March 10, 2011

Contemporary Perspectives in Psychology

Contemporary Perspectives
We have just looked at several viewpoints in psychology that emerged in the work of a number of tum-of-the-century scientists. Each perspective had different interests and as­sumptions about human nature, so each defined the methods and subject matter of psy­chology in a different way. As you can imagine, the debates between adherents of these different points of view were often very heated in the early days of psychology.
Where are we today in psychology? No single point of view from the early days has emerged as the correct way of viewing human behavior and mental processes. Although there are some strict adherents of some of the traditional schools of thought-such as behaviorism and psychoanalysis---contemporary psychology could be said to combine the best ideas from all of its founders. In some ways, the impact of their intermingled ideas is even more impor­tant than the original schools of thought.
Before we begin studying the methods and findings of psychology, it is important for us to look at two other perspectives that strongly influence contemporary psychology, the neuroscience perspective and sociocultural perspective.

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