Structure of 19th Century society


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19th-century society (1840-1900). Late 19th-century society inevitably influenced the outlooks of many early psychologists. In an era dominated in the UK by Queen Victoria, it is perhaps not surprising that nineteenth century society is seen as strict and regimented, with little opportunity either for women or for individuality. However, it was also an era of inventions – from the telegraph in the 1840s through to the motor car, telephone, and great advances in engineering, in travel and in the natural sciences. It was also in this period that modern psychology came into being in a number of countries. As an era, it was one in which it was believed that everything could be classified, ordered and tamed, through science, engineering and medicine. Perhaps not surprisingly, measurement and classification were two important themes in the work of early psychologists, alongside the development of medical psychiatry and early studies of hypnotism and hysteria. The development of psychology in the late 19th Century is also important because there were no funded University posts in psychology until the end of the century. As such, early psychological research was (with some notable exceptions) generally conducted by 'gentlemen scientists' who tended to come from privileged backgrounds.