What Can We Learn From Studying The History Of Psychology?

What Can We Learn From Studying The History Of Psychology
Don’t know much about history In the late 1880s, a horse unwittingly helped lay the foundation for more precise research. As psychology history scholars well know, Wilhelm Von Osten’s horse, Hans, could purportedly answer math problems, tell time and answer other complex questions by tapping out responses with his hoof.

Spectators marveled at the horse’s abilities until German psychologist Oskar Pfungst took a closer look and discovered the real source of Hans’s cleverness: Von Osten, ever-anxious for Hans to tap out the right answer, was unconsciously cueing the horse to stop when he’d reached the correct number of taps.

Ever since then, psychological researchers take steps to avoid the “Clever Hans Effect” by designing double-blind experiments for research with animals and humans. “Clever Hans taught us how unwittingly our own beliefs influence the outcomes we get,” says Diane Halpern, PhD, of Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.

  1. That message is as relevant today as it’s ever been.” So are countless other findings from psychology’s earlier days, say historians.
  2. For that reason, many educators believe the history of psychology should be required as part of every student’s training at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  3. Studying the field’s successes and mistakes, alongside today’s emerging findings, teaches students how to think critically about psychology, they say.

Psychology history also demonstrates how the field began and developed in response to modern culture, politics, economics and current events. “History provides perspective, context, a dose of humility, and it allows us to see the development of our profession in the larger cultural context,” says David Baker, PhD, director of the Archives of the History of American Psychology at the University of Akron.

But history, it appears, may not be as important in some psychology circles as it once was. Columbia University, Stanford University and Claremont McKenna College are among the institutions that no longer offer a history of psychology course. Options to pursue a PhD in history of psychology are narrowing: Last year, the University of New Hampshire eliminated its doctoral training program in the history of psychology.

The Study of the History of Psychology – Ch 1 – History of Modern Psychology – Schultz & Schultz

Now only York University in Toronto trains psychologists as historians at the graduate level. Some say that the field’s specialization and growth are crowding history classes from departments that once required them. Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., for example, required the course for 40 years, but made it an elective last year so students had time for more statistics, developmental and multicultural psychology classes, says Kara Gabriel, PhD, who sits on the department’s curriculum committee.

  1. Ultimately, we felt that increasing the breadth of the major was more important than retaining the course,” says Gabriel.
  2. Unfortunately, you can’t do all things in a program.” APA’s Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major encourage training and competence in history but say that individual departments can decide how to do that.

At the graduate level, APA’s Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation require doctoral programs to train graduate students to be competent in psychology history, but don’t require a stand-alone course. Halpern, who led the 2008 National Conference on Undergraduate Education in Psychology, understands that departments — including her own — don’t or can’t offer the course due to competing demands.

  • But she also believes it’s time for history to reassert itself as an essential part of the discipline.
  • At a time when we have all of this specialization that is fragmenting psychology, history is a good way of reunifying and helping us understand where all of these diverse ideas in psychology came from,” she says.

Retiring interest Dean Keith Simonton, PhD, began teaching psychology history at the University of California, Davis, in 1989. His department had been considering dropping the course when the professor teaching it retired, so Simonton stepped in. Now, with his own retirement just six years away, Simonton worries that no one will take over the course when he’s gone.

History may soon be history,” he says. Simonton’s situation isn’t unique, many say. In the late 1990s when Alfred Fuchs, PhD, was approaching retirement, he wondered if his department would continue offering history once he wasn’t there to teach it. His curiosity led him to conduct a survey. Along with psychologist-historian Wayne Viney, PhD, of Colorado State University, he asked 384 U.S.

undergraduate and graduate departments of psychology on whether they offered history. Fuchs and Viney found that most departments offered and said they were committed to teaching history of psychology and found that a few that had dropped it or never offered it were considering picking it up again.

