Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Western philosophy and the way the mind-body problems were presented and discussed paved the way for a particular perspective to the investigation of psychology. Regardless of the fact that there are various approaches of psychology giving different viewpoints in explaining human behavior none of the perspectives are greater or more suitable than the other.
Psychology is a Science it has contributed to modern society, because Psychology is a science that uses scientific methods and seeing that emergence and evolution of psychology influence and play a pivotal role in modern life.

Psychology is a science that uses scientific methods that allows for the study of the mind and behaviour. Though psychology is a young science, since the emergence and evolution of psychology as a scientific discipline have had its own distinctive trajectory influencing and playing a pivotal role in modern life
Before the twentieth century, science for the most part used the principles of induction -creating discoveries regarding the globe through correct observations, and formulating theories supported the regularities ascertained. Interest in the mind and behavior dates back to the ancient civilizations such as Egypt. Psychology was primarily a branch of philosophy until it developed as a scientific discipline. These philosophical roots have played a significant role in the development of the field.
One of the earliest geneses of psychology was found in the writings of Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, wrote on topics about knowledge, ethics, pain and pleasure. Aristotle used the Greek word psyche to describe the mind and soul which provided the context regarding human behavior, thinking and impulses. The word “psychology” comes from the combination of words “psyche” and “logos,” which means “soul” and the ‘the study of” combined psychology is the study of the mind. Plato philosophies provided valuable insights into the theoretical structure of the mind.
Socrates through his methodology of what he called “introspection” which means to carefully examine one’s own thoughts and feelings. Aristotle further expounded on the work of Socrates. In Para Psyche Artistotle’s proposed that “the mind was the primary reason for existence and functioning of the body” (Shuttleworth, 2010) His work conveys the importance of the mind towards influencing human behavior even before neuroscience came into existence. Aristotle conducted no experimentation to support his philosophies as such back then introspection was seen as the only method to directly observe psychological processes. In spite of this lack of experimentation, he also contributed to the framework of psychology as we know it today.
Other philosophers such Descartes emerged with new theories on the body and mind. Descartes developed the theory of dualism questioning the interaction between the body and the mind. However due to the lack of experimentation led his theory of dualism to be refuted. These interest in human behavior ignited by philosophers steered more individuals to learn more, these philosophical doctrine of feelings and the soul eventually allowed for the evolution of philosophy and eventually psychology

Other scientific fields of study such as physics, chemistry, biology, sociology and anthropology, engage in the fundamental scientific procedure of hypothetico-deductivistism, (Proper 1935), this is a technique used in the development of a scientific theory that will present results acquired through experimentation and observation. Thus fundamental feature of science has three main aspects which are systematic empiricism, empirical questions and public knowledge.
The theory of systematic empiricism is that knowledge of the natural world is gained by systematically observing, recording and analyzing observations made. Empirical questions, these are questions about the way in which the world is and answers to these questions can be made by systematic observations. The third feature creates public knowledge, after making systematic observations, asking empirical questions and drawing conclusions, findings are then published or made known, as such the scientific method is what Scientists used to arrive at scientific truth.
The American Psychological Association , the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the US , defines psychology as ‘the study of the mind and behavior’ (APA 2007 ). Other definitions include, ‘Psychology is a science which aims to give us better understanding and control of the behaviour of the organism as a whole’ (Mc Dougall 1923), and Psychology is “the science of behaviour” (Watson1913). These definitions infer that psychology is the scientific study of a variety of phenomena, thus implying that psychology is a science.
Psychology is a science in that it utilizes scientific methods Psychology has the primary aim of understanding human behavior, the goal of psychology is to understand, explain, describe and predict. In psychology the researcher must test a hypothesis by making observations on the participant, collecting empirical data through techniques such as questionnaires, interviews, observation or experimentation.
In his book an “Outline of Psychology” William Mc Dougall provisional definition of psychology was based on three observations, (1) Introspection, (2) Observation and Description of Conditions of the Experience (3) Observation and Description of Behavior .Even in early the formation of the field of psychology, efforts were made to made to combine psychological studies on a scientific base.
Edwin Smith Papyrus illustrated natural science in its most primitive stage. Founded in his medical transcripts on trauma surgery his studies showed that observing human behavior may lead to identifying specific treatment for abnormal behavior.
An additional example of a more scientific approach to the understanding the mind was Franz Gall, he developed the concept of phrenology. His belief was that mental organs of the brain affect the shape of the skull. He used his observations and theories and applied them in a more scientific approach towards understanding the mind.
In the late 18th Century Psychology started to become a field of scientific experimental study when scientist Wilhelm Wundt established the first laboratory dedicated to psychological research. His work is thought as the beginning of modern psychology which led him to be referred to as the “father of experimental psychology “. One of Wundt’s technique used for his research was having individuals provide details regarding their cognizant encounters as they respond to stimuli. By separating philosophy from psychology he further argued that by using introspection, conscious mental states could be scientifically studied. He further analyzed the workings of the mind in a more structured approach much the same way as a chemist analyses chemical compounds, in order to get at the underlying construction.
Additionally, William James American philosopher in his book principles of psychology attempted to explain how consciousness function rather than the structure, his approach was called functionalism. James’s theory on Functionalism stressed on the scientific study of the adaptive functions of behaviors and mental processes advanced the study of psychology as a science. In 1900’s Sigmund Freud introduced Psychoanalysis, in his book “The interpretation of dreams” he applied data he obtained in the treatment of a problem or therapy.
In the theories of early psychology, structuralism, behaviorism and cognitive psychology used scientific techniques to examine the character of an individual. In structuralism, psychologists try to become aware of the elements of the human’s mind and emotions. Behaviorism which its emphasis on the observation of the behaviors of adults, children and animals. Whilst cognitive psychologists apprehend that the cognitive technique may be inferred from observable behavior and be studied in an experimental setting. These 3 aspects have a clear essential assumption of learning allowing for prediction and control manipulate and it’s miles a technique, with the controlled experiment
The birth of contemporary science led to the emergence of modern psychology. Over time individuals’ mental traits and behaviour have evolved and psychologists have discovered ways to study how this evolution has shaped the mind and behaviour, this is known as the evolutionary perspective of psychology which combines the science of psychology and the study of biology

