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History of Psychology 2007

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Title: History of Psychology 2007


1
History of Psychology 2007 Lecture 9
Professor Gerald C. Cupchik Office S634 Email
cupchik_at_utsc.utoronto.ca Office Hours
Wednesdays 1-2 pm Thursdays 12-1 pm T.A
Michelle Hilscher Office S150 Email
hilscher_at_utsc.utoronto.ca Office Hours Thursdays
11-12 3-4 pm Course Website www.utsc.utoronto.ca
/cupchik
2
The Rise of American Psychology
3
Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) - Wealthy
half-cousin of Darwin and was both a geographer
and explorer (Africa). - He was also interested
in meteorology and produced the first weather
maps of the British Isles.
- As a result of his extensive travel, his
interests turned toward anthropology. - He
observed differences between (1) cultural groups
and (2) people within a culture. - His goal was
to evaluate individual differences among people
using precise measurements. - This was the start
of the field of psychometrics which is defined as
the application of statistics to measure
individual differences with reference to
behavioural variables.
4
Beyond the special skills recognized by the
faculty psychology of the times (music, math,
athletic skills), Galton insisted on a primary
general intellectual ability that he believed was
inherited. This implied that (1) behavioural and
mental traits could be inherited and (2)
differences between individuals could be
measured. He offered the following proof for his
argument He selected men of outstanding ability
and looked at the frequency of success among
their relatives. i. 31 had illustrious
fathers ii. 48 had eminent sons He concluded
that outstanding ability is inherited.
5
Problem Galton used a restricted sample. In
Victorian England
selection for professions depended on connections
and this applied both to education and entry to
key jobs. Note that Galton did not include either
women or successful businessmen from industry
and commerce. So He over emphasized hereditary
factors and under emphasized environmental
factors.
Also, elementary education was only made
compulsory in 1880 by the Liberal Party in
England.
6
In 1884, at an International Health Exhibition in
London, Galton introduced an Anthropometric Lab
with equipment of his own invention where he
started mental testing and collected individual
difference data of diverse attributes 1. Body
measurement and muscular strength 2. Sensory
capacities such as the ability to discriminate
between different intervals of pitch 3. Reaction
time
Galtons Lab
7
Galton had a young American assistant, J.M.
Cattell, who had studied with Wundt and he
carried Galtons work to the USA in 1888. Cattell
carried out extensive pioneer work on mental
tests and one of his pupils, E.L. Thorndike, was
a major test developer. So Galton was the source
of the American testing movement. Summary of his
contributions 1. Correlations 2. Rating
scales 3. Questionnaires 4. Use of the normal
curve 5. Mental tests
8
COMPARATIVE PSYCHOLOGY Darwin had directed
peoples attention to the problem of explaining
animal behaviour (e.g., how do animals adjust to
their environment?) Descartes had viewed animals
as complicated automatons. But, do animals have
the capacities for learning new habits? Do they
vary in intelligence? How do they compare with
humans? The British started the field of
comparative psychology which considers animals in
relation to humans.
9
Douglas Spalding (1840-1877) 1. He demonstrated
instinctual behaviour in small chicks who reacted
defensively by flying away and hiding upon first
being shown a hawk. This innate fleeing response
was independent of learning or imitation. 2. He
also demonstrated imprinting. Very soon after
emerging from the egg, chicks demonstrated a
following response for objects or even humans.
G.J. Romanes (1849-1899) He combined the
experimental method with systematic theory. He
regarded adjustment as dependent on the ability
to discriminate and classify stimulus from the
senses.
10
Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936) He provided the classic
cannon for research in animal behaviour. In no
case can we interpret an action as the outcome of
the higher faculty, if it can be interpreted as
the outcome of the exercise of one which stands
lower in the psychological scale. So careful
observation either under (1) experimental
circumstances or (2) in the field, were the only
acceptable data. It is essential to avoid any
form of anthropomorphism which is attributing
human traits to animals. He distinguished between
innate and acquired behaviour. He formally
defined instincts which are an aspect of innate
behaviour. (1) Common to all members of a
species (2) Fairly uniform and repetitive in
nature (3) Made in response to a specific
stimulus (4) Have a clear connection with the
anatomical structure and physiological
functioning of the animal
11
Morgan disagreed with any implications of
mysterious inner powers or unknown neural
mechanisms. He laid the foundation for later work
on animal learning. He used the terms (1) trial
and error to describe how responses which do not
achieve the end required are dropped from the
sequence. (2) reinforcement of successful modes
of response through the pleasure-pain
mechanism. So (1) He introduced many of the
ideas underlying behaviourism and (2) used the
word behaviour to indicate the main data of
psychological research. Darwin and his followers,
through their observation of phenomena, emphasis
on behaviour and openness to new ideas, had a
strong influence on the development of psychology
in the USA.
