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Chapter 6

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PSYC 312
Andrea Perrino

Chapter 6 Functionalism: Antecedent Influences THE FUNCTIONALIST PROTEST Darwin chanced the focus of new psychology from structure of consciousness to its functions Functionalism: concerned with how the mind functions; how it is used by an organism to adapt to its environment Functional psychology movement: focused on what mental processes accomplish; not the mental elements or its structure but an accumulation of functions and processes that lead to practical consequences in the real world Functionalism was the first uniquely American system of psychology and was a protest against Wundt’s experimental psychology and Titchener’s structural psych Major work on the functions of consciousness and on animal behaviour was being performed at the same time Wundt and Titchener chose exclude these areas from their definitions of psychology  not until psychologists brought the new science to the US would mental functions and individual differences attain prominence in psychology Its beginnings Functionalism went beyond restrictive def's of psychology (Wundt, Titchner) Mind: not simply content of mind; but how it works, the uses of the mind, why it matters=applied English lads studying what are the outcomes of our mental activity; they are doing this work at the same time as Wundt THE EVOLUTIONS REVOLUTION: CHARLES DARWIN (1809-1882) Erasmus Darwin (Charles Darwin and Francis Galton’s grandfather) believed that there was a god who set life on earth in motion but who did not intervene after to alter animal species or create new ones  He suggested that changes in animal forms develop in accordance to natural laws in which species were continually adapting to changes in the environment Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s behavioral theory of evolution (1809): emphasized the modification of animal’s bodily form through its efforts to adapt to its environment. He suggested that these modifications were inherited by succeeding generations Charles Lyell (mid-1800’s): introduced the notion of evolution into geological theory; stating the earth passed through stages of development in evolving to its present structure In the 1830’s people in Europe saw animal species that appeared to be very similar to humans; orangutans and monkeys were put on display in zoo’s and shown dressed as humans In 1853 a British museum showed a gorilla skeleton next to a human one showing off the shocking similarities Explorers were finding fossils and bones and people were curious to know what these might reveal about the origin of man The social zeitgeist: transformed by the Industrial Revolution. Values, relationships and cultural norms were suddenly disrupted as masses of people migrated from rural areas to the rapidly developing urban manufacturing centers  People were now relying on science and fact to determine their ideas about human nature opposed to looking at what the Bible claimed to be true  People were eager to put their faith in science  The intellectual climate of the times rendered the idea of evolution not only scientifically respectable but also necessary DARWIN’S LIFE As a child he had an affinity for collecting things; coins, shells, minerals He studied medicine in the University of Edinburgh but found it dull; then he went to Cambridge University to become a clergyman where he partied a lot John Stevens Henslow (one of Darwin’s teachers) secured Darwin’s appointment as a naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle (a vessel that the British gov’t was prepping for a scientific voyage around the world)  He was almost not allowed aboard because the captain claimed his nose indicated that Darwin was lazy; but he let him on board because he wanted a naturalist on board to help him find evidence to support the biblical theory of creation In 1839 Darwin was married and living in a town outside of London but his health was deteriorating  Darwin used his illness as an excuse to exclude mundane routine from his life and focus on his theory of evolution  He realized his illness was always preceded by feelings of anxiety as he knew that he would be damned as a heretic once his published his theory; because of these concerns he waiting to publish until there was irrefutable scientific evidence to back him In 1858 he received a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace who outlined a theory of evolution very similar to Darwin’s  Wallace asked Darwin his opinions about his ideas and asked for help in order to get it published  Both Wallace and Darwin’s work was read at a meeting of the Linnaean Society Darwin’s book was published and sold out in the first day; this fame caused more illness and Darwin fled for two months THE FINCHES’ BEAKS: EVOLUTION AT WORK Princeton University biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant followed in Darwin’s footsteps and visited the Galapagos Islands to monitor the modifications found in succeeding generations of 13 species of finches as the birds adapted to dramatic changes in the environment The researchers witnessed evolution in action, and observed differences in the birds from one generation to the next and they concluded that Darwin underestimated the power of natural selection as Finches were evolving faster than expected In a severe