Foundations[ edit ] Beginning with ancient philosophy, Epicureanism claims humans live to maximize pleasure. Humanity performs altruistic, honorable, and virtuous acts not for the sake of another or because of a moral code but rather to increase the well being of the self. In modern philosophy, Jeremy Bentham asserted, like Epicurus, that human behavior is governed by a need to increase pleasure and decrease pain. Bentham attempted to quantify psychological hedonism.
This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades.
However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watsonwho in his manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior.
Also since James defined it, the term more strongly connotes techniques of scientific experimentation. History of psychology The ancient Psychological view of EgyptGreeceChinaIndiaand Persia all engaged in the philosophical study of psychology.
Historians note that Greek philosophersincluding ThalesPlatoand Aristotle especially in his De Anima treatise addressed the workings of the mind.
This body of knowledge involves insights drawn from introspection and observation, as well as techniques for focused thinking and acting.
It frames the universe as a division of, and interaction between, physical reality and mental reality, with an emphasis on purifying the mind in order to increase virtue and power. An ancient text known as The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine identifies the Psychological view as the nexus of wisdom and sensation, includes theories of personality based on yin—yang balance, and analyzes mental disorder in terms of physiological and social disequilibria.
Chinese scholarship focused on the brain advanced in the Qing Dynasty with the work of Western-educated Fang Yizhi —Liu Zhi —and Wang Qingren — Wang Qingren emphasized the importance of the brain as the center of the nervous system, linked mental disorder with brain diseases, investigated the causes of dreams and insomniaand advanced a theory of hemispheric lateralization in brain function.
A central idea of the Upanishads is the distinction between a person's transient mundane self and their eternal unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, and Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher awareness.
Yoga is a range of techniques used in pursuit of this goal. However, Indian doctrines influenced Western thinking via the Theosophical Societya New Age group which became popular among Euro-American intellectuals.
In Germany, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz — applied his principles of calculus to the mind, arguing that mental activity took place on an indivisible continuum—most notably, that among an infinity of human perceptions and desires, the difference between conscious and unconscious awareness is only a matter of degree.
Christian Wolff identified psychology as its own science, writing Psychologia empirica in and Psychologia rationalis in This notion advanced further under Immanuel Kantwho established the idea of anthropologywith psychology as an important subdivision. However, Kant explicitly and notoriously rejected the idea of experimental psychologywriting that "the empirical doctrine of the soul can also never approach chemistry even as a systematic art of analysis or experimental doctrine, for in it the manifold of inner observation can be separated only by mere division in thought, and cannot then be held separate and recombined at will but still less does another thinking subject suffer himself to be experimented upon to suit our purposeand even observation by itself already changes and displaces the state of the observed object.
However, this discipline did not yet embrace experimentation. Gustav Fechner began conducting psychophysics research in Leipzig in the s, articulating the principle Weber—Fechner law that human perception of a stimulus varies logarithmically according to its intensity.
Wundt, in turn, came to Leipzig University, establishing the psychological laboratory which brought experimental psychology to the world. Wundt focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components, motivated in part by an analogy to recent advances in chemistry, and its successful investigation of the elements and structure of material.
Stanley Hall who studied with Wundt, formed a psychology lab at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, which became internationally influential. Hall, in turn, trained Yujiro Motorawho brought experimental psychology, emphasizing psychophysics, to the Imperial University of Tokyo.
Catell, who also studied with eugenicist Francis Galtonwent on to found the Psychological Corporation. Wittmer focused on mental testing of children; Scott, on selection of employees. Structuralism sought to analyze and classify different aspects of the mind, primarily through the method of introspection.
InJames wrote an influential book, The Principles of Psychologywhich expanded on the realm of structuralism, memorably described the human " stream of consciousness ", and interested many American students in the emerging discipline.
This approach is based upon the idea that individuals experience things as unified wholes. Rather than breaking down thoughts and behavior into smaller elements, as in structuralism, the Gestaltists maintained that whole of experience is important, and differs from the sum of its parts.While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity.
By many accounts psychology ultimately aims to benefit society. Some critics view statistical hypothesis testing as misplaced.
Psychological Perspectives. In Freud’s view, the unconscious mind was a repository of feelings and urges of which we have no awareness. Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that rose to prominence in the midth century, drawing on the philosophies of existentialism and phenomenology, as well as Eastern philosophy.
It. A psychological tool. They can be loaded with memory too. In a competitive world, glasses can also prove a psychological tool in making their wearers more distinctive, even though tests have shown that wearing specs actually slows down the speed with which someone can distinguish between you and another specs wearer.
They are noble poetry, but display in marked degree the psychological subtilety which in part of his poetry demands unusually close attention from the reader.
View in context The law of gravitation, for example, is a physical law, while the law of association is a psychological law. Define psychological. psychological synonyms, psychological pronunciation, psychological translation, English dictionary definition of psychological.
also psy·cho·log·ic adj. 1. Of or relating to psychology: psychological research. 2. Of, relating to, or arising from the mind or emotions. View in context. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society (APS).
Psychology Club is a recognized student organization designed to provide an intellectual and social atmosphere for students within the Psychology Department.