Saturday, May 21, 2011

Schools of Psychology

A School of Psychology or schools of thought is an organized explanation of certain phenomena believed by groups of people supporting the principle several schools of thought: 

James Wundt

Structuralism - Structuralism grew out of the work of James, Wundt, and their associates. These psychologist believed the chief purpose of psychology was to describe, analyze, and explain conscious experiences, particularly feelings and sensations. Structuralist believed in the importance of structure of the mind. The mind is instructed through conscious experiences. For example, they identified four basic skin sensations: warmth, cold, pain, and pressure. They analyzed the sensation of coolness as the combined experiences of cold and smoothness. The structuralist primarily used the method called introspection. In this technique, subjects were trained to observe and report as accurately as they could by their mental processes,feelings and experiences.

John Dewey

Functionalism - John Dewey, William James, James Rowland Angell and Harvey Carr spearheaded the groups which tried to retract the idea of structuralism. The group, who calls themselves as the Functionalist challenged the idea of presented by structuralism stating the importance of the "function of the mind" rather than the "structure of the mind". The function of matter, which is the whole system of the stimulus and the response , makes the human being functional. Functionalism also stressed the importance of functional adjustment of an organism to his/her environment

John B. Watson

Behaviorism - John B. Watson an american psychologist introduced Behaviorism in 1913. Watson and his followers believed that observable behavior, not inner experience, was the only reliable source of information. This concentration on observable events was a reaction against the structuralist' emphasis on introspection. The Behaviorist also stressed the importance of the environment in shaping an individuals behavior.

Max Wertheimer

The Gestalt - Gestalt Psychology just like the other movements, developed as a reaction against structuralism . Founded about 1912 by Max Wertheimer, a German psychologist, Gestalt literally means "to configure" or "to form or pattern". Instead of individual sensations, Gestalt Psychologist believed that human beings and animals perceive the external world as an organized pattern.

Sigmund Freud

Psychoanalysis - Psychoanalysis was founded during the late 1800's and early 1900's by the Austrian doctor named Sigmund Freud. Because of Freud bout with cancer of the jaw, Freud was incapacitated to perform hypnosis due to bad voice. He thus reiterated that not all people could be hypnotized but instead they could be psycho-analyzed. Psychoanalysis was based on the theory that behavior is determined by powerful inner forces , most of which are buried in the unconscious mind.

Sigmund Freud was able to publish psychoanalytic observations of the following popular people although they were not his patients:
  • Michaelangelo, in Freud's essay The Moses of Michaelangelo
  • Leonardo da Vinci, in Freud's book Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood
  • Moses, in Freud's book Moses and Monotheism

Cognitive Psychology - Cognitive Psychology is theoretical perspective that focuses on the realms of human perception, thought, and memory. It portrays learners as active processors of information-a metaphor borrowed from the computer world-and assigns critical roles to the knowledge and perspective brings to their learnings.  As articulated by Jean Piaget (1969), students learn better when they can invent knowledge through inquiry and experimentation instead of acquiring facts presented by the teacher.

Jean Piaget

Lev Vygotsky (1978) emphasized the role of social interactions in knowledge construction. Social Constructivism turns attentions to children's interactions with parents, peers, and teachers in homes, neighborhoods, and schools. Vygotsky introduced the concept of the zone of proximal development. 

Lev Vygotsky

Existentialist Psychology - From this Humanistic "3rd force" grew existential psychology. Existentialist Psychology started from humanistic psychology's focus on the human condition and took it to an extreme level of discipline. Existentialist believed in both free will and the uniqueness of the individual.  Individual behaviors are not seen as evil or good, but neutral, interpreted only by the individual.

Abraham Maslow

 Humanistic Psychology - Humanistic Psychology believed that an individual's behavior is primarily determined by his/her perception of the world around him/her. ; individuals are internally directed and motivated to fulfill their human potentials. Abraham Maslow is the proponent of this school of psychology

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