History of Psychology


Plato suggested that the brain is the mechanism of mental processes.

387 BC

Aristotle suggested that the heart is the mechanism of mental processes.

335 BC

Franz mesmer detailed his cure for some mental illness...

1774 AD

...originally, called mesmerism and known as hypnosis.

Franz Gall wrote about phrenology.


Idea that a persons skull shape and placement of bumps on head can reveal personality traits.

Wilhelm Wundt started the first psychological laboratory-


and was known as the father of structuralism.

The psychoanalytic perspective was introduced by Sigmund Freud.


It suggests that their is a structure of the mind that includes the id, the superego and the ego.

William James published "Principles of Psychology' ...


which later became the foundation for functionalism. (considering everything as a whole, instead of breaking it down)



Edward B. Titchener, a leading proponent of structuralism , publishes his outline of psychology. Structuralism is the view that all mental experiences can be understood as a combination of simple elements or events. This approach focuses on the contents of the mind, contrasting with functionalism.

Ivan Pavlov published the first studies on "classic conditioning"


John E. Watson published "Psychology as a Behaviorist Views it"...


..Marking the beginning of Behavioral psychology. (perspective that focuses on observable and measurable behavior)



--In his studies of epilepsy, neuroscientist Wilder G. Penfield begins to uncover the relationships between chemical activity in the brain and psychological phenomena. His findings set the stage for widespread research on the biological role in psychological phenomena.

Humanisitc Perspective


Emerges as the "third force" in psychology. Led by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, this approach focuses on the conscious mind, free will, human dignity and the capactiy for self-actualization.

Cognitive Perspective


The term was coined by Ulric Neisser when he published the book "Cognitive Psychology". This perspective examines internal mental processes, such as creativity, perception, thinking, problem solving, memory and language. It is the opposite of the behaviorist perspective.