Psychology, It’s History, Goals & Major Schools

by | Attitude

Psychology is the logical investigation of conduct and mental procedure of life forms. As per the American Psychological Association, Psychology is the logical investigation of the brain and conduct. The word brain research got from Greek roots importance investigation of the mind, or soul (ψυχή mind, “breath, soul, soul” and mental life.

Brain science can be characterized in various manners. A few people have characterized brain research as a workmanship. Others have characterized brain research as a science. Numerous reading material characterize brain science as the study of psyche and conduct. Brain science includes the investigation of human instinct and conduct. Various sentiments originate from alternate points of view.

Brain research joins the examination of perceptive and absent wonders, similarly as feeling and suspected. It is a scholastic control of huge degree. Specialists endeavor to appreciate the activity of intellectual abilities in individual, while moreover exploring the physiological and natural methodology that underlie mental limits and practices.

Analysts investigate life forms conduct and mental procedures, including their observation, comprehension, consideration, feeling, insight, emotional encounters, inspiration, cerebrum working, and character. This is broden through cooperation between individuals, for example, relational connections, including mental flexibility, family versatility, and different regions.

History of Psychology

In history, Wilhelm Wundt is called the father of Psychology. He struggled hard to open the Institute for Experimental Psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879. This was the first laboratory dedicated to psychology, and its opening is usually thought of as the beginning of modern psychology and he was always remembered for his great contribution. 

In Western culture, there are many contributors for the development of psychology and they came from many areas, beginning with philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Hippocrates philosophized about basic human temperaments and classified them as choleric, sanguine, melancholic and their associated traits.In his time, he estimated that physical characteristics, for example, yellow bile or a lot of blood, may underlie contrasts in demeanor. 

In the seventeenth century, René Descartes contended that the brain gives individuals the capacities with respect to thought and awareness: the psyche and the body does the choice—a dualistic brain body split that advanced mental science is as yet attempting to survive and attempting to get right clarification. In his time, he estimated that physical characteristics, for example, yellow bile or a lot of blood, may underlie contrasts in demeanor. 

In the seventeenth century, René Descartes contended that the brain gives individuals the capacities with respect to thought and awareness: the psyche and the body does the choice—a dualistic brain body split that advanced mental science is as yet attempting to survive and attempting to get right clarification.

Two figures who helped to found psychology as a formal discipline and science in the 19th century were Wilhelm Wundt in Germany and William James in the United States; they worked very hard to establish the field of psychology. There were also difference among the view of many psychologists. 

In 1913 John B. Watson, one of the influential founders of behaviourism, emphasized reliance on only objectively measurable actions and conditions, he effectively tried to remove the study of consciousness from psychology. Russian Physiologist Ivan Pavlov contributed to psychology by giving his classical conditioning theory. B.F. Skinner demonstrated the power of operant conditioning through reinforcement. Segmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis theory.

Freud proposed that much of what humans feel, think, and do is outside awareness, and unconsciously determined, that means everything is related unconsciously. He talked about three structure of personality: id, ego, superego. He also talked about ego defense mechanisms.

Psychology is the result of the contributions of many people. Today, To examine brain activity, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to measure the magnetic fields created by the functioning nerve cells in the brain, detecting changes in blood flow.

Goals of Psychology

For any scientific discipline, there are four common goals in psychology. They are describe, explain, predict and control. They are discussed in the below:


The point of brain research is to comprehend the conduct of others and assemble data about the manner in which the mind works so as to all the more likely serve humankind. By watching distinctive human practices, clinicians figure out what is typical and solid and what is unfortunate.Psychology analyzes the behaviours, thoughts, feelings and goals of people through the help of various case studies, observations and surveys.


In order to explain a behavior , psychologists must conduct experiments to ensure that the behaviour is not an anomaly. Psychologists are interested to find out why people behave in a certain way in a certain situation.


