The school of thought means a particular way of thinking. It is a set of ideas or opinions about a matter that are shared by a group of people. In psychology also there are different ideas and opinions about the concept of mind and behavior. The important schools of psychology are the following

  1. Structuralism
  2. Functionalism
  3. Behaviourism
  4. Psycho Analysis
  5. Gestalt Psychology
  6. Humanist psychology.


 Key Personnel:

–      Wilhelm Wundt, Titchener, Weber, Fechner

Important points:

–      Structuralism is the study of the elements of consciousness

–      It is the analysis of the structure of consciousness

–      It says every event in mind leads to a corresponding event in the body.

–      The mind is the sum total of the mental experiences such as thoughts, feelings, sensation, attention, imagination, knowledge etc.

–      Wilhelm Wundt is the founder of structuralism.


Key Personnel:

–      William James, the father of American psychology.

–      Chicago functionalists: Dewey, Angell, Carr

–      Columbia functionalist: Thorndike, Cattle, Wood Worth

Important points:

–      Functionalism is the study of the functions of mind in adapting the individual to his environment.

–      It is concerned with the nature and functions of mental process.

–      Functionalists believe that the mind and body are intrinsically one, the body affects the mind and the mind affects the body.


Key Personnel:

–      Watson, Skinner, Pavlov, plowman and hull 

–      J.B Watson an American psychologists is the founder of behaviorism.

Important points:

–      According to behaviorism psychology is to elaborate, control and predict behavior.

–      Behaviorism is the science of stimulus and response.

–      It is the study of receptors, the sensory organs and effectors, the muscles and nerves.

–      It is the study of overt or observable behavior.

–      Behaviorism explains the association between stimulus and response.

–      Environmental forces are the important determinants of behavior.

–      All behaviors are learned behaviours.

–      Behaviours generate as a result of interaction between individual and environment.

 Psycho Analysis:

Key personnel:

–      Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, Adler, Jung, Erikson and Hartman

–      Sigmund Freud is the father of psycho analysis.

 Important points:

–      It is the study of behavior through the analysis of unconscious mental processes.

–      It utilizes the methods force association and dream analysis.

–      Human mind has three parts: conscious mind, unconscious mind and pre- conscious mind.

–      Structure of personality develops as a result of the development process and socialization.

–      There are three aspects of personality; Id, Ego and Superego.

–      Core personality of a person develops in the childhood itself.