But they also found a small trend among departments toward dropping the course over the past few decades. Of the 42 departments in their sample that didn’t offer a history course, eight said they had never offered it, one had dropped it in the ’60s, seven had dropped it in the ’70s, nine had dropped it in the ’80s and 16 had dropped it in the ’90s.

Many of those departments cited pressures to offer a wide range of courses, found Fuchs and Viney. While 92 percent of the 311 departments that did offer the course said they would still offer the course if the current teacher retired, 7 percent, or 24 departments, said they would drop the course if that happened ( History of Psychology, Vol.5, No.1).

  1. Fuchs and Viney also asked participants who taught psychology history how they became interested in teaching it.
  2. The most frequent answer was through a course they took,” says Fuchs, now a professor emeritus at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
  3. But if the course doesn’t exist, you can’t get interested in it.” The dwindling of psychology history courses at some schools comes at a time when history in general continues to capture students’ interest, especially at the undergraduate level, according to research by the American Historical Association.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Education says that a record number of history degrees were conferred in 2005–06. “This is a time when everyone is talking about the historic nature of the times we are living in,” says Robert Townsend, PhD, AHA’s assistant director for research.

  • People are really interested in why things change, in how the past connects to the present.” Psychology’s trouble may be that educators aren’t promoting history well enough to potential instructors or students, says Halpern.
  • History can be a very valuable course if its purpose is made clear,” says Halpern, “It’s not just to repeat when Skinner was born.

It’s about teaching how we use conditioning principles in learning, in therapy and in advertising, and pulling those connections together.” History classes also have to be exciting, says Alexandra Rutherford, PhD, of York University. She says psychology history can be one of the easiest courses to make fun and engaging because archives worldwide now have Web sites linking to primary source material and video footage, offering endless teaching possibilities.

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Among the most popular is the Advances in the History of Psychology Web site, which often gets 1,000 hits a day.) “Some people are even using Second Life and having students create an avatar that’s a historical figure,” she says. William Woody, PhD, of the University of Northern Colorado, uses classroom demos to enliven his classes.

He often portrays famous historical psychologists in class and has had students role-play what it would be like to be a student in Edward Bradford Titchener’s lab. Such exercises are fun and prompt students to think deeply about the material, he says.

“You can read about ‘Little Albert’ and conditioned emotional reactions,” says Woody, “but when I hit a real four-foot steel bar with a hammer in class, students emerge with a different understanding of this event,” by experiencing the same frighteningly loud noise the child heard as he was being conditioned by John Watson.

Gira Bhatt, PhD, who teaches the history of psychology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, is an applied social psychologist, but says that it’s in her history course where she delivers her best teaching. She regularly gives out such assignments as “What question would you want to ask Sigmund Freud?” or “Where would you go in psychology’s history with a time machine?” to deepen her students’ interest.

“I’ve had the best teaching evaluations I’ve ever had when teaching history of psychology,” she says. Forward thinking In an effort to generate more excitement about history, APA’s division Div.26 (Society for the History of Psychology) has revamped its Web site to include more interactive features. In addition, Wade Pickren, PhD, editor of History of Psychology, is introducing new features to the publication, such as a teaching tips section and an archive feature, that he hopes will attract more psychologists to history (see ).

The division launched a Facebook page where it regularly posts links to history-related teaching resources, historical video footage, and news articles relevant to the study and teaching of history. Division members are also connecting with other groups to recruit history teachers who aren’t members.

The efforts are paying off: For the first time, the Eastern Psychological Association annual conference, to be held in March in New York City, will include a full track of history-related programming, says Rutherford. “We want to get people who teach history but aren’t doing research in the area to think about the possibility of doing historical research, because it’s fun, it’s inexpensive and it gets you hooked,” she says.

Meanwhile, Baker is developing an online course for faculty who need help developing a history curriculum. The online course could also fill some of the void left as history of psychology teachers retire and aren’t replaced. Of course, the best-case scenario would be a resurgence of the field, historians say.

