You are on page 1of 9

The Definition of "Psychology"

The word "psychology" is the combination of two terms - study (ology) and soul (psyche), or mind. The derivation of the word from Latin gives it this clear and obvious meaning: The study of the soul or mind. This meaning has been altered over the years until today, this is not what the word means at all. The subject of psychology, as studied in colleges and universities, currently has very little to do with the mind, and absolutely nothing to do with the soul or spirit. It is important to understand that words and ideas are supposed to refer to something. "The large tree in the front yard" refers to an actual thing that can be seen, touched and experienced. "The man walking his little dog last night at sunset" refers to an actual event that can be seen, observed and experienced. The realm of mind is an actual realm that can be experienced, and at one time there were words that accurately referred to this realm. "Psyche" is defined as: 1. The spirit or soul. 2. The human mind. 3. In psychoanalysis, the mind functioning as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior. And defining "soul", we have: 1. the spiritual or immortal elements in a person. 2. a person's mental or moral or emotional nature. Most of us would agree we have a "psyche" per the above definitions in the sense of mind, thought, and emotions. Most would also agree they have a "soul" per the second definition above relating to man's mental, moral or emotional nature. We might all have different notions about what these ultimately are, but few could sanely disagree they exist. The derivation of "psyche" comes from Latin and the Greek psukhe - breath, life, soul. To get a better "feel" for this term try to think of it as the invisible animating principle or entity that occupies, interacts with and directs the physical body.

NATURES OF PSYCHOLOGY
Psychology evolved out of both philosophy and biology. Such discussions of the two subjects date as far back as the early Greek thinkers such as Aristotle and Socrates. The word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche, meaning 'soul' or 'mind.' Psychology is the scientific study and practical application of observable behavior and mental processes of organisms mental processes that involve one's mental feelings, moods, or emotional state; behavior - actions and responses of organisms; cognition - mental events (e.g. beliefs, thoughts, memory) and mental processes that result from them(e.g. perceiving, thinking, remembering, understanding) Psychology is largely a science of individual differences: Environmental diversity and experience plus the diversity of genetic material make each individual unique. sychology is important because a. it is relevant to our daily lives. b. it has practical applications in the real world. Elaboration a. Psychology deals with problems and issues that are essential and fundamental. b. The core problems of our world relate to human behavior. c. The terms, concepts, and methodology of psychology are common across the social sciences. d. Most professions that deal with problems of living draw heavily on psychology.

History of Psychology (387 BC to Present)

387 BC 335 BC 1774 AD

Plato suggested that the brain is the mechanism of mental processes. Aristotle suggested that the heart is the mechanism of mental processes. Franz Mesmer detailed his cure for some mental illness, originally called mesmerism and now known as hypnosis. Philippe Pinel released the first mental patients from confinement in the first massive movement for more humane treatment of the mentally ill.

1793

1808

Franz Gall wrote about phrenology (the idea that a person's skull shape and placement of bumps on the head can reveal personality traits. Ernst Heinrich Weber published his perception theory of 'Just Noticeable DIfference,' now known as Weber's Law. Phineas Gage suffered brain damage when an iron pole pierces his brain. His personality was changed but his intellect remained intact suggesting that an area of the brain plays a role in personality. Charles Darwin published the On the Origin of Species, detailing his view of evolution and expanding on the theory of 'Survival of the fittest.' French physician Paul Broca discovered an area in the left frontal lobe that plays a key role in language development. Sir Francis Galton, Influenced by Charles Darwin's 'Origin of the Species,' publishes 'Hereditary Genius,' and argues that intellectual abilities are biological in nature. Carl Wernicke published his work on the frontal lobe, detailing that damage to a specific area damages the ability to understand or produce language G. Stanley Hall received the first American Ph.D. in psychology. He later founded the American Psychological Association. Wilhelm Wundt founded the first formal laboratory of Psychology at the University of Leipzig, marking the formal beginning of the study of human emotions, behaviors, and cognitions. The first laboratory of psychology in America is established at Johns Hopkins University. Herman Ebbinghaus introduced the nonsense syllable as a means to study memory processes. Sigmund Freud began performing therapy in Vienna, marking the beginning of personality theory. The term "Mental Tests" was coined by James Cattell, beginning the specialization in psychology now known as psychological assessment. Sir Francis Galton developed the technique known as the correlation to

1834

1848

1859

1861

1869

1874

1878

1879

1883

1885

1886

1890

1890

better understand the interrelationships in his intelligence studies. 1890 William James published 'Principles of Psychology,' that later became the foundation for functionalism. New York State passed the State Care Act, ordering indigent mentally ill patients out of poor-houses and into state hospitals for treatment and developing the first institution in the U.S. for psychiatric research. Foundation of the American Psychological Association (APA) headed by G. Stanley Hall, with an initial membership of 42. Alfred Binet founded the first laboratory of psychodiagnosis. Writings by John Dewey began the school of thought known as functionalism. The first psychological clinic was developed at the University of Pennsylvania marking the birth of clinical psychology. Edward Thorndike developed the 'Law of Effect,' arguing that "a stimulusresponse chain is strengthened if the outcome of that chain is positive." Sigmund Freud published 'Interpretation of Dreams' marking the beginning of Psychoanalytic Thought. The British Psychological Society was founded. Alfred Binet's Intelligence Test was published in France. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology was founded by Morton Prince. Ivan Pavlov published the first studies on Classical Conditioning. Alfred Adler left Freud's Psychoanalytic Group to form his own school of thought, accusing Freud of overemphasizing sexuality and basing his theory on his own childhood. Edward Thorndike published first article on animal intelligence leading to the theory of Operant Conditioning.

