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Structuralism and Functionalism

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1 Structuralism and Functionalism
William Wundt: German: Founded the field of experimental psychology-structuralism. Consciousness (thinking) is objective sensations and subjective feelings. The brain combines these elements.

2 William James: American Harvard Professor: Decade after Wundt, James concluded conscious thought is not as simple. Consciousness is a continuous stream. Wrote: The Principles of Psychology. Founded the school of Functionalism. Functionalism proposes that behaviors are learned and kept because they are successful. Mental processes help people adapt to their environment.

3 History of Psychology Socrates: “Know Thyself”: Knowing who we are comes from examining and questioning our thoughts and feelings. Why do I think or act a certain way. Introspection: Looking inward or within to find answers. Aristotle: student of Plato. Introduced associationism. Associationism: theory that man’s experiences are a reminder of experiences in the past. Man associates experiences with past memory. Experiences connect with one another and predicts how one acts in situations.

4 Aristotle Wrote Peri Psyches ( about the mind ).Man seeks pleasure not pain. Explored: sensations,perceptions, intelligence, thought, need and motives, feelings, emotions, and memory. Hippocrates: Greek Physician behavioral problems are caused by abnormalities in the brain. Biological factors can affect thought.

5 Early Psychologists of the 20th century
John B. Watson: Greenville graduate of Furman. Questioned functionalism. Consciousness is private. Psychology needs to be observable and measureable. Behaviorist. B.F. Skinner: Skinner expanded behaviorist theory, added the concept of reinforcement. The Gestalt Theory: German/ Max Werthheimer and Wolfgang Kohler. Thought processes work as whole not in parts. The mind is actively learning and problem solving. Behavior is learned and adaptive. Sigmund Freud: Austrian/ Founded School of Psychology. Emphasized importance of internal and unconsciousness motives and thoughts in determining or predicting behavior. Freud studied human behavior by consulting with patients. People are good but have basic impulsive feelings, thoughts, and desires. Conflict arises when people cannot handle those desires. Once insight into internal conflict is realized, people can express and handle their behavior.

6 Fast Forward to Seven Contemporary Perspectives.
Biological Evolutionary Cognitive Humanistic Psychoanalytic Learning Sociocultural

7 Biological Emphasizes biology on behavior.
Use PET and CAT scans to observe changes in brain activity. Psychologists are interested in the influence of hormones and genes in behavior.

8 Evolutionary Focus on the evolution of man.
Influenced by Charles Darwin Behaviors are adapted for survival Inherited traits can predict how and why people act in a certain way.

9 Cognitive Study mental processes to determine behaviors.
Roots in Gestalt Psychology, structuralism and functionalism. The mind is like a computer. We process, retrieve, recall, and store information, memories, and solve problems. People’s behavior is influenced by values, perceptions. Strategies for solving problems is the software; the brain is the hardware

10 Humanistic Humans have need for self-fulfillment and ability to make choices. Our consciousness shapes our personality. Personal experiences shape our perceptions. Man can change and choose behavior. Inner experiences are unsuited for scientific observation and measurement.

11 Psychoanalytic Stresses the influences of unconscious thoughts, and experiences on behavior. Sigmund Freud’s philosophy. Man processes early childhood experiences as a reference for behaviors

12 Learning Close to the behaviorist theory.
People act the way they do because of learning histories. Experiences not conscious thought influence behavior. Environmental (nurture) influences help shape a person’s personality. Repetition and reinforcement help us learn. Social-learning theory: people can change their environment or create new ones.

13 Sociocultural Studies the influences of ethnicity, gender, cultures, and socio-economic factors into account. Study how ethnicity affects intelligence test scores, Sociocultural, biological, and psychological factors create individual differences.

14 Review Who would a psychologist following the humanistic approach most likely consider to be responsible for a client’s current actions- the client or other people known to the client? Raymond is seeking psychological counseling and feels strongly that his ethnic background is a key factor in shaping his personality. Which psychological perspective would he probably find most helpful?

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