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Eric Landrum, Department of Psychology, Boise State University To look at the beginning of experimental psychology is to look at the beginning of psychology. The typical perception about psychology today is that it consists mostly of practitioners: Currently, that view is accurate: However, the clinical and counseling areas of psychology did not emerge on a large scale until aboutat the close of World War II.

So how did psychology get its start?

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Wilhelm Wundt founded the first exclusive psychology laboratory in ; it was a laboratory that conducted experiments related to matters in experimental psychology. However, the study of, and interest in, human behavior has been with us probably since humans walked the earth.

In fact, Hermann Ebbinghaus said it best inonly six years after the founding of psychology, when he said, "Psychology has a long past but a short history. As a psychology major, a better understanding of our historical roots will better equip you to evaluate and place current and future ideas in the appropriate context.

Also, this chapter might come in as a handy review source if your college or university requires you to take a History and Systems of Psychology course or some sort of senior Capstone Course that includes historical information. Why bother discussing the history of psychology in a book designed to be an introduction and overview of the psychology major?

Watson and Evans note that there are a number of basic maxims or beliefs that govern the process of understanding behavior, and it is the ultimate goal of an experimental psychologist to understand behavior.

Their historical maxims are presented here. Given the study of human behavior over the ages, a limited, common set of themes have emerged, and understanding the context and perspective of these themes hopefully helps us to understand behavior.

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Perhaps the most persuasive evidence for a psychologist to study the history of psychology comes from George Santayana, who once said, "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Some Historical Maxims 1. Remember that a written history is a mediated experience.

The historian is always between you and the historical event. If an explanation of a complicated historical event seems to be too simple, chances are that it is.

Biographies of Major Contributors to Cognitive Science

Historical events are seldom neatly packaged affairs. Although it is important to understand what a particular writer had to say on a given topic, it is sometimes more important to know what those who were influenced by the person thought the writer said. The history of psychological thought is fraught with misreadings and misunderstandings.

Whether a given psychological theory in the past turns out to be true or false from our historical perspective is irrelevant here.Biographies of Major Contributors to Cognitive Science William Bechtel and Tadeusz Zawidzki (Expanded from the set included in the Companion to Cognitive Science, Blackwell, ).

Hundreds of researchers have made significant contributions to cognitive science.

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Brief History of Psychology. From R. Eric Landrum, We might attribute the founding to Wundt in when he published Principles of Physiological Psychology () was a contributor to the founding of functionalism, but probably would not be considered a functionalist.

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