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In the last 30 years, there has been a major cognitive revolution in psychology. The
focus of the field has become broader. Now we study not just the mental processes that
we engage in from day to day, but also we delve into how meaning is grasped through
our different languages and cultural practices. So today there are more scientific
methods in psychological practice focused on language and culture. It has become
clear that how we respond to stimuli psychologically is influenced by the language that
we speak and the culture we come from.

All types of psychological practice today are focused on looking into issues related to
our functioning every day, within social and cultural norms. This practical and
professional application of our field is extremely important in many parts of our lives.
Psychologists now work as advisors for businesses, nonprofits, government agencies,
the workplace, sports teams, and they also engage in research that is of great concern
for smaller populations, such as stress, dyslexia and autism.

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Of course, the earlier focus in the 20th and 19th centuries on psychoanalysis and
behaviorism still are important, the discipline of psychology today is developing in a way
that is taking in a broader scope of perspectives than ever in human history. There is no
one approach to psychology that will answer all questions, but it is a field that is
extremely multifaceted and has a great impact on society today.


Psychology did not become a separate discipline until the late 1800s. However, its early
history may be traced as far back as the early Greeks. In the 1600s, Rene Descartes
first introduced the concept of dualism. This idea stated that the mind and the body are
two distinct entities that work together to form the total human experience.
In the 1850s, a psychologist in Germany named Wilhelm Wundt first used research
methods to study reaction times. He published a book that explained the connections
between physiology and the study of human behavior and thinking. He then opened a
psychology lab in the 1870s in Germany, which was the first in the world. This opening
is thought to be the true beginning of psychology as a completely distinct discipline of

In the early 1900s, a doctor from Austria named Sigmund Freud really overhauled the
science of psychology in a big way. He proposed his new theory of personality that
stressed the vitality of the unconscious mind. His work with patients in the clinical arena
who had serious psychological problems led him to the belief that unconscious impulses
and experiences from childhood contribute to how we behave as adults.
Many of Freud’s theories are viewed skeptically in modern era, but he still had a major
impact on psychology.

Psychology had big changes in the early 1900s as behaviorism came to the forefront.
This school of thought rejected the conscious and unconscious mind, but focused
mostly on behavior that can be observed scientifically.
This form of psychology had its early start with Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. With
his experiments with dogs, he showed that behaviors may be learned through

Later in the 20th century, another school of thought known as humanistic psychology
became very important. The main focus of this school of thought was on conscious
experiences. The main founder of this branch of psychology was Carl Rogers. He
believed strongly in free will and self determination.
In the modern era, there is a focus on human experience, biological influences of
behavior, and also, as stated earlier, the impact of culture, society and language on


Earning a master’s degree in psychology is important because you have limited career
options with only your bachelor’s degree. If you want to practice as a school
psychologist, licensed counselor or an industrial-organizational psychologist, for
example, you will need to have your master’s degree. You also need at least your
master’s degree if you want to practice as a clinical psychologist under a senior clinical
psychologist with a doctorate. If you ever want to practice on your own, your master’s
degree will be a stepping stone to earning your doctoral degree.


You will learn about the expansive job options open to you in psychology with a master’s degree, including:

  • Mental health practice
  • Industrial-organizational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Education – from primary schools and secondary schools, to colleges

You also will learn about many of the fascinating psychology specializations that you
can study, such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, child development and
behavior neuroscience.

MasterInPsychologyGuide.com also provides details on colleges and universities where
you can earn your master’s in psychology. Also, learn about the latest news, jobs and
salaries in the psychology field with a master’s degree.

This site should serve only as a planning tool for you as you begin to think about
earning your master’s, and as you look for more information about this rewarding
career. We have worked to provide you with a massive amount of informational content
about master’s in psychology programs and the field in general, so you can make the
most informed career choice.

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– Ann Steele

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