history of psychology
By studying the history of psychology, a student gains perspective and a deeper understanding of modern psychology. Also, he or she will learn that sometimes sociocultural conditions determine what is emphasized in psychology.
1. Early development (Part-1)
The first use of the term "psychology" is often attributed to the German scholastic philosopher Rudolf Goeckel in 1590. More than six decades earlier, however, the Croatian humanist Marko Marulić used the term in the title of a work which was subsequently lost. This, of course, may not have been the very first usage, but it is the earliest documented use at present.
The term did not fall into popular usage until the German idealist philosopher, Christian Wolff (1679-1754) used it in his Psychologia empirica and Psychologia rationalis (1732-1734). This distinction between empirical and rational psychology was picked up in Diderot's Encyclopedie and was popularized in France by Maine de Biran.
The root of the word psychology (psyche) is very roughly equivalent to "soul" in Greek, and (ology) equivalent to "study". Psychology came to be considered a study of the soul (in a religious sense of this term) much later, in Christian times. Psychology as a medical discipline can be seen in Thomas Willis' reference to psychology (the "Doctrine of the Soul") in terms of brain function, as part of his 1672 anatomical treatise "De Anima Brutorum" ("Two Discourses on the Souls of Brutes"). Until about the end of the 19th century, psychology was regarded as a branch of philosophy.