William James's Theory Of Psychology

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The 1800's ushered in a new era of psychology. The use of scientific methods were used to finally validate psychology and the study of mental processes and behaviors. Prior to that, the study of the human mind and intellect took the form of theoretical discussions and philosophical deliberations. Psychoanalysis was focused largely on intelligence as a separate function of the self, and theorists viewed the mind and body as two separate, unrelated components. Plato (428 BC-348 BC) provided insights into his understanding of the human mind in his Theory of Forms. He used his concept of a psyche to develop a rough structure of human behavior, reasoning, and impulses. He proposed that the human mind was imprinted with all the knowledge it needed…show more content…
He had a major influence on the development of psychology and was known for contributing to one of the earliest schools of thought in psychology, functionalism. James disagreed with structuralists' search for the basic elements in the mind. Though, he agreed that consciousness is an ongoing stream that constantly interacts with the environment and through these interactions, humans learn to adapt to the environment. He wanted to emphasize the study of how the mind functions. In 1890, James wrote a 2 volume and 1,200 page book, Principles of Psychology, to promote his theory of functionalism in which the functions of the mind were more important than the structures of the…show more content…
Watson was a pioneering psychologist who played an important role in developing behaviorism. He believed that psychology should primarily be scientific observable behavior. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment and behaviorists believe that our responses to environmental stimuli shape our actions. Basically, only observable behavior should be considered because emotions and moods are too subjective. Behaviorists believed that any person can potentially be trained to perform any task regardless of their genetic background. Watson's most famous experiment, known as the “Little Albert” experiment, conditioned a small child to fear a white rat. He accomplished this by repeatedly pairing the white rat with a loud, frightening noise. The ethics of the experiment are often criticized, but many of his concepts and principals are still widely used

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