For the last few weeks, you have followed the many paths leading to modern psychology. The challenge so far has been the diverse viewpoints of the mind and behavior. Two important influences emerged in the late 19th century and they are the emergence of understanding brain function and the influence of hereditary. Francis Galton described human intelligence as being associated with social stature. For instance, it was thought someone with a family background of royalty, science, and medicine would breed more persons of genius than an individual of lower social status. Galton’s ideas were in part developed due to his cousin’s work on understanding evolution. That cousin was none other than Charles Darwin. Psychology as a science was just beginning at this time with little unification on not only understanding behavior but how to even go about studying it.
- Explain the rationale behind Galton’s ideas regarding heredity. From current understandings of hereditary traits, genetics and human behavior explain the major issues regarding Galton’s work.
- Why did the ideas of Darwin and others like him have a prominent influence on psychology at the time? Explain the strengths and weaknesses of evolution and natural selection with regard to social theory and psychology.
- What were the differences and similarities between Wundt and Titchener’s structuralism and Act psychology? Explain why the psychology of Wundt, and especially Titchener, did not last.