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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Pre-Scientific Psychology

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PSYC 308
Kathleen Slaney

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Chapter 1 Friday, February 28, 2014 1:24 AM • The dating of modern psychology begins with the establishment of research  laboratory by Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig • There were over forty laboratories seeking to apply new scientific methods,  borrowed largely from physiology and psychophysics Psychology practitioners: 1. Phrenologist‐measured the shape of their clients' skulls, looking for bumps and  indentations that signified talents or deficiencies. 2. Physiognomists‐studied the contours and features of their clients' faces,  making determinations of personality traits and abilities based on shape of a  nose, height of the cheekbones, distance between the eyes 3. Mesmerists‐used forms of hypnosis to encourage changes in their clients'  behaviors  4. Seers and clairvoyants‐ those who could predict the future and thus advise  clients about their current and future actions  5. Graphologist ‐made psychological assessments based on the characteristics of  their clients' handwriting  Mental philosophy ‐ the focus was on sensation and perception or the properties of  intellect ‐‐‐ influenced by British empiricism  • Also included cognitive processes and emotions (sensibilities) and will  ○ Tripartite treatment‐ intellect, sensibilities, and will  ○ Academic psychology in America while laboratory experimental psychology  in Germany 2 Psychologies: 1. Public psychology ‐ popular psychology; consisted of pseudoscientific  psychologists a. Phrenology ‐ examine the shape of the client's head   Cranial measurements ‐ used to pronounce individual's personality,  abilities and intelligence   Franz Josef Gall ‐ German anatomist that invented phrenology   Overdeveloped and underdeveloped brain parts create bumps or  indentations   Johann Spurzheim ‐ spread Gall's phrenological ideas in America   Phrenology provided a plan of action designed to strengthen the  weaker faculties >> provide greater happiness and success □ Clients advised which faculties needed cultivating or restraint  Fowler brothers ‐created their own phrenological industry; was  more like a business  □ Fowler system ‐ a kind of credential that examiners could use  to argue their credibility □ Observant phrenologist increased the accuracy of assessments b. Physiognomy ‐the evaluation of a person's character, intellect and abilites  based on facial features; characterology  Johann Lavater ‐ eyes, nose, chin and forehead as the principal  indicator of intelligence and characteristics (humour, sympathy, etc)  Used to validate racial and ethnic stereotypes   Samuel Wells ‐the jewish nose ‐ ability to turn an insight into a  profitable account   Gained credibility in the field of criminology  c. Mesmerism ‐  Franz Anton Mesmer ‐ discovered he could relieve medical and  psychological symptoms in his patients by passing magnets over  their bodies ‐‐ANIMAL MAGNETISM □ Believed that fluids in the body were magnetized, and that  conditions of physical and mental illness were caused by a 
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