On the basis of one’s past observed behavior, a psychologist can easily predict how that behaviour will appear again in the future and whether other people will exhibit the same behavior. Pavlov predicted that the bell which is a neutral stimulus can become a conditioned stimulus after its presenting with food enough times.


What contribution Pavlov’s theory make for future psychology? It shows that teachers could take control of their classroom easier, parents could teach their children to exhibit good behavior, and manipulative older siblings could control the behaviours of their younger siblings. 

Major Schools Of Thought

Today psychology is defined as the scientific study of the behavioral and mental processes of the organism.It has a long past but only a short history. Hermann Ebbinghaus was one of the extraordinary masterminds in brain science who caught the embodiment of this present field’s turn of events. In fact, the history of psychology is short, but it has never been short of drama. With that said, let the drama unfold…


In psychology, structuralism is a theory of consciousness that is developed by Wilhelm Wundt and his student Edward Bradford Titchner. There is a debate about who mainly developed this school of psychology. It is widely accepted that Wilhelm Wundt created the foundation by giving psychology’s first school “Voluntarism”. Voluntarism is the process of organizing the mind. 

Wundt told that mental states can be scientifically studied by using introspection that was not a causal affair but highly practised form of self-examination. Welhelm Wundt created the foundation of the first school of psychology which is later explained by his student Titchner. Wundt’s ideas formed the first school of thought (or perspective) in psychology, that is known as structuralism.

 As the name suggests, structuralism was centered on investigating the structure of the mind state. Psychology should focus on breaking down consciousness into its basic elements was emphasized by Wundt, in much the same way a child would pull apart a toy to reveal its component parts. 

The technique of introspection was advanced by Wilhelm Wundt as the “scientific” tool that would enable researchers to expose the structure of the mind. Introspection involves examination of one’s  conscious mental state,looking inwards; reflecting on, analyzing and trying to make sense of our own internal experiences as they occur.


Functional psychology was a direct outgrowth of Darwinian thinking. William James established the school of functionalism which explains the functions of mind. Functionalism worked as a reaction to the theories of the structuralism. It functioned on the mind’s functions and adaptations. 

This theory is different from other school of thoughts. Not at all like a portion of the other notable ways of thinking in brain research, functionalism isn’t related with a solitary predominant scholar in light of the fact that there is distinctive assessment between functionalist. There are additionally some unique functionalist masterminds related with this standpoint including John Dewey, James Rowland Angell, and Harvey Carr.


Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis theory. Psychoanalysis theory emphasized the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior. No other theory gave that much focus on unconscious mind but this theory not only emphasize unconscious thoughts but also explain  conscious behavior based on unconscious behaviour. 

Freud believed that human mind was composed of three elements: the id, ego, and superego and he told that these three elements is the basis for structuring the personality. The id focuses on urges, it focuses on immediate satisfaction of an urge, while the ego is the component of personality charged with dealing with reality.

Freud told about ego defence-mechanism. They are- denial, repression, regression, The superego is the part of the personality that holds all of the ideals and values we internalize from our parents and culture. Super-ego works on the basis of morality and it has two parts that are- morality and ethical ideal. 

Freud compared mind with iceberg ang told about three structure of personality; the conscious, preconscious and unconscious mind. Other major psychoanalytic thinkers include: Anna Freud, Carl Yung, Erik Erikson and many others people.


Psychoanalysis focuses on an individual’s unconscious thought processes and there are a great deal of problems in this school of thought that helps behaviorism to became a dominant school of thought during the 1950s. Many psychologists worked hard to make this field a dominant field than all other schools of thought.Those psychologists are: John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner, Ivan Pavlov, Guthrie, Talman and many others. For them, behaviorism is one kind of learning and they gave their theory to explain behaviorism school of thought. 

Behaviorism clarify that all conduct can be clarified by natural causes as opposed to by inner powers that is appeared by structuralism, functionalism, analysis etc.Behaviorism is centered around recognizable conduct and it gives data about one’s conduct by watching them. 

