Psychology features the study of the mind as well as behaviour , and it embraces all facets of human experience. These include both unconscious and conscious and lastly thought. Psychology is also an intersection of Biology and culture, and the two form integral components of the discipline . Further, Psychology is the mental state that governs a particular activity and covers a broad range of studies including human personality, child development, illness and social relationship. The inability to see internal activities of the mind gave rise to psychology since there was a consensus amongst scholars that the behaviour of an individual was linked highly to how his/her mind work s . According to Hayes ( 2000), P sychology has other disciplines that seek to explain how to integrate clinical theory and practice . This is in a bid to know and understand the malfunctioning of the body, how internal mental processes take place, how the changes in individual experiences affect behav iour , and lastly, how humans psychologically adjust to evolution . Therefore, Psychology can be viewed as partly an academic subject area and partly a field of applied science. Consequently, various schools of thought exist. This paper seeks to explore these diverse schools of thought and their inherent assumptions. Lastly, the paper will look into the biological foundations of psychology linked to behaviour and identify the three core advances therein.
Structuralism P sychology School of T hought
Different schools of thought have shaped the discourse on human behaviour. Structuralism is one of the first school of thought s and made it possible for psychology to be established as a separate science . Likewise, it contributed to the methods of experimental psychology. Development of Structuralism is attributed to Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Bradford Titchener. The focus of Structuralism is the breaking down of the mental process into principal components. It used techniques such as introspection to analyze the inner processes of the human mind. In these efforts, researchers sought to understand the most essential elements of the conscious mind in a bid to explain how it functions . Despite its strengths, Structuralism was characterized by some setbacks . For instance, the introspection used was so subjective that it resulted in u nreliable results . Secondly, Structuralism was only concerned with the internal behavior which is indirectly observable. Thirdly, t his school of thought did not focus on the unconscious mind but instead specialized in the conscious mind. These gaps gave rise to alternative schools of thought.
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Functionalism P sychology School of T hought
The rise of F unctionalism was a reaction f rom the setbacks found in the S tructuralism school of thought . This school of thought was not influenced by the work of a single thinker as was the case for Structuralism. I nstead, several minds came together and sought to explain the mental process in a more systematic and accurate manner. They focused on the purpose of consciousness and behavior rather than consciousness only. As a result, there are five types of Functionalism. These are machine-state, psycho, analytic, homuncular, mechanistic. Functionalism has influenced psychology in the form that children should learn at the level which they are developed mentally. Again, it stresses the fact that the brain is inherently neutral and without any behavior but then produces one depending on the signal that it receives and how it translates it . Boring et al., ( 1948) argues that t he brain calculates th e data collected and then creates a behavior . The study of animals, children and abnormal behavior in psychology led to an emphasis o n individual difference s hence broadening to real world problems. Functionalists seek to know how and why things happen the way they do. This school of thought has led to an exten sion of the subject matter as well as a n acquisition of a wide range of related data.
Gestalt P sychology School of T hought
The Gestalt psychology began in Australia and Germany in the 19 th century in response to the molecular approach of S tructuralism. This Ps ychology school of thought believed that looking at the whole experience was vital rather than breaking down thoughts and behavior to their smallest elements. It also focused on the perspective of the mind relating to the environment that an individual is placed in since the brain organizes the perception and information according to where it is and the things that surround it ( Boring et al., ( 1948). The Gestalt thinkers based their research on the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its part and had an extension of cognition like perception and problem solving hence leading to the formation of psychotherapy that is widely practised by the modern psychologists.
Underlying A ssumptions on S chool of T houghts
Structuralism adopted introspection technique which is a scientific tool that would enable the researchers to unmask the whole structure of the mind . This involved looking inward then reflecting on what has been analyzed , and trying to make sense of what would be happening internally. Subsequently, the subjects used were presented with different stimuli and asked to describe their feeling with a s much clarity as they possibly could . This led to an assumption that all the subjects used in the experiment perceived things the same way . This is not true because two people cannot view things the same way and respond to stimuli the same way. On the other hand, Functionalism ignored the unconscious mind and only focused on the conscious mind. T he Gestalt psychology school of thought assumes that the whole experience is greater than the sum of all smal l parts of the experience (Hayes 2000). Additionally, t h e theorists believed that behavior was influenced by every external experience and ideas are experienced as a unified whole.
Major P rimary A dvances in B iological F oundations of P sychology L inked to B ehavior
Human beings are highly advanced and complete animal s whose biological basis explain psychology based on the ir primary needs. Strong biological an d inherent characteristics are the foundation of the human behavior . For instance, s ex pos s esses a primary biological foundation because of the need for reproduction, egocentric and the general satisfaction. It plays a significant role in P sychology especially in connection to human behaviour and reproduction. People that have already reproduced tend to be more protective of their offspring unlike th ose that have not . According to Boring et al. , ( 1948), when a psychological malfunction takes place, the process of reproductio n does not produce results.
Greed and S elf- p reservation
Greed is the want of acquiring somethin g for the sake of protection, general feeling of power or need for survival and this is biologically related to how one behaves . Psychologically , individual s feel at peace when they get what they want. Self- p reservation is the need to survive , stay alive an d be protected from any harm. This trait is ingrained in the blood line and can be exemplified by t he security that one has when he or she is financially stable or healthy . Whenever there is any need , the nervous system communicates, and the body biologically responds by preparing itself psychologically for any changes. For instance, w hen there is no food , the nervous system communicates to the mind, and one go es to search for it.
The emergence and advancement of Psycholog y as a distinct science have contributed to the understanding of vital aspects of human existence . Notable among these is human behaviour, mind and thought. Learning how individuals behave the way they do is important not only for the particular persons but also the society as a whole.
Boring, E. G., Langfeld, H. S. & Weld, H. P. (1948). Foundations of P sychology . John Wiley and Sons , Inc., and Chapman and Hall. Print.
Hayes, N. (2000). Foundations of P sychology : An introductory text . Cengage Learning EMEA. Print.