspective, which was found by Sigmund Freud and some other followers, helps psychologists figure the intensity of peoples behaviors and feelings. An example, of this perspective, is the acknowledgement of our childhood creates the path to our adulthood. When a significant event happened in your childhood, such as abuse it will drive your emotions the next time you see abuse or experience abuse. Psychodynamic perspective focuses mainly on the experiences that people have than it does on the actual science, ("SimplyPsychology," n.d).
Behaviorism perspective, that was developed by John Watson and B. F. Skinner, focused on the behavior of people during events that experienced previous events that contained the same environment or stimuli. Behaviorists such as John Locke express that when babies are born, the are born a blank slate therefore we can be manipulated to do anything. If you take a dog outside at a particular time of the day and then give it a treat afterwards the dog will become familiar with the process and will wait everyday at the same time for its truth, this is an example of behaviorism.