Why is it important to study the history of psychology?

Why Study Psychology History? – Contemporary psychology is interested in an enormous range of topics, looking at human behavior and mental process from the neural level to the cultural level. Psychologists study human issues that begin before birth and continue until death.

  • By understanding the history of psychology, you can gain a better understanding of how these topics are studied and what we have learned thus far.
  • From its earliest beginnings, psychology has been faced with a number of questions.
  • The initial question of how to define psychology helped establish it as a science separate from physiology and philosophy.

Additional questions that psychologists have faced throughout history include:

Is psychology really a science? Should psychologists use research to influence public policy, education, and other aspects of human behavior? Should psychology focus on observable behaviors, or on internal mental processes? What research methods should be used to study psychology? Which topics and issues should psychology be concerned with?

What have you gain from the history of psychology?

IMPORTANCE AND ADVANTAGES OF STUDYING HISTORY AND SYSTEMS OF PSYCHOLOGY For many, studying history is quite a boring and a useless task. But they don’t understand how important it is to study the history of a subject. It is important because one may learn about past human behavior that is relevant to the intellectual growth and development of an individual.

  1. Studying the past events give us an understanding of how the world came to be, including all cultures of people as well as nature.
  2. By learning about the causes and effects of events in history, people can learn better ways to deal with conflict among nations and individuals.
  3. Studying the history of environmental changes can enhance a healthier lifestyle for mankind.

Although human behavior is unpredictable at times, a better understanding through the study of history can provide valuable insight for our future generations. History is not only time and place. History allows us to think about the greatest question humanity has ever asked-“WHY?” Studying history gives us information on how a person came to be, or how a thing started.

  1. In developmental psychology, the study of early stages of a child’s development is more useful in understanding his/her later stages.
  2. We live in a time of rapid change, a time of progress.
  3. We prefer to define ourselves in terms of where we are going, not where we come from.
  4. Though psychology became an independent discipline about 100 years ago, its history goes back much further than that.

The pre-eminent historian of psychology E.G. Boring (1950) proposed the great man (historical progress occurs through the actions of great persons) and Zeitgeist (events by themselves have a momentum) models as they applied to the history of psychology.

  • Even now we can use these models to categorize, correlate and explain events.
  • A variant of the Zeitgeist view for the history of science, proposed by Kuhn (1970), suggests that social and cultural forces develop models of science at various stages and that scientific work is conducted within a given paradigm for a limited period until the paradigm is replaced may be due to cultural needs and inability of that model to accommodate new scientific findings.

Thus according to Kuhn, scientific progress is a cyclic process when an anomaly arises that cannot be explained by the paradigm and a crisis is generated which leaves room to new theories to fit in the paradigm. Finally, the new paradigm is accepted after a scientific revolution.

  • Even in the present age, Kuhn’s theory is relatable.
  • According to the philosopher Karl Popper, there is chaos and order in the history of psychology.
  • He proposed his falsifiability theory which says for a theory to be scientific, it must make risky predictions that run a risk of being incorrect.
  • History makes us aware of the vicious cycle.

It is really fascinating to know how certain psychological ideas have evolved. You can see how a value old idea (unconscious mind) became new again. By studying the history and systems of psychology we could avoid repetitions of mistakes and we will know that a lot of what is said every day is a myth.

  1. Evolution of those ideas (History of psychology)
  2. Underlying modern ideas (Systems of psychology)

George Santayana once said “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” The understanding of his saying is that ‘ignorance of the past is undesirable’. The history of psychological thought is fraught with misreading and misunderstandings. A past psychological theory might be true or not but the school of thought or system that influenced that thought and how it deviated the course is more important.

we should recognize that psychology began when people started wondering about themselves. Until 19 th century, various theories, models and schools of psychology evolved within philosophy, when the aspect of science entered and thus the formal discipline of psychology appeared in Western institutions.Thus, psychology’s long past, coupled with more recent differences of opinions, resulted in the heterogeneous discipline we study today.

