PS390 Study Guide - Final Guide: Maine De Biran, Hermann Von Helmholtz, Ewald Hering
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Apply the philosophical psychologies of Biran, Herbart, Lotze and Bain to modern day
Maine de Biran rejected the notion of using mechanics to explain psychology and
believed human psychology was based on motives, intentions, mental faculties, emotions,
dreams, and ideas. He argued physics cannot explain psychological phenomena and we must
balance both inductive and deductive methods when studying psychology. Importantly, he argued
experimenters influence their research, and this intersubjectivity was largely ignored but
influences critical approaches to Psychology.
Herbart believed psychological phenomena could be measured mathematically and
developed the concept of apperceptive mass (new learning is based on old learning) which
influenced empirical psychology and pedagogy.
Lotze emphasized physiological aspects of psychology, and proposed that emotions are
linked to physiology, paving the way for the next generation to empirically investigate emotions.
He also argued that the mind has an inherent capacity for arranging its content spatially. His
work helped legitimze psychology as a natural science.
Bain argued that the mind is active and not passive, and said electrical impulses in
neurons result in concrete experience.
Appraise the developments of natural sciences in the 19th century by contributors such as
Franz Gall, Paul Broca, Jan Purkinje, Weber, Johannes Muller, Gustav Fechner, Hermann
von Helmholtz, Ewald Hering and Ernst Mach to the roots of psychology
Gall believed there was a connection between the size of certain brain areas and one's
ability to function in a given cognitive realm. He paved the way for future cognitive