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History of psychology

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In the prehistoric era, knowledge and guidance were delivered from generation to generation in an oral tradition, before the writing system develops well. They said that psychology has a long past, but a short history. The long past because psychology lies in our curiosity to understand the living lives and why. It has a brief history due to it only seems like an organized body of specific in the last hundred great years. The variance between the prescientific psychology and science psychology is the prescience focusses on philosophical concern whereby science psychology focusses on biology and medicine.

The History Of Pre-scientific Era

i. Ancient Roots: which explains the terms of mystical or supernatural things and magical power to natural measures and come out the concept of good and evil.
ii. Greek Roots: ancient Greek started to use guesswork and logic in understanding the physical event.
iii. Philosophical roots: the early philosophers.’
iv. In India, Buddha questioned how sensations and perceptions combined to form idea while in China, Confucius understands the power of ideas and the importance of an educated mind.
v. Socrates (469-399 B.C) and his learner, Plato (428-348 B.C) believed that mind was parted from the body and mind continued to exist after death, and ideas were inherent.
vi. It is different to Aristotle (348-322 B.C) recommended that the soul is not separable from the body and that knowledge (ideas) grow from experience and understanding.
vii. Rene Descartes, like Plato, assumed in soul (mind) body separation but doubted how the immaterial mind and physical body connected and communicated.
viii. Pre-scientific psychology with John Locke (1632-1704) said that the mind was a Tabula rasa or blank sheet, at birth, and experiences wrote on it.
ix. In general, understanding of how ideas are formed. Socrates and Plato agreed that some ideas are inborn while the mind is a black slate believed by Aristotle and Locke.
x. The influence of Islam in the Middle Age: They are two philosophers from the Islamic civilization and they are:

• Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (c. 980-1037)

Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina is better known in Europe by the Latinized name “Avicenna.” He is perhaps the most significant philosopher in the Islamic tradition and possibly the most influential philosopher of the pre-modern era. He is best known as a polymath, as a physician whose main work the Canon (al-Qanun fi-Tibb) continued to be taught as a medical textbook in Europe and the Islamic world until the early modern period, and as a philosopher whose major summa the cure (al-Shifa’) had a key impact upon European scholasticism and especially upon Thomas Aquinas (d.1274). Primarily a metaphysical philosopher of being who was anxious with the understanding of the self’s existence in this world about its contingency. Ibn Sina’s philosophy is an effort to build a clear and comprehensive system that accords with the religious needs of Muslim culture.

• Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (1126-1198)

Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd, well known in the Latin West as Averroes, lived during a unique period in Logical Western history, in which interest in philosophy and theology was fading in the Muslim world and just beginning to display in Latin Christendom. His influential commentaries and different explanations on Aristotle recovered Western scholarly in ancient Greek philosophy, whose works, for the most part, had been neglected or abandoned since the sixth century.

Psychology Science Is Born (Scientific Era)

The psychology science began in 1879 when Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) the first founder to psychological research in Leipzig, Germany. He administrated the first psychology experiments by calculating individual time reaction to simple task and established the first psychology lab in Germany. Psychology as science convey beneficial to other subjects of human science as below;-


Edward Bradford Titchener joined the Cornell University faculty, and introduced Structuralism can be defined as psychology as the study of the elements of consciousness which is the supposed structure of our mind. Example, describing an apple. Apple is crisp, juicy, round, colored and sweet. Structuralism which tried to figure human’s thought and elements by having the individual report on how they feel about it. Both Wundt and Titchener studied the basics (atoms) of the mind and emotion to the body.


A school of psychology that focused on how mental psychological and behavioral processes function, on how they enable the creature to survive, adapt and flourish. It is influenced by Darwin and William James (1842-1910) who established the school of Functionalism, which conflicting Structuralism. William James wrote the first textbook title Principles of Psychology. James believed that ‘Consciousness served as a function’ and the memories would expose our present actions.

Gestalt Psychology

A school of psychology established in the 20th century that provided the groundwork for the modern study of sensitivity, perceptions, on how people perceive and experience objects as the whole pattern. The word Gestalt is used in modern German to mean the way a thing has been ‘placed’ or ‘put together.’
Max Wertheimer (1880-1943), Kurt Koffka (1886-1941), and Wolfgang Kohler (1887-1967) were three German psychologists who are introducing psychologists to various Gestalt principles.

The Unconscious Mind

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and his followers stressed the importance of the unconscious mind and its effect on human behavior.
The term “Behaviorism” refers to the school of psychology founded by John B. Watson. Psychological Science develops on how Watson (1913) and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology.

Humanistic Psychology

Focused on each’s potential and stressed the importance of developing, growth and self-actualization. It began as feedback psychoanalysis and behaviorism in the 1950s. Carl Rogers (1902-1987) and Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) and a few others emphasized current environmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance. The character of a person as a unique and organized whole. To know the person well, one needs to collect information about the individual’s whole life story and experiences.

All the discussed schools of thought in psychology have fade today, but they have influenced psychology greatly. Psychology is today selecting the best from each school and working with other scientists to improve and achieve their goals better.

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