What Modern Psychologists Do Today.

What Modern Psychologists Do Today.



History of Psychology: What Modern Psychologists Do Today

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History of Psychology: What Modern Psychologists Do Today

Psychology is one of the oldest disciplines in humanity, dating back to the Socratic and Aristotelian ages. What psychologists of this epoch grapple with were subjects of concern over 2000 years ago. In the fifth century BC, ideas and suppositions on human behavior and nature occupied their minds. Thus the emergence of modern psychology is a continuation of the works and writings of Plato, Aristotle and other Greek thinkers. They attempted to solve puzzles in psychology relating to learning memory, thought, motivation and human behavior (Schultz and Schultz 1-25).

However, these classical thinkers of the most influential philosophical age took a different approach in seeking to understand psychology from that taken by the psychological experts of our modern times. It is what has led Kurt Danziger, a renowned historical psychologist to categorize the era in which these critical philosophers lived as prehistory of contemporary psychology. For he supposes that the history of psychology is confined to the timeframe when more efforts than before where put in creating the psychology that we know today, the modern times (Schultz and Schultz 1-25).

There have been numerous documents still of help to psychologists today, which were discovered by historians and psychologists (Goodwin 1-205). These writings form the wider field of psychology. For example, the documented works of Hermann Ebbinghaus, a scholar in Learning and Memory, were retrieved in 1983, seven decades after his departure. A year before, 10 bulky boxes filled with handwritten diaries of Gustav Fechner, a guru in psychophysics, were unveiled. The diaries contained findings of researches he toiled to unmask for the period of 1828-1879. They are still in use today as reference materials. Other resources known to have been retrieved that are of utility today are those of Charles Darwin who died over a century ago (Schultz and Schultz 1-25).

Many scholarly works lie in dust undetected. Others, for reasons of protecting the tainted images of scholars who have contributed immensely to psychology, have been altered. A case in point is Sigmund Freud’s work. His biographer, Earnest Jones deliberately omitted Freud’s reputation of being a drug addict. He instead dwelt on the Fundamental hypotheses of Freud’s theory of personality- id, ego and superego. Carl Jung is another case in point. His family watered down demeaning aspects of his autobiography to protect his public image. Other widely applied ideas to name a few are the works of B.F Skinner on behavioral psychology; Sandra Scarr on developmental psychology; and Leone Festinger’s works on cognitive psychology. They all labored through sweat and blood to create the modern psychology we see today (Schultz and Schultz 1-25).

As we read with marvel the writings of the aforementioned psychologists, we should not forget their obstructions to the path of excellence in their various disciplines. Notable is Sandra Scarr, a female psychologist who studied in Harvard University. She was denied access to library facilities. The then university authorities cited gender segregation as a basis. Other types of discriminations took the form of racial, religious and tribal disharmony. Psychologists known as having gone through this while conducting their researches are Abraham Maslow and Isadore Krechevsky. They, being Jews were urged to change their names so as to shield themselves from racial discrimination that formed part the American and British cultures (Schultz and Schultz 1-25)

Various sub disciplines forming the wider field of psychology have surfaced in modern psychology. Psychologists of our time and age have often found themselves at pains to understand, verify and falsify the concepts of these segments that form it. These disciplines are; Functionalism, Behaviorism, Gestalt psychology and Psychoanalysis. Other equally important segments of interest to today’s scholars are Humanistic Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Organizational Psychology and Experimental Psychology (James 1-76). They are a summation of the schools of thought postulated by modern psychologists. Upon learning the history of psychology, one can deduce that the study of psychology is as old as the earth.

Works Cited

Schultz, Schultz. A History of Modern Psychology. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Publishers, 1992. 4 Oct. 2012 < www.ebscohost.com >.

Goodwin. A History of Modern Psychology. Jacksonville: Close-Up Media, Inc, 2012. 4

Oct.2012 <https://search.proquest.com/docview/444646596?accountid=45049 >.

James, Lieberman. “Handbook of Psychology”. Library Journal 1(2003): 76-78. 4 Oct 2012

<https://www.proquest.com >.


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