Psychology and William James Perspective

Psychologyand William James Perspective

Psychologyand William James Perspective

WilliamJames is one of the early psychologists who believed that psychologywas bounded by philosophy on the side and biology on the other. Jamesdeveloped his perspective Before the rise of the 12-step group andthe modern psychology. Jame’s perspective resulted in theidentification of three basic obstacles to human growth. First, hebelieved that failure to express emotions would result in thedetrimental accumulation, which would affect mental and physicalwell-being of an individual (Frager &amp Fadiman, 2013). Jamesemphasized on the idea that the bottled-up or blocked emotions shouldbe expressed in one way or another and be prevented from accumulatingfrom within. However, the expression of emotions that could lead toharmful results should be avoided. This implies that, althoughexpression of emotions is fundamental to the physical and mentalhealth, their expression should be done selectively.

Thesecond obstacle to human growth is excessive emotions. James agreeswith the use of the simple dichotomy that involves the classificationof personal characters as beneficial or detrimental, but this shouldonly be applied in moderate feelings (Frager &amp Fadiman, 2013).The main idea behind this notion is that the extremes of any emotionor virtue can be dangerous. In essence, it is advisable to find themean of every virtue because moving towards either of the extremes(negative and positive) is detrimental. For example, the expressionof courage in the average of rashness and cowardice. Rashness andcowardice are undesirable extremes. The excess of any feeling canhinder mental and physical growth of an individual.

Third,certain blindness occurs when people fail to understand each other.This creates a scenario in which people think that they can decidewhat is right or wrong for others (Frager &amp Fadiman, 2013). Thisprevents the realization of the existing perfection and intensity,which culminates in unhappiness. This type of blindness ischaracterized by lack of ability to express one’s feelings, errorsof excess and increased tendency to accept behaviors that limitconsciousness. In conclusion, James intended to suggest that theexpression of emotions is fundamental to physical and mental growth,but there are a few exemptions in which expression can be harmful.


Frager,R., &amp Fadiman, J. (2013). Personalityand personal growth (7th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.