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Studying the History of Psychology

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Studying the history of psychology is important to understand how the study came into practice, were the belief comes from, why psychology is important, what scientist and other noted persons in history used to draw his or her conclusion from, and why the conclusion is relevant, and how the psychology evolves with society as time moves forward and society changes.

An easy way to distinguish between internal and external psychology is explained in a quote from John Dewey (Encyclopedia, 2008), "Intelligence begins with the external and least representative state, and advances to the internal and most symbolic." This connection continues to run through psychology to help understand many aspects of human behavior. Having educated minds experimenting, recording, and learning about the human mind is why studying the history of psychology and why it is important to understand. Just as in any science or any field, history plays a role in its understanding as it does in the field of medicine, or other sciences. Many branches of study form to understand different aspects of a given field; it is the same in psychology.

Lashley experimented with how memory and learning affects the brain (Goodwin, 2005). Although, Flourens began experimenting with the affects that lesions on the brain had on memory and learning, Lashley continued the work, which has lead to some knowledge modern neurology uses today to help people with brain damage due to illness or head injuries. Flourens and Lashley concerned themselves, (Goodwin, 2005) as did others, with the laboratory study of psychology. While others researched other forms of psychology that brings such a diverse study that is still in its infancy and continues to grow into a science that teaches about the many facets of the brain and human behavior.

The history of psychology is so important for many reasons. One example is while working with special needs children, psychology is a helpful tool to use that will give the individual child the proper attention and learning environment to suit his or her personal educational, physical, medical, and other needs. In addition, the study of psychology has helped laypeople, and the medical science understand how to relate to children with special needs as well as people in need of help with relationships issues, phobia's mentally ill individuals, etc (Goodwin, 2005).


Encyclopedia, M. E. (2008). John Dewery, Psychology, 1889.RetrievedFebruary7,2009,From:

Goodwin, C. J. (2005). A History of Modern Psychology, Second Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons , Inc.

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