Abnormal psychology in the 1900s was not very evolved but the works of Freud, Pavlov and Skinner were slowly making the medical community realize that there was more to mental illnesses and disorders that what meets the eyes.
In the 1900s, people did not understand mental disorders and illness. They thought mental patients were incurable and as result they were sent to asylums where horrific methods were used in the name of treatments. However, with Freud's development of psychoanalysis, also referred to as talk therapy, it was slowly becoming clear in the early 1900s that certain patients benefitted from this therapy. However, the medical community was quick to deride psychoanalysis initially. It took a few years with other brilliant psychologists and psychiatrists taking up the cause of psychoanalysis to show that it worked.
In addition, abnormal psychology in the 1900s underwent an evolution when it was found that certain factors and drug therapy could treat and cure the mentally ill. This put rest to the opinion that mental illness and disorder was a spiritual disease.
In the early 1900s, John B Watson found the school of thought of behaviorism. This school of thought used the method of observation that relied on the cause and effect model of analysis. This approach also negated the main principles of Freud's psychoanalysis. In addition, Ivan Pavlov came up with classical conditioning based on experiments conducted on dogs where he showed that learning could take place through association and then B.F. Skinner identified operant conditioning in the mid 1900s and showed that behavior was influenced by reward and punishment.
All these new approaches had a profound effect on abnormal psychology in the 1900s and slowly the way people viewed mental illness changed as they realized that mentally ill people could be cured with proper treatment and drug, as researchers confirmed a mind-body connection to mental illness.
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