12
PSYCHOLOGY IN THE USA The earliest teaching of
psychology in the USA was undertaken by
philosophers who adhered to the beliefs of the
Scottish School and used the texts of Thomas
Brown and Thomas Reid. A distinctive tradition
emerged in the USA which broke free from British
Empiricism in theory and German experimentalism
in method, resembling more closely Galton and
Darwin. American psychology dealt with the mind
in use - a pragmatic and functional approach. By
1910, the earliest American psychology included
(1) experimental human, (2) experimental animal,
and (3) mental tests, and they were becoming
aware of Freud. It may be noted that the first
lab in Canada was established at the University
of Toronto in 1890 by Alfred Baldwin.
13
Why did American psychology deviate from the
German pattern? Many had travelled to Leipzig to
learn from Wundt and were enthusiastic about the
experimental method and laboratory techniques.
But ultimately they evolved from a description of
the generalized mind to the assessment of
personal abilities in the successful adjustment
of the individual to the environment. The
determining factor was the American adoption of
ideas about evolution. But why then did the
English lag behind the Americans? The answer is
that America was ready for ideas about evolution
because it was a pioneer country and the strong
pioneer would be the only person able to survive.
This stress on individualism pushed the
philosophy of pragmatisim (do what works) and
functionalism (what works, is!). From the
perspective of pragmatism the validation of any
knowledge must be in terms of its consequences,
values and utility.
14
This represents a modern form of the sources of
change present in the Renaissance. (1) forces
against hereditary right and for the recognition
of personal achievement. (2) forces against
theological dogma and for scientific inquiry (3)
forces reinforced by the discovery of new land
and wealth in the New World and Far East.
15
THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF FUNCTIONALISM What and why
did the functionalist movement grow up in
America? How was it replaced by
behaviourism? Definition What is a functionalist
psychology? According to Woodworth (1948), A
psychology that attempts to give an accurate and
systematic answer to the question What do men
do? and Why do they do it? More specifically,
it is concerned with the function of an
organisms behaviour and consciousness in its
adaptation to its environment. So a concern is
displayed for the utility of consciousness and
behaviour.
16
William James (1842-1910) He was the father of
American psychology. He was an intellectual force
who demonstrated that there is a science of
psychology and illustrated its scope and method.
He came from a wealthy and gifted family. Henry
James, the novelist, was his brother.
He set up a laboratory at Harvard University in
1875-76 and taught the relations of physiology
and psychology. Major contributions (1) He
opposed the rigidity and narrowness of Wundts
German experimentalism. (2) He sketched out
fruitful lines of development which pointed ahead
to the two American movements of functionalism
and behaviourism.
17
(3) He laid the foundation for individual
psychology typical of personality and clinical
psychology (as distinct from psychometrics). (4)
He made the biological sciences the main
foundation and model for psychology. William
James Approach Approached materials free from
the straight jacket of sophisticated theories or
questions based on technical jargon. He avoided
structuring raw data in terms of hidden
assumptions. Wundt, for example, pressed his data
into an elaborate framework constructed to
conform to abstract and fashionable canons of
scientific method. James desire to view data
as raw and unprocessed reflected the biological
scientists insight that a natural history phase
precedes a more sophisticated laboratory
experiment phase in the development of life
sciences.
18
As psychology was just beginning, James wanted
simple description and classification of basic
facts together with the definition of crucial
problems. This attitude determined (1) the wide
variety of data in his books and (2) his freedom
from the philosophical theories behind British
Empiricism and German experimentalism. So James
collected a wide variety of empirical data
including experimental results, anthropology and
clinical reports, physiological and zoological
knowledge. This directed his thinking toward (1)
defining the problems that arise directly from
such interrelated data. (2) showing what are the
gaps in empirical evidence related to a specific
problem and (3) suggesting what sort of data are
relevant toward filling them in He always avoided
unobservable operations or processes which cannot
be even indirectly tested. He stuck close to his
facts. Discipline versus Problem Orientation.
19
He disposed of all fashionable theories about the
nature of the mind as irrelevant to psychology
and argued that there is an unmediated
correspondence between the succession of states
in consciousness with the succession of total
brain processes. This affirmed the biological
nature of psychology. He studied the purpose of
consciousness (its biological use). Conscious
choice versus habit. Consciousness becomes
involved when there is a new problem and a need
for a new adjustment. So, in sum, he treats
psychology as a natural science concerned with
the living organism as it strives to adjust to
its environment.
