May 9 Psych 207 – History overview and approaches
“Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is
science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house
and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.”
- Henri Poincare
1. Antecedent philosophers and traditions
2. The cognitive revolution
3. Paradigms of cognitive psychology
There wasn’t much of systematic evidence so it was intuitions and also
heavily reliance on authority (accept theory) they used logic a lot, but it can
be meaningless if the original assumption is wrong.
Empiricism: key is association between experiences (locke, hume, mill)
Nativism: emphasis on that which is innate (plato, Descartes, kant)
Individual difference: Galton. Intelligence, morals and personality are innate.
Structuralism: Wundt. Focus on elemental components of mind. They used
introspection. Not internal perception but experimental self observation
(how they react to their answers). Must be done in lab under controlled
conditions. Have people describe things in their basic elements.
Functionalism: James. Function is more important than context. He used
introspection in natural settings. Must study the whole organism in real life
situations. Get out of lab.
Gestalt Psychology: Kohler. Focus on the holistic aspect of conscious
experience. They used introspection, experience simply described as given,
never analyzed. Only macro perception not micro. “This is book” instead of
“the font on the book is…”
Behaviorism: Skinner and Watson. Purely objective, the goal is to predict and
control the behavior. Predict based on stimulus. They said that introspection
is not scientific value. This is a reactionary study.
2. Cognitive revolution:
- During war time the equipment design required knowledge of human
cognition. Make equipment that is made to function well to how the mind
works and what mental process they use to operate them.