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Date Created: 01/28/16
Chapter One Importance of the History of Psychology Ira Hyman found that students did not notice a clown walking around campus there is also a famous video where no one notices a gorilla walking through the middle of what is a basically a basketball game and no one notices a group of radiologists did not notice the image of a gorilla in a CT scan this is called inattentional blindness a German psychologist found the same thing in 1861 this proves it is important that we know the history of psychology study of a science’s history is rare in the scientific community however, the majority of psychology departments offer such courses Why we Study Psychology’s History Recognize the diversity within psychology provides a framework for solidarity and unity within psychology emphasizes the relationships that make the whole of psychology cohesive integrates topics and issues is interesting in its own right The Age of Psychology psychology is one of the oldest sciences and also one of the newest it is as old as someone in ancient times wondering about the strange behaviors of someone else it was formalized until the late 1800’s Psychology has several parents o Philosophists used to study rational tradition, questions about the mind, consciousness, epistemology, mind-body experience, etc… epistemology: theory of knowledge o 19th Century scientists studied experimental method, human physiology, and psychophysics historiography: the principles, methods, and philosophical issues of historical research psychology differs from other sciences in three ways o no laboratories or controlled replication to verify conclusions o materials must be used to construct lives, events, and careers o much material is found in bits and pieces like a shard of pottery Problems that come with Psychology’s Historical Data Data is permanently lost or destroyed, sometimes intentionally o John Watson burned his entire unpublished record of his life before he died Data is temporarily lost and not discovered until years later o pages were discovered in cupboard in England that were important to science such as early work done on the microscope Data is intentionally suppressed for a specified period of time to protect patients and others Data is altered or omitted to protect or damage a famous person’s reputation o Freud’s biographer didn’t disclose just how much cocaine Freud used Translation is not exact or sometimes not complete o Freud’s term is often called free association, which is not really the point he was trying to get across (the german word is translated differently) Autobiographical data may be self-serving to make a person look more intelligent, harder working, etc… o Freud always described himself as a martyr to the psychoanalytic cause, even though he was actually very influential in his time Forces that Impacted Psychology Economic forces such as low salaries and limited teaching opportunities o there were more teaching positions, but not much financial support for psychology o more opportunities to apply psychology to real-life situations World War I and World War II o psychologists proved that they were useful with personnel selection, psychological testing, clinical psychology, etc… o psychologists fled to the United States to avoid the Nazis o brought about studies on aggression Prejudice and Discrimination o It was hard for people to work as professors at colleges in psychology because of discrimination (women) o Sigmund Freud wasn’t let in because he was Jewish o people actually met to talk about the “Jewish problem” o Some people were worried that psychology could become too Jewish so they needed to get more people involved o African Americans were also discriminated against in American education o even African Americans who managed to get into graduate school said they felt very alone o Robert V. Guthrie was one of the first African Americans to get in psychology graduate school and he talks about his experience in school and as a professor (wrote a book) o the American Psychological Association has done very well in trying to break down barriers by forming special interests group and being proactive compared to other professions and disciplines Theories of History The Personalistic Theory (Great Person) says that progress and change in scientific history are attributable to the ideas of unique individuals o history would just kind of sit there forever like a big lump until you get a powerful force coming along o like Alexander the Great or Bernie Sanders (great people) o they don’t have to be nice guys (Hitler, Ivan the terrible) The Naturalistic Theory says that progress and change in scientific theory are attributable to the Zeitgeist, which makes culture receptive to some ideas but not to others o history will change when the times are right and not before o Darwin wrote his book when evolution was in the air o ideas will be suppressed if the time is not right o Galileo was forced to apologize for his heliocentric theory The Naturalistic Theory is a more powerful theory if you have a great person in the right Zeitgeist, that idea is going to spread really fast Schools of Psychology schools of thought originally referred to an actual college or university o e.g. Cornell was known as a structuralist school schools share common views about psychology schools often share a leader or founder schools determine the goals, subject matter, research topics, and research methods to be investigated by its members school delineate areas and methods to be avoided schools go through a predictable cycle of youth, middle age, and old age o when schools are young, they are loud and vocal and dislike the school in power o young schools are really excited about their field o most schools die when they’re young o if the young school survives, it goes into the middle ages o the middle age is when the school is really powerful and the most prominent school in psychology o they slip into what is called normal science o they used to be all fired up but now their vigor is sort of lost o when schools slide into old age they are passed by young schools views of these schools are fiercely defended and not often changed John Garcia tried to publish the results of research that did not fit with the dominant- stimulus response learning theory of behaviorism