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Human person

Within the course of human history, many discoveries and inventions have impacted our view of the universe as well as the development of the human person. Some of these discoveries were unarguably necessary not only for the survival of the human species but also for its development and enhancement. For example, the discovery of fire was so necessary for the literal survival, protection, and advancement of homosapiens that it is doubtful that the survival of the species would have occurred in its absence.

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Many primitive inventions as well have aided in the growth and migration of the species as well as our understanding of the material world around us. The invention of the wheel has undoubtedly made possible the migration of the species to the four corners of the world. Our development of the mirror has allowed the species to develop the telescope, which has greatly enhanced the study of and speculation in our expanding universe.

What these inventions and discoveries have been to the development and perpetuation of the human species, some inventions and discoveries have been, to a lesser degree perhaps, to the field of psychology. For example, before the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, the speculation concerning human behavior and the ways in which the human mind works and acquires knowledge was discongruent and at best an educated guess into the workings of the human person, his thinking process and his behavior. It was not until the seventeenth century in Europe that, the development of the pumps, levers, pulleys, cranes, wheels and gears that gave rise to the great mechanical gardens of the royals also gave rise to the whole idea of mechanism.

Of all these new devices, however, it was the mechanical clock that had the greatest impact on scientific thought. This is especially true in the area of philosophical and psychological thought. Although this technological growth came to the forefront of human scientific thought two hundred years before the formal founding of psychology as a science; the relationship between this growth in technology and the development of psychology as a science is direct and compelling.

The Zeitgeist of the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries was in a very real way the intellectual soil that nourished the growth of psychology. As was stated earlier, it was the spirit of mechanism during this time (the image of the universe as a great machine) that gave rise to the view that everything that operated in the physical universe, even the human person, was orderly; like a smoothly running clock or any other good machine. It was believed that once scientists grasped the laws by which the world functioned, they would be able to determine how it would run in the future. This attempt by scientists to make everything fit together like pieces to a puzzle, was the beginning of the narrowing of the fields of technology, medicine and philosophy that would eventually give rise to the new psychology of the nineteenth century. Without the invention of the clock, and the comparison of human behavior to a mechanistic system, psychology would perhaps still be floundering to find a way to explain human behavior. Or perhaps, the field of psychology would not be the science it is today.

In our modern era, there are many recent inventions that have the potential to assist us in coming to understand the workings of the human mind and the function and meaning of human behavior. For example, the internet has opened up a whole new avenue to the field of psychology. Psychological data on research and experimentation that in the past would take months to get into the hands of psychologists now takes only a matter of days to reach huge numbers of people. Research on a variety of topics of interest to the field of psychology that in the past would takes months to be researched in many a library setting can now be researched via the internet in a very short while. It is also possible to tract subjects who are assisting in some research projects by way of the internet and the internet now links Psychologists from around the world in a daily exercise of sharing information by way of special chat rooms.

Although it is to early to tell, it is quite possible that the internet will expand the field of psychology into areas yet unknown to modern psychology. Only time will tell. What is certain is that while psychology has grown by leaps and bounds over the last century, this new century, with all of technology placed at the disposal of professionals in the field of psychology, this new science has the potential to expand the knowledge base of the field in very new and exciting ways.

Perhaps, with the help of the internet, we will one day be able to come to a more deeper understanding of the human condition and the workings of the human mind. As the internet not only connects people but also great institutions of higher learning from all over the world, it will one day be possible to share information on topics related to psychology that only now resides in the minds of future leaders in the field. It is the hope of this writer that one day the use of modern technology will make available to every researcher in the field the ability to access today the research that was completed yesterday—or dare we dream of the day that as research is being carried out we could view immediate findings and even share our own ideas with those who are in the midst of profound research that will carry us even further down the road to a full and complete understanding of the human person.

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