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Schools of

Psychology
StructuralismWilhelm Wundt
Definition: School of Psychology that
stresses the basic units of experience and
combinations in which they occur.

Wilhelm Wundt:
Physiologist and Philosopher
Founded the first experimental psychology
laboratory in 1879Leipzig Lab.
Argued that the mind must be studied
objectively and scientifically.
Main concern was with techniques used for
uncovering natural laws of the human
mindHE WAS IN SEARCH FOR THE
BASIC UNIT OF THOUGHT.
Structuralism--Titchener
Student of the Leipzig lab
Viewed that human conscious experience could be
understood by breaking it down into components:
Physical sensations (lights & sounds)
Affections of feelings
Images (memory and dreams)
Psychologys role is to identify these elements and
show how they are combined within the conscious
mind.

Titcheners approach:
1. Train subjects in introspection and reporting
techniques
2. INTROSPECTION: looking inside oneself and try
to describe whats going onunderstanding
oneself.
3. Trained observers introspected and reported
what they experienced
4. Try to formulate general theories based on their
subjects reports.
FunctionalismWilliam James
Definition: Theory of mental life and behavior that is concerned
with how an organism uses its perceptual abilities to function in
its environment.

Influenced by Charles Darwin and his theory of natural


selection in the 19th century.

William James:
oThe first American-born psychologist
oStudied chemistry, physiology, anatomy, biology and
medicine.
oCombined his studies of physiology and philosophy to create
psychology.
oFirst psychology class at Harvard Universityconcluded that
pre-sensations without associations simply did not exist.
FunctionalismWilliam James
JAMES SUGGESTED THAT
WHEN WE REPEAT
SOMETHING SEVERAL
TIMES, OUR NERVOUS
SYSTEMS ARE CHANGED
SO THAT EACH TIME WE
OPEN A DOOR, IT IS EASIER
TO OPEN THAN IT WAS LAST
TIME.
Gestalt Psychology

Definition: School of Psychology that


studies how people perceive and
experience objects as whole patterns
Short livedpeople didnt really see its
potential.
Approaches structuralism from a different
angle. Example: When we see a tree, we
see just that, a tree, not a series of
branches.
BehaviorismJohn Watson
Definition: School of psychology that studies
only observable and measurable behavior.
John Watson:
You cannot define conscious any more than you can define a
soul.
You cannot locate or measure consciousness, and therefore it
cannot be the object of scientific study.
Studies observable, measurable behavior and nothing more.
Ivan Pavlovs Classical Conditioning
Watsons Experiment with Little Albert and the white rats
(happy 11 month old conditioned to be afraid of white rats)
Mary Cover Jones (1924) eliminating fears through conditioning
(Peter Experiment)
PsychoanalysisSigmund Freud

Medical Doctor/Neurologist
Studied hypnosis and found the
unconscious
Published The Interpretation of Dreams
Believed that much of our behavior is
governed by hidden motives and
unconscious desires.
Maintained that many unconscious
desires and conflicts are sexual.
Believed that childhood experiences
determined adult personality.
PsychoanalysisNeo-Freudians

Carl Jung
Alfred Adler
Erik Erikson
Karen Horney
Believed in the basics of
psychoanalysis, but strayed from some
of Freuds ideas on sexual desires
BehaviorialB.F. Skinner
Agreed with Watson that psychology should be
only observable and measurable behavior
BIG DIFFERENCE: He used reinforcement
Reinforcement: anything that follows a
response and makes that response more likely
to occur.

Example:
Behavior: you get an A on the first
Psych test
Reinforcer: Your parents give you $100
Result: You strive to get an A on all
other Psych tests, hoping for the same
reinforcer.
Humanistic Psychology
Definition: School of psychology
that emphasizes nonverbal
experience and altered states of
consciousness as a means of
realizing ones full human
potential.
Goal: To ensure mental
healthiness of individuals and
develop therapeutic techniques.
Psychologists: Abraham Maslow
and Carl Rogers
Cognitive Psychology
Definition: School of psychology devoted
to the study of mental processes
generally.
Goal: To explore the mental processes
involved in judgment, decision making,
and other aspects of complex thought.
Biological
Focuses on how our biology and
biochemistry influences behavior
Neurobiology is essential- study the brain!
The field contributes to the understanding
of many medical disorders as well
-Parkinsons, Huntingdons and
Alzheimers disease, Autism, substance
abuse
Which school is the best?
YOU DECIDE!
Lets see what happens when
Billy goes to the doctor