but was rejected by most journals because it didn’t fit with his school’s beliefs eventually he was published, but only by minor journals Paradigms a paradigm is an accepted way of thinking within a scientific discipline that provides essential questions and answers paradigms are theories that are (or were) shared across the entire science such as Newton’s physics the paradigmatic stage is when a science has widely held views across the entire field pre-paradigmatic stage means there is no unified view of the field most people believe that psychology is still in this stage some scholars refer to psychology as a sequence of failed paradigms Thomas Kuhn, in his book “The Structure of the Scientific Revolution”, advanced the idea of paradigms in scientific evolution and that sciences which are in the pre- paradigmatic stage are divided in schools of thought Brainerd prefers to view psychology as a cluster of coexisting domains of knowledge which include the biological domain, intrapsychic domain, cognitive/learning/experimental domain, social/cultural domain, and the adjustment domain Early Thinking about Psychology and the Development of Science the human brain has been in its present condition for the previous 250,000 years and virtually unchanged for 50,000 years o we would understand the pre-Greeks and the early Greeks very well o they were curious about the world around them and drew what conclusion they could about disease, famine, storms, and nature in general o they were also interested in psychological questions about why some people were brave, dishonest, good mothers, mentally unbalanced, etc… Early Greek philosophers were the first scientists in Western Culture o events were not supernatural but occurred because of natural, understandable causes o they were called cosmologists because they wanted to know about the world around them o they saw an elegant, ordered system around them o probably studied astronomy first o pleasant to contemplate o basically used the observation and inductive method o Thales predicted solar eclipses o Aristotle was one of the first real psychologists studied under Plato and was a teacher to Alexander the Great his major book, De Anima, had a table of contents that could be in an introductory psychology textbook used today Greece began a gradual decline Rome gains power and studies Greek sciences, but only the useful, physical sciences (like architecture) much of Greece’s knowledge goes East and to other Mediterranean countries o Arab countries became a major seat of learning and science christianity was persecuted in Rome but eventually became the state religion a typical early thinker was St. Augustine o he had a great deal of influence o his major work was called Confessions o he asked God to “cure my lust but not now” o emphasized a close, personal relationship with God, similar to born-again Christians o he taught that God will reveal all you need to know and that to try and learn more was to show a distrust of God o this led to hate and distrust of Pagan science which was the scholarship of the East and the Arabs the Dark Ages began in Europe o scientific discovery just absolutely dies in Europe o schools close and learning is basically lost o disease and famine is all over Europe o China, Persia, Arabic countries are blossoming with knowledge o the Muslims eventually basically capture southern Europe o the europeans manage to hold the Islamic invasion by pure luck o Charles Martel manages to put together an army that is able to hold the invasion During the Middle Ages, the church is all powerful and a strong political contender in European countries o knights and nobles are also major political influences in their own countries o the Church began founding many of the great universities of Europe (really monasteries in their days) o scholasticism handicapped any real learning or advancement o scholasticism is taking an acceptable fact approved by the church and you go back and see what earlier people have written about it (research) o St. Thomas Aquinas (aka Dumb Ox) became a very important figure his major work is Summa Theologica he makes Aristotle’s work acceptable to the church by translating De Anima to mean the Christian soul rather than the mind this discovery apparently glorifies God the bible, Aristotle, and Aquinas himself become pillars of church doctrine The Renaissance becomes a time of extensive learning in all areas o the church power weakened and more investigation was allowed o painting, music architecture, literature, and science all flourished o all of the church’s influence was not gone o e.g. Bruno, Da Vinci, and Galileo were still in trouble with the church Chapter Two Philosophical Influences on Psychology the worldview of scientists and great thinkers changed at the end of the Renaissance period the spirit of Mechanism has become their doctrine o believed the planets went in their orbits because of mechanical forces, rather than God guiding each individual planet o leaves fall because of gravity, not because God makes each on fall o people are looking for knowable causes o the clock has become the scientists’ model for an orderly, predictable, and knowable universe o kings and queens built lavish homes to show off and statues became popular in the huge gardens o they brought Automata statues into their gardens (mechanical statues that moved) o this leads to the idea that if we can understand how these machines work, we can understand how humans work o we’re just big, magnificent machines o The Defecating Duck was called the glory of its age and was a duck made of brass that appeared to have the ability to eat grain, metabolize it, and poop it out o Charles Babbage made a calculating engine that can give you answers to math problems and play chess brought around the idea that the human brain is another machine devised by God Ada was Babbage’s girlfriend and known as the Bride of Science she understood how his machines operated and published that information she was the first to recognize the limitation of thinking machines: they cannot originate new thoughts o this showed that even human thought can be investigated scientifically o Scientists now believe in Determinism and Reductionism o determinism: acts are determined by past events (things happen for a reason) o reductionism: explains phenomena on one level (such