Psychology, in a general sense, is age-old, extending back across all cultures to the beginnings of recorded time. The healing arts of ancient doctors and the conceptual musings of ancient sages often pointed toward factors that would be considered psychological today. Nevertheless, psychology in its specifically modern sense dates from the second half of the nineteenth century, when a self-consciously scientific, academic, professional discipline took shape in Europe and North America. This multiplex discipline grew and flourished in particular in the United States, where more than forty experimental laboratories, associated programs of research and study, and institutionalized means of communication, certification, and application were established, or at least initiated, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. But even in the United States, where unique social and historical conditions facilitated it, the development of psychology depended on a common philosophical background and various traditions of research that had evolved in Europe.
From. Scribner Library of Modern Europe,1E. © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission. www.cengage.com/permissions
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Leary, David E. "Psychology." In Europe 1789-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire, edited by John Merriman and Jay Winter, 1907-1909. Vol. 4. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003.