20
Psychological functions are refinements of basic
biological functions. Mental life is a biological
function which enables man to adjust to the
environment. He distinguished (1) peripheral
sensory system (2) perceptual organization of
sensory stimuli (afferent process) (3) cognitive
function as the refinement of perceptual
organization (4) movement, the afferent process,
is a basis for the treatment of instinct, emotion
and voluntary action. Note also the ideomotor
theory whereby sensory and ideational processes
spontaneously express themselves in action unless
inhibited.
21
Hugo Münsterberg (1863-1916) He was a pupil of
Wundt who strongly emphasized motor activity as
against sensory processes… this is the forerunner
of behaviourism. He comments on the Wundtian
approach A world of impressions and ideas
exists in us entirely independently of our
actions and, when they are complete and perfect,
they send their message to some motor apparatus
which carries out the order. He points out that
In every moment the motor situation decides the
possibilities in the sensory sphere. Our ideas
are a product of our realities of our readiness
to act… He distinguished between scientific and
humanistic psychology. (1) scientific psychology
stresses physiological processes and
experiments (2) humanistic psychology is
concerned with problems in which value judgments
are unavoidable (e.g., mental health and norms
about appropriate behaviour)
22
Münsterberg was a pioneer in applied psychology
who distinguished between (1) experimental or
statistical study of basic problems arising from
practical affairs (2) the application to
practical activities or methods and techniques
developed in psychology (selection of personnel,
vocational guidance, psychotherapy).
He initiated the study of the effects of
advertising on purchasing habits, personnel
skills tests, efficiency in industrial work,
criminology. He also wrote popular articles in
weeklies and magazines dealing with psychology.
23
THE CENTRE OF FUNCTIONALISM THE UNIVERSITY OF
CHICAGO - 1892 John Dewey (1859 - 1952) He was a
leading philosopher who did not intend to but in
fact founded the school of functionalism. It
was (1) a reaction against Titcheners
Structuralism and (2) clarified early tendencies
of James and others. He wrote an article in
Psych. Review (1897) called The Reflex Arc
Concept in Psychology He argued against breaking
down activity into parts or elements which are
then interrelated. Rather, activity is continuous
so that stimulus and response or sensation and
movement are artificial units.
24
These concepts merely show that different phases
in a continuous process serve different
functions. In fact, the process taken as a whole
can only be defined in terms of its final result
or function which the activity achieves. Why
distinguish between sensation and movement
since one has visual sensations only as a result
of looking at or discriminating part of the
environment. The stimulus - response relation is
a hold over of the mind - body dualism. The
stimulus can be related to the perceiving mind
while the response is associating with an acting
body. In addition, responses or behaviour must
be considered in context (e.g., gun fire
associated either with (1) sentry duty or (2) the
start of a race.
25
How a stimulus affects ongoing activity depends
on the context. 1. We must think about the S-R
sequence in terms of the consequences of the
response for the needs and adaptation of the
organism. So we see behaviour from the point of
view of function and this is the start of the
Chicago School. 2. Molar units of analysis
should be used to prevent too much elementaristic
analysis (this is similar to the basic
assumptions of Gestalt psychology).
26
J. R. Angell (1869-1949) He studied with James
and Wundt and disagreed with their approach to
psychology. Functionalism deals with the basic
operations rather than the abstracted contents
of consciousness. One should ask about (1)
what an operation accomplishes rather than about
the mental elements and (2) under what
conditions. The function continues but the
specific contents of consciousness change. So
functionalism studies the total relation of the
organism to the environment including all
mind-body functions including unconscious
behaviour.
27
The functionalist emphasis on the study of the
utility of actions in their total context led to
attempts to study practical problems (e.g.,
education) It also encouraged flexibility in the
design of lab experiments during simple problem
solving. The experimenter observes whether the
subject succeeded or failed in the task along
with what variables facilitated or inhibited
success. Subjects were also encouraged to think
aloud while solving the puzzles. As a consequence
of this strategy, the Americans were less
rigorous but more interesting than the Germans.
The functionalists adopted a more inductive
viewpoint than the Germans by emphasizing
empirical findings over theoretical constructs.
28
In conclusion We observe a shift from the study
and analysis of perceptual data toward the study
of actions and their effects on the subjects
relations to their environment. (1) adaptive
acts (2) empirically demonstrated functional
relations Each act must be explained in terms of
the immediate situation and the animals
organization with reference to it.
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