Wilhelm Wundt was one of the great, founding fathers of modern psychology. His definition of the three main goals of psychology and understanding of the specific elements of thought were some of his major contributions. Further, Wundt helped define the terms perception, apperception and creative synthesis. His early work on the psychology of elements and his later work in the Volkerpsychologie helped to cement his position as an outstanding and influential psychologist. Wundtian psychology has declined greatly in recent times, largely as a result of his reliance on introspection.
Wundt's three main goal of psychology were to describe, predict and explain behavior. Wundt was one of the first psychologists to set psychology apart from philosophy. He sought to apply the principles of scientific investigation. As such, he was one of the first psychologists to bring the study of psychology to the laboratory, and attempt to discern the basic nature of…… [Read More]
ilhelm Maximilian undt and Franz Clemens Brentano were both German philosophers and psychologists working in the 19th to early 20th Centuries. Much of undt's work was discredited by the mid-20th Century, in part due to mistranslations of his work. Brentano, however, had a circle of followers who translated and rewrote his work to such an extent that he was published more after his death than during his life.
The relationship between the mind's contents and input from the environment vs. The activity of the mind acting on itself, according to undt and Brentano
ilhelm Maximilian undt (1832-1920), is known as the Father of Experimental Psychology. Practicing exclusively in Germany, he established the first laboratory for psychological research in Leipzig in 1879 (Kim, 2006). undt established the Selbstbeobachtung, using a psychological set of procedures and projecting physiology into inner experience. According to undt, psychology must begin with self-observation and…… [Read More]
Titchener was aware of the possible effects of bias, as well as of faulty memory, on introspection. But he believed that the problem with bias can be remedied by preparing relatively simple tasks, by exercising strict standardization, and by extensively repeating the task within and between subjects. As for the problem with faulty memory, Titchener acknowledged that introspection is the similar with retrospection.
Titchener's version of introspection is similar to Wundt's idea of self-observation. And since Wundt denied self-observation a spot in his laboratory because of its being highly susceptible to bias, he also rejected Titchener's systematic experiment introspection. Caution must be exercised to avoid taking Wundt's introspection to be a single idea, instead of it being split to internal perception and self-observation. Caveat, also, in taking Wundt's introspection and Titchener's systematic experiment introspection to be the same.
Wundt used introspection (specifically internal perception) as a primary tool in his…… [Read More]
However, contemporary literature on the subject seems to establish the priciples of comparivie psychology as ones that focus on both proximate and ultimate causation (Dewsbury, 1984).
The power, though, of the comparative approach lies in the ability that the scholar can evaluate target behaviors from really four different perspectives, called Tinbergen's four questions (Burkhardt, 2005).
How pervasive is the behavior across the individual species -- how common is it?
How does the behavior contribute to overall evolutionary success via natural selection (reproductive success)?
What mechanisms are involved in the behavior -- what physiological, environmental or behavioral components must occur?
How does maturation and development contribute to this behavior?
Numerous studies have been done regarding comparative psychology, some even so popular that they are studied by elementary students. However, a few seminal studies have dominated the field. Pavlov, for instance, used dogs to understand the issues of conditioning. Thorndike studied cats…… [Read More]
History Of Social Psychology: Past and Future Directions
The fields of psychology and social psychology owe their existence to the earlier philosophical thinkers including Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Locke, Hume and Kant. However, the recognized founder of the field (by most historians) is the German scientist Wilhelm Wundt (Farr, 2003). In 1862 Wundt proposed that there psychology should consist of two branches: a social branch and a physiological branch of psychology (Farr, 2003). From Wundt's view psychology was more concerned with studying immediate conscious experience as opposed to studying overt behavior. However, in 1890 Wundt published the first volume of a classic 10-volume set of social psychology which described and analyzed a wide variety of social thought and social behaviors. Although Wundt's ideas and writings carried significant influence in Europe, his writings were not translated into English until sometime later. The behaviorist view became the more influential paradigm in the United…… [Read More]
Although behaviorism is now considered part of psychology, it was not always. Early behaviorists tried hard to set themselves apart from the psychology of their day, which many believed focused too much on the subconscious mind. Behaviorism was the first attempt to study human behavior using the scientific method. However, there were many different approaches to behaviorism.
