O the apa defines it as psychology is the study of

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o The APA defines it as: Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience — from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers for mental healthcare services, ‘the understanding of behavior’ is the enterprise of psychologists. What is History? o Description of events (what happened), including (usually) a chronology (dimension of time), and explication of cause and effect based on evidence o History is (or should be) subject to the same epistemological* rules as sciences Assertion of historical “fact” should be based on empirical evidence or logic Assertion of historical “fact” or historical theory should be subject to refutation. A statement or theory that cannot, in principle, be tested is worthless o Two Theories of History The Personalistic or “Great Man Theory” – The person makes the times The Naturalistic theory – The time (the “Zeitgeist”) makes the person Zeitgeist - the context in which historic events occur 2
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o Includes broad social, cultural, political, and economic, and intellectual forces that characterized a particular historic period Whether or not a particular person is present or not, history/events will happen Evolution was attributed to Darwin, however it wasn’t just him. If it was not Darwin, then it would have been someone else False Dichotomy o Personalistic view excludes the influence of the Zeitgeist o It assumes that history is the pure result of unique personal, intellectual, cognitive, and creative properties of the minds in individual persons o This is impossible: The contributions of individuals are always influenced by the zeitgeist (people that come before them, events, ideas) o Thus, personalistic theory is subsumed under the naturalistic theory Why study the History of Psychology? o It creates cohesion among members of the profession by providing a sense of shared origin and community o More important: It can help to provide a “gestalt” of psychology Histriography: The Methods of History o Types of Historians Practitioner Trained in an academic discipline or science other than history (e.g., Ph.D. in psychology) Academic Trained historian (e.g., Ph.D. in history) Tensions Academic historians may consider practitioner historians to be naïve of historical methodology Practitioner historians may consider academic historians naive of the subject matter of a particular discipline The academics are not interested in the history of sciences Internalism vs Externalism o Internalism Focus is on events most tangibly and immediately related to a particular historical event (e.g., the discovery of something) Broader context less important o Externalism Focus on the broad intellectual, cultural, social, political and economic “currents”
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