Theories of learning including classical conditioning and operant conditioning were the focus of a great deal of research in behaviorism. In operant conditioning, it is shown that learning depends on the consequences of the behaviour. If one behave goodly and then get reward. Then he will do the same favourable behavior. And if one do a a bad behaviour and for that reason if he gets punishment he will never follow that behaviour pattern. In classical conditioning, assosciation of learning is used to learn a behavior. Association is made between an unconditioned stimuli and conditioned stimuli to make the unconditioned stimuli a conditioned stimuli.

 It was proven by Russian psychologist B.F.Skinner. He experimented with dog and showed that an unconditioned stimuli can be transferred into a conditioned stimuli. For example: meat powder which causes salivation in a dog is a conditioned stimuli can be associated with bell which is an unconditioned stimuli. After giving meat powder to the dog so many times, bell can be associated with the meat powder. In that experiment, Skinner gave meat powder after ringing the bell and this was continued many times. So, the dog could link up the association between the meat powder and the bell. So, after ringing bell, the dog came to him to eat meat powder.

Gestalt Psychology

  • Gestalt psychology is a school of psychology based upon the idea that we experience things as a whole. This way to deal with brain science started in Germany and Austria during the late nineteenth century because of the atomic methodology of structuralism and in this methodology everything is considered all in all. In structuralism, considerations and conduct are broken into their littlest components by therapists however in the gestalt brain research, clinicians accepted that one must glance at the entire of experience. 

According to the Gestalt thinkers, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.There are some principles that is given by the gestalt psychologists.The laws are:

  1. The law of similarity
  2. The law of continuation
  3. The law of closure
  4. The law of proximity
  5. The law of pragnanz
  6. The law of  figure-ground relationship
  7. The law of common fate etc.

Humanistic Psychology

The early ways of thinking, for example, structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, therapy was principally fixated on anomalous human conduct, humanistic brain research contrasted extensively in this regard and it accentuation on helping individuals accomplish and satisfy their latent capacity. Major humanist thinkers include: Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and many others people.

Cognitive Psychology

During the 1950s intellectual brain science started to rise halfway as a reaction to behaviorism. Pundits of behaviorism said that behaviorism neglected to represent how inner procedures affected conduct. In view of an abundance of examination points, for example, data handling, language, memory, and recognition that started to rise this period is some of the time alluded to as the “psychological upset”. 

Fields of Psychology

Psychology is not only pure science but also applied science. The areas of applied psychology include:

·         Clinical psychology

·         Counseling psychology

·         Evolutionary psychology

·         Industrial and organizational psychology

·         Legal psychology

·         Neuropsychology

·         Occupational health psychology

·         Forensic psychology

·         Engineering psychology

·         School psychology

·         Sports psychology

·         Traffic psychology

·         Community psychology

·         Medical psychology

Also, various particular territories in the overall field of brain science have applied branches (e.g., applied social brain research, applied psychological brain science).


  .         Mental Testing

·         Mental health care

·         Education

·         Work

·         Military and Intelligence

·         Health , well-being and social-change

Ethical Issues in Psychology

  1. Informed Consent
  2. Debrief
  3. Protection of Participants
  4. Deception
  5. Confidentiality
  6. Withdrawal
  7. Animal care


As brain research developed as a particular science in a couple of years back, it has developed and changed in incalculable manners. Each significant way of thinking battled for strength however finally, none rose as clear champs. Simultaneously, none were failures. In what capacity? Each way of thinking contributed and helped brain science to reach in the current circumstance. In stead of following a specific school of contemplations, brain research follows and cautiously browse each way of thinking those thoughts and techniques they accept are generally fitting for accomplishing their targets and along these lines brain research make thought of each productive stride by various school of considerations. Brain research can never be a static field of study and even now there are new hypotheses being composed, new subjects being considered and new thoughts yet to be investigated.


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