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A History of Psychology

Fourth Edition

John G. Benjafield

Publication Date - 12 April 2015

ISBN: 9780199007929

528 pages
7.0 x 9.0 inches

In Stock


A History of Psychology explores the fascinating story of psychology as a discipline while also discussing how thinkers and eras are linked to one another. Placing historical events within philosophical, social, and cultural contexts, this text invites students to develop a full understanding of how the field of psychology developed and is practiced today.


  • Coverage of Canada's historical contributions to the discipline ensures students are aware of this country's role in the history of psychology.
  • Written in an engaging, accessible style, the text draws students into the study of the history of psychology and provides them with the required background to understand theoretical systems.
  • A chronological organization - tracing thinkers from antiquity to modern times - highlights connections between psychological thinkers and psychologists, their works, and the social factors that influenced their ideas.
  • Introductory chapter discusses the importance of studying the history of the discipline, outlines some of the alternative ways one might approach it, and offers greater theoretical perspective when discussing the goals and methodology of the discipline.
  • An engaging art program features more than 40 photographs of key thinkers and psychologists.

About the Author(s)

John G. Benjafield, Retired Professor,

John G. Benjafield is professor emeritus at Brock University, where he taught cognition and the history of psychology for over 30 years. He is currently a Fellow of both the Canadian Psychology Association and the American Psychological Society and has written extensively, including the first three editions of OUP's Cognition.

Table of Contents

    1. Psychology and History
    Studying the History of Psychology
    The New History of Psychology
    The New History of Science
    Feminism and the Psychology of Women
    Psychology as a Social Construction
    Reconciling the "Old" and "New" Histories of Psychology
    2. Touchstones: The Origins of Psychological Thought
    Pythagoras (570-495 BC)
    Plato (427-347 BC)
    Lao-tzu (sixth century BC)
    Aristotle (384-323 BC)
    Averroes (1126-98) and the Re-introduction of Aristotle into European Thought
    St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and the Medieval View of the Universe
    3. Touchstones: From Descartes to Darwin
    Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
    Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
    The British Empiricists: John Locke (1602-1704), George Berkeley (1685-1753), and David Hume (1711-1776)
    James Mill (1773-1836) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
    Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
    Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
    Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
    4. The Nineteenth-Century Transformation of Psychology
    J.F. Herbart (1776-1841)
    G.T. Fechner (1801-1887)
    Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1884)
    Francis Galton (1822-1911)
    Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
    5. Wundt and His Contemporaries
    Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
    Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909)
    The Wurzburg School
    6. William James
    The Principles of Psychology
    7. Freud and Jung
    The Unconscious
    Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
    Anna Freud (1895-1982)
    Karen Horney (1885-1952) and the Psychology of Women
    C.G. Jung (1875-1961)
    8. Structure or Function?
    Edward B. Titchener (1867-1927)
    John Dewey (1859-1952)
    Robert S. Woodworth (1869-1962)
    Intelligence Testing
    Psychology in Business
    Comparative Psychology
    9. Behaviourism
    Ivan P. Pavlov (1849-1936)
    Vladimir M. Bekhterev (1857-1927)
    John B. Watson (1878-1958)
    Karl S. Lashley (1890-1958)
    B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)
    10. Gestalt Psychology and the Social Field
    Max Wertheimer (1880-1943)
    Wolfgang Kohler (1887-1967)
    Kurt Koffka (1886-1941)
    Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) and the Emergence of Social Psychology
    Fritz Heider (1896-1988)
    Leon Festinger (1919-1989)
    Solomon Asch (1907-1996)
    Stanley Milgram (1933-1984)
    Kurt Goldstein (1878-1965)
    11. Research Methods
    Philosophy of Science
    Experimental Methods
    R.A. Fisher (1890-1962)
    Correlational Methods
    Charles Spearman (1863-1945)
    Cyril Burt (1883-1971)
    Louis Leon Thurstone (1887-1955)
    Lee J. Cronbach (1916-2001) and "The Two Disciplines of Scientific Psychology"
    Qualitative Research Methods
    12. Theories of Learning
    Ernest R. Hilgard (1904- 2001)
    E.R. Guthrie (1886-1959)
    Clark L. Hull (1884-1952)
    Kenneth W. Spence (1907-1967)
    Charles E. Osgood (1916-1991)
    E.C. Tolman (1886-1959)
    The Verbal-Learning Tradition
    D.O. Hebb (1904-1985)
    Albert Bandura (1925-)
    13. The Developmental Point of View
    G. Stanley Hall (1884-1924)
    James Mark Baldwin (1861-1934)
    Heinz Werner (1890-1964)
    Jean Piaget (1896-1980) and Barbel Inhelder (1913-97)
    L. S. Vygotsky (1896-1934)
    Erik H. Erikson (1902-94)
    Eleanor J. Gibson (1910-2002)
    14. Humanistic Psychology
    The Emergence of Humanistic Psychology
    Charlotte Malachowski Buhler (1893-1974)
    Rollo May (1909-1994)
    Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970)
    Carl R. Rogers (1902-1987)
    What Happened to Humanistic Psychology?
    George A. Kelly (1905-1967)
    15. Cognitive Psychology
    The Concept of "Information"
    Noam Chomsky (1928- )
    George A. Miller (1920- )
    Jerome S. Bruner (1915- )
    Sir Frederic Bartlett (1886-1969)
    Ulric Neisser (1928-2012)
    Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001)
    16. The Future of Psychology
    Does Psychology Have Paradigms?
    Why Have So Many Psychologists Found the Paradigm Concept Congenial?
    Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) and the Language of Psychology
    Psychology, Modernism, and Postmodernism
    The Future of the History of Psychology