Psychology History essay

Psychology as a Science

Psychology is described as the science of the mind and behavior that takes into account all aspects of conscious and unconscious cognition. It belongs to the humanities and social sciences because it is also utilized for academic reasons. The subject is involved with comprehending organizations and individuals through the development of broad concepts and the investigation of various examples.

Studying the History and Processes of Psychology

Studying the history and processes of psychology, like any other discipline, provides considerable benefits. History is the study of the past via the use of written materials, as well as the study of events that occurred before the written records. Systems represent the study of the modern ideas that pertain to psychology. This study will, therefore, focus on the study of history and systems of psychology, come up with its benefits, the change of beliefs from the pre-modern to the modern period, discuss the effects of the evolution of beliefs on humanity, and a conclusion will be developed at the end of the study.

Importance of Studying History of Psychology

First, studying history enables scholars to come up with important behaviors that are relevant to the intellectual development and growth of groups and people. There is a common saying which says that if we do not take care of history, then it will repeat itself. It is through the study of previous human behavior that we get to understand patterns and occurrences that influenced specific actions, hence being able to come up with general principles concerning the systems of psychology, (Squire, 2004).

Second, studying the history of psychology enables scholars to have a deeper understanding of how the world came to be, including the evolution of all creatures and nature. This provides the foundational knowledge that psychology is based on. It also gives psychologists a chance to generalize the human behaviors in the past and compare it with the current society’s reactions. A study of the history provides a clear understanding of how nature came to be, therefore enabling psychologists to study the foundational influence of nature on human behavior. It provides a platform for the comparison of the current impact of nature on human behavior and also providing a foundation for the formation of principles that describe human behavior.

Third, by getting an understanding of the causes and effects of history, psychologists can come up with better ways of dealing with conflict among individuals and nations. Events that took place in the past left a mark that can be used to study their causes and the effects they had on humanity. This can lead to the development of better ways of dealing with similar events in today’s life. For instance, a psychology based study on the events that took place before, during and after both the first and the Second World War is a good source of information that helps psychologists to take preventive measures in dealing with war. It has helped the field to detect events and actions that may cause war, hence taking proactive measures, (Sundar, 2007).

Fourth, a study on how human beings and nature came to be is a source of information about how everything started. The study of early stages of every occurrence that affects the human beings’ way of life is very important to developmental psychology. For example, an understanding of a child’s early stages of life gives psychologists a chance to define his or her future stages. This has made the discipline make major positive strides in the understanding of the human mind. We live in a time whereby people do not want to be described according to their past but wants a description that suits their future. This can only be achieved through the study of the early stages of people in history, draw general principles that link them to their future stages, hence enabling the accurate forecast of the current generation’s future stages. This enables people to define themselves regarding where they are going to, (Wolman, 2012).

Fifth, according to Brennan, (2003), cultural and social forces lead to the development of models of science at their diverse stages and the scientific work takes place within a given time that is limited until the paradigm is replaced. The replacement is driven by cultural changes or the inability of the model to accommodate new scientific findings. Therefore, just as Brennan claims, scientific progress is cyclic whereby when an anomaly takes place which cannot be explained by the paradigm, and a crisis arises, then a room for new theories is created. This creates another paradigm, which leads to a scientific revolution. Such paradigms occur even in the present age and can be used to draw scientific conclusions in the field of psychology.

Finally, the study of history enables the discipline not to make mistakes that were made by others in the past. Psychological ideas had evolved even before the 100 years that psychology became an independent discipline. It is, therefore, possible to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid repetitions in the future. This can only be realized through a thorough understanding of the history of psychology.

Changes In Beliefs From The End Of The Pre-Modern Period Into The Modern Period And Their Impacts On Current Practices Of Psychology

The pre-modern period is an era that took place many centuries ago, that is before the late 19th century. It was characterized with a view of psychology as a philosophy and not a science. The transition leads to the new system that classifies psychology as a humanity and social science. This has led to the change in how human behavior is characterized, therefore improving the understanding of the human mind. For example, with the philosophical beliefs, the human mind was analyzed using generalizations that could only be observed on patterns on the human way of life. However, with the scientific view psychology has been able to undertake scientific experiments before drawing the general principles that govern the discipline. This has led to more accurate predictions of the future behavior of humankind, (Brennan, 2003).

The transition of psychology from philosophy to a science which took place in the late 19th century lead to more meaningful generalization in the discipline. It changed the perspective in which people viewed the field from only an academic discipline to an indispensable part of social sciences. One example of the results of this transition was a more meaningful life to mental illness patients. More accurate and better ways of helping them brought more experience, enabling them to live a healthy life, just like others.

During the pre-modern period, the human mind was believed to be a duality. Psychologists had a belief that part of it is physiological while the other is spiritual. The legitimacy of this claim was backed up by the philosophical view, hence becoming an accepted part of the culture. Changing this view made the discipline go through a series of tests and obstacles since the late 1870s. The changes shifted the beliefs leading to the view of the human mind according to the theory of conscious and unconscious levels of functioning, (Kazdin, 2000).


The study of the history of psychology has enabled a better shaping of the systems of psychology. An understanding of the history helps modern psychologists to draw more accurate conclusions concerning the human mind and also avoid the mistakes that were done in the past.


Brennan, J. F. (2003). History and Systems of Pyschology.


Squire, L. R. (2004). Memory systems of the brain: a brief history and current

perspective. Neurobiology of learning and memory, 82(3), 171-177.

Sundar, S. S. (2007). Social psychology of interactivity in human-website interaction. In Oxford

handbook of internet psychology.

Wolman, B. B. (2012). Contemporary theories and systems in psychology. Springer Science &

Business Media.

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