chapter
27 Pages

Historical perspectives

Psychology as the study of … what?

In terms of histories psychology's subject matter s defined differently by different schools of thought or theoretical approaches, which have developed over time. There can be little argument regarding the fact that what we understand by 'Psychology' has changed over time; this reflects the various schools of thought or theoretical perspectives: Structuralism, Functionalism/Pragmatism, Behaviourism, Cognitive Psychology, and so on., that have emerged, sometimes as direct challenges to pre-existing approaches, or co-existing. Revisionist historians of Psychology use history to criticize the status quo – challenging the ceremonial/celebratory history that supports it. A feminist revision is a social and political movement that arose outside Psychology. Feminist Psychologists, therefore, criticise Psychology as a discipline – its methods, theories, and applications – from a feminist perspective. Beatrice Edgell was the first British woman to obtain a PhD in Psychology. She established one of the first psychological laboratories in the country.