Psychology Advanced

Psychology - Assignment One

  1) What is the meaning of the word Psychology - We get the name of our field from the ancient Greeks:

Psyche = mind, breath, soul (psyche is gone when the breath is gone) logos= study of, Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes”
  2) The natural sciences started in the 1600`s. Why did the scientific study of human behaviour start so much later in the 1870`s – It was thought and believed that the natural world could be studied scientifically but not humans as they were created in God`s image so their behaviour was not subject to the laws of nature. The book Origins of Species (1859) suggested that humans were animals that had evolved from simpler organisms. This implied that human behaviour was subject to natural laws and could be studied
  3) What was the reason for the failure of structuralism – This was mainly down to the fact that it was not possible to settle disputes between different researchers, about which sensations they had experienced and was one person’s word against another. There was no way of measuring experiences making it inaccurate
  4) Name the 4 major schools of psychology and briefly describe them –
  * Structuralism grew out of the work of James, Wundt, and their associates. These psychologists believed the chief purpose of psychology was to describe, analyse, and explain conscious experience, particularly feelings and sensations. The structuralisms attempted to give a scientific analysis of conscious experience by breaking it down into its specific components or structures. For example, they identified four basic skin sensations: warmth, cold, pain, and pressure. They analysed the sensation of wetness as the combined experience of cold and smoothness. 

The structuralisms primarily used a method of research called introspection. In this technique, subjects were trained to observe and report as accurately as they could their mental processes, feelings, and experiences.