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1Since the 1800?s, traced back from the Greeks, psychology has been studied, interoperated, and put in many different perspectives. Formulating from philosophy and biology, it structured psychology to study thoughts and behavior of a human being. Many psychologists had their own outlooks and theories on contemporary psychology and it helped structured how we look at psychology today.

From Leipzig, Germany, a physiologist name Wilhelm Wundt is known as the founder of psychology. Using scientific methods, he studied mental processes and consciousness. Wundt is a strong influence on the development of psychology as a science (Hockenbury, Discovering Psychology, p4, 2011). In 1879 he opened a lab studying conscious experiences known as introspection. Introspection is not relevant today, but his theories contributed to future experimental methods that helped the study of psychology grow and inspired many of his students to discover other methods and theories such as Edward B. Titchener?s approach on structuralism.
Establishing psychology in the United States, William James studied the adaptive and practical functions of human behavior, constructing functionalism. James wrote the Principles of Psychology in 1890, discussing the behavior and functions in people and animals adapting to their own environment and topics such as habit, memory, sensation, perception, and emotion (Hockenbury, Discovering Psychology, p5, 2011). The importance of his theory is that all human mental activity changes in our surroundings, such as at work or at school. ?There is a stream, a succession of states, or waves, or fields of knowledge, of feeling, of desire, of deliberation, etc., that constantly pass and repass, and that constitute our inner life. The existence of this is the
primal fact, [and] the nature and origin of it forms the essential problem, of our science? (William James, Talks to Teachers, 1899).
Wundt?s and James?s branches of thoughts helped further expansion of psychological thinking. Many students were influenced throughout the late 1800?s such as G. Stanley Hall making the first psychology research laboratory in the United States and founded the American Psychological Association. In the history of psychology, Mary Whiton Calkins and Margaret Floy Washburn became one of the first women to earn their PhD in psychology and Francis C. Sumner became the first African American to earn his PhD in psychology. As time progressed, psychology was establishing careers and evolving.
Going into the 1900?s, A Russian scientist named Ivan Pavlov, originally a physiologist, became involved in psychology and discovered his theory called behaviorism. While studying digestion on dogs one day, he came across that before giving the dogs food, they began salivating, as a reflex. Seeing the food would make them react and it would change their behavior. With more research on the situation and more experiments, he began using a bell. Pavlov would repeatedly use the bell to give them food till he noticed that when using the bell, the dogs would react and it would change their behavior. This experiment began the theory of behaviorism. This became an influence for other psychologists, such as John B.Watson and B.F. Skinner, to experiment and study on people and their behaviors, instead of on dogs or animals. Behaviorism structured the mechanism of learning and is a theory to change bad or harmful behaviors. This is effective today in therapy to treat phobias and addictions and also in the area
of mental health in explaining and treating different disorders. Contemporary psychologists today continue to study how behavior is modified or changed.

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Over the years, contemporary psychology has grown dramatically and hasn?t stopped growing yet. Today, psychologists don?t use a single school of thought. Instead, they take their ideas from past contributors, such as Wilhelm Wundt, William James, and Ivan Pavlov, theories to make new ideas and theories that shape todays and tomorrows psychology.

Cherry, Kendra. (2013). Origins of Psychology. Retrieved from
Cherry, Kendra. (2013). Perspectives in Modern Psychology. Retrieved from
Cherry, Kendra. (2013). Contemporary?Psychology The Psychology of?Today. Retrieved from
Hockenbury. (2011) Discovering Psychology. Print.

Bantwal, Natasha (2000-2012, 2013). Brief History of Psychology. Retrieved from
Wikipedia. (2013, February 9). Behaviorism. Retrieved from


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