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General Education  

Last Updated: Nov 6, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Historical Theories

  • Individuation
    From The Edinburgh International Encyclopaedia of Psychoanalysis
    As a scientific term, this was used by Jung to describe the core concept of his psychological theory.
  • Mesmerism
    From Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought
    The idea of mesmerism was the invention of Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 - 1815). In his medical doctoral dissertation on the effects of the planets on human behaviour, he put forward the idea of animal gravitation: the force, he claimed, which was responsible for planetary influence on human actions.
  • Phrenology
    From The Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science
    Phrenology, now an outmoded theory of personality, originated with the speculations of the physician-anatomist Franz Joseph Gall (1758–1828).
  • Humor
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    According to ancient theory, any of four bodily fluids that determined human health and temperament. Hippocrates postulated that an imbalance among the humors (blood, phlegm.

General History

  • Bedlam
    From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
    Originally, a lunatic asylum or madhouse, and hence a place of hubbub and confusion. The priory of St Mary of Bethlehem outside Bishopsgate, London, was founded in 1247 and began to receive lunatics in 1377.
  • Key Dates in Psychology, 1846-1992
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide
    1846 E H Weber reports on his pioneering quantitative investigations of touch in On Touch and Common Sensibility...
  • Psychology in the Ancient World
    From Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
    One of the greatest accomplishments of ancient science was the discovery of the human psyche. Psychology, the study of the psyche (soul), was largely brought about by Greek philosophers...
  • Psychology in the Early Twentieth Century
    From Science in the Early Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia
    Modern psychology was born in the late nineteenth century with efforts to turn it from a philosophical pursuit into a rigorous scientific discipline.

Historical Treatments

  • Acupuncture: Topic Page
    Technique of traditional Chinese medicine, in which a number of very fine metal needles are inserted into the skin at specially designated points.
  • Bloodletting
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Also called bleeding, practice of drawing blood from the body in the treatment of disease. General bloodletting consists of the abstraction of blood by incision into an artery (arteriotomy) or vein (venesection, or phlebotomy).
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): Topic Page
    In psychiatry, treatment of mood disorders by means of electricity; the broader term "shock therapy" also includes the use of chemical agents.
  • Exorcism
    From The Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science
    An exorcism is a ritual, formalized by the Catholic Church during the seventeenth century, performed on a person exhibiting signs of demonic possession. Possession is said to occur when the Devil enters and takes over the physical and mental faculties of the victim.
  • Hydrotherapy
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Use of water in the treatment of illness or injury. Although the medicinal and hygienic value of water was recognized by the early Greeks, hydrotherapy attained its widest use in the 18th and 19th cent. through the practice of the British physician Sir John Floyer and an Austrian peasant, Vincenz Priessnitz.
  • Insulin coma therapy
    From Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Psychology
    A now defunct form of physical treatment, at one time advocated for schizophrenia patients, in which patients were repeatedly administered insulin (see s. 2) in order to induce a comatose state.
  • Lobotomy
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Surgical procedure for cutting nerve pathways in the frontal lobes of the brain. The operation has been performed on mentally ill patients whose behavioral patterns were not improved by other forms of treatment.
  • Psychosurgery
    From The Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science
    Psychosurgery, by definition, implies the destruction of brain tissue for the relief of severe, persistent, and debilitating psychiatric symptomatology.


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Historical Disorders

  • Hysteria: Topic Page
    In psychology, a disorder commonly known today as conversion disorder, in which a psychological conflict is converted into a bodily disturbance.
  • Lunacy
    From Chamber's Dictionary of the Unexplained
    A form of insanity once thought to come with the changes in the moon.
  • Idiot
    From Encyclopedia of Special Education: A Reference for the Education of the Handicapped and Other Exceptional Children and Adults
    Idiot is an archaic term used from the turn of the century through the 1950s to denote an individual with mental retardation whose measured IQ fell below 25 or 30. It (...) was used comparatively with lesser degrees of retardation (i.e., imbecile and moron).
  • Madness
    From Science in the Enlightenment: An Encyclopedia
    Neither theories of madness nor treatment of the mad changed greatly for most of the eighteenth century, but a series of rapid changes around the beginning of the nineteenth century led to the founding of “psychiatry.”
  • Melancholia
    From The Edinburgh International Encyclopaedia of Psychoanalysis
    In his very first works between 1895 and 1897, Freud understood melancholia as a form of depression of variable intensity, linked to a loss of mental energy – he mainly drew on the popular theory of neurasthenia.
  • Neurasthenia
    From The Royal Society of Medicine Health Encyclopedia
    An old-fashioned term based on an early and unsophisticated notion that psychological fatigue, loss of motivation and energy and other associated symptoms were, in some unspecified way, caused by a disorder of the nerves.