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Course Overview 
Welcome to your Capella University online course, PSY7113 – History and Systems of Psychology 
This course is designed to help you become well acquainted with the theorists and important schools
of thought that have collectively led to our modern conceptualization of psychology. Many of the
names and ideas will be familiar to you, and you may only dimly recognize others. Some may be
entirely unknown to you. In any case, the names and ideas that will be presented are of interest not
only in their own right, but they will also allow you to better envision the journey from early
speculation about human nature to the experimental and technological approaches common today.

As we will see, many of the questions posed by the ancient philosophers are still being examined
and debated now, while other questions entirely unknown to our predecessors are also vying for our
attention. Technology has allowed us to explore the human brain and nervous systems in ways that
would have been impossible only a few decades ago. As we look back at the ideas of these early
thinkers, some may strike us as amusing, foolish, or irrelevant. It would be interesting to know how
the psychologists of the future will view the ideas we currently hold to be valid. What concepts and
formulations will stand the test of time, which will be replaced by better explanations, and which will
be seen as amusing, foolish, or irrelevant?

Course Competencies 
To successfully complete this course, you will be expected to:
1. Identify the great philosophers and thinkers whose ideas have led to the formulation of modern psychology. 
2. List the names of major thinkers and describe their contributions within the history of psychology. 
3. Discuss the major schools of thought that have emerged within the field. 
4. Describe the emergence and usefulness of the empirical method, and acknowledge the forerunners of this approach. 
5. Trace the emergence of various specializations in psychology and the influence of the major schools of thought within
each specialization. 
6. Critically evaluate the tenets of historical propositions, and understand their emergence as a function of the social,
political, and religious climate of their times. 
7. Articulate your own personal, eclectic perspective within the field of psychology, using your knowledge of the history
of the various people, theories, and systems that have evolved over the centuries. 


Course requirements include the following major independent measures of learner competency.
Learning Activity Weights and Scoring Guides 
Activity  Weight  Scoring Guide 
Attributes and Evaluation of Discussion
1. Discussion Participation  30% 
Contributions . 
2. Psychological Specialization Components  70% 
u02a1: Topic  10%  Topic Scoring Guide . 
u04a1: Annotated Bibliography  10%  Annotated Bibliography Scoring Guide . 
u06a1: Annotated Outline  10%  Annotated Outline Scoring Guide . 
u08a1: Paper Draft  10%  Paper Draft Scoring Guide . 
u10a1: Final Psychological Specialization Final Psychological Specialization Paper Scoring
Paper  Guide . 
Total: 100% 

Final Course Grade 
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A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
F = 69% and below

Course Materials 
The materials listed below are required to complete the learning activities in this course. Unless
noted otherwise, the materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Virtual
Bookstore. To purchase these materials, visit the bookstore and select your school and course ID.

Hunt, M. (2007). The story of psychology . New York, NY: Anchor Books. ISBN 9780307278074.

The following required readings are provided for you in the Capella University Library or linked
directly in this course. To find library resources, use the Journal and Book Locator tool found on the
library home page.

Baker, K. D., & Ray, M. (2011). Online counseling: The good, the bad, and the possibilities .
Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 24 (4), 341–346.

These required articles are available on the Internet. Please note that URLs change frequently. While
the URLs were current when this course was designed, some may no longer be valid. If you cannot
access a specific link, contact your instructor for an alternative URL. Permissions for the following
links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course

American Psychological Association. (2015). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct .
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/principles.pdf

Clarke, A., & Suler, J. (2002). The future of online psychotherapy and clinical work . Retrieved from

The following optional materials are offered to provide you with a better understanding of the topics in this course. These
materials are not required to complete the course. 

Optional Books 
Use the Journal and Book Locator tool to see if the library has access to the book or the How Do I
Find Books? library guide for additional options.

Allport, G. W. (1965). Pattern and growth in personality . New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Aristotle. (2012). Aristotle's psychology: A treatise on the principle of life (W. A. Hammond, Trans.).
London, UK: Forgotten Books.

Aronson, E. (1988). The social animal . New York, NY: W. H. Freeman.

Beck, A. T. (1967). Depression: Clinical, experimental and theoretical aspects . New York, NY: Hoeber.

Boring, E. G. (1950). A history of experimental psychology . New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Brennan, J. F. (1997). Readings in the history and systems of psychology . Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Prentice Hall.

Cannon, W. (1932). The wisdom of the body . New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

Cattell, R. B. (1957). Personality and motivation structure and measurement . Younkers, NY: World
Book Company.

Darwin, C. (1965). The expressions of emotions in man and animals . Chicago, IL: University of
Chicago Press.
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Dollard, J., & Miller, N. E. (1950). Personality and psychotherapy . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society . New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Freud, S. (2000). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vols.
1–24). London, UK: Hogarth Press.

Galton, F. (1962). Hereditary genius: An inquiry into its laws and consequences . Cleveland, OH:
World Publishing.

Hall, G. S. (1904). Adolescence . New York, NY: Appleton.

Hebb, D. O. (1949). The organization of behavior: A neuropsychological theory . New York, NY: Wiley.

Hull, C. L. (1943). Principles of behavior: An introduction to behavior theory . New York, NY: Appleton-

James, W. (1890). Principles of psychology . New York, NY: Henry Holt.

Jung, C. G. (1968). Analytical psychology: Its theory and practice . New York, NY: Vintage Books.

Leahey, T. H. (1997). A history of psychology . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Locke, J. (2001). An essay concerning human understanding . Kitchener, Canada: Batoche Books.

