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History of Psychology.

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Introduction

History of Psychology Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and the reasons for people's behaviour. Although it seems as though psychology has been around for a long time, as a science it really began just over 100 years ago. It took so long for psychology to become a discipline as until recently people did not believe that the mind could be studied objectively. Also as the technology was not available, we had no way to take the next step from speculation to science. It originated from two schools - physiology (the study of the body) and philosophy (the study of theories about the nature of existence, knowledge, beliefs, or behaviour). Plato and Aristotle, as well as other Greek philosophers, took up some of the basic questions of psychology that are still under study today: those to do with whether people are born with certain skills, abilities, and personality, or whether these develop as a result of experience. They ask how people come to know the world and how we can account for the manifest differences between people. More generally, current research is revealing in detail how much "nature" contributes to the causes of behaviour, as compared to "nurture". Once psychology became a science, several schools of thought emerged, each with its own perspectives and important figures. Three of the major schools of thought will be looked at in more detail. ...read more.

Middle

The interaction of these elements results in unconscious motivations that are manifested in observed human behaviour. Psychoanalysis focuses on early childhood, theorising that many of the conflicts that arise in the human mind develop in the first years of a person's life. Freud demonstrated this in his theory of psychosexuality, in which the libido (sexual energy) of the infant progressively seeks outlet through different body zones (oral, anal, phallic, and genital) during the first five to six years of life. If any of these stages are not dealt with properly at the time, on becoming an adult, they will become fixated with that particular body zone e.g. unsatisfied oral stage would result in excessive smoking, drinking, talking, etc (anything based around the mouth). The research method used by psychoanalysts tended to be interviews and retrospective case studies. Freud's research was not based on a wide spectrum of subjects, rather it was solely based on middle-aged, Viennese women who all had severe mental illnesses. Also there was no scientific basis to any of Freud's claims. He did though, give the first detailed explanation of personality development and has influenced numerous subsequent psychologists including Jung and Adler. Humanistic The focus of the humanistic perspective is on the self, which translates into "you", and "your" perception of "your" experiences. Behaviourism was viewed as being too "simple" and the humanistic school grew from this. ...read more.

Conclusion

The qualifications required for this branch are an accredited first degree and three years post-graduate training. Educational Educational psychologists deal with all sorts of individual problems, such as slow learning, dyslexia, various disabilities, school phobia, etc. Like clinical psychologists, they often use tests in diagnosis-but are less often concerned with treatment, which may rather involve remedial teachers, social workers, and nurses or doctors. Educational psychology is also applied to the whole range of ability: those at the upper "gifted" end also need special consideration to meet their needs, or they risk becoming frustrated or isolated. More generally, educational psychologists may advise on educational programmes, methods of selection and examination, and so on, or conduct research into methods of teaching and learning. Educational psychology requires a post-graduate qualification in educational or child psychology. Industrial Industrial psychologists serve many roles. They may work on hiring staff through testing and interviewing, on developing training courses, and on maintaining good employee relations and communications. They may function as management consultants, advising on structures and procedures within an organisation, or they may be involved with ergonomics. Industrial psychology can also be used in consumer research. This may be for marketing purposes or involve sampling attitudes and opinions, often for the mass media or for political parties or the government. Consumer research is not an exclusively psychological activity but psychologists are often engaged in it. The qualifications required for this branch are a post-graduate with specialist experience e.g. in advertising. ...read more.

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