The behavioral school of psychology had a significant influence on the course of psychology, and many of the ideas and techniques that emerged from this school of thought are still widely used today.
is a school of psychology based upon the idea that we experience things as unified wholes. This approach to psychology began in Germany and Austria during the late 19th century in response to the molecular approach of structuralism. Instead of breaking down thoughts and behavior to their smallest elements, the gestalt psychologists believed that you must look at the whole of experience. According to the Gestalt thinkers, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
developed as a response to psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Humanistic psychology instead focused on individual free will, personal growth and the concept of . While early schools of thought were primarily centered on abnormal human behavior, humanistic psychology differed considerably in its emphasis on helping people achieve and fulfill their potential.
Gestalt psychology did face criticism, particularly in that many of its central concepts can be difficult to define and examine experimentally. While this approach may have lost its identity as an independent school of thought in psychology, its central ideas have had a major influence on the field of psychology as a whole.
Unlike some of the other well-known schools of thought in psychology, functionalism is not associated with a single dominant theorist. Instead, there are some different functionalist thinkers associated with this outlook including , James Rowland Angell, and Harvey Carr.
is widely regarded as the first school of thought in psychology. This outlook focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components. Major thinkers associated with structuralism include Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener. The focus of structuralism was on reducing mental processes down into their most basic elements. The structuralists used techniques such as to analyze the inner processes of the human mind.
In the past, psychologists often identified themselves exclusively with one single school of thought. Today, most psychologists have an eclectic outlook on psychology. They often draw on ideas and theories from different schools rather than holding to any singular perspective.
The first school of thought, structuralism, was advocated by the founder of the first psychology lab, . Almost immediately, other theories began to emerge and vie for dominance in psychology.
In this essay we will present a brief synopsis of what psychology is and introduce the reader to the primary biological foundations of psychology that are linked to behavior as well as introducing the reader to the major schools of thought in psychology.