drought only the birds with the thickest beaks were able to obtain food and those with the thin beaks died off; when the thick beaked birds reproduced their offspring inherited the thick beak and in fact had beaks 5% thicker than their ancestors before the drought  When it started raining and thick beaks were no longer necessary to obtain food the big beaked birds were dying and the small beaked birds flourished and their offspring has significantly thinner beaks DARWIN’S INFLUENCE ON PSYCHOLOGY He influenced contemporary psych in the following ways:  A focus on animal psychology formed the basis of comparative psych  Emphasis on the functions rather than the structure of consciousness  Acceptance of methodology and data from many fields  Focus on description and measurement of individual differences Evolution gave rise to the idea of continuity in mental functions between humans and lower animals Darwin married his cousin Evolutionary theory proposed/accepted Industrial Revolution beginning, science reliant (machines), less church dogma (less fear) Explorers - lots of variety of animals were encountered, fossils (that revealed the origin or man), Galapagos Islands, similarity to humans (physically and psychologically), continuity Malthus (1798) suggested these things first (survival of the fittest; those that cant match the environment die) to Darwin and Wallace (wallace attempted to publish the same information as Darwin) "survival of fittest" (darwin didn't coin that term, Spencer coined it) - adapt to environment to live variation, individuality can be passed on through generations or can be changed by the environment Lead to… animal/comparative psych: many people started to study these things methodology from other fields came into play in order to explain what was taking place; they all became important to explaining ourselves individual diff., measure, consider; psychology became multifaceted what makes us individuals within society, culture, species? IN THEIR OWN WORDS INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: FRANCIS GALTON (1822-1911) Before Galton the idea of individual differences was rarely considered an appropriate subject for study Darwin's cousin he was stoked by Darwin, initial application of theor Darwin influence, initial application of theory he went further to ask about familial inheritance- specific genius/greatness, twin studies he tested families and found some environmental influence, but much genetic influence; he said we should try to maximize our genetic potential eugenics - the improvement of the human race through artificial selection (test, incentives for breeding) mental testing of keen senses (hearing, vision, taste, etc): Anthropometric Lab he was big into quantification he coined the phrase "nature vs. nurture" development of basis of scatter plots, correlation, factor analysis (inheritance "regresses" - regression- toward the mean) thought the origin of thought can be found in the recollection of our own thought - learn through experiences ideas associated to recollections, past experiences/unconscious (word associations) first use of the questionnaire (mental imagery; he suggested that you can imagine something in your brain) fingerprinting as I.D., composite portraiture (we can take several pictures and composite them into one to find the average beauty, average criminal, etc); travel passion, power of prayer.. GALTON’S LIFE He was of extraordinary intelligence He studied: fingerprints (which was adopted by the police for identification purposes), fashion, the geological distribution of beauty, weightlifting, and the effectiveness of prayer He invented an early version of the teletype printer, a device for picking locks and a periscope to enable him to see over the heads of the crown while watching a parade Age 16: he started medical training as an apprentice to physicians He went to medical school and then worked under Newton exploring his interest in math He returned to practice medicine which he hated until his father died He designed an instrument to plot weather data which led to the development of the weather map still used today Once Darwin published his book Galton worked on the effects of blood transfusions between rabbits to determine whether they acquired characteristics could be inherited MENTAL INHERITANCE He wrote a book entitled Hereditary Genius which sought out to demonstrate that individual greatness occurred within families and that this cant solely be explained by environment His goal was to encourage the birth of more eminent or fit individuals in a society and to discourage the birth of the unfit He founded the science of Eugenics and thought that humans could be improved by artificial selection  He thought that intelligent people should breed with each other and that those who scored high on intelligence tests should be given financial incentives for marrying and producing kids He said that no amount of mental or physical exertion will enable a person to rise above his or her genetic endowment IN THEIR OWN WORDS STATISTICAL METHODS Because of the simplicity of the normal curve and its consistency over a variation of traits:  Galton suggested that any large set of measurements or values for human characteristics could be meaningfully described by 2 numbers: the average value of the distribution (arithmetic mean) and the dispersion or range of variation around this