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Top Psychology Schools in Illinois

Interested in a graduate degree in Psychology from a top program within the state of Illinois? We offer rankings of best Illinois Psychology graduate programs. Review the following schools to see requirements for Master and Doctoral degrees in the area of Psychology.

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Psychodynamic theory

Psychodynamic theory also sprang from Sigmund Freud's thinking, but they believed that he placed too little emphasis on social factors in understanding human behavior and was too concerned about sexual urges. Erik Erikson is central to the development of psychodynamic psychology with his theory that personality is shaped throughout life through eight stages of life:

  • Phase 1 (01.5 years) - the establishment of basic Confidence or Distrust
  • Phase 2 (1.53 years) - Independence or shame and doubt
  • Phase 3 (3-6 years) - Initiative or guilt
  • Stage 4 (6-12 years) - Labor or inferiority
  • Phase 5 (adolescence) - Identity or role conflict
  • Phase 6 (early adulthood) - Proximity or isolation
  • Stage 7 (middle age) - Productivity or downtime
  • Phase 8 (old age) - I integrity or despair

Behavior Hinduism

In the 1900s, there was no consensus on what psychology should study, and there was some frustration at how brief psychoanalysis had come in understanding the human psyche. Introspection as a research method was seen as unscientific and unfit to gain knowledge of the soul. You had to have more reliable methods that could be documented and tested.

It was in this field that behaviorism developed, almost like a protest against the doctrine of the soul and psychoanalysis. To gain reliable access to the material to be studied, the behaviorists redefined the goal of psychological studies from the doctrine of the soul to the doctrine of behavior.

The early behaviorists were fascinated by logical positivism, a philosophy of science that developed in the 1920s among the so-called Vienna Circle members. The most prominent members of the Vienna Circle were Moritz Schlick (1882-1936), Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970) and Philip Frank (1884-1966). The positivists discussed how modern science applied to man had to change in the light of recent research in physics. They argued that a scientific statement could only make sense if it could be proved (verified) by direct observations. Scientific theories must be verified through observations and experiments.


One of the early behaviorists was Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936). His contribution was primarily to describe classical conditioning as a learning paradigm. Pavlov was a physiologist and discovered by chance that the dogs he was experimenting with began to drool when they heard the dog passer through the corridor with food. The discovery led to systematic experiments that showed that it was possible to teach the dog how to pick up on other stimuli, such as the sound of a bell instead of the smell of food. He called the scent of food unconditional stimulus (US) and the cycle of unconditional response (UR). Repeated combinations of sound and food in the mouth led to cycling after the sound even without food. He called the sound conditional stimulus (BS), and this cycle he called conditional response (BR).


Behaviorism as a scientific paradigm was established by John B. Watson (1878-1958). One could say that Watson further refined Pavlov's stimulus-response (SR) paradigm from applying physiological responses to all behaviors. He imagined that you could predict behavior if you knew the stimulus, and deduce what the stimulus was if you knew the response. He was keen to apply his concepts to children's development, especially to emotional development. One of the most famous experiments in psychology is Albert and the rat. Using Pavlov's classic condition, he made a loud noise behind Albert's head when he saw a white rat. Albert became a rat rat, and the fear was generalized to other similar furry animals and objects. Watson believed that adult phobias developed in the same way.


In the 1930s, behaviorism changed considerably both empirically and theoretically. The psychological experiments took place in the animal laboratories. Pavlov's simple classical conditional paradigm on salivary secretion in dogs and Watson's extension of the stimulus-response model to all human actions were expanded to take into account the consequences of the behavior (Response R). Concepts such as reinforcing behavior and extinction (extinguishing behavior) saw the light of day in the neobehaviorists. The most important of these were Edvard C. Tolman and Clark L. Hull.

Edvard C. Tolman is best known for developing the term "intervening variable" (an intervening or intermediate variable) that was an unobservable factor (O) that would explain how the behavior (R) could occur as a result of a stimulus (S). The model was S - O - R where the intervening variable was O, which represented organism. Tolman used rats as laboratory animals in the lab, which he trained to find the maze opening. During these experiments, he developed the theory of "cognitive maps" that explained why the rat spent less time with each repetition in finding the maze. Other phenomena that could be included in O were expectation, motivation, knowledge and so on. One could say that Tolman's works were the origin of cognitive behaviorism and later of cognitive psychology.


