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Lecture 2 Core Concepts

Lecture 2 Core Concepts - A Brief History of Psychology Why...

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A Brief History of Psychology Why do we need to know the history of psychology? - To understand how the field and our theories have developed throughout history. o “He who controls the past, controls the future; and he who controls the present, controls the past.” -George Orwell (1949) - To know why our famous historical figures thought the way they did, and addressed the topics for which they became famous. - To sound intelligent when we discuss psychology with our friends. - To get an idea of why current areas of psychology exist today. o History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity. Cicero Pro Publio Sestio The Beginning - In even our earliest civilizations, man struggled with three intriguing psychological questions. o The mind/body problem. Are the mind and body independent of each other, or are they inter-twined in some way? How is the soul involved in this conundrum? o Are humans born with no knowledge of information, or are they preprogrammed with behaviors and knowledge that they used in their lives. o Do we have consciousness and free will, or are we merely automatons responding to stimuli in our environment. Socrates (469-399 BC) - Though he was primarily a philosopher, his attempts to address this mind/body problem (as well as his renowned fame), gave his the distinguished title as being one of the first “psychologists” in history.
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