This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Structuralism And Functionalism Of Psychology Essay

1376 words - 6 pages

Psychology formerly integrated with the subject philosophy; these two formerly considered as one. Philosophy was the center of all learning but many academicians focus more on mathematics, physics, and biology. By the late 1800s, many philosophers created their own disciplines and the era of modern psychology slowly emerged. They soon began calling themselves psychologist. Authors have varying opinion about the founding fathers of the said science; some traces its roots as far as Aristotle and Plato (Benjafield 1996). Other authors believe that modern psychology started at the introduction of experimental psychology and for this reason, several experimental psychologist were also named the father of psychology including, Wilhelm Wundt and Gustav Fechner (Matson, 2009). However, one thing is for sure about psychology – it originated in Europe and introduced in the United States sometime in the late 1880s. Prior to this period, psychology crosses the realms of the paranormal because many practitioners at that time engaged themselves in psychic healing and spiritual quest. They were known as pseudo-psychologists and they were particularly popular in Germany. At the onset of modern psychology in the United State, the discipline focused more on the academics. American psychologists at that time put more emphasis on teaching rather than engaging themselves in research. It was at this period when several schools of thoughts emerged to explain behavior, cognition, and consciousness. In this paper, two of the earliest school of thoughts will be discussed. These are Structuralism and Functionalism. These two will be compared and contrasted.
Structuralism and Functionalism
One of the earliest schools of thought in psychology was structuralism. It was founded by Edward B. Titchener, which based his theory on the teachings of Wilhelm Wundt. Structuralism proposed that to be able to understand behavior and human consciousness, researchers must investigate the structure of the mind (Atkinson, 1990). Structuralism believes that the goal of psychology was to study the mind and consciousness. Consciousness is all of a person’s mental experiences calculated. The mind on the other hand consists of experiences occurring throughout life.
To be able to investigate the mind, structuralists used the method of introspection. Introspection means to look within you. The structuralism put heavy emphasis on the elements of the mind. There are three elements of the mind, consciousness, images, and affections. Each of these elements has their respective properties.
Functionalism was developed due to a protest of its founder against structuralism. This suggests that the two schools of thought were opponents. In the mid 1800s, William James the founder of Functionalism became impatient with the restrictions on Psychology as it was developing under structuralism. James felt that less emphasis should be placed on analyzing elements of consciousness and more emphasis should...

Find Another Essay On Structuralism and Functionalism of Psychology

The Pros and Cons of Functionalism and Marxism

2816 words - 11 pages and Functionalism by William Menna | Sciences 360. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014]. Shields, S. 1975. Functionalism, Darwinism, and the psychology of women. American Psychologist, 30(7) (1935-990X), pp. 739-754. Available at:

A Critical outline of the main features of Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism And Marxism

1397 words - 6 pages action perspective, particularly concerned with understanding human behaviour in face-to-face situations. In addition, how individuals and situations come to be defined or classified in particular ways. This is known as labelling, it is also concerned with the consequences for individual behaviour of such definitions, since people will behave according to the way they see situations. (Cited: Browne.K 'Introducing Sociology'2002.)Functionalism

Compatibility of Christianity and Psychology

711 words - 3 pages Psychology can be defined differently based on biblical standpoint or from a humanistic approach. The humanist perceives man as the determinant of everything and does not see the need for believing in an all-powerful being. In this perspective, psychology is the examination of human as well as animal actions. Psychiatry concentrates in the identification of psychological challenges and therapy. In Christ, the Lord of psychology Eric L. Johnson

Goals and Benefits of Psychology

886 words - 4 pages Psychology is the new science researching about human behaviors and why they alter. According to Feldman, psychology is the "scientific study of behavior and mental processes" (2013, p. 4). There are four basic goals of psychology, which are to describe, understand, predict, and control behavior. Suppose a group of psychologists are trying to investigate why some people express aggression more than others. They already described and understood

The Importance of Sport and Exercise Psychology

992 words - 4 pages Sport and exercise psychology is a mandatory aspect of the sport science discipline. This discipline contributes to the various professional practices associated with physical activities such as - teaching of physical education, recreation and health promotion, and kinesiology related professions - because it plays a mental role for the participants. Sport and exercise psychologists view physical activity in several different ways: physical