Clark L. Hull was the theory builder among the neobehaviorists. He built up a rigorous theory of learning on mathematical models. He anchored the concept of reinforcement in physiological needs reduction. To explain why, for example, food enhanced eating, he referred to a reduction in the need for food as a result of eating. He expanded the model to include needs other than physiological in that it was possible to learn to get social (proximity, friendship) cultural (literature, music) or intellectual needs (problem solving, chess). Hull's interest in mathematics characterized his theory. He thought it must be possible to calculate mathematically the tendency to act in a given situation by measuring the strength of a stimulus, how quickly one reacted and how many times one repeated the action. He believed that he could calculate the probability that the action would occur when the stimulus arose. Stimulus could be the sight of food. But in order to make the equation go up, he needed a driving force he called "drive" and he developed different "drives" for different actions (eating, having sex, running, and so on) based on what incentives were available (for example, hunger).

Hull's theories were initially well received by the behaviorists, but quickly lost their influence as other and more plausible models saw the light of day.


The most influential of the behaviorists was Burrhus F. Skinner (1904- 1990). He was far in line with John B. Watson, who pulled the consequences of behavior into the model of learning. He distinguished himself from Watson by drawing consciousness and other unobservable events into the model, such as thoughts and feelings which he called "private events". But unlike the neobehaviorists, he does not allow these phenomena to be the causes of behavior. Instead, he regarded them as physical phenomena that must be understood separately and with the same explanatory mechanisms as open, public behavior.

With his conceptual apparatus, Skinner developed the philosophical direction " radical behaviorism ". The most important contribution was that he based on Charles Darwin's theory of the evolution of the species, where development occurs by selection of genes so that the characteristics and traits of the individuals were the ones most suitable for the species' survival. Skinner transferred this theory to how behavior is established and developed by what he called "selection of behavior by its consequences". These consequences and the conditions under which the behavior arises he called the behavior's "conditions of reinforcement".

Skinner also made important contributions to understanding language. He presented the language analysis in 1957 in the book Verbal behavior in which he analyzed the meaning of words as behaviors established by their conditions of reinforcement. All behavior maintained by amplifiers mediated by other people, he called verbal behavior. Verbal behavior was thus all behavior that affected other people, not just speech.

In the animal laboratory, where he did accurate and well-controlled experiments with rats and pigeons, he used the " Skinner box ". It was a square foot large box with trigger mechanism (pushable lever) for food that the animals were trained to operate. In this way he could study a number of variations in the relationship between the response of the animal and the amplifiers.

Skinner was an active socialist. The most extensive debate came in the wake of the 1948 book Walden Two, in which he describes an ideal society. The community is organized so that all members can live a good life. To establish a collective responsibility and prevent selfishness among the residents, the children are raised by the collective rather than within the narrow confines of the family. The work tasks in society were rewarded according to a weighted system so that attractive work assignments gave lower reward value than less attractive tasks. This made it attractive to take on the unattractive tasks. The system is in many ways the opposite of what we are used to, where unattractive tasks are usually poorly paid and have low status.

Top Psychology Schools in Illinois
Rankings Psychology Programs Departments and Schools
1 University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

Address: 603 E. Daniel Street, Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0631
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.psych.uiuc.edu/graduate/index.php

Department of Psychology
2 Northwestern University
Address: 102 Swift Hall, Evanston, IL 60208-2710
Phone: (847) 491-5190
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/psych/graduate_studies/
Department of Psychology
3 University of Chicago
Address: 5848 S. University Avenue , Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 702-8403
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://psychology.uchicago.edu/academics/doctoral/index.shtml
Department of Psychology
4 University of Illinois - Chicago
Address: 11007 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607-7137
Phone: (312) 996-3036
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.psch.uic.edu/gradoverview.asp?sm=grad_programoverview
Department of Psychology
5 Loyola University Chicago
Address: 6525 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: (773) 508-3001
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.luc.edu/psychology/academics_graduate.shtml
Department of Psychology
6 DePaul University
Address: 2219 N. Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614-3504
Phone: (773) 325-7887
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://las.depaul.edu/psy/Programs/GraduatePrograms/index.asp
Department of Psychology
7 Northern Illinois University
Address: Psychology-Computer Science Building, Room 400, DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-0372
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.niu.edu/psyc/graduate/index.shtml
Department of Psychology
8 Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Address: Mail Code 6502, Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: (618) 453-3564
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.psychology.siu.edu/gradprog.htm

Department of Psychology
9 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Address: 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064
Phone: (847) 578-3000
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu/DNN/home/CHP/Psychology/tabid/1456/Default.aspx
Department of Psychology
10 Illinois Institute of Technology
Address: 3105 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 252, Chicago, IL 60616-3793
Phone: (312) 567-3500
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.iit.edu/colleges/psych/
Institute of Psychology
11 Illinois State University
Address: Campus Box 4620 , Normal, IL 61790-4620
Phone: (435) 309-8651
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.psychology.ilstu.edu/grad/index.shtml
Department of Psychology
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