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Page 1(Introduction)

Page 2 (Behaviorism, Unconscious, Skinner)

Psychology in 1950's & beyond Psychology today (wrap up)
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Humanism became a new thought process in the field of psychology which was in a way blended together to those ideas from behaviorism to psychoanalytic theory. In a definition sense, it is an ideology which emphasize on personal unique freedom and the potential for personal growth. Differences between the six contemporary theoretical perspectives can be view on the right side of this page.

This new approach of idea states that humans are completely different than animals. So it would be invalid to test on animals to relate their testing to those of humans. Lastly, people are not labeled based on their animal heritage or even environment they are exposed to. Famous endorsers include Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers who coined the term 'self-concept'. Humanism treated people with various forms of mental disorders and other philological applications in a rather new way of treatment.

Psychology as a job field? 

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During the 1950's, psychology has now become a 'pure science' so to speak. Professors who taught the subject at universities also assisted to the outside world. In this case, it would be considered as applied psychology (where psychology is put into motion regarding everyday life as well as problems). Even though it gained a slow foot holding, actually the real first established field was clinical psychology (a branch concerned with treatment of disorders and treatment of psychological problems). Just like applied psychology it was not too popular during it's initial beginnings. Only one out of five members from the American Psychological Association showed any interest in clinical psychology.

During World War II, some psychologist were practically forced into service as clinicians. Their role would include screen newly recruit to treating solders who were wounded from battle. The demand for these type of jobs boomed, and the jobs to fill them in were sparse. That is why programs were turned into action to open new Veterans Administration hospitals. At this point the field market for applied psychology grew, spreading new job titles under the branch of psychology. From school psychology to industrial psychology.

Psychology goes back to it's roots.

The field of psychology expanded, yet in today's world, psychologists are still interested in theories that originated from decades ago. The new term for this would be cognition, which refers to the mental capabilities to process information to attain knowledge (basically dealing with the consciousness). One pioneer of psychology who took forth with this idea was Jean Piaget, who had high interest in children's cognitive development. At the same time era, mid 1950's you also had Noam Chomsky who researched psychological relations to language.

1950's were not just a time of new theories but also discoveries. James Olds, a Canadian psychologist showed that electrical stimulation of the brain could in fact provoke emotional responses, ranging from pleasure to hatred within animals. Of course there is Roger Sperry who demonstrated that the left and the right halves of the brain took on different tasks, which he won a Noble Peace Prize for. Finally through the 1960's, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel published a book on visual signals and the interconnection to the brain, they too got a Noble Peace Prize too.

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Throughout the history of psychology, researchers worked under the impression that they were chasing after a universal understanding how behavior operated. It is also known that psychology especially in America as well as Europe during the 1950's were mainly dealt in the sense of profession and research limited to upper white class man. Neglecting how their theories related to foreign people outside the country. To some extent, the research and studies done were narrow minded. For one reason, it was rather cheaper to do studies on students who were white and already enrolled at universities. Last ethnocentrism could have been one of the reasons why psychologists from the beginnings showed lack of interest of other cultures. As time went by however, the many psychologists realized one simple question of the field is to see how people reflect through changes in their lives, culture shock for an example. Therefore, psychology reflected foreign ideas to reflect the various degrees of human behavior and experiences.

The emergence of evolutionary psychology is one result from such actions described above. Evolutionary psychology is the examination of behavioral analysis of processing in regards to members of species over time, usually under many generations. Closely relating this to Darwin's evolution theory, stating that only the best genes of species will be able to produce. So if by chance aggressiveness is a desired trait to survive, you can trace it back to a specifies line of origin and their behavior traits.

Irwin Silverman along with his fellow colleagues thought that man were superior in navigation and attitude of superiority came from the genes of earlier species who hunted quit frequently. While females were superior at gather goods and memorizing locations and what not. This in no way is a revolutionary theory, after all William James along with functionalists had heavy influence guided by Darwin's idea of natural selection. Evolutionary psychology eventually survived through the 1990's added with a bit more research and findings into a new era of psychology.

Evolutionary -

Key belief that natural selection plays a critical role which favors behaviors that are most likely to reproduce.

Biological -

The ability to analyze behavior based on an organism's bodily structure and biochemical processes.

Cognitive -

Human behavior can not be understood until the knowledge of how people attain, process, and store information.

Humanistic -

People are different than animals. People have the free will for personal growth without being affected necessarily by environment or heritage.

Psychoanalytic -

Regarding personal growth, the unconsciousness dictates mental disorders and govern personality.

Behavioral -

States that only viewable traits can be analyzed in the scientific sense. (stimulus-response relations)


Daniel Combs