User:Psychology99

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Psychology (lit. "study of the soul" or "study of the mind")[1] is an academic and applied discipline which involves the scientific study of human (or animal) mental functions and behaviors. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist, and is classified as a social or behavioral scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the underlying physiological and neurological processes.

Psychologists study such topics as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, motivation, personality, behavior and interpersonal relationships. Some, especially depth psychologists, also consider the unconscious mind.a In addition or opposition to employing empirical and deductive methods, psychologists sometimes rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques.

Humanism and existentialism[edit]

Humanistic psychology was developed in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. By using phenomenology, intersubjectivity and first-person categories, the humanistic approach sought to glimpse the whole person—not just the fragmented parts of the personality or cognitive functioning.[2] Humanism focused on fundamentally and uniquely human issues, such as self-identity, death, aloneness, freedom, and meaning. The humanistic approach was distinguished by its emphasis on subjective meaning, rejection of determinism, and concern for positive growth rather than pathology. Some of the founders of this school of thought were American psychologists Abraham Maslow, who formulated a hierarchy of human needs, and Carl Rogers, who created and developed client-centered therapy; and German-American psychiatrist Fritz Perls, who co-founded Gestalt therapy. It became so influential as to be called the "third force" within psychology, along with behaviorism and psychoanalysis.[3] Later, positive psychology opened up humanistic themes to scientific modes of exploration.

Influenced largely by the work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger and Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, psychoanalytically trained American psychologist Rollo May pioneered an existential breed of psychology, which included existential therapy, in the 1950s and 1960s. Existential psychologists differed from others often classified as humanistic in their comparatively neutral view of human nature and in their relatively positive assessment of anxiety.[4] Existential psychologists emphasized the humanistic themes of death, free will, and meaning, suggesting that meaning can be shaped by myths, or narrative patterns,[5] and that it can be encouraged by an acceptance of the free will requisite to an authentic, albeit often anxious, regard for death and other future prospects. Austrian existential psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl drew evidence of meaning's therapeutic power from reflections garnered from his own internment,[6] and he created a variety of existential psychotherapy called logotherapy. In addition to May and Frankl, Swiss psychoanalyst Ludwig Binswanger and American psychologist George Kelly may be said to belong to the existential school.[7]

History[edit]

The study of psychology in philosophical context dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, China, India, and Persia. Predating the prototypical clinics of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung by nearly 1000 years, psychotherapy was performed by Islamic physicians on those with mental illness in lunatic asylums built as early as the 8th century in Fez, Morocco.[8]

Due to his formulation of a modern quantitative and empirical approach, Ibn al-Haytham is considered by some authors[9][10] to have pioneered the modern scientific method, as well as psychophysics and experimental psychology. In 1802, French physiologist Pierre Cabanis sketched out the beginnings of physiological psychology with his essay, Rapports du physique et du moral de l'homme (On the relations between the physical and moral aspects of man). Cabanis interpreted the mind in light of his previous studies of biology, arguing that sensibility and soul are properties of the nervous system.

German physician Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research, for which Wundt is often known as the "father of psychology", at Leipzig University in 1879.[11] The American philosopher and psychologist, William James, published his seminal book, Principles of Psychology,[12] in 1890, laying the foundations for many of the questions that psychologists would explore for years to come. Other 19th-century contributors to the field include the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in the experimental study of memory at the University of Berlin; and the Russian-Soviet physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who investigated the learning process now referred to as classical conditioning.

Starting in the 1950s, the experimental techniques set forth by Wundt, James, Ebbinghaus, and others would be reiterated when experimental psychology became increasingly cognitive—concerned with information and its processing—and, eventually, constituted a part of the wider cognitive science.[13] In its early years, this development had been seen as a "revolution",[13] as it both responded to and reacted against strains of thought—including psychodynamics and behaviorism—that had developed in the meantime.

Psychoanalysis[edit]

From the 1890s until his death in 1939, the Austrian physician Sigmund Freud developed a method of psychotherapy known as psychoanalysis. Freud's understanding of the mind was largely based on interpretive methods, introspection and clinical observations, and was focused in particular on resolving unconscious conflict, mental distress and psychopathology. Freud's theories became very well-known, largely because they tackled subjects such as sexuality, repression, and the unconscious mind as general aspects of psychological development. These were largely considered taboo subjects at the time, and Freud provided a catalyst for them to be openly discussed in polite society. Clinically, he helped to pioneer the method of free association and a therapeutic interest in dreams.

