Chapter 2: Introduction to Major Perspectives


Exercises: Read, Watch & Listen

  • Serendip Studio provides a more in-depth look at the development of psychology from Descartes to James
  • History of Psychology is an interactive site that allows you to explore the timeline of psychology

The Birth of Psychology

Video 2-1: Birth of Psychology (( uploaded by Transmission


Exercises: Read, Watch & Learn

Watch The Early Reaction Time video to explore some of the early work on reaction time (i.e. how quickly a person can respond to a stimulus):

Video 2-2: Early Reaction Time Research in Psychology ( uploaded by christoyork 

Then think of a way to measure the reaction time of your friends and/or family. Is there an app on your phone you could use?

Now, come up with an hypothesis about something that might influence reaction time (e.g. it will be slowed by fatigue, children will have faster RTs than adults, people will be faster if I offer them a reward etc.) and see if you can test it.

How would you design a proper test of your hypothesis if you had more time and resources?


Exercises: Try Some More!

  1. Test my Brain: Now that you have explored other people’s reaction times why not test your own cognitive speed  (
  2. Which Famous  Psychologist Are you Most Like? This pop quiz asks you a number of questions then claims to tell you which famous psychologist you are most like. Try it and see what you think!


Annenberg Foundation. (2017). History of Psychology. Retrieved from

Christoyork. (2010, October 1). Early reaction time research in psychology. [Video]. Retrieved from

Hall, A. (2015, March 11). Which famous psychologist are you most like. Retrieved from

Neuro Transmissions. (2017, February 19). The birth of psychology. Retrieved from

Serendip Studio. (2018). Serendip studio: A digital ecosystem, fueled by serendipity. Retrieved from

TestMyBrain. (2018). TestMyBrain. Retrieved from


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Introduction to Psychology Study Guide Copyright © by Sarah Murray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.