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Psy 101 Wa1


Submitted By tennisguy47
Words 490
Pages 2
Written Assignment 1

Psychology is the study, by scientific method, of the behavior of individuals and their mental processes. Psychologists gather data in an objective manner to attempt to understand the behaviors of individuals based on different environments. By systematically collecting behavioral data on an individual, you can then explain why an individual is behaving a certain way. By studying what conditions elicit certain behaviors, you can then make a hypothesis on what may happen if an individual is introduced into a certain environment. This is used to be able to control what happens. By introducing the correct environment to an individual, you would be able to control the behavior. This can be used to benefit a person in many ways, such as trying to lose weight or get rid of a bad habit. Psychology is something that has been pondered by many great minds throughout history, however modern psychology is a relatively recent science. This is excellently described by Hermann Ebbinghaus, “Psychology has a long past, but only a short history” (p 5). The fundamental questions posed in psychology can be traced as far back as Plato and Aristotle when they asked questions on how the human mind worked. The first formal laboratory devoted for psychology was established by Wilhelm Wundt in 1879 in Leipzig, Germany. Wundt took a very systematic and experimental approach to the study of psychology. Wundt’s approach was brought to America by Edward Titchener. Titchener’s approach was called structuralism, the study of the structure of mind and behavior; the view that all human mental experience can be understood as a combination of simple elements or events (p 7). Around the same time, William James formed his own approach to the study of psychology. James’ approach was called functionalism, the perspective on mind and behavior that focuses on the

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