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Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Lesson 2
Throughout some twelve or so decades, psychology has led an active life, developing gradually into a true
science. As part of evolution, it has produced a number of conceptual models, approaches, theories,
interrelated ideas and concepts used to explain phenomena, that has guided the work being carried out.
Earlier views of the philosophies and concepts were important because they gave the outline with the help
of which modern ideas were developed and further formulated.
"Psychology has a long past, but only a short history."(Hermann Ebbinghaus, 1908)
Wilhelm Wundt set the foundations of modern psychology in 1879, by establishing the first psychology
laboratory in Leipzig, Germany.
Man was always curious about human behavior, nature of consciousness, origin of "madness", emotions
and much more about other people's nature.
Control and desirable modification of behavior interested man; he always wanted to become powerful and
be able to make others do what he wanted them to do.
Historical Roots of Modern Psychology
Although psychology did not exist in its present form thousands of years ago, its application can be traced
even at that stage of history. The following facts indicate that man was always interested in understanding
and managing psyche and behavior, and was capable of controlling and modifying it:
Domestication of dogs was practiced even 10,000 years ago. Babylonians made speculation about etiology
of epilepsy and tried to cure it accordingly. Egyptians performed crude brain surgery thousands of years
ago. Evidence is available through an examination of ancient human skeletons, that `trephining' was
performed even half a million years ago; trephining was a procedure whereby a hole was drilled into the
skull of a mental patient. This was done in order to let the evil spirits or demons escape from the sufferer's
body. The basic assumption was that abnormal behavior was caused by supernatural beings.
Such evidence suggests that man sought explanations of human behavior, and tried to control it according
to the explanation he believed in. Ancient explanations centered on the supernatural: gods, evil spirits,
demons etc
Phases in the History of
Study of
Study of
considered as the scientific
study of human behavior and
Study of
mental processes. But the case
was always not so. Initially the
soul; of man interested the
philosophers, then mind and
Study of
conscious experience, and lastly
observable behavior.
In 1590, Rudolf Goeckel used
the term "psychology". This word is the combination of two Greek words " psyche" and " logos", the
former means the " soul" and the later " discursive knowledge". Thus literally, psychology means the
science of soul. Aristotle gave a very important place to soul in human life. Life has no meaning without
soul. But he couldn't explain the relationship of the soul to the body. The problem of the relationship
between body and soul persisted for centuries. it was not solved by philosophers because it was based on
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
false dualism and involved a separate study of physical and spiritual phenomena. Later on, the spiritual
aspect was discarded altogether and substituted by a more comprehensive word "mind".
Psychology was also defined as the "science of mind". But psychologists were never satisfied with this
definition because mind was a vague term that could not be defined in objective terms. Mind and mental
experiences were primarily subjective in nature. Therefore the later psychologists switched their positions
and began investigations into behavior that was an objective and observable phenomenon. So it should not
be surprising for a student of psychology that definitions of psychology have varied considerably over the
years according to the theoretical orientation of particular "schools".
Modern psychology is no longer interested in the study of mind. Mental processes have substituted mind.
The "mind approach" in psychology was rejected because mind can not be studied using scientific
procedures; besides there is no scientific way to determine whether an entity such as mind actually exists.
Also those who used the word mind or mental processes were not unanimous in their explanations of the
very nature of mind.
This definition also does not include the overt behavior of man and animals, which forms a major subject
of study in the present day psychology.
Psychology has also been defined as the science of consciousness. Structuralism, an important early school
of thought in psychology, considered psychology as the study of conscious experience. In the words of
Wilhelm Wundt, "psychology has to investigate that which we call internal processes or experiences---- i.e.,
our own sensations and feelings, our thoughts and volitions in contradistinction to the subject of external
experience". This definition of psychology as a science of consciousness is now discarded and rejected on
the following grounds:
Modern day psychology does not believe in consciousness as it used to. Mental processes have substituted
Even those thinkers, who use the word consciousness, do not agree on its meaning. According to some, it is
a substance while for others it is a process or a stream. The word consciousness does not include animal or
human behavior. Psychology also studies unconscious and sub- conscious processes. Therefore there is
sufficient rationale behind the belief that it cannot be called the science of consciousness alone.
Modern psychologists define it as a science of behavior, both of animals and humans. It was Watson, the
founder of the behaviorist school of thought, who postulated this definition. This definition is
comprehensive in the sense that it identifies behaviors that are overt and can be observed. But this
definition also has some limitations.