Psychology and the Nature of Humanity

1503 words - 6 pages Introduction. The American Psychologist Association (APA) defines psychology as ‘the study of the mind and behaviour . The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience — from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. ‘(Association, 2014). With such an extensive definition, it is not overly surprising that its scientific kudos has been used to propagate political dogma

Synopsis of Jung's "Psychology and Religion"

1242 words - 5 pages This essay is a synopsis of Carl Jung's book "Psychology and Religion." In Psychology and Religion, Carl Jung takes a medical psychology standpoint to discover the links between the human unconscious mind and the ways in which religious symbolism and the idea of religion are deciphered. Jung wrote this material as a series of lectures that was given to Yale students in 1937, and the references to "modern" religion and its symbols relate to that

exploration of clinical and counseling psychology

828 words - 4 pages Clinical and counseling psychology has been one of the potential career field I may be pursuing in the near future. I have been very interested in both but currently unsure which career path is for me. In order to help myself reach definite terms on what is the possible career path I would like to pursue between clinical and counseling psychology, it is of great significance to continue my ongoing knowledge and exploration about the clinical

Psychology of the Motivation and emotion

904 words - 4 pages Ugandan says, “The hunter in pursuit of an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds” In other words, to achieve any goal, including succeeding in a psychology course, one must remain focused on it. Introduction As we move through our lives we become endless questions about what we do at the moment, what we want to achieve in the future either near or distant, if we want to continue studying or set it aside and work

In this essay I will describe two sociological perspectives; I will also explain the similarities and differences between two of the main theories functionalism and Marxism

882 words - 4 pages Functionalism and Marxism are traced back to theories adopted by sociologists in the nineteenth century. Marxism came from the German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883), whereas Functionalism was originally derived by Auguste Compte (1798-1857). It was then developed further by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917).Functionalist theories portray society as a structured system, which have a set of interconnected parts (or units) which together form a whole

Contribution of Psychology and Social Psychology to the Study of Health and Welfare Issues

2064 words - 8 pages Contribution of Psychology and Social Psychology to the Study of Health and Welfare Issues In this assignment I will be comparing and contrasting two psychological approaches demonstrating their relevance to understanding a health issue. The issue that I will be applying the two psychological approaches to is Smoking. The psycho dynamic approach denotes the active forces within the personality

Similar Essays

Structuralism And Functionalism Essay

525 words - 2 pages One could say that Titchener is seen as the father of structuralism. Thought he gives great credit to Wundt, he altered Wundts theory extensively resulting in a new theory. Structuralism, in short, is the "system of psychology, which dealt with conscious experience as a dependant on experiencing persons" (Schultz, 2004, p509). This varies greatly from the functionalism approach that's focus is on the mind and how it adapts with its

I/O Psychology: Functionalism, Technology, Training, And Cognitive Psychology

2856 words - 12 pages I/O Psychology: Functionalism, Technology, Training, and Cognitive Psychology The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how functionalism and cognitive psychology align with Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology, and defend the use functionalism and cognitive psychology, schools of thought to support the research topic on the effect of technological advancements, such as avatars, holograms, and computer/web-based instruction in employee

Malinowski And The Creation Of Functionalism

923 words - 4 pages institution. It welds together a considerable number of tribes, and it embraces a vast complex of activities, interconnected, and playing into one another, so as to form one organic whole (Malinowski 83).Malinowski's functionalism is based on human biology and psychology. Meaning that the components that make up a society i.e. religion, government, and kinship are all linked together so that every component is dependent on the other for the entire

The Comparison Of Functionalism And Conflict Theory

974 words - 4 pages Functionalism and conflict theory are two theories that influence the purposes of schooling. These two theories are both different and similar in their view and relation to schooling. Basically, the differences lie in the way these two theories explain transmission, as well as way functionalists are more accepting and conflict theorists want to change things. The two theories are similar in their views of structure and culture."Functionalism