as complex ideas) in terms of phenomena on another level (such as simple ideas) Rene Descartes was a major figure of the Renaissance and mechanism o Descartes inherited a lot of money so he could enjoy his travel and intellectual pursuits o he went to a monastery for school but was excused from activities until noon because of his poor health o he studied mathematics and enjoyed swordplay and gambling o he was heartbroken when his daughter died at five o mathematics and the spirit of truth saved him from deep depression after years of study o the queen of Sweden ordered him to teach her philosophy o he died of pneumonia in Sweden and his body was buried in Paris, although his head and one finger were buried in Sweden Descartes believed in Mind Body Dualism: the view that both the mind and the body exist and are capable of influencing each other o he contributed to solving the mind-body problem (question of the distinction between mental and physical qualities) o Descartes believed the mind and body had equal influence on each other o the site of this interaction is the pineal body Descartes came up with the idea of undulatio reflexa, a movement not supervised or determined by a conscious will to move o often called the author of the Reflex-Action theory which says that an external object (a stimulus) can bring about an involuntary response o humans have both reflexes and free will while animals only have reflexes and no soul Descartes had Doctrine of Ideas which suggested that the mind produces two kinds of ideas o Derived Ideas: produced by the direct application of an external stimulus o Innate Ideas: arise from the mind or consciousness, independent of sensory experiences or external stimulus Descartes’ Four Rules of Certainty o Believe only what I recognize as evident o Divide difficult areas into small problems and deal with the parts o think in an orderly fashion. deal with the simplest part first o Always review completely so nothing is left out Descartes watched a fly walk on the wall and wondered how he could describe its location he realized he could use three lines (x, y, and z) this is called his Fly in Three Points and is the basis for the cartesian graph More People Auguste Comte lived 200 years after Descartes and introduced positivism and materialism o Positivism: the doctrine that recognizes only natural phenomena or facts that are objectively observable o Materialism: the doctrine that considers the facts of the universe to be sufficiently explained in physical terms by the existence and nature of matter Sir Issac Newton is a model of how one can be a successful scientist and an extremely religious person Newton’s beliefs: o The world was created by and set in motion by God according to his divine laws o Once set in motion, God doesn’t tinker or interfere o Natural laws are supreme and there are no exceptions. Our knowledge is incomplete is the laws fail in some situation o To discover God’s law is to gain true amazement at the glory and genius of the creator o God was a mathematician! John Locke was the founder of the British Empiricist Movement with his book, “A Treatise on Human Understanding” Locke’s beliefs: o he believed that at birth, infants are a “tabula rasa” or blank paper o all knowledge is acquired through the senses o ideas that derive from sensation, or direct sensory input from your physical environment, leave simple sense impressions that we then reflect on to form ideas o primary qualities are characteristics such as size and shape that exist in an object whether or not we perceive them o secondary qualities are characteristics such as color and odor that exist in our perception of the object o simple ideas are elemental ideas that arise from sensation and reflection o complex ideas are compounded of simple ideas and thus can be analyzed or reduced to their simpler components Locke also believed in theory of association, which is the notion that knowledge results from linking or associating simple ideas to form complex ideas Empiricism contributed to psychology because its principles led to psychological issues: o primary role of the process of sensation o the analysis of conscious experience into elements o the synthesis of elements into complex mental experiences through the process of association o the focus on conscious processes Chapter Three Physiological Influences on Psychology David Kinnebrook was an assistant for the Royal Observatory in England he was fired because he took him longer to notice things than his boss, and this led to the idea that there are individual differences in people that they cannot control a huge amount of physiological investigation was going on in the 1700s-1800s much of this investigation was modern and sophisticated there were three important methods of investigation used: extirpation, clinical method, and electrical stimulation Extirpation is a technique for determining the function of a given part of an animal’s brain by removing or destroying it and observing the resulting behavior changes o Hall and Flourens used this method o Hall studied reflexes and concluded that different levels of behavior arise from different parts of the brain and nervous system o Flourens discovered that the cerebellum controlled higher mental processes The clinical method is a posthumous examination of brain structures to detect damaged areas assumed to be responsible for behavioral conditions that existed before the person died o developed by Broca who performed an autopsy on a man who couldn’t speak intelligibly o he found a lesion on what is now called Broca’s Area of the brain Electrical stimulation is a technique for exploring the cerebral cortex with weak electrical current to observe motor responses o first promoted by Fritsch and Galvani who used electrical stimulation to cause motor responses in rabbits and dogs phrenology is a pseudoscience primarily focused on measurements of the human skull, based on the concept that the brain is the organ of the mind and that certain areas have specific functions o Gall was the first to propose this o he thought various mental processes could be localized in various bumps or whatever of the skull Physiology and psychology flourished first in the German universities for many reasons o experimental method was well-accepted in Germany o German temperament and tolerance for tedious, repetitive