This definition takes behavior in a very narrow sense; behavior, as Watson saw it, was merely stimulus-
response. Behavior, for modern psychologists, includes both the overt behavior as well as the mental
processes that accompany those behaviors i.e., the inner experiences that carry out those behaviors
Philosophical Influences on Modern Psychology
The new scientific psychology is a fusion of two psychologies, i.e., philosopher's psychology and
the sensory psychology of the physiologists. Brain physiology, reflexology, and phenomenology all
these sciences have contributed to the development of psychology. So basically:
Psychology emerged from Philosophy
Philosophers in the West as well as East were explaining thought and behavior
Addition of newer and better methods of investigating these explanations led to the emergence
of psychology
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Sub- continental Philosophic Tradition
The ancient Indian Philosophy existed much earlier than any other formal explanation. The earliest traces
are found in the Yogic philosophy prevailing in 1000 BC. According to this philosophy, mind and body are
interlinked and affect each other. Physical exercise helps mental development and vice versa. The later
philosophies e.g. Vedic, postulated varied explanations in this regard.
The Greek Philosophers
HIPPOCRATES (460-377 B.C.)
One of the more important advances in Greek philosophy and science was the separation of the
practice of medicine from religion. Hippocrates was a physician, who not only raised the standard
of medical investigation but also developed the code of ethics for the physicians. He, like
Alcamaeon, stressed upon the significance of the brain in psychological processes, and he
approached the problems of medicine systematically.
He postulated a theory of "humors" that account for the basic human activity. He believed that the
perfect health is the result of the proportionate mixture of these humors. To him, there were four basic
humors that were associated with different temperaments.
He believed that four temperaments form personality:
Sanguine (Cheerful and Active)
Melancholic (Sad)
Choleric (Angry and Aggressive)
Phlegmatic (Calm and Passive)
PLATO (427-347 B.C.)
He was the first person in history to produce a great all- embracing system of philosophy. He not
only developed the theory of knowledge, theory of conduct, and a theory of state, but also the
theory of universe.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Parts of soul
According to Plato, the soul has three parts or components, which he calls reason, spirit, and
appetite. He discovered that there are three different kinds of activity going on in a person. First,
an awareness of the goal or a value and this is the act of reason. Secondly, there is a drive towards
action, the spirit, which is neutral at first but responds to the direction of reason. Last, there is the
desire for the things of the body, the appetites. The body itself is inanimate, and therefore, when it
acts or moves, it must be moved by the principle of life, the soul. In the body the soul experiences
sensation, desire, pleasure, and pain as well as fear and anger. There is love, too, that can satisfy
some taste to love of the truth or beauty that is pure and eternal.
The rational or thinking part is the highest in order
When a person moves from believing to thinking, he moves from the visible world to the
intelligible world, from the realm of opinion to the realm of knowledge. Thinking is particularly the
characteristic of the scientist. For him, visible things are the symbol of a reality that can be thought
but not seen. By using visible symbols, science provides a bridge from the visible to the intelligible
world. Plato believed that thinking gives us knowledge of truth.
ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.)
He was not only a philosopher in the modern sense but he was a man of universal learning. There
was no branch of knowledge, which did not receive his attention except, mathematics. It is to him
that we owe the first systematic treatment of psychology. His method was two- fold, both inductive
and deductive. He was an acute observer, and his psychological treatises are overwhelmed by his
observations, many of which have stood the test of time, e.g. he introduced:
·  The first theory of learning
·  Succession of ideas
·  The theory that ideas are generated in consciousness based on four principles:
o  Contiguity
o  Similarity
o  Contrast, and
o  Succession
SOCRATES (469- 399)
He believed in the care of the soul to be man's most important task. For him, soul was the essential
man. For him, soul was not any faculty, nor was it any special kind of substance, but rather the capacity
for intelligence and character. It was man's conscious personality. The activity of soul is to know and to
direct a person's daily conduct. The man's greatest concern should be the proper care of his soul so as
to make the soul as good as possible.
A physician, who performed the first dissection. He was interested in philosophy and directed his
attention to understanding perception
·  Origin of Physiological Psychology: He believed that sensations and thoughts occur in the brain.
He was known as "father of Greek medicine"
Brain is the seat of all human intellectual faculties: He recognized the importance of brain and
clearly distinguished between sensory perceiving and thinking. He was the first to take anatomical
dissection for research purposes and also the first vivisectionist.
Muslim Influence
The contributions of the Muslim scientists in the field of physiological treatment are very
significant besides their contribution to "psychotherapy."
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
The period which was called Europe's Dark Age was the period when Muslim philosophy, science,
and knowledge flourished.
