Evolution of Psychology

Psychology as termed today is a branch of science that focuses on the mind, brain and behavior, embracing both the conscious and unconscious aspects of these entities. As a science however psychology is more subjective than objective. However, over time multiple schools of thought have evolved which though not universally applicable may be used to help in evaluating, describing and managing the various aspects of mental health. The complete list includes over 40 different schools however the most influential ones include those mentioned as follows. It all began with Wilhelm Wundt, the founder of the first laboratory of psychology. He was an advocate for structuralism, which centered on breaking down mental processes into their elemental units to gain introspect into the human mind. Functionalism on the other hand was founded by William James and focuses on the role that mental processes play in shaping thought and behavior. Gestalt psychology, founded by Carl Rogers, is the opposite of structuralism wherein the whole is considered more important than the individual units, believing that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Rogers also developed the humanistic approach which emphasized on positive psychology, helping people achieve their potential and promoting happiness rather than focusing on abnormal behavior like other schools. John Watson, the founder of behaviouralism, focused on environmental modifiers of behavior rather than intrinsic aspects. The most influential and controversial school of thought was that advocated by Sigmund Freud. Freud believed greatly on the influence of subconscious mind on thought and behavior hence founding psychoanalysis. Cognitive psychology was developed to understand how people think, understand, learn, and remember. Though initial founders wouldn’t stray from their school current psychologists derive from multiple schools for their work, possibly due to the fact that the human mind is unique making it impossible to derive a law that would work for everyone.

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