Psychology has diversity and the purpose of studying the history of psychology is to help remove the confusion caused by the diversity of psychology by helping us to understand the present diversity. This diversity can be used as a resource rather than some obstacles, and our understanding of psychology’s development makes contemporary psychology richer for us.

  • The Knowledge of the past is absolutely worthwhile.It is beneficial in providing perspectives.
  • The current psychological theories are somehow influenced by someone or something in the past.
  • Also, this study may help us provide solutions for some of the questions that have concerned scholars over a long time.
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However, the most important reason to study the history of psychology may be to understand the basis of its present diversity. By studying the history and systems of psychology, we are now able to identify the key cultural and political events in the evolution of psychology to the present.

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What are three main reasons that we study psychology?

Psychology can help you better understand yourself The insights you gain into motivations, thought processes, the influences of groups you interact with and many other aspects of human behaviour will all help you gain a better understanding of yourself.

What has psychology contributed to society?

The Role of Psychology in Society |Socially Souled | Souled Blog What Can We Learn From Studying The History Of Psychology Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Psychology involves mental processes, brain functions, and the understanding of behavior. Psychologists help the people in society by understanding their emotions and behaviors, in addition, they help people manage their emotions and behaviors to lead a better and healthy life.

  1. Psychology can be used to understand and treat mental health issues and improve education, employment, and relationships.
  2. Psychology also allows understanding of how the mind and body function instead of each other.
  3. This could help with decision-making, and avoiding stressful situations.
  4. Psychological studies help to diagnose many diseases and have helped in the development of human beings.

Psychology helps one to understand how the mind helps build strong relationships and make better decisions. Psychology is so widespread today everywhere. There are different types of branches that are widely recognized today and are frequently leveraged in industries today.

Family psychology focuses on interpersonal systems found within the family. Nowadays society accepts and condones the many types of forms of family. The single-parent household was frowned upon by society, which was seen as sad and lonely, whereas the kids were creative and resilient and were doing great just like others. Sports psychology focuses on how psychological factors can affect an athlete’s performance. Business psychology focuses on the effectiveness of a workplace or organization through the study of people and the overall behavior in the workplace. Large businesses frequently consult psychologists to understand better their client’s habits and practices. A few businesses are into industrial-organizational psychology which helps them to increase productivity by improving their workplace and structure while modifying training and employee screening processes. Media psychology focuses on the complex relationships between media and its effect on human behavior. The media could control and persuade someone to behave and think in a certain way. Depictions of gender roles influence children’s understanding of what it is like to be a man, woman, or any other gender. It could also result in exposure to violence which could also increase aggression. Forensic psychology focuses on the study of the individuals who are involved in the legal system, such as expert witnesses or under criminal investigation.

A WORD FROM SOCIALLY SOULED Psychology plays a huge role in today’s society, be it in any field. It aims to change, influence, and control behavior to make positive, meaningful, and lasting changes in people’s lives and influence behavior positively. Medical, work, educational, business, safety, and society are some of the fields psychology has contributed to society.

Martin Alex on April 17, 2023

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What are the two important event in history of psychology?

19th Century – In the 19th century, psychology was established as an empirical, accepted science. While measures would change, the model of research and evaluation would begin to take shape within this 100-year time span.