average value (standard deviation) Galton’s work in stats yielded one of sciences most important measures: the correlation Modern techniques for determining test validity and reliability as well as factor analysis methods are direct outgrowths of Galton’s research on correlation which were based on his observation that inherited characteristics tend to regress toward the mean MENTAL TESTS Mental tests: tests of motor skills and sensory capacities; intelligence tests use more complex measures of mental abilities Galton originated the concept of mental tests by assuming intelligence could be measured in terms of a person’s sensory capacities and that the higher intelligence the higher the level of sensory functions (which he derived from Locke’s view that everything comes from the senses) THE ASSOCIATION OF IDEAS Galton worked on the diversity of associations of ideas and reaction time (time required to produce associations) One method for diversity of associations was to walk 450 yards along a street focusing his attention on an object until it suggested one of two associations to him  He realized many associations were recognitions of past experiences, including those which he thought he had forgotten Another method: he prepared a list of 75 words and wrote each onto a slip of paper; after a week he viewed them one at a time and used a chronometer to record the time it took for him to produce two associations for each word He was impressed with his unconscious thought processes which brought to the level of conscious awareness incidents he had considered long forgotten He created word association tests which Wundt adopted as well as Carl Jung MENTAL IMAGERY Galton’s investigation of mental images was the first extensive use of the psychological questionnaire ARITHMETIC BY SMELL AND OTHER TOPICS He investigated the study of prayer to produce results and decided it was of no use to physicians in curing patients or two meteorologists in invoking weather changes or even to ministers in affecting their everyday lives He assigned numerical values to odors and learned to ass and subtract by thinking of them ANIMAL PSYCHOLOGY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF FUNCTIONALISM Darwin’s evolutionary theory stimulated the development of animal psych Darwin believed that the lower animals experience pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness. They have vivid dreams and even some degree of imagination If mental abilities could be shown to exist in animals and if continuity between animal and human minds could be demonstrated, such evidence would disprove the human/animal dichotomy espoused by Descartes Darwin said human emotion is inherited and was once useful to animals but is no longer relevant for humans Wundt, before he became a psychologist, studied animals and assumed animals that displayed even minimal sensory capacities must also possess power of judgement and conscious inference GEORGE JOHN ROMANES (1848-1894) Romanes formalized the study of animal intelligence Darwin was his friend and gave Romanes his notebook on animal behaviour so Romanes could continue on with this aspect of research He wrote: Animal Intelligence which is thought to be the first book on comparative psych He developed a mental ladder on which he arrayed various animal species in the order of their degree of mental functioning  He studied these animals through anecdotal methods (the use of observational reports about animal behaviour) and introspection by analogy (a technique for studying animal behaviour by assuming that the same mental processes that occur in the observer’s mind also occur in the animals mind)  Romanes suggested animals are capable of the same kinds of rationalization, ideation, complex reasoning, information processing, and problem solving abilities as humans friend of Darwin systemized study of animals: looked at behaviour of ALL types of animals he specifically looked at intelligence comparative: animal intelligence similar to human; he wanted to make a hierarchy of intelligence ladder of mental functions: order of mental possibility and abilities from analysis of anecdotal method (casual reports of observations), infer similarities to humans (introspection by analogy) C. LLOYD MORGAN (1852-1936) He recognized the weakness in anecdotal and introspection by analogy methods who was Romanes successor Morgan proposed the law of parsimony (the notion that animal behaviour must not be attributed to a higher mental process when it can be explained in terms of a lower mental process) It wasn’t Morgan’s intention to exclude anthropomorphism completely from reports on animal behaviour but to reduce it and give the methods of comparative psych a more scientific basis He believed most animal behaviour resulted from learning or association based on sensory experience; this type of learning was a lower level process than rational thought or ideation He was the first to conduct large scale experimental studies in animal psych Chapter 7: Functionalism: Development and Founding EVOLUTION’S NEUROTIC PHILOSOPHER Herbert Spencer referred to himself as our philosopher EVOLUTION COMES TO AMERICA: HERBERT SPENCER (1820-1903) it was thought that he either had neurosis, schizophrenia, or multiple personality disorder to the U.S. functionalist goes... extended Darwin - Social Darwinism ALL aspects of universe evolves (everything evolves; human, social