The Birth Of Psychology : Psychology Essay

The Birth Of Psychology : Psychology Essay

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The birth of psychology was in December of 1879, at Germanys University of Leipzig (Myers, 2014, p.2). In 1960, Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener defines psychology as “the science of mental health” (Myers, 2014, p.4). However, two provocative American psychologists, John Watson and B.F Skinner, redefined psychology in 1920. They redefined psychology as “the scientific study of observable behavior” (Myers, 2014, p.4). The problem arose when psychologists realized people could not observe feeling or thought so they needed to come up with a new definition for psychology. We define psychology today as “the science of behavior and mental processes” (Myers, 2014, p.4). Psychology includes many subfields such as human development, social behavior, cognitive processes, etc. Even though psychology is a relatively new science, its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece, 400-500 years BC (McLeod, 2011).
Psychology contains many theorists and psychologists, the three I found most interest in were B.F Skinner, Sigmund Freud, and Abraham Maslow. B.F Skinner was a behaviorist who was known for operant conditioning, which is defined as “organisms associate their own actions with consequences” (Myers, 2014, p.263). He designed an operant chamber known as the Skinner box. He used reinforcement to strengthen the response that was intended. He also said that you could use a process known as shaping, gradually guiding actions towards the desired action. Sigmund Freud believed strongly in dreams. He believed there was a latent and a manifest content to dreams. The manifest content is the symbolic meaning of the latent content, which is the unconscious drive (Myers, 2014, p.99). Abraham Maslow made a hierarchy of needs and that you could not ...

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...etter understand yourself. For example, if a person was abused as a child and they are now an adult they might lash out or become angry because they never had that attachment to anyone (Myers, 2014, p.148). By understanding, they were abused and neglected people can better understand and help them out.
Another way psychology plays a role in understanding human conditioning is knowing the different types of disorders and being able to help them. For example, people with schizophrenia have delusions and troubles seeing reality from not there. For many people who do not know about this condition it makes it very hard on the individual dealing with the condition and can make them feel very alone. Often times schizophrenia is linked to high rates of suicide. However, by understanding it we can cut down on those rates drastically and help them due to psychology research.

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