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A Brief Lecture on History and Methodology in Psychology (sīˈkäləjē) by Dr. Brouk


Introduction to Psychology

Brain & Behavior

Behavior & Learning

Consciousness and Sleep Disorders


Emotions & Motivation


Methods in Psychology

Theories of Personality

Psychological Disorders

Causes Psychological Disorders

Therapy & Treatment

Sensation & Perception


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What Is Psychology?

Psychology is defined as the study of behavior and mental processes (or activities).

Behavior – According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Behavior is the way a person, animal, machine or substance acts, reacts or function.” Behavior is observable and measurable.

Mental processes or activities relate to the mind, and are NOT observable and measurable. They can be divided into two categories of cognitions and emotions.

  1. Cog·ni·tion (käg-'nish-schwan) is referred to “Conscious mental activities, the activities of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering” (Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, n.d.).

  2. Emotions can be defined as a positive or negative experience that is associated with a particular pattern of physiological activity (Schacter, Gilbert, Wagner & Nock, 2015).

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Examples of Behavior
  • Admire
  • Admit
  • Advise
  • Apologize
  • Applaud
  • Arrive
  • Ask
  • Bake
  • Blink
  • Blush
  • Clean
  • Cough
  • Crawl
  • Dance
  • Exercise
  • Help
  • Introduce
  • Invite
  • Joke
  • Laugh
  • Listen
  • Paint
  • Play
  • Pray
  • Relax
  • Salivate
  • Shop
  • Smile
  • Squeeze
  • Startle/Jump
  • Travel
  • Walk
Examples of Cognitions
  • Analyze
  • Attention
  • Compare
  • Judgment and decision
  • Know
  • Interpret
  • Language processing
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Think
  • Understanding
Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
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Psychological questions go back to Plato and Aristotle (who were two well-known Greek philosophers). One of these questions was where does knowledge come from? Are we born with it or do we learn it from our experiences?

Nativism vs Philosophical Empiricism
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Plato and Aristotle

According to Plato (a nativist), we are born with our understanding of the world and our knowledge. In contrast, his student, Aristotle believed that knowledge is gained through experience. Aristotle's view is referred to as empiricism.

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Structuralism vs Functionalism
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Wilhelm Wundt and William James

In 1879 Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) opened the first psychological laboratory at University of Leipzig (Germany). It was then that Psychology became an independent science. According to Wundt the new science was designed to study the basic structures of consciousness which he referred to as structuralism. The method used in structuralism was called introspection.

William James (1842-1910) an American Physician disagreed with Wundt’s focus of Psychology. He proposed that Psychology should be the study of functions of the mind and thus consciousness. This was referred to as functionalism. James was Influenced by Charles Darwin and concepts of adaptability and survival. According to James, “conscious mental life flows continuously,” and cannot be broken down into its basic structures.

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Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic PerspectivePsychodynamic Psychologists.jpg

Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Alfred Adler

The Psychodynamic PerspectiveThe Psychodynamic perspective founded by Sigmund Freud focuses on the influences of unconscious mental processes and childhood experiences.




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Behavioral Perspective

Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, B. F. Skinner

As the founder of the Behavioral perspective in Psychology, John B. Watson emphasized studying observable and measurable behavior. According to this perspective, behavior is learned through experience in the environment.

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Humanistic PerspectiveHumanistic Psychologists

Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow and Rollo May

As the pioneers of the Humanistic perspective, Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow and Rollo May concentrated on the free will and the uniqueness of each individual and his inherent tendency to want to reach his highest potential.

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Cognitive Perspective
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Max Werthertimer, Ulric (Dick) Neisser, Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis and Martin Seligman

The Cognitive perspective of Psychology studies mental activities such as memory, learning, perception, thoughts, reasoning and interpretation.

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Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator By entering your zip code at, you can quickly find alcohol and drug abuse treatment or mental health treatment facilities in your area. This service is courtesy of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which works to "to improve the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, alcohol and drug addiction treatment, and mental health services." (SAMHSA)

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