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What is psychology?

The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those functions affecting behaviour in a given context.


Which three figures gave psychology its philosophical roots?

René Descartes
John Locke
Charles Darwin


Who was René Descartes?

He was a French philosopher who said the mind and body was separate from each other. He also introduced Cartesian Dualism which suggested that the mind could be an object of study in its own right.


Who is John Locke?

He was the person that proposed empiricism which was the idea that all experiences can be obtained through the senses, we inherit nothing. This formed the basis for the behaviourist approach.


Who is Charles Darwin?

He was the man responsible for the evolution theory, the idea human behaviour has evolved from is adaptive value, this idea was deeply rooted in areas of psychology mainly the biological approach.


Who was Willhelm Wundt and what was his study of introspection?

Wundt was the man that opened the first ever psychology lab in Leipzig in 1879. He aimed to document and describe the nature of human consciousness this came to be known as introspection. Wundt and his workers tried to record and break down there conscious thoughts, isolating the structure of consciousness like this was called structuralism. All investigations were done under the same conditions - standardised - so could be replicated.


How did psychology emerges as a science?

Early in the 20th century the scientific value of introspection was questioned by behaviourist John Watson. He claimed it was too subjective to establish general principles, he said that psychology should restrict itself to studying phenomena that be observed and measured, from here the behaviourist approach is born. Watson and Skinner introduced the language method and rigour of natural science into psychology including the use of controlled lab studies. Some of the techniques they introduced are still used today.