Psy 300 Foundation of Psychology

In: Psychology

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Foundations of Psychology
Larry Eckel
PSY 300
December 5, 2011
Liz West

Foundations of Psychology

According to “Foundations of Psychology” (1948), “psychology is the study of human nature. It is the study of man, man as a living being, acting in an ever-changing world, responding to things and events and other people. If you know what man is, if you know the full answer to the question about the nature of man, then you know what human nature is and what psychology comprises” (Chapter 1, Para. 1). Many varying thoughts have changed over time to the study of psychology. These thoughts include functionalism, behaviorism, structuralism, psychoanalysis, and humanistic.
According to Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2009), structuralism was introduced by Edward Titchener because of his interest in the study of structure in consciousness. He believed that with experimenting in psychology to be the best attempt for science to understand psychology. Titchener states that “attention implied too much free will” to be an accurate and useful. Later, psychologists continued to study the consciousness with feelings and sensations that could only be told by only the person reporting them. This was one of the thoughts that were most prominent in the early years of psychology.
The other thought that was also prominent was functionalism. Unlike structuralism that focused on the mind, the work of functionalism looked at the function, or role, that psychological actions can help people adjust to the environment. A functionalist would react to what is learned, but not to say the idea of an action. They would tend to focus on the behavior and purpose of their reactions. One of the initial founders is William James, who wrote a textbook of psychology in 1890. The work of Charles Darwin was also instrumental a century later, to this psychological thought. The works of functionalism...