organizations) utopian view: human perfection inevitable if nothing interferes with the natural order; he thought that the gov't shouldnt help the poor, bad businesses should be allowed to close free enterprise, independence from governing, settlin of the land--work hard or die trying synthetic philosophy- (means synthesis, not fake): he thought the mind alters when it is exposed to complexity mind is in present form due to adaptation by nerves, processes; he thought we should be constantly challenging ourselves SOCIAL DARWINISM Spencer argued that all aspects of the universe are evolutionary, including human character and social institutions He coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” Social Darwinism: applying the theory of evolution to human nature and society Individualism and a laissez-faire economic system were vital, whereas gov’t’s attempts to regulate business and industry and welfare were opposed because any action taken by the state would interfere with the natural evolutionary process If government did not interfere then the businesses would have to fend for themselves and flourish or die on their own  this natural selection and survival of the fittest would eventually allow society to achieve perfection, or so Spencer thought This was gladly accepted into the American zeitgeist at the time and Spencer’s views were compatible with the American ethos SYNTHETIC PHILOSPHY Spencer created the system called synthetic philosophy Synthetic philosophy: Spencer’s idea that knowledge and experience can be explained in terms of evolutionary principles He discussed the notion that the mind exists in its present form because of past and continuing efforts to adapt to various environments He emphasized the adaptive nature of nervous and mental processes and wrote than an increasing complexity of experiences, and therefore behaviour, is part of the normal evolutionary process  The organism must adapt to its environment if it is to survive THE CONTINUING EVOLUTION OF MACHINES Samuel Butler extended the theory of evolution to machines and asked if machines could evolve to higher forms the way humans and animals were said to Butler proposed that mechanical evolution was occurring through the same processes that guided human evolution: natural selection and the struggle for existence  Inventors are creating new machines which render the old ones extinct and as a result, they disappear He hypothesized that one day machines would become capable of simulating human mental processes HENRY HOLLERITH AND THE PUNCHED CARDS Hollerith was an engineer who developed a new and improved way of processing information His punch card system radically altered the processing of this type of information and lead to new hopes and fears that machines would duplicate human cognitive functions WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910): ANTICIPATOR OF FUNCTIONAL PSYCHOLOGY His work was a precursor for functional psychology and he was a pioneer of the new scientific psychology as it developed in the US He also studied mental telepathy, clairvoyance, spiritualism, communication with the dead at séances and other mystical events He was not greatly passionate about psychology, after a while he asked not to be introduced as a psychologist and withdrew from the field saying it was an elaboration of the obvious despaired intellectual thought, troubled; he hated reseach methods; teached at Harvard he was more of a philosopher than a researcher one of the "most remembered", despite lack of formal school: clarity in writing, effective teaching, alternative mind view not elements (too narrow, inferences), but living people in their environment "stream of consciousness/thought"- personal, continuous, cumulative, selective, changes with total experience, the function of adaptation for survival ***remember him for the stream of consciousness/thought thoughts are continuous; and thought that consciousness was selective depending on our environment; if you are conscious you are thinking; our consciousness has evolved as we need it James-Lange theory of emotion : physiology leads to emotion; emotions are a result of autonomic reactions (ex. you see the bear, you run, then you feel the fear) Habit - well-learned pattern of beh. due to malleability of nervous system (we create a habit by changes in the nervous system; pathways are created); needed for societal integrity; he also suggested how to break habits (find social support; make a public pledge) there are different kinds of Self - material (your body, clothes, furniture), social (the roles we find ourselves in different situations), spiritual (our effort, our ability to persist, our will, our judgement and determination) JAMES’S LIFE His mother only provided attention to her children when they were sick; and consequently James health was seldom good When the civil war broke out James wanted to join the army, but his father forbade it He had himself committed to an asylum and no treatment worked for him AN EPIDEMIC OF NEURASTHENIA George Beard coined the term neurasthenia which referred to the condition as a peculiarly American nervousness with symptoms such as insomnia, hypochondria, headaches and exhaustion James called this disease Americanitis This disease was said to occur most often in the brain workers and this frantic pace they are always working at was now seen as a danger to their