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A Brief History:

The Major Schools


of Psychology/The
Major Debates
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When?

Psychology has a long past, but only a


short history. Hermann Ebbinghaus
University of Leipzig , Germany 1879
Wilhelm Wundt
First psychological laboratory
Taught and influenced by Hermann von
Helmholtz.
Takes the methods of the physical sciences
and applies them to the problems of the
mind that the philosophers are tackling.
Wants to measure atoms of the mind or
the elements of consciousness.

Sensation and perception

Wundt continued
Image s of Wundts
Experimental Tools

Choice Reaction Time


Experiment

Presentation of a choice of
different sensory stimuli
Must choose the correct stimuli
by pressing telegraph key
Chronoscope measured the
reaction times
As tasks became more
complex , incremental
increases in reaction time
indicate deeper mental
processes taking place. taking
In other experiments he wants
to see what the difference if
any is between our immediate
reaction to a sensory stimuli
and our conscious experience
of it.

Schools of Psychological
Science

Structuralism
Functionalism
Behaviorism
Gestalt
Psychoanalysis
Cognitive
Humanistic/Existential
Evolutionary Psychology
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Structuralism

Titchener
Student of Wundt
Introspection (self-observation and
description)

Titchener

"If it is true that all the sciences have the same sort of subjectmatter [experience], there can be no essential difference between
the raw materials of physics and the raw materials of psychology....
All human knowledge is derived from human experience; there is
no other source of knowledge. But human experience, as we have
seen, may be considered from different points of view.... First, we
will regard experience as altogether independent of any particular
person; we will assume that it goes on whether or not anyone is
there to have it. Secondly, we will regard experience as altogether
dependent upon the particular person ; we will assume that it goes
on only when someone is there to have it.... In principle, then,
introspection [in psychology] is very like inspection [in
physics]. The objects of observation are different; they are
objects of dependent, not of independent experience.... And
the standpoint of the observer is different; it is the
standpoint of human life and of human interest, not of
detachment and aloofness. But, in general, the
[observational] method of psychology is much the same as
the method of physics" (Titchener, A Textbook of Psychology,
1910, pp. 16-27, emphasis added).
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Functionalism

William James (1890 publishes


Principles of Psychology)
Functionalist
Why do we have these sensations,
emotions, thoughts, what function do
they serve?
Philosopher-Psychologist

Freud: Psychoanalysis

Freud (1899 Interpretation of


Dreams)

Developed Psychoanalysis

Neurologist/physician

Developed theories based on case


studies
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Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis
First systematic theory of Personality
Developed first talking cure

Emphasized early experiences on the


formation of personality
Emphasized the unconscious as a major
determinant of our behavior
Emphasized the role of defense
mechanisms

Other Names within


Psychodynamic/Psychoan
Alfred Adler alysis

Carl Jung
Karen Horney
Erik Erikson
Anna Freud

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Behaviorism

1920s through the return of Cognitive


Psychology in the 1950s
Developed out of the school of
functionalism.
Goals:
To be as objective as possible in its
methods of understanding learning.
To control and predict behavior

Major research done on animal models


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Behaviorism Continued

Major Behavioral Learning Models


Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning

Behavioral Therapies
Exposure therapy
Systematic Desensitization
Flooding
Operant Based procedures in the
classroom, relationships

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Behaviorism

Emphasizes what can be seen, stritctly


in the empiricist philosophical tradition.
What cant be seen are emotions,
thoughts, motivations.
Names associated with Behaviorism
Pavlov (Classical Conditioning)
Watson (Classical Conditioning)
Skinner (Operant Conditioning)
Thorndike (Law of Effect)

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Give me a dozen healthy infants,


well-formed, and my own specified
world to bring them up in and Ill
guarantee to take any one at
random and train him to become
any type of specialist I might selectdoctor, lawyer, artist, merchant,
chief, and yes even beggar man and
thief, regardless of his talents,
penchants, tendencies, abilities,
vocations, and race of his ancestors.
John Watson
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Other developments and


schools of Psychology

Gestalt

German School

Reaction against Wundt


and his school

Psychological principles
are not reducible and
understandable by their
parts alone.

The whole is different


from the sum of its parts.

Cognitive Psychology has


some of its roots here.

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Humanistic Psychology

Gains prominence in the 1950s.


Develops out of both philosophical
traditions of humanism and existentialism.
It is a reaction to both Behaviorism and
Psychoanalytical Schools of thought.
Instead of emphasizing the deterministic
models of the schools above, it emphasizes
freedom and individual responsibility.

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Humanistic Psychology

A major goal of being human is selfactualization.


The search for our authentic self is
emphasized.
Believed that the fundamental
nature of humans is a tendency
towards positive growth.

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Humanistic Psychology

Names associated with


Humanistic/Existential Psychologies
Rogers (Person/Client Centered
Psychotherapy)
Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs)
Frankl (Mans Search for Meaning)
Bugenthal (Existential)
Yalom (Existential)

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Cognitive Psychology

Starts in the 50s and doesnt take off till the 1960s.

It is a reaction to Behaviorism.

Rise of mind as computer metaphor.

