• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Via 100 entries, 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook highlights the most important topics, issues, questions, and debates any student obtaining a degree in the field of psychology ought to have mastered for effectiveness in the 21st century. This two-volume reference resource, available both in print and online, provides an authoritative source to serve students’ research needs with more detailed information than encyclopedia entries but without the jargon, detail, or density found in a typical journal article or a research handbook chapter. Students will find chapters contained within these volumes useful as aids toward starting research for papers, presentations, or a senior thesis, assisting in deciding on areas for elective coursework or directions for graduate studies, or orienting themselves toward potential career directions in psychology.

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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