History and Approaches


  • Recognize how philosophical and physiological perspectives shaped the development of psychological thought.
  • Describe and compare different theoretical approaches in explaining behavior:

— structuralism, functionalism, and behaviorism in the early years;
— Gestalt, psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, and humanism emerging later;
—evolutionary, biological, cognitive, and biopsychosocial as more contemporary approaches.
  • Recognize the strengths and limitations of applying theories to explain behavior..
  • Distinguish the different domains of psychology (e.g., biological, clinical, cognitive, counseling, developmental, educational, experimental, human factors, industrial–organizational, personality, psychometric, social).
  • Identify major historical figures in psychology

Essential Questions:
  • How do different perspectives in psychology compare and contrast?
  • Who were the movers and shakers in the evolution of psychology as a science?

Key Terms and Key People:
Psychoanalytic theory
Human perspective
Psychoanalytic perspective
Biopsychology (or neuroscience)
Evolutionary perspective
Behavioral perspective
Cognitive perspective
Social-Cultural perspective
Wilhem Wundt

William James

Mary Whiton Calkins

Margaret Floy Washburn

G. Stanley Hall

Max Wertheimer

Sigmund Freud
John B. Watson

Ivan Pavlov

B.F. Skinner

Abraham Maslow

Carl Rogers

Charles Darwin

Jean Piaget