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Video: Etymology and Definitions

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Video Transcript – Etymology and Definitions

The word psychology derives from Greek roots meaning study of the psyche, or soul (ψυχή psychē, “breath, spirit, soul” and -λογία -logia, “study of” or “research”). The Latin word psychologia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist Marko Marulić in his book, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th century.[9] The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694 in The Physical Dictionary which refers to “Anatomy, which treats the Body, and Psychology, which treats of the Soul.”

In 1890, William James defined psychology as “the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions”. This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watson, who in his 1913 manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior. Also since James defined it, the term more strongly connotes techniques of scientific experimentation. Folk psychology refers to the understanding of ordinary people, as contrasted with that of psychology professionals.


The above video and transcript use material from the Wikipedia articles “Introduction to Psychology” and “Psychology“, which are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Sources:

  1. Introduction to Psychology. (n.d.). In Wikibooks. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Psychology
  2. Psychology. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology

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