Functional psychology or functionalism refers to a general psychological philosophy that considers mental life and behavior in terms of active adaptation to the person's environment. As such, it provides the general basis for developing psychological theories not readily testable by controlled experiments and for applied psychology.
Functionalism arose in the U.S. in the late 19th century as an alternative to Structuralism (psychology). While functionalism never became a formal school, it built on structuralism's concern for the anatomy of the mind and led to greater concern over the functions of the mind, and later to behaviorism.
Famous quotes containing the words functional and/or psychology:
“Stay-at-home mothers, . . . their self-esteem constantly assaulted, . . . are ever more fervently concerned that their offspring turn out better so they wont have to stoop to say I told you so. Working mothers, . . . their self-esteem corroded by guilt, . . . are praying their kids turn out functional so they can stop being defensive and apologetic and instead assert See? I did do it all.”
—Melinda M. Marshall (20th century)
“I was now at a university in New York, a professor of existential psychology with the not inconsiderable thesis that magic, dread, and the perception of death were the roots of motivation.”
—Norman Mailer (b. 1923)