Why take History and Systems?
There are a variety of reasons why you are taking this class. Maybe you are a psychology major fulfilling a requirement, or a psychology minor fulfilling a needed elective and this one is conveniently held online. Either way, you probably aren’t all that interested in taking this class. I know I wasn’t when I was an undergraduate. In fact, I didn’t even take this class. That being said, there are some reasons why this class is important and can be interesting. First, this class gives you a chance to take an in-depth look at the field of psychology. We’re essentially going to take the first chapter of any introduction to psychology course, and take a deeper look at it. We’re going to really study how psychology began and how the various ways of studying and understand psychology (e.g., behavioral, cognitive, gestalt) got their starts. This is important primarily because it will teach you to understand the context in which psychologists live and work, and how that context in turn influences their ideas and interpretations of experimental work. This becomes important as you move forward in your careers and encounter future psychological (and other scientific) findings. You will need to think critically about the context of the current era and future times to best understand them. As I am working on preparing this class for you, I am finding connections of my broader knowledge of psychology as a whole, to various ideas and the people who had them. I hope you will experience similar "Aha!" moments in this course.