Chapter 1: Psychology Before 1900 Next Chapter

Ludy T. Benjamin Jr.

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 1: Psychology Before 1900

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Psychology Before 1900
Psychology before 1900

In earliest times, basic forms of psychology were practiced by priests, shamans, wizards, seers, medicine men, sorcerers, and enchanters, all of whom offered some blend of magic, religion, and herbal remedies to ease the physical and mental suffering of their patients. These early efforts evolved into the current fields of medicine, religion, and psychology, with a residual overlap of influence among the three. Psychology continued its gradual evolution until the 19th century, one that saw significant changes in this field.

The specific focus of this chapter will be on five forms of American psychology during this period, with some coverage of their European roots. The first is popular psychology, or what might be called the psychology of the people, or public ...

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