The History Of Psychology And Three Theoretical Perspectives

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The History of Psychology and Three Theoretical Perspectives
Julie Yambrick

General Psychology 111
Instructor Dr. Natasha Houston
September 28, 2009

The history of psychology dates back as far as the writings of Aristotle and Plato in 350 B.C. Psychology was considered only a philosophy not a science until the late 1800’s. Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig. In this paper the following theoretical perspectives will be summarized (a) The Behaviorist Perspective (b) The Psychodynamic Perspective (c) The Humanistic Perspective. The principles of the behaviorist are that humans (or animals) are influenced only by their environment. Behaviorists view psychology as behavior that must be observed and measured. (Morris&Maisto 8th ed. Pg.15) They believe humans are motivated by reward and avoid punishment. (http.// Three significant behavioral psychologists are Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, B.F Skinner. Pavlov experimented with training dogs to respond to a buzzer when given food. (Morris&Maisto 8th ed. Pg.15) This was called conditioning. Watson believed in tabula rasa or the “blank slate” idea, where an infant could be influenced by its environment regardless of its tendencies or abilities. (http.// Skinner followed the same path as Pavlov and Watson. Only he used animals to show the effects of using reinforcement in a positive manner. (Morris&Maisto 8th ed. Pg.15) Psychodynamic is another theoretical perspective. This is based solely from the mind of Dr.Sigmund Freud. His theories were primarily drawn for his own life experiences. He never performed a formal experiment. (http.// believes humans are born with instinctual desires related to survival. Everything people do is motivated by sex in some way though we don’t realize it according to Freud. He developed the use of the stereotypical psychologist couch for the use of free association. This is where patients can say what ever comes to their minds. (Morris&Maisto 8th ed. Pg.14)