Reflection on the History & Systems of Psychology Essay

Topics: Behavior

Pre-modern. modern and postmodern frames of mention have all helped form of import. modern-day psychological theories and issues. In this paper I will try. in a brooding mode. to walk through and revisit the countries we covered in class. the terminal purpose being to derive a step of penetration into where the field of psychological science bases today. peculiarly with respect to oppressive signifiers of ethnocentric monoculturalism.

In footings of pre-modern positions. in the class we foremost discussed historical issues refering the mind-body job.

I stated the nature of the relationship between organic structure and head and whether they are one and the same or two distinguishable substances. which is the centre of the argument between monists and dualist. Descartes. the most good known dualist. argued for a separation of head from psyche and organic structure. Besides an interactionist. Descartes held the head influenced the organic structure every bit much as the organic structure impacted the head ( Goodwin. 2009 ) . Plato. his predecessor from antiquity.

was besides a dualist and an interactionist arguably. and believed the organic structure and soul/mind were temporarily at one during life ; each came from a wholly different topographic point. the organic structure from the material universe and the psyche from the universe of thoughts. At the minute of decease. the organic structure withered off in clip and infinite. the psyche or head returning to the universe of signifiers and there recognizing cosmopolitan truths ( Wozniak. 1992 ) .

Diging deeper into pre-modern positions of the mind-body job I touched upon Spinoza.

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Spinoza. a modern-day of Descartes. dismissed Descartes’ two-substance position in favour of what is called double-aspect theory ( Wozniak. 1992 ) . Double-aspect theories hold the position that the mental and the physical kingdoms are changing facets of the same substance. For Spinoza. that individual substance is God. perceived as the cosmopolitan kernel or nature of everything in being. In Spinoza’s position. there is no divider of head and organic structure. hence. Alternatively they are of a individual substance. in a pre-established coordination. reflecting the Godhead kernel. In contemplation. I continue to side with Spinoza and double-aspect theory in footings of pre-modern positions. I do believe that there is a pre-established coordination between head and organic structure that is brooding of the godly creative activity. “I am hence I think” is my continued response to Descartes.

In footings of modern positions in the class we examined the beginnings of psychological science as a capable subject. During the class I stated that psychological science foremost appeared as a capable subject in 1879 when Wilhelm Wundt started a psychological science lab in Germany at the University of Leipzig. The research lab devoted itself to the analysis of witting thought in its basic elements and constructions. which was uncovered through a procedure of self-contemplation ( Gross. 1996 ) . What differentiated this ‘new psychology’ at the clip from doctrine was its usage of measuring and control every bit good as its accent on the scientific method to analyze mental procedures relevant to human consciousness. Due to his influence on Edward B. Titchener. Wundt’s frame of mention arguably helped give birth to structural linguistics.

Indeed Wundt’s adherent. Titchener. is credited with developing and labeling structural linguistics in an 1898 paper called “The Postulates of a Structural Psychology ( Goodwin. 2009 ) . In the paper he compared and contrasted structural linguistics with functionalism. which he claimed infested most US universities. salvage Cornell where he was cultivating what would come to be called the “the Cornell school of psychological science. ” Notwithstanding. Goodwin ( 2009 ) has stated that Titchener and the Cornell position of psychological science was highly narrow mostly because of its insisting on self-contemplation and due to Titchener’s attitude that his manner was the lone manner. a place that frequently does non portend good in academe. In this vena and possibly arrogantly so. Titchener. likened structural linguistics to anatomy. its purpose being analysis he surmised — whereas functionalism he likened to physiology. saying that functionalists examine how the head is able to accommodate one to his or her said environment. which to Titchener was a waste of clip without a deep apprehension of construction.

As one needs to cognize the Immigration and Naturalization Services and outs of human anatomy before being able to to the full dig into physiology. so therefore was the functionalist at a loss. in his position. without the ability to sketch the constructions of human consciousness via a extremely hard procedure of systematic. experimental self-contemplation as stipulated by him in about cult like exclusivity. which spawned unfavorable judgment. Consequently. his motion ne’er gained the impulse it needed to win American Black Marias and heads. falling into the ashcan of history in favour of functionalism. Nevertheless. in malice of Titchener’s unpopularity in the US. his digesting part is that he helped make a topographic point for the lab and experimental psychological science in all colleges and universities with plans in psychological science.

While functionalists were besides interested in looking at mental procedures such as consciousness in so far as measuring human behaviour in footings of how it aided people in accommodating to ever-changing environments. they did non. unlike followings of Titchener. stress self-contemplation ( Goodwin. 2009 ) . Psychologist James R. Angell. a follower of John Dewey. the laminitis of functionalism in America. became its most vocal interpreter. knocking Titchener and pulling a crisp contrast to him in a 1907 popular paper called “The Province of Functional Psychology. ” It was a damnatory response to Titchener’s 1898 paper. For Angell. the structuralist was interested in the “what? ” of witting idea. whereas the functionalist psychologist wished to cognize the “how? ” and “why? ” of it. inquiring what is consciousness for? ( Goodwin. 2009 ) .

