Introduction to the book Pioneers of Psychology - Pioneers of Psychology - Fancher & Rutherford


Writing about history

Historiography is the official term for the concept of writing about history, but it is difficult to determine when 'the history of psychology' exactly begun. Psychology, as a field of study, did not become an independent department within universities until the mid-nineteenth century, yet it was not uncommon for man to give thought to the mind and behaviour. General psychological and philosophical theories already arose in ancient times and these ancient theories can also be relevant for modern psychology still. 

Over the last century, psychology has become one of the largest scientific studies there is. Within its stream, many sub-disciplines have arisen, some of which are related to each other. Every one of these branches has its own history, but it is sadly impossible to fully treat all of these different histories in a book.

Structure of this book

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Francis Galton (1822-1911) and B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) have not only each left behind their well-known, published works, but also a lot of unpublished data. These unpublished works included background stories and information about their private lives that influenced their scientific work. This interaction between biographical and theoretical factors led to a greater appreciation and understanding of the abstract work and thinking they performed. 

This is why this book contains a more personalistic way of writing. The goal is to give an accurate representation or important psychological ideas, which get more meaning when viewed in the context of the scientists' lives. In result, it will become clear how modern ideas have come about. The theories that we know now of as incorrect can become more understandable when seen in the view point of the researcher and it will be made clear how these theories have led to progress.

Pioneers in this book

The pioneers in this book had to fulfil three criteria. Firstly, they must have been important for the development or psychological thinking. Secondly, because the ideas in this book are presented in the context of the life of the researcher, biographical information must also be available. In addition, the pioneers needed to have contributed to the broad field of psychology in a meaningful way. 

For instance, Plato, known for his nativist conception of the brain, and Aristotle, known for his empirical view and observations, are not addressed in this book due to a severe lack of biographical information. Therefore, our starting point will be René Descartes, at the beginning of the sixteenth century. 

Classification per chapter

Though excluded, Aristotle and Plato do return in René Descartes’ work, thus giving an overview of the important ideas of the ancient Greeks. Chapter one will portray his theories about body and mind as two different substances, with which he laid the foundations of modern psychology. In the second chapter, Locke and Leibniz will be discussed. Just like Aristotle, Locke was an empiricist, while Leibniz continued to build on the ideas of Plato. In chapters three through five, different pioneers,  who were present until the beginning of psychology as a separate university department will be discussed. Wilhelm Wundt will be discussed in chapter five, because of who the start of modern experimental psychology began. 

The middle chapters describe how psychology became independent discipline at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. First Darwin and his ideas on adaptability and heredity, then Galton and his theories on intellectual characteristics, William James - who became the starting point for behaviourism - and then Pavlov, Skinner and Watson, who each were important for the development of the branch of behaviourism. 

The first part of this book, therefore, is arranged chronologically. The second part continues the twentieth century with a representative overview of the different histories of the subdisciplines. Modern experimental social psychology, Freud and the development of abnormal and personality psychology, humanistic psychology, intelligence testing and developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and finally the various subdisciplines or applied psychology such as clinical and organizational psychology will all make an appearance.

Extra themes

Women

Throughout the whole book, attention will also be given to the role of women in the development of modern psychology. 

For a long time, women were excluded from the formal sciences. Especially in the beginning, their influence was thus only indirect or supportive, which also only occurred in higher social classes. The facilitating and moderating roles of women were, however, often important. Even when psychology became a separate section the end of the nineteenth century, it was doubted whether it was appropriate to give women a higher level of education. Later, during the twentieth century, however, more and more women were allowed to participate. In 1970, a project occurred to determine the contribution of women in the history of psychology, in which movements that had an influence on theories about race and gender were also included.

Recurring topics

In this book, recurring topics are looked at as well. Especially ideas from the antiquity seem to keep returning over time. These recurring subjects are examined in a way appropriate to their time. These topics are about several central questions of human experiences and life. An example of a subject is the subconscious. Does it exist and what exactly is it? By discussing these recurring topics, the continuity of psychology in ancient times are visible up to this time.

 

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Pioneers of Psychology Bundle - Fancher & Rutherford - 5e druk English summary

Introduction to the book Pioneers of Psychology - Pioneers of Psychology - Fancher & Rutherford

Introduction to the book Pioneers of Psychology - Pioneers of Psychology - Fancher & Rutherford


Writing about history

Historiography is the official term for the concept of writing about history, but it is difficult to determine when 'the history of psychology' exactly begun. Psychology, as a field of study, did not become an independent department within universities until the mid-nineteenth century, yet it was not uncommon for man to give thought to the mind and behaviour. General psychological and philosophical theories already arose in ancient times and these ancient theories can also be relevant for modern psychology still. 

