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Chapter 8

PSYC 3125 Chapter 8: CHAPTER 8
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3125
Professor
Kate Harper
Semester
Winter

Description
CHAPTER 8 – PSYCHOLOGY IN EUROPE BETWEEN THE WORLD WARS Psychotechnik: application of psychology in work, law + education -brits didn’t use this term -development of national orgs outside of US occurred first in Europe, often changed in name/mission/scope due to politics -for many, was to promote scientific research -research driven by questions raised by philosophical concerns over how knowledge is gained -emphasis on practical applications growing Psychology, Natural Science, and Philosophy in Germany + Austria Gestalt Psychology in Germany -german experimental psychology focused on normal adult mind -psych gained professional independence under the Nazis, was subspecialty of philo until then Kultur: aspirational term used to describe German social, political + intellectual life, thus what it meant to be civilized -growth was steady rather than explosive like in US -in 1910, psychologists led by Max Wertheimer created alternative to Wundtian tradition Gestalt psychology: branch of psychological theory that became influential in the renewal of german life through its emphasis on holism + methods of understanding in context. Interested in studying the relationship between the part and the whole in terms of perception + cognition -part of resistance to Helmholtz mechanistic science -they didn’t invent term -Johann Wolfgang invented the term with notions of wholeness that fit within german beliefs in the unity of the people/nation -willingness to physical explanations of cause + effect contributed to rapid industrialization -some thought leadership + modernity was great, but others felt sense of human life was no more than mechanical + had no meaning -Ehrenfels argued that human perception is relational + not primarily built out of association of individual elements, we perceive in terms of wholes -extended this to larger questions -began to develop gestalt theory in era in which wholeness in personal + national life was important -fit within boundaries of philosophy -wanted to solve philosophical problems -knowledge claims of gestalt theorists: 1. consciousness is made up of structures whose relations are not simple stimulus- sensation connections 2. Behaviour is structured in interaction with particular environments that provide contexts for action 3. Phenomenal structures of consciousness are supported by underlying brain processes that themselves are not associated in nature, but many follow relational nature of Gestalt -end of first world war, weimer rebpulic formed + lasted until national socialists came to power in 1933 -lots of economic + political instability -kultur was challenged -blamed technology + science of Germanys problems + embraced calls for wholeness in science + life -wertheimer published on experimental results on apparent movement in 1912 -“phi phenomenon” -wertheimer called for investigating consciousness, as people experience it rather than in an analytical matter -objectivity resided in the phenomena themselves as given -wertheimers most complete + complex description of laws of perceptual organization in readings of perception article, most general principle was law of pragnanz Law of pragnanz: human perception has a tendency toward the organization of any whole or Gestalt into as good or as simple a structure as conditions permit -Karl duncker, wertherimers + kohlers student, produced work on productive thinking + problem solving -also argued that perceiver is part of the perceptual field, not outside it + this changes the dynamics of perception -also reported on functional fixedness – tendency to see a problem + its solution in only one way -this productive period ended in 1935 when kohler stepped down -gestalt psychology did continue under national socialists, but never as rich from this time Kurt Lewin -lewin student of stumpf at uni of berlin -worked under philosophy, committed to practical issues -wasn’t doing psychotechnics, wanted to make workplace better for workers needs -study of group dynamics, organizational behaviour + social justice -wanted to humanize psychological science, action + emotion, motivation etc Action whole: in any experiment the experimenter and participant share a life space that affects the participants performance -actions not reducible to individual elements -he extended this work to personality theories -stimuli in environment activate psych processes in a person that results in action or emotion Life space: personality is a totality that includes the organism and its psychological environment at a given moment -he was democratic, wanted to work with women -Bluma Zeigarnik worked with him, found: Zeigarnik effect: participants have better recall for incomplete tasks than for completed tasks. Tension created when task is completed and this facilitated memory until it was complete -would interact with participants to get best possible results -tamara dembo researched anger, but experimentally not psychoanalytically -total situation, not stimulus-response Dorpat School of Religious Psychology -wilhelm stahlin promoted psych + religious, founded society for religious psychology in 1914 -karl girgensohn went to Germany to study psych + learned kulpes systematic experimental introspection + found method for investigating religious experience -religious experience is whole configuration and cannot be understood as series of experiences added together -carl Schneider extended work + found typology of peoples religious experience, mystical + rational -study of religion + psychology was toward practical as well Germany Psychology After 1933 -national socialists came to power spring 1933, jews lost jobs -Kohler was only person able to protest -psych discipline did prosper under Nazis -used for military personnel selection -did testing for handwriting, facial expression + meaning of body movements, rooted in german tradition as body of carrier of psychological + emotional meaning – now called personality assessment -establishment of diploma exam in psychology, could be trained as psychologist alone without qualifying as philosopher or educational specialist Psychology in Vienna -Karl Buhler first director of Vienna psychological instituted 1922 -worked on child cognitive development -applied to school education, supportive of active learning in classroom -vienna wanted institute for educational reform (psychological one), had 3 sections 1. Experimental research a. Led by karl buhler – had view that conscious mind was active, directed process b. Work was relevant to philosophical questions c. Student brunswik did work on perception that developed into major body of psych theory 2. Child + youth psychology a. Led by charlotte buhler 3. Economic + social psychology a. Use of social sciences in justice research b. Studied impact of unemployment by marie jahoda + lazarsfield Marie Jahoda -did unemployment study, found that it didn’t create social unrest + revolution, but led to resignation, passivity + lowering expectations to avoid frustration -moved to US + did research in American jewish committee -concern with social issues Psychology, Natural Science, and Philosophy Across Continental Europe -experimental psychology related to philosophy -labs established -period between world wars, psychologists drew upon older established traditions + generated new approaches – mix of empirical, experiment + philosophica
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