II. The Early Foundations of Behaviorism
A. The structuralism versus functionalism debate
1. Structuralism: Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Tichener tried to show that they could use introspection as a scientific method with the goal of objectively understanding the structures of the human mind or consciousness.
2. Functionalism: William James and later behaviorists were more interested in how the mind works and why the mind reacts to stimuli as it does.
B. Functionalism was a direct extension of Darwinism.
C. John Watson, William James, and Chauncy Wright were proponents of functionalism, which…… [Read More]
n addition, he makes several considerations about the machines which have the capacity to learn. He suggests that technological improvements and a learning process associated with rewards and punishments can contribute to having machines learn. Under these circumstances, he states, we would be only a step away from having machines with the capacity of autonomous thinking.
John Searle is also interested in the argument. Unlike Turing, he concludes that regardless of the programme which a machine or computer can be given, the obatined result will never come close to the complex entity that is the human mind. Artificial intelligence can exist and it can reach relevant levels of performance, according to the instructions that a human would give it. However, the thinker underlines, there is no possibility for artificial intelligence to come up with thinking acts on its own. Elements such as consciousness, intentionality, subjectivity belong solely to the human…… [Read More]
Diversity and Psychology
There were two major developments that influenced the field of psychology and the professions' views regarding multicultural competence, emphasized in 2003. The American Psychological Associations' 2002 Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct and the Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice and Organizational Change for Psychologists published in 2003 both stressed the importance of moving from a mono-cultural school of thought to a multicultural perspective and that these 'new rules' acknowledge an appreciation of differences as well as an "understanding of the inherent ambiguity and complexity in psychological practice (Pack-rown & Williams, 2003; Manesse, Saito, & Rodolfa, 2004). Knapp and VandeCreek (2003) said of these new guidelines that they articulate a need for greater sensitivity regarding linguistic and cultural minorities. The development of the new Code of Ethics and the APA's positioning were purported to be in response to a long awaited recognition of the need for…… [Read More]
humans have been intrigued by the workings of the human mind. Philosophers and physiologists pondered the questions that psychology, as an independent science, now addresses. Psychology is the study of mind and behavior, both in humans and animals. There exist many subfields within this discipline and as such, supporters of each may alter the aforementioned definition to emphasize their area of concentration.
Developmental psychology examines changes and growth over the lifespan. Child and adolescent psychology along with gerontology are subdisciplines of developmental psychology. The influence and effect others have on our feelings, behaviors, and thoughts describes social psychology. Personality psychology is the study of stable characteristics that influence behavior. Traits include aggressiveness, anxiety, and sociability to name a few. Experimental psychology, as the name implies, relies on the experimental method in its proceedings. Fields of research include cognition, sense perception, and memory. iological processes are the central concerns in physiological…… [Read More]
Structuralsim vs. Functionalism
The structuralist/functionalist debate in the field of psychology focuses on the framework that psychological approaches should take. In the pioneer days of psychology, scholars argued whether one should take a structuralist or a functionalist approach to interpreting how the mind works. The essence of structuralism was promoted by Wilhelm Wundt in Germany and his pupil, Edward Titchener, is the man who gave the approach its name when he brought its school to America. In competition with Titchener's "structuralism," however, was "functionalism," which grew out of the American response to the German ideas. Functionalism was rooted in the ideas of Darwin and William James, the American philosopher.
The debates between the two schools were heated in spite of calls for a reconciliation between the two, as some saw them as both dealing primarily with the same problem: the conscious self (Chalkins, 1906). The advocates of the two schools,…… [Read More]
Mozart Effect by Don Campbell, published by HarperCollins in 1997 and again in 2001, posits the theory that listening to Mozart's music can help to boost one's IQ. The theory is based on interviews and studies conducted by researchers, from which Campbell produces the general notion that music has a "healing" quality to it and can be used to improve one's overall life.[footnoteRef:1] Campbell points to the 1993 study by psychologist Francis Rauscher, who showed that listening to Mozart's sonata for two pianos helped to improve the spatial-temporal skills of the listener for about the next ten to fifteen minutes after listening to the music.[footnoteRef:2] Rauscher's study spurred more researchers to examine the relationship between music and intelligence. Campbell's book is essentially an overview of these studies with some analysis about the way that Mozart and music in general can improve one's ability to think, reason, and enjoy mental health.…… [Read More]
His underlying interest was to understand the basic forms of religious life for all societies. In Elementary Forms, Durkheim argues that the totems the aborigines venerate are actually expressions of their own conceptions of society itself. This is true not only for the aborigines, he argues, but for all societies (ibid).