Freud had a significant influence on Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, whose analytical psychology became an alternative form of depth psychology. Other well-known psychoanalytic thinkers of the mid-twentieth century included German-American psychologist Erik Erickson, Austrian-British psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, English psychoanalyst and physician D. W. Winnicott, German psychologist Karen Horney, German-born psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm, English psychiatrist John Bowlby and Sigmund Freud's daughter, psychoanalyst Anna Freud. Throughout the 20th century, psychoanalysis evolved into diverse schools of thought, most of which may be classed as Neo-Freudian.c

Psychoanalytic theory and therapy were criticized by psychologists and philosophers such as B. F. Skinner, Hans Eysenck, and Karl Popper. Skinner and other behaviorists believed that psychology should be more empirical and efficient than psychoanalysis—although they frequently agreed with Freud in ways that became overlooked as time passed.[14] Popper, a philosopher of science, argued that Freud's, as well as Alfred Adler's, psychoanalytic theories included enough ad hoc safeguards against empirical contradiction to keep the theories outside the realm of scientific inquiry.[15] By contrast, Eysenck maintained that although Freudian ideas could be subjected to experimental science, they had not withstood experimental tests. By the 21st century, psychology departments in American universities had become experimentally oriented, marginalizing Freudian theory and regarding it as a "desiccated and dead" historical artifact.[16] Meanwhile, however, researchers in the emerging field of neuro-psychoanalysis defended some of Freud's ideas on scientific grounds,d while scholars of the humanities maintained that Freud was not a "scientist at all, but ... an interpreter."[16]

Behaviorism[edit]

Founded in the early 20th century by American psychologist John B. Watson, behaviorism was embraced and extended by Americans Edward Thorndike, Clark L. Hull, Edward C. Tolman, and later B. F. Skinner. Behaviorism reflected a belief that the methodology behind laboratory-based animal experimentation, which was increasing in popularity as physiology grew more sophisticated, could provide useful psychosocial understanding of a type that comparatively subjective inquiries, such as psychodynamic analysis as employed by Freud or introspection as used by Wundt and James, could not.

The behaviorists shared with their predecessors a philosophical inclination toward positivism and determinism.[14] With Skinner, however, they entered into a line of thought, extending back to Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, which held that the research methods most faithful to their scientific orientation would yield "the pursuit of tools for the control of life problems rather than a search for timeless truths".[14] The behaviorists argued that many contents of the mind were not open to scientific scrutiny and that scientific psychology should emphasize the study of observable behavior. Behaviorists focused on behavior–environment relations and analyzed overt and covert (i.e., private) behavior as a function of the organism interacting with its environment.[17] Therefore, they often rejected or deemphasized dualistic explanations such as "mind" or "consciousness"; and, in lieu of probing an "unconscious mind" that underlies unawareness, they spoke of the "contingency-shaped behaviors" in which unawareness becomes outwardly manifest.[14]

Among the behaviorists' most famous creations are Watson's Little Albert experiment, which applied classical conditioning to a human being, and Skinner's notion of operant conditioning, which acknowledged that human agency could affect patterns and cycles of environmental stimuli and behavioral responses. American linguist Noam Chomsky's critique of the behaviorist model of language acquisition is regarded by many as a key factor in the decline of behaviorism's prominence.[18] But Skinner's behaviorism has not died, perhaps in part because it has generated successful practical applications.[18] The fall of behaviorism as an overarching model in psychology, however, gave way to a new dominant paradigm: cognitive approaches.[19]

Humanism and existentialism[edit]

Humanistic psychology was developed in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. By using phenomenology, intersubjectivity and first-person categories, the humanistic approach sought to glimpse the whole person—not just the fragmented parts of the personality or cognitive functioning.[20] Humanism focused on fundamentally and uniquely human issues, such as self-identity, death, aloneness, freedom, and meaning. The humanistic approach was distinguished by its emphasis on subjective meaning, rejection of determinism, and concern for positive growth rather than pathology. Some of the founders of this school of thought were American psychologists Abraham Maslow, who formulated a hierarchy of human needs, and Carl Rogers, who created and developed client-centered therapy; and German-American psychiatrist Fritz Perls, who co-founded Gestalt therapy. It became so influential as to be called the "third force" within psychology, along with behaviorism and psychoanalysis.[21] Later, positive psychology opened up humanistic themes to scientific modes of exploration.

Influenced largely by the work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger and Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, psychoanalytically trained American psychologist Rollo May pioneered an existential breed of psychology, which included existential therapy, in the 1950s and 1960s. Existential psychologists differed from others often classified as humanistic in their comparatively neutral view of human nature and in their relatively positive assessment of anxiety.[4] Existential psychologists emphasized the humanistic themes of death, free will, and meaning, suggesting that meaning can be shaped by myths, or narrative patterns,[5] and that it can be encouraged by an acceptance of the free will requisite to an authentic, albeit often anxious, regard for death and other future prospects. Austrian existential psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl drew evidence of meaning's therapeutic power from reflections garnered from his own internment,[6] and he created a variety of existential psychotherapy called logotherapy. In addition to May and Frankl, Swiss psychoanalyst Ludwig Binswanger and American psychologist George Kelly may be said to belong to the existential school.[7]