Over the last century, psychology has become one of the largest scientific studies there is. Within its stream, many sub-disciplines have arisen, some of which are related to each other. Every one of these branches has its own history, but it is sadly impossible to fully treat all of these different histories in a book.

Structure of this book

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Francis Galton (1822-1911) and B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) have not only each left behind their well-known, published works, but also a lot of unpublished data. These unpublished works included background stories and information about their private lives that influenced their scientific work. This interaction between biographical and theoretical factors led to a greater appreciation and understanding of the abstract work and thinking they performed. 

This is why this book contains a more personalistic way of writing. The goal is to give an accurate representation or important psychological ideas, which get more meaning when viewed in the context of the scientists' lives. In result, it will become clear how modern ideas have come about. The theories that we know now of as incorrect can become more understandable when seen in the view point of the researcher and it will be made clear how these theories have led to progress.

Pioneers in this book

The pioneers in this book had to fulfil three criteria. Firstly, they must have been important for the development or psychological thinking. Secondly, because the ideas in this book are presented in the context of the life of the researcher, biographical information must also be available. In addition, the pioneers needed to have contributed to the broad field of psychology in a meaningful way. 

For instance, Plato, known for his nativist conception of the brain, and Aristotle, known for his empirical view and observations, are not addressed in this book due to a severe lack of biographical information. Therefore, our starting point will be René Descartes, at the beginning of the sixteenth century. 

Classification per chapter

Though excluded, Aristotle and Plato do return in René Descartes’ work, thus giving an overview of the important

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Why does one study history of psychology? – Chapter 0

Why does one study history of psychology? – Chapter 0


Studying history offers the opportunity to take a step outside the internal mechanisms of the discipline of psychology. This can help you to see how all the elements have evolved in relation to specific problems. 

A second advantage of studying history is seeing how ideas that we see as old or incorrect today, actually seem logical within their original context. This can help to better evaluate current psychological findings. This historical awareness can also contribute to your personal ability to critically evaluate contemporary ideas. 

A third reason is that it helps us to appreciate the 'reflexive' nature of the field. Reflexivity refers to the human ability to become aware of and reflect on your own activities. This reflection can lead to changes in the understanding of yourself.

What began the study of the history of psychology?

Psychologists have always been interested in studying their own history. One of the first American texts on the history of psychology appeared in 1912: Founders of Modern Psychology, by G. Stanley Hall. Another early text was A History of Experimental Psychology, published in 1929 by Boring. He wanted to strengthen the status of psychology as an experimental science. 

It is clear that the history of psychology has the interest of psychologists for various reasons. In the US, John Watson was very influential. He was trained as a clinical psychologist but decided in 1959 to dedicate himself solely to the history of psychology. He published an article titled History of Psychology: A Neglected Area, resulting that in 1965, a department of the APA arose that devoted itself to history: division 26.

How does one study the past?

Historiography is the technical term for writing about history, but it can also refer to historical work. Some historians solely focus on the development of important ideas and their intellectual and disciplinary contexts, neglecting the social and political factors that played a role in them. 

This distinction is called internalism versus externalism. Most historians try to find a balance between these two positions. Some adopt what they call the 'Great Man Approach', in which history is told by the contributions of important people in the field. In this case, external factors are often ignored.  The Zeitgeist approach takes into account the fact that the ‘spirit of time’ can influence someone's ideas. In this book, a balance is maintained between the internalistic and externalist stand point, and between the Great Man and the Zeitgeist approach.

Some historians use presentism, which means they try to view a subject from the present and explain current circumstances by emphasizing that we have made progress thanks to

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Foundational ideas from the Antiquity - Chapter 1

Foundational ideas from the Antiquity - Chapter 1

 

 

 

 


Plato (424-347 BC) came from a wealthy family in Athens and was schooled mainly by sophists. Plato, however, wanted a modest teacher and found Socrates (470-399 BC). Socrates claimed that his only special wisdom was that he was aware of much he didn’t know. He wanted his students to appreciate what was true and permanent instead of temporary and popular. 

He did this by conducting dialogues with his students, to discover their inner capacities of finding truths. The fact that Plato chose Socrates and, therefore, philosophy still has consequences to this day. Socrates didn’t leave any written documents of his thoughts because, according to him, trusting in writing weakened the faculties of memory and serious thinking. Plato, however, made many written accounts of him: the Socratic dialogues. These emphasize the importance of the higher capacities of rational thinking and mathematical reasoning. 

