This short excerpt from the beginning of Wundt’s Outlines of Psychology, 1897, discusses the starting point of the discipline of psychology as an empirical discipline. Wilhelm Wundt opened the Institute for Experimental Psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879.  This was the first laboratory dedicated to psychological research, and its opening marks […]

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Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that emphasizes the study of the whole person. Humanistic psychologists look at human behavior not only through the eyes of the observer, but through the eyes of the person who acts, thinks, or experiences the world. They believe that an individual’s behavior cannot be separated from her feelings, her […]

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This is an extract from a short text by Gordon Allport (Becoming, 1955) subtitled: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality. In these passages, the human being is seen as characterized by a process of individuation (personal) and socialization (tribal). According to the vision of the human being held by Gordon Allport: “All his life. […]

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Abraham Maslow has become famous as a psychologist for his “hierarchy of needs.” He focuses more on the healthy personality, rather than on forms of psychopathology. He belongs to the tradition of existential-humanistic thinking in America. These extracts from texts written in the middle of the 20th century have not lost any of their insight […]

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During the years 1960-1963 Stanley Milgram carried out some experiments on obedience while working in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. Years later, in 1972-1973, he was granted a Fellowship and, while living in Paris, he wrote a book about the results and reflections on those experiments that had already been presented in a […]

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What happens when a creative and original psychologist like Carl Rogers writes down his ideas about learning? The following two excerpts are from his book: , published in 1969. The contains basic ideas on learning from a humanistic perspective, taking the whole person into account. Personal Thoughts on Teaching and Learning (1952) I wish to […]

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How do we know what constitutes “normality” or mental illness? Conventional wisdom suggests that specially trained professionals have the ability to make reasonably accurate diagnoses. In the research described below, however, David Rosenhan provides evidence to challenge this assumption. What is — or is not –“normal” may have much to do with the labels that […]

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