lab work o Germany’s broad definition of science to include these topics o Many more universities in Germany o competitive nature of German universities where merit is rewarded Scientists of this time Helmholtz was a scientists who emphasized a mechanistic and deterministic approach, believing human sense organs operated like machines o he studies physics, medicine, and physiology and he was fundamental in the foundation of new psychology o scientists had assumed that speed of nerve impulse was too fast to be measured, but Helmholtz worked with motor neurons in a frog and found the speed of neural transmission to be about 90 ft/sec o his major book on the eye and optics was the Handbook of Physiological Optic o he developed the Young-Helmholtz Theory of Color Vision o red, blue, and green make white light when they are mixed, hence the eye must contain receptors to these colors o today we know that he was half right, but he failed to detect the opponent process in the neurons after the retina o he also did extensive work on hearing including work on tones, harmony, and resonance Weber was another researcher of this time period who worked with temperature, skin sensitivity, and detection of weight differences o your ability to detect the temperature of substances, particularly water, depends on the skin’s temperature before the test o using the two point threshold, he discovered that some areas of the human body are highly sensitive to touch while others are not two point threshold: threshold at which two points of stimulation can be distinguished as such o when weights are small, we can detect small differences between two weights when weights are large, we can only detect larger differences the ratio is approximately 1/40 o this came from his search for the JND or just noticeable difference: the smallest difference that can be detected between two physical stimuli o Weber’s Law: the just noticeable difference between two stimuli is proportional to the magnitude of the stimuli (and the subject’s sensitivity) Fechner was considered by many to be the first real experimental psychologist o he was an academic gadfly who got a medical degree at Leipzig and spent the rest of his life at the university o he injured his eyes in a sunspot study and had a nervous breakdown o he had a dream that raw ham and wine could cure him, and it did o Fechner wrote satirical essays such as “Proof that the Moon is Made of Iodine” that ridiculed medicine and science o he used the pen name “Dr. Mises” and this showed the two sides of his personality o his focus in psychology was the area of psychophysics which is the study of the relation between the raw stimulus and a person’s perception of that stimulus (relations between mental and physical processes) o his major work was “Elements of Psychophysics” Method of average error: consists of having subjects adjust a variable stimulus until they perceive it to be equal to a constant standard stimulus Method of constant stimulus: involves two constant stimuli, and the aim is to measure the stimulus difference required to produce a given proportion of correct judgements Method of the just noticeable difference: two stimuli are presented to the subjects. one stimulus is increased or decreased until subjects report that they detect a difference o absolute threshold: the point of sensitivity below which no sensations can be detected and above which sensations can be experienced o relative threshold: the point of sensitivity at which the least amount of change in a stimulus gives rise to a change in sensation Chapter Four Wilhelm Wundt Wundt is an unlikely founder of the science of psychology his childhood was lonely and troubled he found himself in graduate school and became a prolific writer averaging 2.2 scientific pages a day or 53,735 pages in his lifetime o many people say he out-wrote both his critics and his translator o his important books and journals included “Principles of Physiological Psychology”, “Journal of Psychological Studies”, and “Cultural Psychology” Wundt found that he couldn’t pay attention to the auditory and the visual stimulus of a pendulum clock he rigged up and this led him to believe we can’t multitask Wundt proposed three elements of consciousness o Sensations: occur when sense organs are stimulated o Feeling: results from sensations Wundt developed a Tridimensional Theory of Feelings by introspecting to a metronome Pleasure - Displeasure Tension - Relief Excitement - Depression o Emotions: more complex feelings Wundt had a strong desire to categorize these elements into a Periodic Table of the Mind Wundt also believed we had an innate tendency to organize and build these elements of consciousness into complex experience o he called this several names: voluntarism, apperception, and creative synthesis Wundt thought the subject matter of psychology should be consciousness and conscious experience o Immediate Experience: unbiased by interpretation (major area of interest and could best be detected by introspection) o Mediate Experience: provides information about something other than the elements of that experience More People Ebbinghaus applied experimental method to complex human behaviors such as learning and forgetting o he came up with nonsense syllables, which are syllables presented in a meaningless series to study memory processes o he concluded that meaningless or unassociated material is approximately nine times harder to learn than meaningful material o Stumpf was a rival of Wundt who favored another method of introspection know as Phenomenology o he had bitter arguments with Wundt abou the introspection of tones o Phenomenology: examined experience as it occurred and did not try to reduce experience to elementary components also an approach to knowledge based on an unbiased description of immediate experience as it ocurrs, not analyzed or reduced to its elements Kulpe was another individual who differed with Wundt o he used systematic experimental introspection which allowed retrospective analysis of cognitive tasks o he also believed in Imageless Thought meaning that thought could occur without images or any sensory stimulation Brentanto developed Act Psychology, which focused on mental activities (e.g. seeing) rather than on mental contents (e.g. that which is seen)
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