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History and pioneers of Psychology

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Trephining was a procedure used by ancient healers to cure psychological problems. Crude instruments were used to bore a hole into the skull in order to free evil spirits. Records date back to 7000 BCE
René Descartes (17th-century philosopher) theorised that nerves were hollow tubes through which “animal spirits” conducted impulses in the same way that water is transmitted through a pipe.
John Locke (17th-century British philosopher) believed that children were born into the world with minds like “blank slates” (tabula rasa in Latin) and that their experiences determined what kind of adults they would become. His views contrasted with those of Plato and the 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes, who argued that some knowledge was inborn in humans.
Franz Joseph Gall (18th Century Physician) - developed theory of phrenology: whereby intelligence, moral character and personality could be determined from shape and number of bumps on one's skull
Wilhelm Wundt set up his laboratory in 1879, his aim was to study the building blocks of the mind. Considered formal beginning of psychology as scientific discipline. He viewed psychology to be the study of conscious experience.
Structuralism "focuses on uncovering the fundamental mental components of consciousness, thinking, and other kinds of mental states and activities"
Introspection "A procedure used to study the structure of the mind in which subjects are asked to describe in detail what they are experiencing when they are exposed to a stimulus."
William James Late 19th Century. Considered one of the fathers of American Psychology and cited as one of the founders of the functionalism perspective
Functionalism "An early approach to psychology that concentrated on what the mind does—the functions of mental activity—and the role of behavior in allowing people to adapt to their environments."
Gestalt Psychology "An approach to psychology that focuses on the organization of perception and thinking in a “whole” sense rather than on the individual elements of perception."
Hermann Ebbinghaus, Max Wertheimer, et al Gestalt psychologists proposed that “The whole is different from the sum of its parts,” meaning that our perception, or understanding, of objects is greater and more meaningful than the individual elements that make up our perceptions.
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