History of Psychology Research Paper

Pages: 3 (992 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Psychology

History Of Psychology

Psychology is a science that grew out of other pursuits, including philosophy and physiology. Throughout its history, there have been a number of philosophers and scientists who have made significant contributions to the development of psychological thought and research and who have shaped the fundamental debates that inform the field. From the very beginnings, the argument of nature vs. nurture can be found in the differing perspectives of Rene Descartes and John Locke (Goodwin, 1999). It is difficult to select a single era of psychology's history that could be considered the most influential with respect to modern psychology, especially considering that modern psychology itself is made up of many different areas of research and investigation. However, if one area were to be selected as having the biggest influence on modern day psychology it would likely be the rise of cognitivism.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Paper on History of Psychology Assignment

Although modern cognitive psychology is considered relatively young, with the majority of its roots developing in the years following World War II, it does in fact have roots that go much further back. An interest in the physical underpinnings of cognition can be traced back to 1700s and 1800s when Helmholtz investigated various issues of human perception. In addition, scientists were interested at this time in learning about the localization of brain functioning. In some cases the desire to understand the physical causes of human cognition were less than accurate, such as in the case of the phrenologists who believed they could discover the elements of human behavior and cognition through the condition of the human skull (Goodwin, 1999). Brain localization studies continued with the investigation of brain injuries, such as that of the famous Phineas Gage who, in 1848, survived an accident in which a pole was run through his head. The experience of the injury and his later personality change as a result taught early psychologists a great deal about the links between specific parts of the brain and human behavior and personality.

Cognitive psychology took on its more modern form beginning in the years following the Second World War. Despite the growth in popularity of behaviorism after the First World War, some researchers did continue to investigate the happenings "behind the curtain" of cognition and perception. One of the most famous psychological studies, and indeed likely the most replicated study, was conducted in 1935 by J. Ridley Stroop in which he documented what is now known as the Stroop Effect (MacLeod, 1992). The Stroop Effect demonstrates how one automatic process can be interrupted or disrupted by another automatic process (Goodwin, 1999). Another one of psychology's big names also appeared during the early 1900s -- when Jean Piaget introduced his theory of cognitive development in children and adolescents, and Ebbinghaus made large strides with his studies of memory.

Finally, Cognitive Psychology really took off with the introduction of computer science and the development of the computer. While computer science may in many ways appear to be the furthest thing away from… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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History of Psychology.  (2010, May 1).  Retrieved August 7, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/history-psychology/3553200

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"History of Psychology."  Essaytown.com.  May 1, 2010.  Accessed August 7, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/history-psychology/3553200.