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Psychological Approaches – The History of Psychology

5. Modern Perspectives

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This fifth and final lecture introduces the humanistic perspective, the cognitive psychological approach, and the social learning/cognitive behavioural approaches. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow were proponents that human beings are more than passive in their environment, with free will setting them aside from animals. Mr Fairholm then describes how the technological revolution in research enabled the evolution from behaviourist theories. These 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. The next part of this lecture brings to light Bandura’s development of behaviourism, proposing that a person is far more complicated than traditionally considered by behaviourism, within social learning theory. A key aspect of this is the notion that an individual can impact their environment and make decisions about it, as well as their environment impacting on them. The last part of this lecture highlights how live brain imaging can unlock a new perspective on brain functionality: cognitive neuroscience.


In this course, Mr Ian Fairholm (University of Bath) walks through the history of psychology and its evolution from philosophical beginnings to modern science. The first lecture describes the evolution of psychology as a philosophical entity, as it develops prior to Wundt opening the first psychology laboratory in 1879. The second lecture explores the scientific practices enabled by the technological developments of the 19th century, which provided the basis for the early psychological theory of structuralism. Lecture three introduces functionalism, a key development in psychology supported by Darwin’s theory of evolution. Lecture four brings to light early psychology as we know it today, in the form of behaviourism. The fifth and final lecture works through three key perspectives which developed on from or responded to 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. Mr Fairholm’s recent publications have included investigations into the female autistic profile, treating anxiety and depression with and without addiction, adults grieving the death of a pet, and Sigmund Freud’s research on religion. He has also published papers in the fields of parapsychology, neuropsychoanalysis, perception and neuropsychology.

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APA style

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

MLA style

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

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