History of Psychology

Psychology is a science. Psychology can be termed as the scientific study of human mind and how it functions. Psychology deals with the mental functions of a person as it try to understand an individual or a group of persons on how and why they exhibit some behavior. A psychologist’s duty is to try to understand social behavior, and the roles of mental behavior as he explores both the neurobiological and psychological process, which trigger certain cognitive functions and behavior.

The history of psychology can be traced back to the Ancient philosophers based their early records to understand psychology, where the early roots of modern psychology is traced through the different approaches to human behavior. The two approaches include physiology and philosophy, whereby physiology deals with studying human body through observation in which the ancient Greek scholars used to understand how human body works. Philosophy mainly dealt with explaining human nature through self-examination of a person’s experience and introspection.

The first psychological experiment was done by the ancient King of Egypt in Seventh Century B.C., whereby he wanted to test whether Egypt was the oldest civilization on earth though his experiments were not successful. The early philosophers central concern with nature of epistemology or knowledge, where epistemology tackles the origin of knowledge, what does it mean to know and what knowledge is?

The philosophers who contributed a lot in the psychological field includes; Hippocrates between 460-377 B.C who was the first person to have suggested that the mind of individual resides in the brain. Between 427-347, B.C, Plato suggested that the body and mind of a person were separated, but the mind was in the brain. Aristotle theory was different with Plato’s theory despite being a student of Plato. Aristotle (384-322) believed that the body and mind were not separate but one and the same. Ibn Sina (980-1037) had a different view from other philosophers as he believed that human beings consisted of both hidden (mind) and open elements (body) at the same time.

The modern psychology began with Rene Descrate (1596-1650) whose viewpoint was that reflection and introspection are investigatory methods, which are more superior to observation. He believed that the ideas of body-mind are dual and innate to knowledge. John Locke believed that interaction between body and mind in equal relationship between aspects of same unified phenomenon. Immanuel Kant reconciled the viewpoints of body and mind, and trying to relate between the mind and body and whether the mind is in control. In conclusion, contemporary psychology grapples with the same issues physiologist and philosophers grappled with as most of them concur that the mental processes and human behavior harmonize to adopt to the environment.