Foundations of Psychology

Foundations of Psychology
Robert N Guthrie
PSY 300
November 3, 2013
Emmett Lampkin

Foundations of Psychology
Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behavior(Kowalski & Westen, 2011).   To understand an individual, one must learn of the individual’s biology, psychological experience, and cultural context(Kowalski & Westen, 2011).   With this paper, one will learn of the different schools of thoughts associated with psychology and their most underlying assumptions.   One will also learn of the primary biological foundations of psychology and their link to behavior.
Schools of Thought
In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt founded the first psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany(Kowalski & Westen, 2011).   Wundt hoped to learn how people form complex ideas by studying human consciousness.   The method used to obtain this information was introspection.   With introspection, subjects reported every idea or thought that entered their mind as they finished tasks.   From this method, one would uncover an individual’s mental process.   “By varying the objects presented to his observers and recording their responses, he concluded that the basic elements of consciousness are sensations (such as colors) and feelings” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, p. 9).   Ultimately, he discovered that the basic elements of consciousness combine to form complex perceptions and ideas. With an understanding of a variety of methods it can open one’s eyes from a bias view to a well-rounded view of human behavior and psychological behaviors one my experience (Malin, p.201)
With the lessons of introspection in place, Edward Titchener, a student of Wilhelm Wundt, used this foundation to create the school of thought known as structuralism.   Structuralism “attempted to use introspection as a method for uncovering the basic elements of consciousness and the way they combine with each other into ideas” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, p. 9).   Although Wundt never...