The Removal Of The History Of Psychology Course From Psychology Programs

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Many universities and schools are contemplating the removal of the history of psychology course from their psychology programs, some have made it an elective course, as others have eliminated it all together (Chamberlin, 2010). They state that the history of psychology may be convoluted and not as important as once thought. Vygotsky suggested that societal and cultural interaction contributed to the development of cognitive processes (Myers, 2014); meaning that history teaches, in order to know where a profession is going, the understanding of where it came from is vital. Interaction with past knowledge leads current psychologists further into the future. John Watson, after learning Ivan Pavlov’s theory of Classic Conditioning, believed it was worth exploring further, but should be taken further. If the conditioning could be done with animals, then it should also pertain to human subjects as well. He believed that every person learned and perceived differently, which explained why there were differences in behavior. Watson and his assistant Rosalie Raynor conducted an experiment with a 9 month old infant known as Little Albert. According to Watson and Raynor, he was a healthy and well-adjusted boy with mild mannerisms. The experiment would attempt to condition fear of a white rat into Albert. First, Rosalie Raynor introduced Albert to multiple items, similar in sensation and texture; introduced to the rat, a Santa Clause mask, a white fur coat, a monkey and burning newspaper, initially, Albert showed no fear. He was curious about the mouse and other items, but was not distressed. What did cause fear was the hammer hitting a metal bar behind Albert. Over the course of the next couple of months the stimuli (hammer hitting the... ... middle of paper ... ...r, it is clear that psychologists and researchers were excited to share what they learned. Helmholtz, Weber, and Wundt are fine examples of Psychologists who eagerly published their work. Publishing research in books and articles began a movement of equality in information to all whom desired it (APA, 2010). Consenting to participation with experiments and research, while recognizing the differences in race, gender, age, national origin and socioeconomic status is a right that psychologists and researchers became accustomed to needing (APA, 2010). Today it is illegal to use a person in a research experiment without their knowledge and consent; giving a full debriefing following the experiment is required as well. Knowing how each of these factors will affect research and where each group is controlled can influence the final outcome of the project.

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