Q- give a brief account of the evolution of psychology?


Solution: Psychology as a modern science has been greatly influednced by the western world and the developments that took place in the western world

  • Structuralism :The field formally begin with the establishment of the first experimental laboratory at Leipzig Germany by Wilhelm Wundt.  

  • His interest lies in the sudy of conscious experiences and he wanted to analyse the building blocks of the mind.

  •  He tried to analyse the brain through introspection method and thus called structralists..

  •  Introspection : through this procedure the subjects were asked to describe their mental processes and experiences in detail. 

 There were many critisism to this type of procedure and this ultimately led to development of new prespectives. 

  • Functionalism : William james , an american psychologist set up an psychological laboratory in cambridge, and soon after some time developed functionalist approach.  

  • They did not focused on the structure of the mind instead they focused on what mind do and how the behaviours functions in making people deal with the environment.  Example – we perform behaviour to satisfy our need ( go to icecream parlour and take icecream)

  • According to him , consciousness is a stream of mental process that interact with the environment

  • John dewey used this school of thought and argued that human beings seek to function effectively by adapting to their immediate environment. 


  •  Gestalt psychology :  in 20th century this field emerged as a reaction to the                            structuralism of wundt .

  • Psychologists emphasized that human have this inherent ability of perceive organize whole rather than its parts. example –  we will call a flower as whole rather than calling its organ separately like -petals , stem etc … in same sense we tend to perceive it in a whole form instead of collecting each part and forming an image and then calling it a flower. 


  • Behaviorism: around 1910 John watson rejected the ideas ideas of mind and consciousness as subject matter of psychology. Classical conditioning work greatly influenced him.

  • He emphasized on scientific things that are observable and discarded the thoughts of introspection as its subjective not objective.

  • Behaviourists developed this field further like skinner , pavlov , thorndike etc.


  • He viewed the human behaviour as dynamic manifestation of unconscious desires and conflict 

  • He viewed the negative side of the human mind.

  • He founded psychoanalysis as a method to cure the mental disorders

  • He held the view that human beings are motivated by the unconscious desires for pleasure seeking  which maye be often sexual in nature.


  • Humanists like –  carl rogers and abraham maslow contributed to the field immensely. 

  • They empahsised the free will of humans and their natural striving to growand unfold their inner potential.

Further in the contemporary  times many more fields have been evolved like – cognitive perspective in which piaget and other psychologists contributed significantly. This is new field of discipline thats emerging and will have bright future ahead.

Leave a Reply