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Lecture 4

PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Folk Psychology, Factor Analysis, Wilhelm Wundt

Course Code
PSYC 215
John Lydon

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France's primary psychological strength lay in the field of psychopathology. The chief
neurologist at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, Jean-Martin Charcot (18251893), had been
using the recently revivied and renamed (see above) practice of hypnoisis to "experimentally"
produce hysterical symptoms in some of his patients. Two of his students, Alfred Binet (1857
1911) and Pierre Janet (18591947), adopted and expanded this practice in their own work.In
1889, Binet and his colleague Henri Beaunis (18301921) co-founded, at the Sorbonne, the first
experimental psychology laboratory in France. Just five years later, in 1894, Beaunis, Binet, and
a third colleague, Victor Henri (18721940), co-founded the first French journal dedicated to
experimental psychology, L'Année Psychologique. In the first years of the 20th century, Binet
was requested by the French government to develop a method for the newly founded universal
public education system to identify students who would require extra assistance to master the
standardized curriculum. In response, with his collaborator Théodore Simon (18731961), he
developed the Binet-Simon Intelligence Test, first published in 1905 (revised in 1908 and 1911).
Although the test was used to effect in France, it would find its greatest success (and
controversy) in the United States, where it was translated in by Henry H. Goddard (18661957),
the director of the Training School for the Feebleminded in Vineland, New Jersey, and his
assistant, Elizabeth Kite (a translation of the 1905 edition appeared in the Vineland Bulletin in
1908, but much better known was Kite's 1916 translation of the 1908 edition, which appeared in
book form). The translated test was used by Goddard to advance his eugenics agenda with
respect to those he deemed congenitally feeble-minded, especially immigrants from non-Western
European countries. Binet's test was revised by Stanford professor Lewis M. Terman (1877
1956) into the Stanford-Binet IQ test in 1916. With Binet's death in 1911,
the Sorbonne laboratory and L'Année Psychologique fell to Henri Piéron (18811964). Piéron's
orientation was more physiological that Binet's had been.
Pierre Janet became the leading psychiatrist in France, being appointed to the Salpêtrière (1890
1894), the Sorbonne (18951920), and the Collège de France (19021936). In 1904, he co-
founded the Journale de Psychologie Normale et Pathologique with
fellow Sorbonne professor Georges Dumas (18661946), a student and faithful follower of
Ribot. Whereas Janet's teacher, Charcot, had focused on the neurologial bases of hysteria, Janet
was concerned to develop a scientific approach to psychopathology as a mental disorder. His
theory that mental pathology results from conflict between unconscious and conscious parts of
the mind, and that unconscious mental contents may emerge as symptoms with symbolic
meanings led to a public priority dispute with Sigmund Freud.Paul Broca (18241880) who was
a French surgeon, supported the work of the German physiologist, Johannes Müller (18011858)
whose work created the evolution of biology. What Broca did was, in 1861, he performed an
autopsy on the brain of a man who had a stroke a few years ago prior to his death. The man lost
his ability to speak after his stroke. The part of the brain was the cereberal cortex on the left side
of the brain. Broca then said that that was the region that affected the ability to speak.
Although the British had the first scholarly journal dedicated to the topic of psychology Mind,
founded in 1876 by Alexander Bain and edited by George Croom Robertson it was quite a long
while before experimental psychology developed there to challenge the strong tradition of
"mental philosophy." The experimental reports that appeared in Mind in the first two decades of
its existence were almost entirely authored by Americans, especially G. Stanley Hall and his
students (notably Henry Herbert Donaldson) and James McKeen Cattell.Francis Galton's (1822
1911) anthropometric laboratory opened in 1884. There people were tested on a wide variety of
physical (e.g., strength of blow) and perceptual (e.g., visual acuity) attributes. In 1886 Galton
was visited by James McKeen Cattell who would later adapt Galton's techniques in developing
his own mental testing research program in the United States. Galton was not primarily a
psychologist, however. The data he accumulated in the anthropometric laboratory primarily went
toward supporting his case for eugenics. To help interpret the mounds of data he accumulated,
Galton developed a number of important statistical techniques, including the precursors to the
scatterplot and the product-moment correlation coefficient Soon after, Charles Spearman (1863
1945) developed the correlation-based statistical procedure of factor analysis in the process of
building a case for his two-factor theory of intelligence, published in 1901. Spearman believed
that people have an inborn level of general intelligence or g which can be crystallized into a
specific skill in any of a number of narrow content area (s, or specific intelligence).Laboratory
psychology of the kind practiced in Germany and the United States was slow in coming to
Britain. Although the philosopher James Ward (18431925) urged Cambridge University to
establish a psychophysics laboratory from the mid-1870s forward, it was not until the 1891 that
they put so much as £50 toward some basic apparatus (Bartlett, 1937). A laboratory was
established through the assistance of the physiology department in 1897 and a lectureship in
psychology was established which first went to W. H. R. Rivers (18641922). Soon Rivers was
joined by C. S. Myers (18731946) and William McDougall (18711938). This group showed as
much interest in anthropology as psychology, going with Alfred Cort Haddon (18551940) on
the famed Torres Straits expedition of 1898.
In 1896, one of Wundt's former Leipzig laboratory assistants, Oswald Külpe (18621915),
founded a new laboratory in Würzburg. Külpe soon surrounded himself with a number of
younger psychologists, most notably Narziß Ach (18711946), Karl Bühler (18791963), Ernst
Dürr (18781913),Karl Marbe (18691953), and Henry Jackson Watt (18791925). Collectively,
they developed a new approach to psychological experimentation that flew in the face of many
of Wundt's restrictions. Wundt had drawn a distinction between the old philosophical style of
self-observation (Selbstbeobachtung) in which one introspected for extended durations on higher
thought processes and inner-perception (innere Wahrnehmung) in which one could be
immediately aware of a momentary sensation, feeling, or image (Vorstellung). The former was
declared to be impossible by Wundt, who argued that higher thought could not be studied
experimentally through extended introspection, but only humanistically
through Völkerpsychologie (folk psychology). Only the latter was a proper subject for