Ch 1: AP Psychology: History and Development of Modern Psychology

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons about the history and development of modern psychology and learn about structuralism, psychoanalysis, behavioral genetics, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP Psychology course.

History and Development of Modern Psychology - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Though people have always been curious about how our minds work, the study of mental processes, a scientific field called psychology, is relatively new. In this chapter, you'll learn about the first psychological experiments and the ways in which early psychologists studied the mind. From structuralism to dualism to psychoanalysis, you'll explore the theories that make up the foundation of psychology. You'll also get to hear about how biological functions, like genetics and evolution, play into the formation of self and thought. This chapter can help you understand:

  • How psychologists use the scientific method to study the mind
  • The beginnings of psychology and the early schools of thought
  • What some of the first psychological experiments discovered
  • How biology impacts our minds
  • The way psychology branched out of philosophy into a wide-reaching scientific field

VideoObjective
Intro to PsychologyLearn how asking questions about things that we think are obvious can lead to some surprising answers, as shown in Solomon Asch's famous experiment.
What is Psychology?Explore the five main approaches used in modern psychology: biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic.
Psychology is a ScienceUnderstand the scientific method as used by psychologists in experiments and clinical research.
Dualism and Early Psychological ThoughtExplore the dualism of the body and mind as theorized by Hobbes, Descartes, and Locke.
Two Early Approaches: Functionalism and StructuralismLearn about Wilhelm Wundt's first psychological experiment and how psychology got its scientific start.
Evolutionary TheoryUnderstand how thinking about the evolution of humans impacts the field of psychology.
Natural Selection and AdaptationExplore the processes of natural selection and adaptation and how they work with the theory of evolution.
Behavioral GeneticsLearn about how genetics can influence behavior and examine the nature versus nurture debate.
Three Later Approaches: Gestalt, Psychoanalysis and BehaviorismUnderstand how early 20th century psychologists approached the study of the mind.
Psychology after 1950: Overview of SpecializationsDiscover the various branches of psychology that emerged in the late 20th century, including cognitive, humanistic, and clinical psychology.

9 Lessons in Chapter 1: AP Psychology: History and Development of Modern Psychology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Why Study Psychology? - Overview & Experiments

1. Why Study Psychology? - Overview & Experiments

What at first seems obvious may not be the case. Psychology looks past intuitions and feelings to search for the true roots to our behaviors. Watch this lesson to learn about two experiments that demonstrate how testing the 'obvious' can yield surprising results.

What Is Psychology?

2. What Is Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of how we think, feel and behave. In this lesson, you'll get an overview of the five main approaches that have guided modern psychological research.

The Science of Psychology: Experiments & the Scientific Method

3. The Science of Psychology: Experiments & the Scientific Method

How do psychologists use the scientific method to research behaviors? From formulating hypotheses to reducing biases, psychology carefully analyzes behaviors and their potential causes.

Dualism and Early Psychological Thought

4. Dualism and Early Psychological Thought

Sometimes it can feel like your mind and body are completely separate from each other. Watch this lesson to find out about what the philosopher Descartes termed dualism, including its relationship to psychology and the types of dualism.

Two Early Approaches: Functionalism and Structuralism

5. Two Early Approaches: Functionalism and Structuralism

What were the first two approaches to psychology, and how were they related? What do introspection and evolutionary principles have to do with it? In this lesson, you'll explore structuralism and functionalism.

Evolutionary Theory's Applications to Learning

6. Evolutionary Theory's Applications to Learning

In this lesson you will learn about evolutionary theory's application to instinctual learning and human development through natural selection. There is a quiz to test your knowledge at the end.

Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

7. Natural Selection & Adaptation: Definition, Theory & Examples

How does natural selection help shape the amazing types of animals we witness around us? In this lesson, we'll explore adaptations and what they can tell us about a species' past evolution.

Three Later Approaches: Gestalt, Psychoanalysis and Behaviorism

8. Three Later Approaches: Gestalt, Psychoanalysis and Behaviorism

How was psychology studied in the early twentieth century? In this lesson, you'll look at three common approaches of the early twentieth century and get a sense of the diverse routes psychologists can take as they study how the mind works.

Psychological Specializations: Cognitive, Humanistic, Social, Developmental & Clinical

9. Psychological Specializations: Cognitive, Humanistic, Social, Developmental & Clinical

Psychologists today study behavior through five main specializations: cognitive, humanistic, social, developmental and clinical. In this lesson, you'll focus on the central ideas behind each approach.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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