mental health Women with this disorder were told to stay at home, rest, have no social interactions and be on a high fat diet, whereas men with this disease were told to exercise, travel, and adventure DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY James decided to believe in free will and he resolved to believe that he could cure himself of his depression by believing in the power of the will He then became interested in mind altering chemicals He got married and when he had children he was bothered by the affection given to his children by his wife and went abroad; he continually fell in love with new women and always told his wife about them Although James began and equipped Harvard’s psychology laboratory he was not an experimentalist THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY James is thought to be the greatest American psychologist because: - He wrote with clarity and charm - He opposed Wundt’s goal for analysis of consciousness into elements - He offered an alternative way of looking at the mind In the book the principles of psych James presents what becomes the central tenet of American functionalism: psych’s goal isn’t to discover the elements of experience, but to study people as they adapt to their environment He emphasized non-rational aspects of human nature - Humans are creatures of passion as well as thought and reason - He said intellect can be effected by the body’s physical condition THE SUBJECT MATTER OF PSYCHOLOGY: A NEW LOOK AT CONSCIOUSNESS James said psych is a science of mental life; both of its phenomena and their conditions Phenomena: used to indicate that the subject matter of psych is to be found in immediate experiences Conditions: the importance of the body, specifically the brain He believed that conscious experiences are simply what they are and not groups or collection of elements He declared that simple sensations do not exist in conscious experience but exist only as a result of some convoluted process of inference or abstraction Mental life was now thought of as a unity which changes He coined the phrase stream of consciousness: idea that consciousness is a continuous flowing process and that any attempt to reduce it to elements will distort it You can’t experience the same thought or sensation more than once; consciousness is cumulative and not recurrent The mind selects relevant stimuli to attend to so that our consciousness can operate logically and a series of ideas can lead to a rational conclusion He believed consciousness must have some biological utility or it would not have survived over time and the function of consciousness is to allow us to adapt to our environment by allowing choice He believed habits were involuntary and nonconscious IN THEIR OWN WORDS THE METHODS OF PSYCHOLOGY James thought introspection was the best way to study consciousness and believed you could verify someone’s conscious by comparing it to findings obtained from several observers He also endorsed the comparative method PRAGMATISM Pragmatism: the doctrine that the validity of ideas is measured by their practical consequences; this was emphasized by James THE THEORY OF EMOTIONS James’s theory of emotions contradicted current beliefs of emotional states People believed that the subjective mental experience preceded the bodily expression or action James reversed the order and said bodily expression comes first and then the emotion; especially with coarser emotions (rage, fear, grief, and love) A testament to the times: Carl Lange published a similar theory which lead the him and James to correspond and create the James-Lange theory of emotions THE THREE-PART SELF James said the self was made up of: - The material self: everything we call uniquely our own - The social self: the recognition we get from others; we have many social selves - The spiritual self: our inner subjective being Clothing can be a form of self-expression HABIT James described people as bundles of habits Repetitive or habitual actions involve the nervous system and serve to increase the plasticity of neural matter Habits become easier to perform on subsequent repetitions and require less conscious attention THE FUNCTIONAL INEQUALITY OF WOMEN MARY WHITON CALKINS (1863-1930) The 1 women president of the APA and ranked 12/50 most important psychologists in the US in 1906 She wasn’t allowed to formally enroll at Harvard University but James welcomed her to his seminars and urged the university to grant her the degree Despite James’s efforts, Harvard declined to grant a doctoral degree to women even though Calkins’s examination was describes as the most brilliant examination for the PhD Several years later Harvard offered her a degree from their college for women and she refused because she completed her degree at Harvard, not Radcliffe Women weren’t allowed into universities because of their intellectual deficiency; much of this myth of men’s superior intellect derived from the variability hypothesis - The notion that men show a wider range of variation of physical and mental development than women; the abilities of women are seen as more average o This was based on Darwin’s ideas of male variability: he found that in many species males showed a wider range of variability and females tended to cluster around the mean o This thought about female averageness was thought to make women less likely to benefit from education experienced much