Cognitivism[edit]

Noam Chomsky helped to ignite a "cognitive revolution" in psychology when he criticized the behaviorists' notions of "stimulus", "response", and "reinforcement", arguing that such ideas—which Skinner had borrowed from animal experiments in the laboratory—could be applied to complex human behavior, most notably language acquisition, in only a vague and superficial manner. Chomsky emphasized that research and analysis must not ignore the innate contribution of the child to such behavior,[22] while social learning theorists such as Albert Bandura argued that the child's environment could make contributions of its own to the behaviors of an observant subject.[23] The notion that behavior could be precipitated only by the functioning of an internal device or by the perception of external surroundings posed a challenge to the behaviorist position that behavior is contingent upon the prior associations that individuals have made between behavioral responses and pleasurable or painful stimuli.

Meanwhile, accumulating technology helped to renew interest and belief in the mental states and representations—i.e., the cognition—that had fallen out of favor with behaviorists. English neuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. With the rise of computer science and artificial intelligence, analogies were drawn between the processing of information by humans and information processing by machines. Research in cognition had proven practical since World War II, when it aided in the understanding of weapons operation.[24] By the late 20th century, though, cognitivism had become the dominant paradigm of mainstream psychology, and cognitive psychology emerged as a popular branch.

Assuming both that the covert mind should be studied and that the scientific method should be used to study it, cognitive psychologists set such concepts as "subliminal processing" and "implicit memory" in place of the psychoanalytic "unconscious mind" or the behavioristic "contingency-shaped behaviors". Elements of behaviorism and cognitive psychology were synthesized to form the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy modified from techniques developed by American psychologist Albert Ellis and American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. Cognitive psychology was subsumed along with other disciplines, such as philosophy of mind, computer science, and neuroscience, under the umbrella discipline of cognitive science.

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference OED was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Rowan, John. (2001). Ordinary Ecstasy: The Dialectics of Humanistic Psychology. London, UK: Brunner-Routledge. ISBN 0415236339
  3. ^ Bugental, J. (1964). The Third Force in Psychology. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 4(1), 19-25.
  4. ^ a b Hergenhahn BR (2005). An introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 546–547. 
  5. ^ a b Hergenhahn BR (2005). An introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 523–532. 
  6. ^ a b Frankl VE (1984). Man's search for meaning (rev. ed.). New York, NY, USA: Washington Square Press. p. 86. 
  7. ^ a b Hergenhahn BR (2005). An introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 528–536. 
  8. ^ Ibrahim B. Syed, "Islamic Medicine: 1000 years ahead of its times", Journal of the Islamic Medical Association, 2002 (2), p. 2-9.
  9. ^ Khaleefa, Omar (1999), "Who Is the Founder of Psychophysics and Experimental Psychology?", American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 16 (2)
  10. ^ Bradley Steffens (2006). Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist, Chapter 5. Morgan Reynolds Publishing. ISBN 1599350246.
  11. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2006). "Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt".
  12. ^ The Principles of Psychology (1890), with introduction by George A. Miller, Harvard University Press, 1983 paperback, ISBN 0-674-70625-0 (combined edition, 1328 pages)
  13. ^ a b Mandler, G. (2007). A history of modern experimental psychology: From James and Wundt to cognitive science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  14. ^ a b c d Overskeid, G. (2007). "Looking for Skinner and finding Freud". American Psychologist 62(6), 590-595.
  15. ^ Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, London: Routledge and Keagan Paul, 1963, pp. 33-39; from Theodore Schick, ed., Readings in the Philosophy of Science, Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company, 2000, pp. 9-13. [1]
  16. ^ a b June 2008 study by the American Psychoanalytic Association, as reported in the New York Times, "Freud Is Widely Taught at Universities, Except in the Psychology Department" by Patricia Cohen, November 25, 2007.
  17. ^ Skinner, B.F. (1974). About Behaviorism. New York: Random House
  18. ^ a b Schlinger, H.D. (2008). The long good-bye: why B.F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior is alive and well on the 50th anniversary of its publication. The Psychological Record. 
  19. ^ George A. Miller. The cognitive revolution: a historical perspective, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vol.7, No.3, March 2003
  20. ^ Rowan, John. (2001). Ordinary Ecstasy: The Dialectics of Humanistic Psychology. London, UK: Brunner-Routledge. ISBN 0415236339
  21. ^ Bugental, J. (1964). The Third Force in Psychology. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 4(1), 19-25.
  22. ^ Chomsky, N. A. (1959), A Review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior
  23. ^ Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  24. ^ Aidman, Eugene, Galanis, George, Manton, Jeremy, Vozzo, Armando and Bonner, Michael(2002)'Evaluating human systems in military training', Australian Journal of Psychology,54:3,168-173