Schools Of Thought In Psychology


Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. There are many different schools of thought in psychology, each with their own perspectives and ideas.

The four major schools of thought in psychology are structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, and psychoanalysis.

Structuralism was the first school of thought in psychology. It was founded by Edward Titchener and focused on breaking down mental processes into their smallest parts. Structuralists believed that all mental activity could be reduced to basic elements, which they called sensations and images.

Functionalism was founded by William James and focussed on the functions of consciousness, or how consciousness enables people to adapt to their environment. James believed that consciousness was like a stream, with different elements flowing through it at different times.

Behaviorism was founded by John B. Watson and focus on observable behavior. Behaviorists believed that all behavior is learned through conditioning, or the process of linking desired behaviors with positive outcomes.

Psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud and focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in human behavior. Freud believed that the unconscious mind is filled with repressed desires, emotions, and memories that can influence our behavior.

A variety of schools of thought have existed throughout psychology’s history in order to explain human thought and action. These schools of thought frequently grow to dominance for a time. While these schools of thoughts are sometimes viewed as competing forces, each viewpoint has added to our knowledge of psychology. The following are some of the most significant psychological schoolsthese include the Freudian, behaviorist, cognitive behavioral, cognitive therapy approach, psychodynamic therapeutic technique

Structuralism was the first school of psychology, and was founded by Wilhelm Wundt in 1879. This perspective emphasizes the study of consciousness through introspection, or looking inward. Structuralists believed that the conscious mind could be broken down into smaller elements, like sensations and feelings.

Functionalism is another early school of psychology, and was developed as a response to structuralism. This perspective emphasizes the role of behaviour in helping us adapt to our environment. Functionalists believe that Psychology should focus on understanding the function or purpose of behaviour, rather than its structure.

The Gestalt movement emerged in Germany in the early 1900s as a reaction to both structuralism and functionalism. This perspective emphasizes that we often see things as a whole, rather than as a collection of parts. For example, when we see an object, we recognize it as a whole object, rather than seeing its individual parts.

Psychodynamic theory is based on the work of Sigmund Freud. This perspective emphasizes that our behaviour is determined by our unconscious mind, or the things that we are not aware of. Freud believed that our unconscious mind is made up of our unresolved conflicts from childhood, which affect our behaviour as adults.

Behaviourism is another major school of thought in psychology. This perspective emphasizes that all behaviour is learned through conditioning (associating certain stimuli with certain behaviours). Behaviourists believe that Psychology should only focus on observable behaviour, rather than on mental states.

Cognitive psychology is a relatively new perspective that has emerged in the last few decades. This perspective emphasizes the role of mental processes in determining behaviour. Cognitive psychologists believe that we often make decisions based on the way we interpret and understand our environment.

Each of these schools of thought has contributed to our understanding of human behaviour. Today, most psychologists take a combination of perspectives, rather than adhering strictly to one school of thought. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of psychological phenomena.

The debate over how to describe and explain the human mind and behavior began when psychology was initially recognized as a branch of science separate from biology and philosophy. The various schools of psychology are the most important psychological theories.

Several researchers were involved in the birth of psychology as a distinct field of study. “Their research, along with Wundt’s, made Germany the uncontested center of the movement” (Schultz & Schultz, 2011p. 77). Wilhelm Wundt opened the world’s first psychological laboratory at Leipzig University in 1879 (Schultz & Schultz, 2011). When researchers began to rely on controlled observations and experimentation to examine the human mind, it became clear that it needed its own identity separate from its metaphysical origins.

Psychology as a separate field of study started to emerge during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Psychology has been divided into different schools of thought since its inception. These divisions are based on different aspects of human behavior that each school focuses on. The five major schools of thought in psychology are structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and humanism (Schultz & Schultz, 2011).

Structuralism was the first school of psychological thought. It was founded by Edward Titchener and focused on breaking down mental processes into the simplest elements (Schultz & Schultz, 2011). “Titchener believed that if he could analyze the basic components of consciousness he could understand all complex mental processes” (Schultz & Schultz, 2011, p. 78).

Structuralism was the first school of psychology and it focused on consciousness. Functionalism was developed as a reaction to structuralism (Schultz & Schultz, 2011). “The functionalists believed that psychology should focus on the function or purpose of behavior rather than its structure” (Schultz & Schultz, 2011, p. 78). Functionalism is one of the five major schools of thought in psychology and it focuses on human behavior.

Behaviorism emerged after functionalism (Schultz & Schultz, 2011). It was founded by John B. Watson and focused on observable behavior (Schultz & Schultz, 2011). “Watson believed that all behavior could be reduced to simple reflexes that were learned through conditioning” (Schultz & Schultz, 2011, p. 78). Behaviorism is one of the five major schools of thought in psychology and it focuses on observable behavior.

Psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud and focused on unconscious mental processes (Schultz & Schultz, 2011). “Freud believed that our behavior is determined by our unconscious thoughts and feelings” (Schultz & Schultz, 2011, p. 78). Psychoanalysis is one of the five major schools of thought in psychology and it focuses on unconscious mental processes.

This was the age of scientific study in several psychological laboratories, which is when the debate over how to phrase and explain human mentality and behavior began. I’ll be talking about some of psychologies history in this paper by detailing the main schools of thought. Each school of thought will have its own set of strengths and flaws, as well as something unique to our knowledge of the human mind and behavior.


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