Biography of a Key Psychological Figure

Brief Paper (3–4 pages)

William James came from a wealthy family. His home had seen illustrious figures such as writer Henry David Thoreau enter its halls. G. Stanley Hall, on the other hand, came from a farming background. As a young man, he had neither the money nor the connections to travel to Europe to study with other theorists. How might the experiences of these two key figures have influenced their philosophical assumptions, worldviews, and values? In turn, what might the connections have been between these developing attitudes and these key figures’ psychological ideas?

For this week’s Assignment, choose a theorist or other key figure from the field of psychology who you believe made a significant contribution to the field of psychology. Write a brief biography of your chosen theorist that includes the following:

  1. The individual’s central contribution to the field of psychology
  2. The relationship between the individual’s philosophical assumptions, worldviews, and values and his or her psychological ideas
  3. The individual’s affiliation with a particular school of thought (e.g., structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism)

Required Readings

Benjamin, L. T.  (2019). A brief history of modern psychology (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

  • Chapter 4, “Origins of Scientific Psychology in America” (pp. 51-67)

Croce, P. J. (2010). Reaching beyond Uncle William: A century of William James in theory and in life. History of Psychology13(4), 351–377.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Fallace, T. D. (2008). John Dewey and the savage mind: Uniting anthropological, psychological and pedagogical thought, 1894–1902. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences44(4), 335–349.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Sutton, E. K. (2012). Interpreting “mind-cure”: William James and the chief task . . . of the science of human nature. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences48(2), 115–133.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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