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History Of Psychology Essay

1203 words - 5 pages

Throughout the history of psychology, Psychologist have tested hypotheses on how the human mind processes information; because the human mind is so complex, modern psychologists try to explore more of the brain as technology improves. People always wonder what psychology really means and some believe is a mind reading technique.
Psychology is a relatively new field in the realm of the sciences with only about 130 years old. Wilhelm Wundt was known as the “father of psychology” the first psychologist. Wundt was in the philosophy filed in the beginning of his study; later on in his life, he opened the first psychology laboratory. A well known method in Wundt’s experiment was the Introspection, “this was a description of an experience broken down into its simplest terms, its elements” (Watson, Evans 278). William James was one of the most famous founder of American psychology. He was interested in how people are influenced by their environment, “rather than breaking consciousness down into its elements, he preferred to look at the human experience as complete wholes” (McMahon, Judith 8). The most well known and popular psychologist in modern day is Sigmund Freud, an Austrian Physician in the late 1800’s. Freud established the theory of personality, in his view, “problems that appear in adolescence or adulthood can be tranced to things that happened in the first five or six years of life” (McMahon, Judith 7). Freud’s concepts of mind, the conscious, pre-conscious, and the unconscious are still widely used in present books and movies.
Psychology involves many different fields, such as the cognitive psychology, behavioral psychology, developmental psychology, biological psychology, personality psychology, and social psychology. Each area has its own fundamental theories and research objects. For instance, behavioral psychologists are committed to modify undesirable behaviors through the principles of learning, whereas social psychologists endeavor in studying how a person’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings are influenced by the real, imagined, or implied presence of others.
Classical conditioning focuses on learning to make an involuntary response to a stimulus other than the original, natural stimulus that normally produces the reflex. Differently, operant conditioning concentrates on learning voluntary behaviors through the effects of pleasant and unpleasant consequences to responses. Specifically, reinforcement and punishment are two main objects researched by operant conditioning. Evidence from the studies outside of operant conditioning states, “aversive events exert greater influence over behavior than equal-sized positive-reinforcement events” (Magoon, Critchfield). Reinforcement refers to the process of strengthening a response by following it with a pleasurable consequence. In positive reinforcement, a response is followed by the presentation of a pleasurable stimulus, whereas in negative reinforcement, a...

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