  • 1878 : G. Stanley Hall becomes the first American to earn a Ph.D. in psychology.
  • 1879 : Wilhelm Wundt establishes the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany dedicated to the study of the mind.
  • 1883 : G. Stanley Hall opens the first experimental psychology lab in the U.S. at Johns Hopkins University.
  • 1885 : Herman Ebbinghaus publishes his seminal “Über das Gedächtnis” (“On Memory”), in which he describes learning and memory experiments he conducted on himself.
  • 1886 : Sigmund Freud begins offering therapy to patients in Vienna, Austria.
  • 1888 : James McKeen Cattell becomes the first professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He would later publish “Mental Tests and Measurements,” marking the advent of psychological assessment.
  • 1890 : William James publishes “Principles of Psychology.” Sir Francis Galton establishes correlation techniques to better understand the relationship between variables in intelligence studies.
  • 1892 : G. Stanley Hall forms the American Psychological Association (APA), enlisting 26 members in the first meeting.
  • 1896 : Lightner Witmer establishes the first psychology clinic in America.
  • 1898 : Edward Thorndike develops the Law of Effect,

How can you link history to psychology?

Historical psychology claims that the mind has a history, that is, that our ways of thinking, reasoning, perceiving, feeling, and acting are not necessarily universal or invariable, but are instead subject to modifications over time and space.

How will learning about psychology help you now and in the future?

Better understand yourself and others – Learning about human behaviour will help you in daily life, for example helping you better navigate your interactions with others. It can also improve your skills in things like communication and conflict management.

Why everyone wants to study psychology?

If you’re fascinated by the way the mind works and want to know more about what motivates people to do the things they do, a psychology bachelor’s degree may be the perfect next step for you. If so, check out what can you do with a psychology bachelor’s degree ? Here are the top 10 reasons why you should earn a bachelors in psychology:

Insight into human behavior: Many individuals study psychology because they want to better understand themselves or those around them. Through a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the many factors that affect human behavior. This will empower you to more effectively help others, and it can increase your capacity for compassion for them (even when they aren’t being their most lovable selves). Such insight is also valuable in careers related to education, persuasion, conflict resolution and negotiation.

Many career pathways: There are many different types of jobs that you can get with a psychology degree. Some focus on research — that is, digging deeper into the workings of human behavior and the mind — while others are more focused on applying research in clinical, corporate and other settings. A bachelor’s in psychology can be the first step toward a career in counseling, research, social work, human resources, marketing, workforce development or education. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be eligible to go into jobs such as: advertising agent, career counselor, case manager, human resources specialist, lab assistant, market researcher, rehabilitation specialist or substance abuse counselor.

Graduate school: Many jobs in the field of psychology — such as clinical mental health counselor or school psychologist — require a master’s degree and certification or a professional license to practice. For some psychology-related jobs (such as psychiatrist or college professor), you’ll also need a doctorate. Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology enables you to work in the psychology field as you’re going on to graduate school. It also lets you discover and explore areas that are of particular interest to you and that you want to learn more about in graduate school. Your bachelor’s degree will also establish a great foundation of knowledge that will be invaluable as you advance into more specialized programs at the master’s and doctorate levels. Psychology-related graduate programs may also require you to have taken certain classes as an undergraduate, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology can help ensure you already have those pre-requisites in place.

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Making a difference in people’s lives: Individuals who study psychology are often motivated by the desire to help others. A degree in psychology opens up many opportunities to have a positive effect on someone’s life. For example, as a practitioner in the field, you may help people overcome the effects of trauma, deal with a mental illness, face a mental health crisis or achieve personal goals. As a researcher, you may help educators better understand how their students learn or make advances toward better treatments for diseases, disorders or illnesses that affect mental health or cognitive function.

Job outlook: The job outlook is very bright for psychology-related professions. The criminal justice system is increasingly using treatment and counseling services in place of jail time for convicted drug offenders. As a result, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 25% growth in demand for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors between 2019 and 2029. Job openings for school and career counselors are also expected to increase — projected to grow 8% in the 2019–2029 time period. This will be driven by a rise in the number of students in K-12 schools as well as a trend toward expanding career service offerings on college campuses. While growth in demand for psychologists may seem modest in contrast — just 3% during the same time period — there are still strong career opportunities in this area as well. Aging populations and a better understanding of mental health needs will mean continued demand for psychologists.