eligion, for Durkheim, is not "imaginary," although he does deprive it of what many believers find essential. eligion is very real; it is an expression of society itself, and indeed, there is no society that does not have religion. We perceive as individuals a force greater than ourselves, which is our social life, and give that perception a supernatural face. We then express ourselves religiously in groups, which for Durkheim makes the symbolic power greater. eligion is an expression of our collective consciousness, which is the fusion of all of our individual consciousnesses, which then creates a reality of…… [Read More]
Whereas the behaviorist and psychodynamic models contradict each other in their fundamental assumptions and focus, humanistic perspective does not necessarily contradict behaviorism or the psychodynamic approach, except that it considers both of those views as explanations of only portions of human behavior rather than all human behavior.
The Cognitive Perspective:
The Cognitive perspective broadens the study of human psychology even further than the humanistic perspective. In addition to considering all of the influential elements within the behaviorist, psychodynamic, and humanistic views, cognitive psychology also studies the combined contributions of knowledge, memory, previous experience, subconscious desires, external factors, and volitional thought on external behavior (Gerrig & Zimbardo 2005).
Cognitive psychology accepts many of the fundamental concepts of other schools of psychological thought, and much like the humanistic point-of-view, merely considers them incomplete explanations of human behavior rather than oppositional theories.
According to cognitive psychologists, even the most inclusive theories like humanistic…… [Read More]
In their book, Progress in Modern Psychology: The Legacy of American Functionalism, Owens and Wagner (1992) suggest that contemporary psychology reflects a common vision of the naturalistic framework that was first inspired by William James and later refined by John Dewey, James owland Angell, Harvey Carr, among others. In this regard, Owens and Wagner argue that one of the key contributors to early functionalism was John Dewey. In sharp contrast to the aforementioned structuralist approach which would analyze a situation into its continent parts, Dewey believed that sensation and the subsequent motor responses could not be legitimately separated, but rather comprised a more linear analysis that provided a coordinated response to a given condition (Owens & Wagner, 1992).
According to Zuriff (1985), behaviorism is not the science of behavior (consisting of findings, principles, laws, and theories that are formulated through the study of behavior) but rather provides a conceptual…… [Read More]
Clark, R. E. (2004). The classical origins of Pavlov's conditioning. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, 39(4), 279-294.
Classical conditioning is the cornerstone of behaviorism. However, it is often taken for granted how classical conditioning was introduced to the field of psychology. This article starts with a brief section about the precursors of Pavlov’s famous dog salivation response experiments. The precursor to Pavlov was Twitmyer’s knee-jerk reflexes. Like Green (2009), Clark (2004) talks a little of William James and his contributions to the early evolution of psychology. Then, Clark (2004) delves into the meat of the matter: Pavlov’s experiments. Using dogs as subjects, the Russian scientist revolutionized the study of human behavior with his studies showing how classical conditioning works. Clark (2004) traces Pavlov’s work, and also shows how it was received. Then, the author shows how Pavlov’s conditioning experiments became classical conditioning through the work of B.F. Skinner. Essentially, this research…… [Read More]
psychology, it has intended to be a branch of the sciences. For it to be considered science, psychology must not hypothesize without testing. It is unfortunate that the history of psychology is marked with failed hypothesis. For it to be ethical, it has to draw conclusions after a formal laboratory experiment with stringent protocol instead of retrospective studies that result from past occurrences.
Science share basic procedures and expectations, it tests theories and get results, those results can be tested by others and achieve the same results, this is a challenge with psychology. For instance, normal therapeutic treatments involve research, diagnosis and treatment, but many results are scientifically indistinguishable. There is limited distinction between research and treatment.
There are issues that play a fundamental role in evaluation of psychological theories. First, is whether the theory adequately and formally describes the framework that accounts for observed psychological and other empirical data.…… [Read More]