When Did Psychology begin?greenspun.com : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread
Does anyone know a rough date when the study into psychology started?
-- Chris Grimes (Bustagrimes21@hotmail.com), September 18, 2001
It depends on what you mean by "psychology." Many ancient Greek philosophers discussed the nature of the "psyche" and other psychological (by our lights) terms, such as thumos, nous, ate. Aristotle wrote a book specifically on the topic (which today usually goes by its Latin title, De Anima). But there was no discipline, as such, called psychology. The term "psychology" started to be used in the renaissance by European scholars to mean the study of the soul -- more a theological than a scientific discipline. The German Philosopher Christian Wolff distingushed between "rational psychology" and "empirical psychology" in the 18th century, and this distinction was, in turn, picked up and popularized by the French "philosophes", especially Diderot in his "Encyclopedia". By the middle of the 19th century some physicists and physiologists (e.g., Weber, Fechner, Helmholtz) were conducting scientific experiments that we now consider to be psychological. Wilhelm Wundt published the first textbook on experimental psychology ("physiological psychology", as he called it) in 1874, and opened the first university research lab dedicated to its pursuit in Leipzig in 1879. William James also opened a demonstration lab about the same time (about 1875) at Harvard. After that, many university labs dedicated to experimental psychology opened in rapid succession, mainly in Germany and the US, but also in England, France, and Canada. You might have a look at my website on the the early institutions of experimental psychology at http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Special/Institutions/
-- Christopher Green (email@example.com), September 18, 2001.
for my own idea, when the psychology begin, that the words psychology its not having start because its have begin in the start of world.
-- julius luzano (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 18, 2001.
i was reading a book not to long ago and it said that psychology is really only a decade new. the pyschology they had back then was philosphy.
-- brittany mason (email@example.com), December 02, 2001.
I find, as a first-year Psychology Degree student (at Wolverhampton in the UK, just to give credit where it is due, I suppose) that Thomas Hardy Leahey's "A History of Psychology: Main Currents in Psychological Thought" published by Prentice-Hall is a good textbook to answer this question. I don't know if it's the best, of course, but it seems alright to me.
For my personal opinion, psychology is shaped by a history of philosophers thinking upon the human soul, perception, memory, our thinking; and so on. Modern laboratory psychology is most directly Wundt's baby. But certainly, psychology has had a life-span considerably larger than a decade. And I'm looking at you, Brittany. *Sternly Pythonesque glare.*
-- Thomas Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2002.