Initially mental disorders were taken to be caused by super-natural phenomena and therefore the
cure was done through witchcraft and magic .On the contrary, Muslims presented the "humane
concept" of mental treatment. They gave new ideas and concepts about mental health, personality
and rehabilitation of the mentally ill
Muslim thinkers and philosophers established the first mental hospital in Spain
Muslim Philosophy: Types of Soul
Man is a compound of body and soul. Soul is of two types:
Rooh-e -Rabbani
The part of the soul that makes it possible for man to make a connection with God. At the same time
bodily needs should also be not denied satisfaction. If there is a balance between body and soul, then the
individual is normal.
· Man possesses `Nafs' or the soul.
· It is the force with the help of which man fulfills all his desires.
Levels of `Nafs'
Nafs is divided into three levels:
1. Nafs-e-Mutmaina.
2. Nafs-e-Liwama. /Nafs-e- Natiqua.
3. Nafs-e- Ammaraa
Nafs-e- Mutmaina
·At this stage, the body and soul are in complete harmony.
·There is no conflict between good and bad and man is satisfied physically, mentally and spiritually.
Nafs-e- Liwama/Nafs-e-Natiqua
·At this stage, the conflict between good and bad starts, both positive and negative forces clash
with each other.
·Man is in a state of "do" and "don't".
Nafs-e- Ammaraa
·At this stage, negative forces have a complete control over the individual.
·It is the animal tendency of man, the baser self.
·All bad habits and wrong doings are due to this Nafs e.g. greed, pride, anger, lust, hatred
That's why; philosophers emphasized the control of this Nafs. The outlet of these negative forces is
essential; otherwise man becomes mentally ill, and enemy of himself.
Muslim Philosophy and Mental Health
Muslim Philosophers presented concise and clear ideas about the types, actions and functions
of human nature
A child is born pure. He has both the positive and negative forces, but they are not at conflict
at that time and are in complete harmony. Man has been given the ability to differentiate
between good and bad
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Muslim Philosophers
Imam-Razi (850-925 Ad)
A person maintains sentimental attachment with the physical/material object and
when he has to part away from the object he becomes frustrated and a mental
patient due to the sentimental attachment with the mortal things
He keeps on increasing his attachment with these things until it become more
important than "necessary"
Believed that person should love others through God. These physical things are
granted by God and He takes them back whenever He wants
AL-FARABI (870-950 AD)
Philosopher and poet
According to him, Man is composed of two elements; body and soul
Believed in dualistic nature of Man
He was of the view that there exists no relationship between body and soul
Ibne- Muskavia (930-1030 Ad)
"Man is a compound of body and soul"
`Rooh' is the main factor that controls our actions and maintain them
If `soul' rules over the body then person remains mentally healthy but if body rules
over the soul then the person becomes mentally ill
Ibn-E-Sina/Avicenna (980-1037 Ad)
A physician, scientist and a philosopher
Considered as the great physicians of `Middle Ages'
Gave importance to the `sentiments' of the individual
He said," When man is away from God's love, he is also away from man's love"
Gave the systematic account of kinds of mind and its faculties
According to him, there are three kinds of mind:
Vegetable Mind
Animal Mind
(body does not change
its form and continue
to increase till it attains
full maturity)
Human Mind
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
On which morality
(enables us to have
abstract thinking)
Human Mind
Imam-Ghazali (1058-1111 Ad)
Believed that `self' which is called `Qalb' is the essence of Man.
It is the spiritual entity residing in the human body which controls the organic and
physical functions of an individual
`Self' is the center of personality from which all the psychological phenomena
He classified the behavioral mal-adjustments into the bodily and spiritual disorders
According to him there are SIX powers of "Self":
Anger is the `beastly power' and `intellect' is the 'Devine power'.
His method of treatment is called "contradictory treatment" i.e., illiteracy is treated
with literacy.
o  The therapist was named 'Sheikh' and patient called `Mureed'.
Ibne Arabi (1165-1240 Ad)
·Believed in the idea of "WAHDAT- UL WAJOOD" which means that Man is the part of God himself.
·Because Man is created by God, so for mental health, it is essential that he should perish himself in the
"ZAAT" of God.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Mujadad Alfsani (1564-1625 Ad)
·Supported the idea of "WAHADT -UL-SHAHOOD" means "REFLECTION OF GOD" which means
that the God's reflection can be seen in the things, which have been created by God.
·A person who is complete in his self and a follower of Shariat and Tareequat is mentally healthy.
·Believed that God does not finish the individuality of human beings and it is not necessary that man
should finish his self and amalgamate into the zaat of God.
Shah Wali Ullah (1703-1762 AD)
·Mentioned about two forces:
I. Beastly Force or Baheemi
II. Ar-Rabbani or Devine.
·Both are contradictory forces and are always struggling. This struggle is called "TAJAZUB".
