• Functionalism: functions of the mind William James - Purpose of mental activity
The primary interest in this approach is in the function of mental processes, including consciousness. While not the creation of any single scholar, William James was clearly its most famous advocate.
The functionalists tended to use the term 'function' rather loosely. The term is used in at least two different ways. It can refer to the study of how a mental process operates. This is a major departure from the study of the structure of a mental process, the difference between stopping a train to tear it apart to study its parts (structuralism), and looking at how the systems interact while it is running (functionalism). The term 'function' can also refer to how the mental process functions in the evolution of the species, what adaptive property it provides that would cause it to be selected through evolution.
Functionalism never really died, it became part of the mainstream of psychology. The importance of looking at process rather than structure is a common attribute of modern psychology. As an individual approach it lacked a clear formulation & inherited the problems of the structuralist reliance on introspection.