1890

1892

1895 1896

1896

1898

1900

1901 1905 1906 1906 1911

1911

1912

William Stern developed the original formula for the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) after studying the scores on Binet's intelligence test. The formula is

1912

Max Wertheimer published research on the perception of movement, marking the beginnings of Gestalt Psychology. John E. Watson published 'Psychology as a Behaviorist Views It' marking the beginnings of Behavioral Psychology. Carl G. Jung departed from Freudian views and developed his own theories citing Freud's inability to acknowledge religion and spirituality. His new school of thought became known as Analytical Psychology. Stanford-Binet intelligence test was published in the United States. Robert Yerkes (President of APA at the time) developed the Army Alpha and Beta Tests to measure intelligence in a group format. The tests were adopted for use with all new recruits in the U.S. military a year later. John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner published the Little Albert experiments, demonstrating that fear could be classically conditioned. Psychological Corporation launched the first psychological test development company, not only commercializing psychological testing, but allowing testing to take place at offices and clinics rather than only at universities and research facilities. Wolfgang Kohler published 'The Mentality of Apes' which became a major component of Gestalt Psychology. Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund Freud, published her first book expanding her father's ideas in the treatment of children. Wolfgang Kohler criticizes behaviorism in his publication on Gestalt Psychology. Jean Piaget published 'The Moral Judgment of Children' beginning his popularity as the leading theorist in cognitive development. Walter B. Cannon coined the term homeostasis and began research on the fight or flight phenomenon.

1913

1913

1916 1917

1920

1921

1925

1927

1929

1932

1932

1935 1936

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) was published by Henry Murray. Egas Moniz published his work on frontal lobotomies as a treatment for mental illness. Electroshock therapy was first used on a human patient. Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Test was published which eventually became the most widely used intellectual assessment. The Canadian Psychological Associated was founded. Carl Rogers published 'Counseling and Psychotherapy' suggesting that respect and a non-judgmental approach to therapy is the foundation for effective treatment of mental health issues. Jean Piaget published 'Psychology of Intelligence' discussing his theories of cognitive development. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was developed and fast became the most widely researched and widely accepted psychological assessment device. The state of Connecticut passed licensure legislation for psychologists, becoming the first state to recognize psychology as a protected practice oriented profession. The Journal of Clinical Psychology was founded. Karen Horney published her feministic views of psychoanalytic theory, marking the beginning of feminism. Boulder Conference outlines scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology, looking at the M.D. versus Ph.D. used by medical providers and researchers, respectively. Erik Erikson published 'Childhood and Society,' where he expands Freud's Theory to include social aspects of personality development across the lifespan. A study on psychotherapy efficacy was published by Hans Eysenck suggesting that therapy is no more effective that no treatment at all. This prompted an onslaught of outcome studies which have since

1938 1939

1939 1942

1942

1942

1945

1945 1945

1949

1950

1952

shown psychotherapy to be an effective treatment for mental illness. 1952 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published by The American Psychiatric Association marking the beginning of modern mental illness classification. Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) first used in the treatment of schizophrenia. B.F. Skinner outlined behavioral therapy, lending support for behavioral psychology via research in the literature. Code of Ethics for Psychologists was developed by the American Psychological Association. Abraham Maslow helped to found Humanistic Psychology and later developed his famous Hierarchy of Needs. Leon Festinger proposed his theory of 'Cognitive Dissonance' and later became an influence figure in Social Psychology. John Berry introduced the importance of cross-cultural research bringing diversity into the forefront of psychological research and application. Carl Rogers published 'On Becoming a Person,' marking a powerful change in how treatment for mental health issues is conducted. Alfred Bandura introduced the idea of Observational Learning on the development of personality. Lawrence Kolberg introduced his ideas for the sequencing of morality development. Aaron Beck published a psychological model of depression suggesting that thoughts play a significant role in the development and maintenance of depression. DSM II was published by the American Psychiatric Association. First Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) professional degree program in Clinical Psychology was established in the Department of Psychology at The University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign.

1952 1953

1953

1954

1957

1961

1961

1963

1963

1967

1968 1968

1969 1971

Joseph Wolpe published 'The Practice of Behavior Therapy.' First Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) awarded (from The University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign). APA endorsed the Psy.D. degree for professional practice in psychology. DSM III published by the American Psychiatric Association. Howard Gardner (professor at Harvard University) introduced his theory of multiple intelligence, arguing that intelligence is something to be used to improve lives not to measure and quantify human beings. American Psychological Society established. The emergence of managed care prompts the APA to become more political, leading to the idea of Prescribing Psychologists and equity in mental health coverage. DSM IV published by the American Psychiatric Association. First Psychologists prescribe medication through the U.S. military's psychopharmacology program. Deep Blue, the supercomputer at the time, beats the World's best chess player, Kasparov, marking a milestone in the development of artificial intelligence. Psychology advances to the technological age with the emergence of etherapy. Psychologists in Guam gain prescription privileges for psychotropic medication. New Mexico becomes the first state to pass legislation allowing licensed psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medication. The push for mental health parity gets the attention of the White House as President George W. Bush promotes legislation that would guarantee comprehensive mental health coverage.

1973 1980 1983

1988 1990

1994 1995

1997

1998

1999

2002

2002