PS390 Study Guide - Final Guide: Psych, Atomism, Social Enterprise

31 views3 pages
14 Aug 2019
Psychology as a problematic science
Ontological Problems
-ontology = the study of being, the fundamental characteristics of reality
-applying ontology to Psych = what is the nature of the psychological “object,” what should
psychologists study, what are the specific and defining characteristics of psychological subject matter?
-most prominent ontological models in Psychology have been technological ones; history of Psych
often parallels development of technology
-cognitive psych’s model of human mental life based on computer + in earlier eras, psychologists
borrowed simpler mechanical devices to express concepts (ex clocks, steam engines)
-machine models are embedded w/i network of ontological assumptions; ex that a person responds to
an external stimulus like a mechanism, not like a human agent
-dividing psychological phenomena into stimuli/responses (as behaviourists did) or into IVs and DVs
(as natural-science psych has done since the 1930s) neglect subjectivity and agency
-instead of investigating complexity of human mental life, mainstream psych assume it is sufficient to
study manipulable bits of behaviour (atomism)
-from perspective of subject, thinking, feeling, and willing are usually experienced in their connection
in concrete life-situations and not in isolation
-Gestalt psychologists demonstrated that parts do not just add up when it comes to mental life
-should begin w the nexus of human experiences in order to understand the parts and not vice versa
-inaccurate to conceive of social-historical reality as only a stimulus environment to which one
responds, bc individuals are not independent of their environments and vice versa
-psych’s credibility as a science would be enhanced by studying human subjectivity as embedded in
specific historical/social conditions
-such an ontological shift might be facilitated by psychologists adopting a reflexive standpoint whereby
Unlock document

This preview shows page 1 of the document.
Unlock all 3 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Grade+

Unlimited access to all notes and study guides.

Grade+All Inclusive
$10 USD/m
You will be charged $120 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.