Myers & Dewall (2018) identify the beginning of psychology history in 387 B.C.E. when Plato identified the brain to be a centrum for the mental process. At the same time, Aristotle believed the heart to be a core organ that is responsible for mental decisions in 335 B.C.E (Myers & Dewall, 2018). The next important event in modern psychology history is Kepler’s description of the retina which happened only in 1604. Throughout the late 1600s and 1700s, numerous essays and tractates were published on various findings of human psychology. For instance, Rene Descartes suggested an active interaction between mind and body in his “A Discourse on Method” (Myers & Dewall, 2018). Later in 1813, the first private psychiatric clinic was opened in Philadelphia (Myers & Dewall, 2018). In 1834, Weber’s law was formulated in “The Sense of Touch” by E.H. Weber (Myers & Dewall, 2018). In 1859, Charles Darwin published the central doctrine for all human-related sciences, “On the Origin of Species” (Myers & Dewall, 2018). In 1879, the first psychology laboratory was opened at the University of Leipzig, Germany, which became a center of attraction for psychologists from all over the world (Myers & Dewall, 2018). The 20th century was crucial for the development of psychology and its establishment. Some of the key events were Sigmund Freud’s publication of “The Interpretation of Dreams” (1900), Pavlov’s discoveries on animal conditionings (1904-1905), Leta Stetter Hollingworth’s “The Psychology of Subnormal Children” (1920) which was an example of female contribution to the science, “Gestalt Psychology”(1929) by Kohler, Skinner’s publication of “The Behavior of Organisms” (1938), Alfred Kinsey and his supporters issuing “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” (1948) and “ Sexual Behavior in the Human Female” (1953) (Myers & Dewall, 2018). Later, other major tractates were published, including “The Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Theory” by Hebb in 1949, Bandura’s “Principles of Behavior Modification” (1969), and Loftus’s “Eyewitness Testimony” (1979). (Myers & Dewall, 2018) Positive psychology introduction by Seligman was one of the most significant trends in the 90s. Currently, psychology continues its development as a science through the adaptation of its new methods. Thus, according to Myers and Dewall (2018), ”everything psychological is simultaneously biological”(n.d.). I tend to agree with this point of view since psychology has originated from a deeper understanding of human biology. As seen from its timeline, Darwin’s tractate on human evolution influenced the development of psychology in the 19th century. Psychology continuously developed as a branch of biology that connected mind and body into its current form.
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In the video on the responsive brain, I noticed the proof of my previous statements on the importance of Darwin’s findings to psychology. Darvin’s principle on the “survival of the fittest” suggests that those who adapt to the environment the best pass their genes later (WGBH Boston & APA, 2019a, 01:44:32). It was insightful to me, as this statement supports that there is a connection between mind, body, and environment.
In the video on the behaving brain, the algorithm of behavior is shown on the level of cells. Primarily, neurons gather information and send it to the soma (cell body) where it is mixed with other data incomes (WGBH Boston & APA, 2019b, 01:02:20). Then, the nerve impulse occurs within the extended fiber and ends at the terminal buttons of neurons (WGBH Boston & APA, 2019b, 01:02:42:18). The neuron impulses are released into a synaptic gap where they become messages called neurotransmitters. The release of transmitters into the synapse where they attach to dendrites causes the electric charges in some cases; in other cases, the synapse prevents the nerve impulse (WGBH Boston & APA, 2019b, 01:03:44:21). I was amazed that his complex constant procedure regulates various characteristics of human behavior.
Myers, D. G., & Dewall, N. (2018). Psychology. Worth Publishers.
WGBH Boston & APA (Producers). (2019a). The behaving brain. Web.
WGBH Boston & APA (Producers). (2019b). The responsive brain. Web.