This manner of sing psychological science in footings of its practical applications. became an of import influence in modern times. because it led to the survey of subjects such as developmental and unnatural psychological science. in add-on to analyzing the single differences of head. ( which Titchener and the Cornell school unusually had no involvement in ) . When inquiring how psychological science can be used to work out mundane jobs in a practical manner. we are taking from the functionalists and their motion. Possibly the most outstanding motion in the field of modern twentieth century psychological science was behaviourism. Behaviorism began basically due to the work of Ivan Pavlov.

Pavlov who did non see himself a psychologist. but. instead a physiologist interested in the procedure of digestion in Canis familiariss. was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904 ( the twelvemonth B. F. Skinner was born ) in Physiology and Medicine. In the class of his research. Pavlov observed that the Canis familiariss would frequently get down salivating before any nutrient being given to them. when they would see the nutrient or the food’s container. or when they heard the footfalls of the lab helper who was on his manner to feed them. His observations led to the survey to what we now call classical conditioning ( Gross. 1996 ) .

The first effort to use Pavlov’s findings on conditioning to worlds was made by John B. Watson in a doubtful and arguably unethical experiment on a little male child named Albert. demoing that the fright of rats can be intentionally induced ( Watson and Rayer. 1920 ) . The experiment served to popularise a new behavioural attack to psychological science that would within a decennary become the dominant force in America. Watson its laminitis. propagator and publicizer ( Goodwin. 2008 ) .

To the modernist Watson ( 1913 ) . psychological science is an nonsubjective natural scientific discipline. its theoretical end the anticipation and control of behaviour. Wundt and Titchener’s position on self-contemplation has no topographic point in its methods. nor is consciousness addressed or studied. There is no pronounced boundary line between people and animate beings. Due to Watson’s input and influence cats. Canis familiariss. rats. and pigeons became the major beginning of psychological informations. As ‘psychological’ now meant ‘behavior’ instead than ‘consciousness. ’ animate beings that were easier to analyze and whose environments could be more readily controlled could replace people as experimental topics ( Gross. 1966 ) .

B. F. Skinner. besides a behaviourist and modernist. went stairss further than Pavlov and Watson. projecting behaviour in a more synergistic visible radiation. He made a differentiation between respondent and operant behaviour and argued that most carnal and human behaviour is non brought approximately in the manner Pavlov and Watson indicated and surmised. Skinner. like Edward Thorndike before him. was interested in how animate beings operate on their environment and how this operant behaviour brings about peculiar effects that can find the likeliness of that behaviour being repeated. In experiments he used a fluctuation of Thordike’s puzzle-box. a Skinner box. which was made for a rat or a pigeon to make things in. instead than flight from. Fundamentally. Skinner saw the scholar as much more actively involved than did Pavlov or Watson. for whom behaviour was due to stimuli. innate stimulation before acquisition and conditioned stimulations after larning.

In add-on to behaviourism. modern positions of psychological science took turns and bends. As a reaction to both Titchener’s structural linguistics and Watson’s behaviourism. the Gestalt psychologists of the 1920s and 1930s in Germany and Austria were chiefly concerned with perceptual experience and held that perceptual experiences could non be deconstructed in the manner that Wundt and Titchener wanted to make with idea. and that behaviourists had sought for with behaviour. Their belief could be compactly stated as follows: ‘the whole is greater than the amount of its parts’ ( Gross. 1996. p. 3 ) . The whole is basically destroyed when you break down perceptual experience and behaviour into parts. the Gestalt psychologists held.

There are forming rules of perceptual organisation which were voiced by Gestalt’s laminitis Max Wertheimer. These rules are often highlighted in units on perceptual experience in general psychological science text editions and are as follows: the rule of propinquity. the rule of similarity. the rule of continuance. All of the forming rules have in common what is called the jurisprudence of simpleness or what Gestaltists term Pragnanz. This refers to the inclination for perceptual experiences to mirror world every bit closely as possible ( Goodwin. 2009 ) .

In the class I gave an illustration of gestalt thought. which in contemplation I would wish to return to as it clearly remains in head. I used the illustration of a coach halting at a coach halt in one’s vicinity. On a given twenty-four hours the coach stops at the same corner the individual is accustomed to. and is recognized to be that coach. The individual gets on. but has made a error. She did non recognize that there was a path alteration that forenoon and the coach she took was numbered otherwise. What gives? Is it merely a affair of non paying attending?

