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Psychological Approaches – The History of Psychology

5. Modern Perspectives

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In this lecture, we think about the humanistic perspective, the cognitive psychological approach, and the social learning/cognitive behavioural approaches, focusing in particular on: (i) Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow as proponents that human beings are more than passive in their environment, with free will setting them aside from animals; (ii) how the technological revolution in research enabled the evolution from behaviourist theories; (iii) how theories prescribed to the idea that the ‘correct’ inputs would result in the ‘correct’ outputs from the human brain, which developed into a much more complex perspective and breadth of study with the advent of the digital computer; (iv) Bandura’s development of early behaviourism, by proposing that a person is far more complicated than was traditionally considered, into social learning theory; (v) the notion that an individual can impact their environment and make decisions about it, as well as their environment impacting on them; (vi) how live brain imaging can unlock a new perspective on brain functionality in the form of cognitive neuroscience.


Cognitive Neuroscience – The study of the biological processes which underlie cognition. It specifically focuses on neural connections in the brain which are involved in mental processes. It aims to explain how cognitive activity is controlled by neural networks.


In this course, Mr Ian Fairholm (University of Bath) explores the history of psychology and its evolution from philosophical beginnings to modern science. In the first lecture, we think about the evolution of psychology as a philosophical entity, as it develops prior to Wundt opening the first psychology laboratory in 1879. In the second lecture, we explore the scientific practices enabled by the technological developments of the 19th century, which provided the basis for the early psychological theory of structuralism. In the third lecture, we think about functionalism, a key development in psychology supported by Darwin’s theory of evolution. Next, we bring to light early psychology as we know it today, in the form of behaviourism. In the fifth and final lecture, we work through three key perspectives which developed on from behaviourism: humanistic psychology, cognitive psychology, and social learning theory.


Mr Ian Fairholm is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. One of his research areas of interest is the history of psychology and the issues, debates and approaches that surround the subject. Some of Mr Fairholm’s recent publications include 'Looking back: Freud, the libido and oxytocin' (2014) and 'Issues, debates and approaches in psychology' (2012).

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APA style

Fairholm, I. (2022, January 05). Psychological Approaches – The History of Psychology - Modern Perspectives [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Fairholm, I. "Psychological Approaches – The History of Psychology – Modern Perspectives." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Jan 2022,

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