How can we understand something as complex as language


development through operant conditioning and classical
conditioning?

No longer has to restrict itself to only directly observable


concepts.

Thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, emotions are now fair game for


psychological experimentation.

Maintains strict adherence to controlled psychological


experiments.
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Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive neuroscience

Using neuro imaging techniques to understand


which parts of the brain are active under what
behaviors/thought patterns.

Cognitive psychology has led to the


development of a number of effective
therapeutic treatments
While in theory a separate school from
behaviorism, findings within behaviorism
informs cognitive psychology and vice versa.

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Major Psychological
Debates/Points of View

Free will vs determinism

Nature vs nurture

Maybe we should replace vs. with


and
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Psychologys Three Main Levels of


Analysis

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Psychologys Current Perspectives


Perspective

Focus

Sample Questions

Neuroscience

How the body and brain


enables emotions?

How are messages


transmitted in the body? How
is blood chemistry linked with
moods and motives?
How does evolution influence
behavior tendencies?

How the natural selection


of traits the promotes the
perpetuation of ones
genes?
Behavior genetics How much our genes and
our environments
influence our individual
differences?
Evolutionary

To what extent are


psychological traits such as
intelligence, personality,
sexual orientation, and
vulnerability to depression
attributable to our genes? To
our environment?

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Psychologys Current Perspectives


Perspective

Focus

Sample Questions

Psychodynamic

How behavior springs


from unconscious drives
and conflicts?

Behavioral

How we learn observable


responses?

How can someones


personality traits and
disorders be explained in
terms of sexual and
aggressive drives or as
disguised effects of unfulfilled
wishes and childhood
traumas?
How do we learn to fear
particular objects or
situations? What is the most
effective way to alter our
behavior, say to lose weight or
quit smoking?

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Psychologys Current Perspectives


Perspective

Focus

Sample Questions

Cognitive

How we encode, process,


store and retrieve
information?

How do we use information in


remembering? Reasoning?
Problem solving?

Social-cultural

How behavior and


thinking vary across
situations and cultures?

How are we as Africans,


Asians, Australians or North
Americans alike as members
of human family? As products
of different environmental
contexts, how do we differ?

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Psychologys Subfields: Research


Psychologist
Biological
Developmental
Cognitive
Personality
Social

What she does


Explore the links between brain and
mind.
Study changing abilities from womb to
tomb.
Study how we perceive, think, and solve
problems.
Investigate our persistent traits.
Explore how we view and affect one
another.
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Psychologys Subfields: Applied


Psychologist
Clinical
Counseling
Educational
Industrial/
Organizational

What she does


Studies, assesses, and treats people with
psychological disorders
Helps people cope with academic,
vocational, and marital challenges.
Studies and helps individuals in school
and educational settings
Studies and advises on behavior in the
workplace.

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Clinical Psychology vs. Psychiatry


A clinical psychologist (Ph.D., Psy.D.) studies,
assesses, and treats troubled people with
psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists on the other hand are medical
professionals (M.D.) who use treatments like drugs
and psychotherapy to treat psychologically
diseased patients.
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Errors of Common Sense and the


Limits of Intuition
Try this !

Fold a piece of paper (0.1 mm thick) 100 times.


How thick will it be?

800,000,000,000,000 times the distance between


the sun and the earth.

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We Are Flawed Thinkers


Biases

Hindsight Bias: I-knew-it-all-along


phenomenon.

Overconfidence

After learning the outcome of an event, many people


believe they could have predicted that very outcome.
Sometimes we think we know more than we actually
know.

Confirmation Bias

Paying attention only to evidence that


confirms your belief.
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The Scientific Attitude


The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity
(passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting and
questioning) and humility (ability to accept
responsibility when wrong).

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Critical Thinking
Critical thinking does not accept arguments
and conclusions blindly.
It examines assumptions, discerns hidden
values, evaluates evidence and assesses
conclusions.

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Scientific Method
Psychologists, like all scientists, use the
scientific method to construct theories that
organize, summarize and simplify
observations.

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Theory
A Theory is an explanation that integrates
principles and organizes and predicts
behavior or events.
For example, low self-esteem contributes to
depression.

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Hypothesis
A Hypothesis is a testable prediction, often
prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept,
reject or revise the theory.
People with low self-esteem are apt to feel
more depressed.

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Methods of Research:
Experimentation
Exploring Cause and Effect
Like other sciences, experimentation is the
backbone of psychology research. Experiments
isolate causes and their effects.

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Exploring Cause & Effect


Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments
(1) manipulate factors that interest us, while other
factors are kept under (2) control.
Effects generated by manipulated factors isolate
cause and effect relationships.

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Independent Variable
An Independent Variable is a factor
manipulated by the experimenter. The effect
of the independent variable is the focus of
the study.

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Dependent Variable
A Dependent Variable is a factor that may
change in response to an independent
variable. In psychology, it is usually a
behavior or a mental process.

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Scientific Psychology

Objectivity

Can we ever get true objectivity?

Replicability

Testing theoretical predictions

Falsifiability

Other Methods of
Research

Case Study
Natural Observation
Survey

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Comparison
Below is a comparison of different research
methods.

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