prejudice: driven by variability hypothesis/functional inequality of sexes; women "damaged" by education women "damaged" by education assisted by James, 1st female APA Prez. memory - she extended ebbinghause's work: paired associates method; primacy, recency, frequency (exposed to it more often at regular intervals you will remember it more), vividness (more detail=better remembered) self-psychology - science of self, person as relating to physical and social environmen extensive collaborative dream studies: she kept track of her dreams for 55 nights; woke up at certain times and wrote down her dreams; suggested people dream everynight and that we can control our dreams, you have 4 dreams a night HELEN BRADFORD THOMPSON WOOLLEY (1874-1947) Her parents supported the notion of education for women and all three of their daughters went to college She researched the effects of child labour that lead to changes in the state’s labour laws She established nursery school programs to study child development and mental abilities She was the first to test Darwin’s notion that women were biologically inferior to men and found no sex differences in emotional functioning and only small significant differences in intellectual abilities and that women were slightly superior in abilities such as memory and sensory perception early childhood development/learning, school guidance counselling psych consequences of work, child labour reform - director of Bureau for the Investigation of Working Children debunked biological inferiority, but brutally criticized; took 25 women, 25 men and found no difference in emotional function, and small differences in intelligence (differences could be due to child rearing) LETA STETTER HOLLINGWORTH (1886-1939) She lived in New York and married Harry; she was unable to teach in public schools by law because she was married and grew sad and bitter about this She got her PhD and was cited in American Men of Science for her contributions to the psychology of women She researched the variability hypothesis and her data refuted the variability hypothesis and other notions of female inferiority - The menstrual period wasn’t related to inferiority in perceptual and motor skills or in intellectual abilities as it was assumed to be - She suggested that social and cultural attitudes were influential in keeping women from becoming fully contributing members of society, not biological factors She coined the term gifted children married women werent allowed to teach she tested infants and found no difference in variability said male achievements are caused by mens educational options showed variation b/w women (not "more average" group than men) menstruation not related to lower cognitive functioning (women arent more stupid when they have their period) challenged motherhood instinct; supported women's work outside of marriage and family as healthy (all social/culture that impedes) participated in women's suffrage movement mentally "defective" and gifted children GRANVILLE STANLEY HALL (1844-1924) st He received the 1 American doctoral degree in psych He began what is considered to be the first psych lab in the US as well as the first American journal of psych He was the first president of the APA and one of the first applied psychologists HALL’S LIFE Age 17 his dad purchased a draft exemption for him and he help as though he was letting his country down by not serving in the civil war By the time he graduated college he won a number of honors and was voted smartest man in his class He was very interested in evolutionary psych He went to the Union Theological Seminary in New York but then wrote his is parents he didn’t feel he had the requirements to be a pastor He went to Europe and then completed his seminary studies and preached in a country church for only 10 weeks He read Wundt’s work and then began grad studies with William James Hall’s dissertation was on space perception and he was awarded the first doctoral degree in psych in the US He went to Europe again and became Wundt’s student He came back to the US and told people that the psychological study of children should be a major component of the teaching profession then he started lecturing In 1883 he established the first American psychology lab which he called the laboratory of psychophysiology st In 1887 he founded the American Journal of Psychology which was the 1 psych journal in the US st He became the 1 president of Clark University and set out to make it focus on research rather than teaching st The APA was organized in 1892 largely due to Hall’s efforts and he was elected the 1 president He made Clark University more receptive to women and minority groups than other Universities in the States at the time EVOLUTION AND THE RECAPITULATION THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT Although Hall worked in many fields his main interest was evolution At Clark, he was interests led him to the study of childhood which he made the core of his psychology He oft used questionnaires and the use of questionnaires became associated with Hall’s name in the US His interest led to the child study movement which fizzled out in a few years due to lack of accurate data among many people who were studying children Hall’s recapitulation theory: his idea that the psychological development of children repeats the history of the
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