·When there is no struggle between these forces, then the individual's condition is called
"ISTALLAH"(mentally healthy and well balanced).
·But when they are struggling and have conflict, then it is called "ALLAHIE TAJAZUB (tendency towards
mental illness).
Developments since 17th Century A.D.
Rapid developments: The 17th century was a century in which modern concepts and development
were taking place in many fields like Physiology, Astronomy, Physics etc, and displaced the old
concepts of Aristotle, Plato etc. These developments brought about changes in the philosophical
approach towards the understanding of human nature as well.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650 Ad)
His most important work was his attempt to resolve the mind- body problem, an issue that had been controversial for
He saw human body as a piece of machinery; intricate and complicated. He believed that body is a machine whose
operation can be adequately explained by the mechanical laws of the movement of objects in space. He recognized no
difference between the hydraulically operated figures and the body, and he explained every aspect of physical
functioning (digestion, circulation, sensation, motion and so on) in mechanical terms
Mind-Body "Interactive Dualism": mind and body are separate entities influencing each other. However, he argued
that the mind can exert a greater influence on body than was previously thought.
Nerves are hollow tubes through which "Animal Spirits" conduct "Impulses"___ he claimed that the heart was
filled with a kind of innate heat. In his book "On Man" he went on describing how the pineal gland is moved and
shaken by incoming animal spirits. He also added that the animal spirits are carried down the nerves to muscles; as
spirits run into the muscles, they are inflated, thus causing contraction of the body region. According to him, messages
are transferred to the brain via the animal spirits in the nerves, where the pineal gland pushes them into those pores
leading most directly to the nerves controlling the movements of the organs
Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828 Ad)
Known for his work on phrenology
He postulated the idea that particular psychic functions are represented by particular areas of the brain.
Intelligence, moral character and other personality characteristics can be discerned by the shape of, and the
number of bumps on, a person's skull.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
John Locke (1632-1704 Ad)
His major contribution to psychology was an essay concerning human understanding, which appeared in 1690 and was the
culmination of some 20 years of study and thought; it was later considered as the formal beginning of English/British
His primary question was how the mind acquires knowledge?
Locke, first denied the existence of innate ideas, arguing that humans are not equipped at birth with any
knowledge .He admitted that certain ideas may seem to adults to be innate (such as the idea of God)
because adults have been constantly taught the ideas since childhood and cannot remember any time when
they were unaware of them. So, he explained the innate ideas in terms of habit and learning. He gave the
concept of "Tabula Rasa"; People are born in this world with empty minds i.e."Tabula Rasa" or a blank
slate. The ideas and memories are imprinted on our minds as a result of experience.
Later influences
The physiological research that directly stimulated and guided the new psychology was a product of the late 19th century. These
developments supported the scientific approach to the psychological investigation of the mind. Early developments in physiology
led to the development of experimental and research oriented psychology. In 19th century, great changes occurred in terms of
scientific research and developments. Besides developments in other fields, discoveries in Physiology also took place.
A number of great thinkers made contributions in this regard and all of them are worth mentioning.
However, since this is not a course in the history of psychology, we will restrict our discussion to the major
contributors alone.
Emergence of Schools of Thought
Wilhelm Wundt in Germany established the foundations of psychology by founding the first psychological laboratory in
Germany in 1879. By that time psychologists were working in different nations, on different lines. Many of them were trained
at Wundt's laboratory. Later on, psychologists began to be associated with different approaches for understanding and
explaining human thought and behavior. The following early approaches or conceptual models guided the work of psychologists:
It focused on the fundamental elements that form the foundations of thinking, consciousness, emotions and other kinds of
mental states and activities. Structuralism entailed early concepts of psychology and primarily used the procedure called
introspection (in which the subjects were asked to describe in detail what they were experiencing when they were exposed to a
stimulus) in order to study the mind.
It is an approach that concentrated on what the mind does; the functions of mental activity, and the role of behavior in allowing
people to adapt to their environments. This school founded by the American psychologist William James, became prominent in
Gestalt Psychology
An approach that focuses on the organization of perception and thinking in a ``whole" sense rather than on
the individual elements of perception. Instead of considering the individual parts that make up thinking,
gestalt psychologists took the opposite track. They concentrated on how people consider individual
elements as units or wholes. Their contribution in understanding the perceptual phenomena is very
Prevalent Models
The early roots of psychology are complex and varied, and consequently it is not surprising that the field is so diverse in nature
today. Today, one can see that different approaches or models prevail. All of these models describe, explain, understand, and
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
predict behavior and mental processes from a different perspective. These are not entirely contradictory in nature, but are
different in terms of their emphasis and focal point. There is no single model that can be called right or wrong. In fact most
modern psychologists believe in different ideas from different theories, at the same time.
