Psychology and it’s Stages || Introduction to Psychology || Bcis Notes

Psychology and it's Stages || Introduction to Psychology || Bcis Notes

Introduction to Psychology

Psyche and Science = Psychology
Definition: Psychology refers to the science of behavior and mental processes. It is derived from two Greek words ‘psyche’ and ‘logos’ which means ‘soul’ and ‘discourse’ respectively. It has different definitions from different scientists from a different perspective. There is a different perception of psychology and stages.

Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior and cognitive processes.

According to Edwin boring (1939) “What is a man? To this question, psychology seeks an answer.”

Psychology and stages
There are 4 stages and they are as follows:
• Philosophical stage
• Structural stage
• Behavioral stage
• Modern stage

1.Philosophical stage (Soul/Mind)


  • Before 300 B.C., the ancient Greek naturalist and philosopher Aristotle
    (384-322 BC) theorized about learning and memory, emotion and motivation, perception and personality.
  • Aristotle used the term ‘psyche’ to refer to the essence of life.
  • Plato, another philosopher’s (427-347 BC) is equally respected in defining it as a science of ‘soul’. They never tried to define it as a science. Psychology and stages give a modern definition of psychology.

Later it was felt that ‘soul’ has no physical existence. It has an unscientific characteristic that could not be experimented with. So psychologists translate ‘psyche’ as mind and ‘psychology’ as a study of the mind. However, it was neglected because of:
 It was not clear whether it was a positive or normative science.
 The study of mind talked only covert behavior which is contemporary psychology.

2.Structural stage (Consciousness)

  • Wilheim Wundt (1832-1920BC) is called the father of psychology as he developed the first lab of psychology in Leipzig, Germany.
  • Structuralism in psychology (also structural psychology) is introspection and the awareness of subjective experiment developed by Wilheim Wundt and his student Titchener.
  • This theory was challenged in the 20th century. It is debated who deserves the credit for finding this field of psychology, but it is widely accepted that Wundt created the foundation and expanded.
  • Structuralism as a school of psychology seeks to analyze the adult mind (the total sum of experience from birth to the present) in terms of the simplest definable components and then to find how these components fit together to form more complex experiences as well as how they correlate to physical events.


  • Consciousness is selective to an individual’s motive.
  • It is dynamic and changeable so, we cannot read the same state of mind again and study.

Behavioral stage:

  • JB Watson is recognized for defining psychology as the behavioral approach. Behaviourism refers to a psychological approach that emphasizes scientific and objective methods of investigation.
  • The approach is only concerned with observable stimulus-response behaviors and states all behaviors are learned through interaction with the environment.
  • Meaning of Behavior: Behavior is the sum total activity of a person that reflects directly or indirectly. behavior includes anything of a person or animal which can be observed in some way. The term behavior includes all the motor, cognitive and affected activities. It includes both overt and covert behavior.
    a. Overt – behavior that can be observed directly. (Facial expression, gesture)
    b. Covert – Internal Subjective Experiences or measured through special instruments or techniques. such as Sensation, Thought, Emotions, Feelings, and Motives that others cannot directly observe


  • Every detail study of human behavior is not possible to study. It cannot be predicted through animal behavior because they differ in many aspects.
  • It takes a very narrow scope of psychology.

You may also like: Modern Stage of Psychology

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