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach which examines the psychological structure from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations – that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection in human evolution.
Modern or contemporary perspectives are the main processes used in today’s discipline of psychology which most were either guided historical approaches, however these historical approaches or methods has contributed for the development of contemporary psychology and guided the manner to the present day views of psychology.
One of the modern approaches towards psychology is the cognitive perspective. This focuses on the processes of the mind specially gaining knowledge on, memory, problem solving, and learning. Cognitivism scientifically studies the mind in-depth using strict scientific methods. Cognitive psychology was a derivative from Wundt’s theory of structuralism. Two main theorists on cognitivism was Jean Piaget and Albert Bandura. Psychologist Jean Piaget cognitive theory of development explains how a person’s mind processes and stores information.
The second perspective is the Psychoanalytic perspective. This method describes the subconscious thoughts. A person’s memories and experiences are believed to stay installed in their subconscious mind. Sigmund Freud became a firm believer that a subconscious mind majorly affects one’s conduct. His theories have been based on goals and what they symbolized relying on one’s reminiscences or activities that passed off in that person’s existence.
Behavioural perspective is another approach which as contributed in the growth of psychology. The behavioural perspective looks at the processes in which learning and behavior change occurs without the need to consider the thought process and is primarily based on a “stimulus-response” relationship through classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Key contributors include Ian Pavlov, B.F. Skinner and Edward Thorndike. Today behavioral modification and play a major role in treatment of abnormal behavior.
Another modern perspective is Humanistic perspective, Humanism was identified by using Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers in the 1950’s and 60s, the humanistic attitude describes human beings who have an extra high quality mind-set towards being human. They assume that rather than being constrained by destiny, people have choice and might do as they please.
Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Through Natural Selection. also took a new approach to evolutionary perspective of psychology which focuses on the inherited dispositions shaped by evolution. This evolutionary perspective can assist to interpret dysfunctional behaviors for example anorexia (McLeod 2007)
Therefore, if psychology employs scientific assumptions on methodological and theological level, psychology would be considered to be a reputable science. The techniques used in psychology give a typical structure to creating, sorting out, and sharing data. there are numerous procedures of psychology giving distinctive viewpoints in explaining human conduct. not one of the perspectives are extra or extra appropriate than the alternative. in advance psychologist considered psychological problems only in one way of technique. however nowadays psychologists have a tendency to contain more than single method in locating appropriate solution to a hassle. nowadays psychology is a current science. and for the sphere of psychology to emerge as what it’s miles these days the contribution of different methods of psychology has been tremendous.

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