The Historical Evolution of Psychological Thought


This seminar aims to present the historical evolution of psychology as a distinct discipline, starting with Wundt in 1879 at Leipzig. Its short history notwithstanding, psychology has benefited from a long and rich past, tracing its roots, for the most part, in philosophy. As early as the fifth century BC, Aristotle and other Greek scholars grappled with some of the same problems that concern psychologists today; namely, memory, learning, motivation, perception, dreams, and abnormal behavior. A discipline such as psychology does not develop in a vacuum but, rather, is shaped by human personalities, institutions, and the societal context. Therefore, our critical and historical analyses will focus on comprehending the cultural context from which ideas, concepts, and theories have emerged and evolved. This approach will provide a unifying framework for a thorough reexamination of the different systems of psychology in the United States.