Biological model
The psychological model that views behavior from the perspective of biological functioning. The role of
brain, genes, neurotransmitters, endocrine glands etc
Psychodynamic model
The approach that concentrates on the belief that behavior is motivated by the inner forces over which
individuals have little control. It was founded by the Viennese physician Sigmund Freud in early 1900s.
Cognitive model
The psychological model that focuses on how people know, understands, and think about the world. Main
emphasis of this approach is, besides on people's understanding and thinking, on describing the patterns
and regularities of the operation of our minds.
Behavioral model
This psychological model focuses on the overt observable behavior. The model grew out of the rejection of
psychology's early emphasis on the inner working of the mind, suggesting instead that observable behavior
should be the focus of attention. John B. Watson was the first person to advocate the behavioral approach.
Humanistic model
The psychological model that suggests that people are in control of their lives. It is considered as one of the
newest and major approaches to psychology. This approach rejected the view that behavior is determined
by automatic, biological forces, unconscious processes or by the environment; it suggests instead that
people are in control of their lives. People are naturally inclined to develop towards higher levels of maturity
and fulfillment and that, if given the opportunity will strive to reach their full potential.
Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?:Theoretical perspectives of psychology
  3. SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT:Biological Approach, Psychodynamic Approach
  4. PERSPECTIVE/MODEL/APPROACH:Narcosis, Chemotherapy
  5. THE PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH/ MODEL:Psychic Determinism, Preconscious
  6. BEHAVIORAL APPROACH:Behaviorist Analysis, Basic Terminology, Basic Terminology
  8. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (I):Scientific Nature of Psychology
  9. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (II):Experimental Research
  11. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT:Socio- Cultural Factor, The Individual and the Group
  12. NERVOUS SYSTEM (1):Biological Bases of Behavior, Terminal Buttons
  13. NERVOUS SYSTEM (2):Membranes of the Brain, Association Areas, Spinal Cord
  14. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM:Pineal Gland, Pituitary Gland, Dwarfism
  15. SENSATION:The Human Eye, Cornea, Sclera, Pupil, Iris, Lens
  16. HEARING (AUDITION) AND BALANCE:The Outer Ear, Auditory Canal
  17. PERCEPTION I:Max Wertheimer, Figure and Ground, Law of Closure
  18. PERCEPTION II:Depth Perception, Relative Height, Linear Perspective
  19. ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS:Electroencephalogram, Hypnosis
  20. LEARNING:Motor Learning, Problem Solving, Basic Terminology, Conditioning
  21. OPERANT CONDITIONING:Negative Rein forcer, Punishment, No reinforcement
  22. COGNITIVE APPROACH:Approach to Learning, Observational Learning
  23. MEMORY I:Functions of Memory, Encoding and Recoding, Retrieval
  24. MEMORY II:Long-Term Memory, Declarative Memory, Procedural Memory
  25. MEMORY III:Memory Disorders/Dysfunctions, Amnesia, Dementia
  26. SECONDARY/ LEARNT/ PSYCHOLOGICAL MOTIVES:Curiosity, Need for affiliation
  27. EMOTIONS I:Defining Emotions, Behavioral component, Cognitive component
  28. EMOTIONS II:Respiratory Changes, Pupillometrics, Glandular Responses
  29. COGNITION AND THINKING:Cognitive Psychology, Mental Images, Concepts
  31. PERSONALITY I:Definition of Personality, Theories of Personality
  32. PERSONALITY II:Surface traits, Source Traits, For learning theorists, Albert Bandura
  33. PERSONALITY III:Assessment of Personality, Interview, Behavioral Assessment
  34. INTELLIGENCE:The History of Measurement of Intelligence, Later Revisions
  35. PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:Plato, Aristotle, Asclepiades, In The Middle Ages
  36. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR I:Medical Perspective, Psychodynamic Perspective
  37. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR II:Hypochondriasis, Conversion Disorders, Causes include
  38. PSYCHOTHERAPY I:Psychotherapeutic Orientations, Clinical Psychologists
  39. PSYCHOTHERAPY II:Behavior Modification, Shaping, Humanistic Therapies
  40. POPULAR AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY:ABC MODEL, Factors affecting attitude change
  41. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY:Understanding Health, Observational Learning
  42. INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY:‘Hard’ Criteria and ‘Soft’ Criteria
  43. CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Focus of Interest, Consumer Psychologist
  44. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Some Research Findings, Arousal level
  45. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:Origin and History of Forensic Psychology