There’s always something else to discover: We haven’t come close to completely figuring out the human mind. What’s more, our understanding of what we think we know is constantly evolving, thanks to ongoing research. That leaves a lot of room for you to make a significant contribution to the field. Consider, for example, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which was originally thought to be a form of childhood schizophrenia and was at first attributed to poor parenting. We’ve come a long way since then in our understanding of ASD, but there are still many questions left to answer. The field is wide open for you to help make the next major advance in this and other research.

A wide field of study: There are many different types of psychology, including cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, forensic psychology and occupational psychology. These various branches explore how the mind develops, learns and ultimately functions and how various factors affect human behavior, cognitive development and mental health. You can take your study of psychology in a lot of different directions — and a bachelor’s degree in psychology is a perfect starting point for all of them.

Always learning: As new research emerges and existing theories are refined, the field of psychology continues to evolve. A bachelor’s in psychology establishes a great base of knowledge that you’ll be able to build on throughout your career. You’ll continue to learn as you read peer-reviewed journals, attend conferences and otherwise engage with colleagues.

Every day is different: A degree in psychology will set you on a path to a career in which you can help people find solutions to the challenges they face. You’ll put your problem-solving skills to use as you continually tackle unique situations. It’s likely that no two days will look alike — and that keeps things fresh and interesting, even after you’ve got years of experience under your belt.

Becoming a better thinker: Psychology is the scientific examination of the way the mind works. As a result, when you study psychology, you learn how to think scientifically: testing hypotheses, questioning assumptions, looking closely at evidence and digging deeper when there’s not enough information. Such critical thinking skills are applicable in a variety of professional settings and everyday life.

In short, a bachelor’s degree in psychology can open up a lot of different rewarding career paths and other opportunities. Ready to get started? Apply to PennWest California’s psychology program today.

Why is psychology important in education?

Educational Psychology Applied – Psychologists working in education study the social, emotional and cognitive processes involved in learning and apply their findings to improve the learning process. Some specialize in the educational development of a specific group of people such as children, adolescents or adults, while others focus on specific learning challenges such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or dyslexia.

No matter the population they are studying, these professionals are interested in teaching methods, the instructional process and different learning outcomes. How much does the time of day when new information is introduced influence whether a person retains that information? What does culture have to do with how we process new ideas? How does age affect our ability to develop new skills, like language? How is in-person learning different from remote learning using technology? How does the choice of a media platform make a difference in learning? These are all questions that educational psychologists are asking — and answering — in settings as diverse as government research centers, schools, community organizations and learning centers.

Date created: 2014

How has psychology improved our lives?

How Does Psychology Help People? – Essentially, psychology helps people in large part because it can explain why people act the way they do. With this kind of professional insight, a psychologist can help people improve their decision making, stress management and behavior based on understanding past behavior to better predict future behavior.

What is the importance and history of positive psychology?

Origin – While the formal discipline of positive psychology has only existed since 2000, the concepts that form the basis of it have been the subject of empirical study since at least the 1980s, and present in religious and philosophical discourse for thousands of years.

  • It has been influenced by humanistic as well as psychodynamic approaches to treatment.
  • Predating the use of the term “positive psychology”, researchers within the field of psychology had been focusing on topics that would now be included under this new denomination.
  • The term positive psychology dates back at least to 1954, when Maslow’s first edition of Motivation and Personality was published with a final chapter titled “Toward a Positive Psychology.” In the second edition published in 1970, he removed that chapter, saying in the preface that “a positive psychology is at least available today though not very widely.” There have been indications that psychologists since the 1950s have been increasingly focused on the promotion of mental health rather than merely treating mental illness.

From the beginning of psychology, the field has addressed the human experience using the ” Disease Model,” specifically studying and identifying the dysfunction of an individual. Positive psychology grew as an important field of study within psychology in 1998 when Martin Seligman chose it as the theme for his term as president of the American Psychological Association,