In Gestalt inspired. top-down conceptually goaded processing. we begin with one’s anterior cognition. motives. outlooks and beliefs. In the coach illustration. the inability to see and decode or register a different figure on the coach and acquire on it. means it was recognized it to be the customary coach due to top-down processing ( Danner. 2009 ) . If one were to detect the different coach figure. nevertheless. that would imply bottom-up processing. because such processing is data driven. The different figure is perceived in footings of information in the centripetal input. in concurrence with top-down processing. uncovering to the individual that it is non the customary coach.

Possibly after recognizing her error. the individual in the illustration will be more careful following clip. thereby exerting more bottom-up processing. If Austria was home to some of Gestalt’s most outstanding members and disciples. it was besides place to Sigmund Freud. the male parent of depth psychology. Freudian psychoanalytic theory was the first to province the significance of innate thrusts and specify unnatural and normal behaviour in relationship to the function of the unconscious head. Its importance is that the theory of personality popularized contextualizing human behaviour in footings of the Idaho. self-importance. and superego. notating development in five psychosexual phases. Each phase was marked by displacements in what Freud believed were the underlying manners of satisfaction: unwritten. anal. phallic. latency and genital ( Glassman. 2000 ) .

In contemplation. I continue to happen virtue in Freud’s construct of phases for certain. I would still prefer to name them development phases. nevertheless. and non needfully set a sexual significance on them. as Freud and his protagonists have done and go on to make. There is no demand to detail the well-known restrictions and unfavorable judgments of Freudian theory. which harmonizing to Glassman ( 2000 ) are its falsifiability. the great trade of accent put on instance surveies. and its cultural prejudice towards adult females. Regardless of such naysaying. his protagonists would passionately reason for and be inexorable about such a sexual narration of the human individual. which if non fresh fish. surely has amusement value. In fact. Freudian theory is intriguing to me mostly due to the dramatic ( about cinematic ) struggles and challenges that mark each psychosexual phase. Possibly the most well-known of these is the Oedipal struggle ( which occurs in the alleged phallic phase ) . It was interesting to read that some analysts called the female discrepancy. the Electra struggle. but Freud himself did non utilize the term ( see Freud 1924 ) .

Possibly the most attractive modern theory of personality. in my position. would belong to Carl Rogers. In Carl Roger’s theory. a individual is the beginning of his or her basic demands such as nutrient and H2O. He or she is besides the beginning of a growing motivation which he called an actualizing inclination. which is an unconditioned thrust that is brooding of the desire to turn. to develop and to develop one’s capablenesss ( Glassman. 2000 ) . It is the realizing inclination that stimulates creativeness. doing a individual to seek out new challenges and accomplishments that motivate healthy growing in one’s life-time ( Gross. 1996 ) . Harmonizing to Rogers ( 1961. but originally proposed in 1947 ) : Whether one calls it a growing inclination. a drive towards self-actualization. or a frontward traveling way inclination. it is the mainspring in life…

It is the impulse which is apparent in all organic and human life – to spread out. extend. go independent. mature and develop. In contemplation. I continue to experience that Roger’s influence and go oning popularity in the psychotherapeutic community give his theories merit. APA members have been asked which psychotherapist they believe to me the most influential figure in the field ( Smith. 1982 ) . In 2006. this study repeated in the Psychotherapy Networker. In both studies. Carl Rogers was the “landslide” pick.

While this does non turn out Rogers to be right. surely it gives his theory of motive more acceptance than non. increasing its credibility. Surely. I feel influenced by Rogers as I move frontward in my calling. While Roger’s theory of an actualizing inclination and the overall nature of the client-centered attack may be controversial due to its allowance to allow the client name the shootings and as stated by Goodwin ( 2009 ) for its overemphasis on the the ego at the disbursal of the importance of the community. in add-on to being clearer what it was against than what it was for. it is however. a believable predication in footings of its application in therapy and remains my penchant over Freud.

Consequently. I continue to experience that all clients innately wish to be successful in life and to be praised as subscribers to their ain selfactualization. They wish to spread out their cognition and accomplish higher degrees of success beneath all the pretenses that seem otherwise. When clients are non executing to their fullest potency. congratulations and support can assist light the actualizing inclination in a mode that would otherwise hold remained hibernating.

When researching postmodern positions of psychological science we have to inherently talk about cultural narrations and meta-narratives. What is psychological science today and who defines it? What is psychology’s narrative. who told that narrative historically. and who gets to state it today? When we look at psychological science as a pattern. historically and today. is of import to convey to the bow the ethnocentric monocultural facets that were oppressive to adult females and go on to be to minority groups in reenforcing white male Euro-American civilization as the normative and desirable civilization. Indeed. healers and assisting professionals should seek to assist deconstruct and unveil monoculturalism whenever it rears its ugly caput. When oppressive signifiers such as heterosexism. agism. gender and sexism come to the bow in therapy. for illustration. healers should non reenforce them but seek to promote contemplation on such biass with the purpose being for the client to indentify for what it is – and to turn consequently.

