Functionalism psychology or functional refers to a broad psychological philosophy which considers psychological behavior and life with regards to active adaptation for the person's surroundings. As such, it gives the general foundation for building psychological theories not quickly testable by managed experiments and for utilized psychology.
Functionalism arose within the U.S. in the late nineteenth century as an option to Structuralism (psychology). Although functionalism never became a official school, it created on structuralism's concern for that anatomy of the brain and resulted in greater concern on the functions of the mind, and afterwards to behaviorism.
Functionalism values practical research and empirical
thought, instead of the theoretical science of structuralism. Functionalism
investigates consciousness and how thought processes function. It additionally
considers how evolution chooses for certain psychological processes over
The model that mostly changed structuralism was referred to
as functionalism. William James agreed along with Titchner that the analysis of
consciousness has to be the main theme of psychology. However James disagreed
with structuralists search for fundamental elements of mind.
Instead James emphasized which psychologists must study the
way the mind functions. William James released a book titled 'Principles of
Psychology' in the nineteenth century, which promoted functionalism. James
agreed that consciousness is a continuous stream, a property of the brain that
constantly interacts with the environment. Via this interaction, humans learn
to adjust to their environment. For James, the functions of brain were more
essential than the structures of brain. Thus, his system has been rightly known
as functionalism in psychology.
Structuralism in psychology identifies the theory created by
Edward B. Titchener, depending on loose interpretations of the writings of
Edward B. Titchener created the theory of structuralism.
While he was a student of Wilhelm Wundt in the University of Leipzig,
Titchener's ideas on the way the mind worked were greatly influenced through
Wundt's theory of voluntarism and his ideas of association and apperception
(the passive and active combinations of elements of consciousness
respectively). Titchener tried to classify the structures of the brain, like
chemists classify the components of nature to the periodic table.
Titchener thought that the aim
of psychology was to research consciousness and mind. He defined consciousness
as the sum overall of mental encounter at any provided moment and the brain as
the accumulated experience of a life span.