PSY 3019: History and Systems of Psychology


This course explores the historical, philosophical, and scientific roots of modern psychology, including the people, cultural aspects, and events that shaped the evolution of psychology.


  1. Explain the importance of studying the history of psychology.
  2. Differentiate between internal and external history, personalistic and naturalistic approaches, and primary and secondary sources.
  3. Understand the general “past” of psychology (i.e. philosophical roots).
  4. Describe the role of Rene Descartes in psychology’s evolution and his major contributions (i.e., reflex).
  5. Explain the major contributions and perspectives of other British empiricists, including George Berkeley, David Hume, and David Hartley.
  6. Analyze Charles Darwin’s major contributions to science, as well as the context in which these were established.
  7. Describe the key events and persons involved in establishing psychology in the United States.
  8. Explain key points from William James’ “Principles of Psychology,” including his views on the definition of psychology, consciousness, habits, emotions, and methodologies in psychology.
  9. Outline the major issues facing women and minority group members pursuing psychology degrees in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  10. Summarize the major achievements and contributions of Ivan Pavlov, John Watson, Edward Tolman, and B.F. Skinner within behaviorism.
  11. Explain how major areas of psychology (e.g., behaviorism, cognitive psychology, humanistic psychology, clinical psychology) emerged and the context surrounding each.
  12. Describe how the Enlightenment period impacted the treatment of mental illness, the Asylum Movement, and early reforms of asylums.
  13. Analyze the strengths and limitations of Franz Anton Mesmer’s contributions to the field.
  14. Describe Sigmund Freud’s background, including his early life and education, early psychoanalysis and its major aspects, and the evolution of psychoanalysis.
  15. Summarize the evolution of clinical psychology and mental illness treatment in the United States.




A history of modern psychology (Rev: 4)

Publisher: Wiley (2012)
Author: Goodwin, C. J.
ISBN: 978-1-118-01145-4
Price: (No information available)

* Disclaimer: Textbooks listed are based on the last open revision of the course. Prior revisions and future revisions may use different textbooks. To verify textbook information, view the course syllabus or contact Student Services at