Münsterberg, H. (1908). On the witness stand . New York, NY: Clark, Boardman.

Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and personality . New York, NY: Harper and Row.

Piaget, J. (1948). The moral judgment of the child . New York, NY: Free Press.

Rogers, C. (1980). A way of being . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism . New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Storr, A. (Ed.). (1983). The essential Jung . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Terman, L. M. (1916). The measurement of intelligence . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Thorndike, E. L. (1911). Animal intelligence . New York, NY: Macmillan.

Watson, J. B. (1919). Psychology from the standpoint of a behaviorist . Philadelphia, PA: J. B.


Whorf, B. L. (1956). Language, thought and reality . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

de Laszlo, V. S. (Ed.). (1959). The basic writings of C. G. Jung . New York, NY: The Modern Library.

Optional Web Sites 
Please note that URLs change frequently. While the URLs were current when this course was
designed, some may no longer be valid. If you cannot access a specific link, contact your instructor
for an alternative URL. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed
appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

Aristotle. (1930). On memory and reminiscence . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/


Bandura, A., Ross, R., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of
aggressive models . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Bandura/bobo.htm

Bruner, J. S. & Goodman, C. C. (1947). Value and need as organizing factors in perception . Retrieved
from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Bruner/Value/

Festinger, L. & Carlsmith, J. M. (1959). Cognitive consequence of forced compliance . Retrieved from

Freud, S. (1910). The origin and development of psychoanalysis . Retrieved from http://

Harlow, H. F. (1958). The nature of love . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Harlow/


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James, W. (1884). What is an emotion? Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/James/

James, W. (1892). The stream of consciousness . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/James/


Köhler, W. (1959). Gestalt psychology today . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Kohler/


Münsterberg, H. (1925). On the witness stand: Essays on psychology and crime . Retrieved from

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/


Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for
processing information . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Miller/

Minton, H. L. (1998). Introduction to "New methods for the diagnosis of the intellectual level of
subnormals ." Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Binet/intro.htm

Skinner, B. F. (1948). "Superstition" in the pigeon . Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/


Wozniak, R. H. (1999). Introduction to "Elemente der psychophysik ." Retrieved from http://

Wozniak, R. H. (1999). Introduction to "Hereditary genius ." Retrieved from http://


Wozniak, R. H. (1999). Introduction to "The principles of psychology ." Retrieved from http://

Wundt, W. (1904). Principles of physiological psychology . Retrieved from http://


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Unit 1 Origins of Psychology – Ancient Greek to 18th Century European Thought 
1. Discuss the ideas of the major Greek and European philosophers.
2. Critically evaluate the concepts and explanations of prescientific psychology.
3. Discuss the origins of modern psychological principles.

Unit 2 The Rise of Physiological Psychology and Introspection 
1. Explain the importance of introspection as a method and as a precursor to certain therapeutic practices.
2. Apply critical thinking and analysis to early theoretical viewpoints, and speculate on their contribution to
modern psychological thought.
3. Analyze the contributions made to the field of psychology by early researchers in physiological structure and
4. Discuss the concepts of psychophysics, sensation, and perception and their influence on the development of
contemporary psychology.

Unit 3 William James and Sigmund Freud 
1. Explain the major components of Jamesian theory.
2. Explain the major components of Freudian theory.
3. Compare and contrast the ideas of James, Freud, and Wundt in regard to conscious experience.
4. Critically evaluate one or more aspect of psychoanalytic theory.

Unit 4 The Measurement Approach and the Behavioral Movement in America 
1. Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of a measurement approach to testing.
2. Provide a critical analysis of the eugenics policy, as advocated by Galton and others.
3. Describe the major experiments that lead to the formation of behavioral psychology.
4. Critically evaluate the benefits and shortcomings of behaviorism.

Unit 5 Gestalt Psychology and the Rise of the Psychology of Personality 
1. Describe the methods and major results of the Gestalt psychologists.
2. Evaluate the usefulness of insight as an alternative form of learning.
3. Discuss the diverse theoretical explanations of personality formation and development.
4. Critically evaluate the various personality assessment devices.
5. Develop an individual, eclectic model of personality from the theories offered.

Unit 6 Developmental and Social Psychology 
1. Describe the methods and major results of cognitive developmental theory.
2. Synthesize the various theoretical ideas presented in the development chapter into a unified viewpoint.
3. Critically evaluate the issue of deception with the ethical issues pertinent to social psychology.

Unit 7 Perception, Motivation, and Emotion 
1. Explain the importance of the perceptual constancies in everyday experiences.
2. Analyze the contributions made to the field of psychology by early researchers into emotion, including James
and Cannon.
3. Describe the work by Schachter and Singer, and address the implications for modern cognitive psychology.

Unit 8 Cognitive Psychology and the Psychotherapists 
1. Discuss the similarities and differences between the workings of the human brain and the workings of the
2. Discuss various models of human memory.
3. Explain how the areas of psychology, biology, and computer science have merged into a new field.

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4. Apply critical thinking and analysis to the ideas contained within the various theoretical explanations of
abnormal behavior and treatment.

Unit 9 Uses and Misuses of Psychology – Psychology as It Is Viewed Today 
1. List several areas within the field of psychology where actual or potential misuse of psychological knowledge is
2. Be familiar with the APA code of conduct and the penalties for rule violations.
3. Defend or refute the position that psychology is a "safe" science.

Unit 10 Where We Came From, Where We Are, and Where We Might Be Going 
1. Discuss the future direction of psychological research and application.
2. Apply the ideas and concepts within the field into a personal portrait of yourself as a developing psychologist.

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