The field of psychological science itself is non immune but remains at hazard to the fiasco of monoculturalism. Harmonizing to Yutrzenka. Todd-Bazemore and Caraway ( 1999 ) even though the informations prognosis that by 2050. cultural minorities will do up over 50 % of the US population. this rapidly altering demographic has minimum consequence on the figure of cultural minority psychologists. This is peculiarly true for Native Americans. who are far more underrepresented than any other cultural organic structure. Though the APA as stated by Goodwin ( 2009 ) . is smartly turn toing this full issue at present. with such attempts to be praised. still the bequest of ethnocentric monoculturalism is a discoloration on the profession. and will stay so until important Numberss of minority psychologists abound.

In malice of the barriers facing them. adult females and minorities have made many noteworthy. valuable and critical parts to the field of psychological science. During the class I discussed Eleanor Gibson who received the National Medal of Science in 1992 for a life-time of research on subjects covering with the development of deepness perceptual experience to the basicss involved in reading. faced favoritism while at Yale from psychologist Robert Yerkes who wanted no females in his lab ( Goodwin. 2009 ) .

While she was able to acquire her PhD there under the counsel of the neobehaviorist Clark Hull. she unluckily went on to see troubles at Cornell ( where her hubby had gained a place ) forced into an unpaid research associate place in malice of winning competitory and esteemed research grants. As a consequence of these grants. nevertheless. she was able to transport out open uping surveies on depth perceptual experience with Richard Walk. When Cornell. place to Titchener’s bequest. removed its nepotism regulations in 1966. merely so did she go a full professor.

Furthermore. as discussed in the class. African americans have besides made outstanding parts to psychology. Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark once more come to mind in footings of their best known research titled Racial designation and penchant in Negro kids ( Goodwin. 2009 ) . In this research it was shown that black kids showed a penchant for white dolls over black 1s when asked which they would wish to play with and looked more like. The Clarks concluded. harmonizing to Goodwin ( 2009 ) that one insidious consequence of racial segregation was its negative influence on Afro-american self-esteem. As a consequence of this research. in portion. the Supreme Court was compelled to make the right thing and change by reversal the racialist separate but equal philosophy in Brown v. Board of Education.

The Clarks’ part to psychological science and the parts of other AfricanAmericans predating them were non without battle. Their wise man at Howard University. Francis Sumner faced immense obstructions when trying to acquire a alumnus grade and addition employment in academe. African americans have frequently had their basic rational abilities questioned ( Goodwin. 2009 ) . The bequest of white racism and of the field of psychology’s complicity by non taking a firmer base until merely late is without inquiry a important ground why African-Americans remain to a great extent underrepresented in the profession. in malice of the additions made for adult females. 60 per centum of doctor’s degrees in psychological science are awarded to adult females today. while Native Americans as we discussed and African-Americans continue to be awarded a paltry per centum in bend.

Such blue figures have nil to make with intelligence. We know that early intelligence trials were normed on merely Caucasic. middle-class populations and merely late has such prejudices been addressed and possibly abated. This besides was the instance for the MMPI personality trials every bit good. In the instance of the MMPI. many of the original points became dated and harmonizing to Kassin ( 2008 ) . to convey the trial up to the twenty-first century and more postmodern positions. new points were written in. and a more diverse cross-section of the US was sampled. The consequence of that updating is the newer 567-item version called the MMPI-2.

In contemplation. my conjecture is that similar progresss have been made or are being considered in IQ testing every bit good ; otherwise we would hold to name into inquiry whether colored IQ trials are valid for minority groups. Consequently. great attention should be taken when explicating trial inquiries every bit good as construing the consequences of test-takers from different cultural groups and urban folks. Basically. it is important that trial shapers be made cognizant of cultural differences when seting together IQ trial inquiries. as recommended for the MMPI ( Church 2001 ) . Exerting cautiousness does non intend minority groups are treated with child baseball mitts. but instead that a lens of apprehension is in topographic point — and that can come approximately as a consequence of the trial shapers and assessors informing themselves. Otherwise an IQ test’s cogency for minority groups is at issue.

Pre-modern. modern and postmodern frames of mention have all helped form of import. modern-day psychological theories and issues. Consequently. I have attempted in a brooding mode to revisit the countries of psychology’s history we covered in class. If psychological science as a profession is to go on to turn and develop. it will happen through a similar procedure of contemplation. followed by action. It is of import for psychological science to cognize its beginnings. its history and several narrative. However. in realisation of the deepness of ethnocentric monoculturalism. its leading. peculiarly in the APA. must move on the call to convey about the inclusion of more minorities. Otherwise. the oppressive discoloration of monoculturalism shall abound and go on to deface the profession we hold beloved.


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Reflection on the History & Systems of Psychology Essay
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