The dialogues became the source of nativism - in which the innate is important, opposite to acquired qualities - and of rationalism, in which reason is emphasized. When Plato was 30, he founded the Academy, a place where pupils of different ages and interests could pursue their intellectual goals. 

In 367 BC, Aristotle (384-322 BC) arrived at said Academy and became a top student. At the age of 37, he left again. Aristotle placed much more emphasis than Plato on the systematic observation of the natural, empirical world of the senses. He became the first supporter of empiricism - the notion that true knowledge is obtained from sensory experiences of the external world.

Who were the pre-Socratic philosophers?

400 years before Plato's time, settlers from Greece spread and collected writings from wealthy Greek-speaking colonies. These colonies were developed very differently and had founded different types of governments. The Greeks, however, were all very proud of their language, and thought of all who spoke a language other than Greek as barbarians. 

Shortly before Socrates began teaching, Protagoras (490-420 BC) claimed that it was useless to speculate on big questions such as the ultimate nature and layout of the universe. He was a sophist and focused on purely human experiences and behaviour. The sophists tried to understand people.

Hippocrates (460-370 BC) is often mentioned as a pre-Socratic, and, like Protagoras and the Sophists, he dealt with everyday human concerns. However, Hippocrates was mainly a physicist. He attracted a school of students and followers, called the Hippocrats, who together produced many medical writings known as the Hippocratic Corpus. In this, diseases were described as natural phenomena, instead of the result of demons or supernatural influences. The Hippocrats had a ‘humoral’ theory to explain health and viewed disease as the result of the disbalance or four

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Philosophy of the mind: what are the thoughts of Descartes, Locke and Leibniz? - Chapter 2

Philosophy of the mind: what are the thoughts of Descartes, Locke and Leibniz? - Chapter 2


René Descartes moved Paris in 1615, in the midst of an identity crisis. He did not think of his elite education as valuable because it had been too focused on the past. He also found it depressing that philosophy had never produced anything that was doubtful or uncertain. He became one of the first influential thinkers to have fully mechanical explanations for the traditional functions of the sensitive psyche or soul of Aristotle. Descartes described the human mind and body as two cooperating, yet different entities. According to him, both need their own analysis and explanation.

Who was Rene Descartes?

Descartes (1596-1650) was born in La Haye in France. He grew up with his grandmother. His father was a wealthy lawyer, but Descartes had little close ties with his family. His intelligence was noticed by his father, after which he sent his son to the most progressive school in France. 

Young Descartes learned about a science which was dominated by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC). The Aristotelian view of the universe placed the earth in the middle, surrounded by a number of rotating crystalline globes, namely the planets in our solar system, the moon, the sun and the stars. The Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) published a book in 1543, in which he assumed that not the earth, but the sun was the centre of the system. His view was not taken seriously, however. 

Descartes convinced his teachers that he could think best if he meditated in bed, allowing him to stay in bed all morning while other students were already working. When he left La Flèche at age 16, he was the best student of the best school in the country. He then migrated to Paris, and got influenced by Marin Mersenne, a French monk who offered Descartes intellectual and personal support. In 1618, he went into the army to see if the practical experiences of the "real world" would provide more satisfactory knowledge. The actual war had not started yet, so Descartes experienced seven months of boredom and learned quickly that the military had no more useful knowledge than scholars did. 

A turning point for Descartes was when he met Isaac Beeckman (1588-1637) in the Netherlands, a physician and internationally known mathematician. He became a mentor to Descartes and helped him to get back his intellectual interest. With his support, Descartes wrote his first scholarly work, an essay about music. When Beeckman had to leave Breda, Descartes went with him, and during the trip to the south he got two insights. According to a legend, the inspiration came when he saw a fly humming in the corner of his room. He suddenly realized that the position of

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Physiologists of the mind: which important scientists examined the brain in the period between Gall and Penfield? - Chapter 3

Physiologists of the mind: which important scientists examined the brain in the period between Gall and Penfield? - Chapter 3


Nowadays, we see the brain as the organ responsible for our intelligence and higher mental possibilities. However, it took about 200 years before this concept was accepted. Aristotle could hardly believe how a bloodless, numb and generally not impressive-looking organ could be the source of the highest human faculties. He supposed these functions were to be contributed to the heart. Descartes saw a number of important functions in the brain, however attributed the greatest functions to the rational soul.

Who is Franz Jozef Gall?

Locke's teacher, Thomas Willis (1621-1675), paid more attention to the brain and was in 1664 the first to accurately publish a detailed work about it, named 'Anatomy of the Brain'. Willis saw that the brain tissue was not undifferentiated, as Aristotle thought, but consisted of two kinds of substances. Firstly, there is a fleshy, grey mass that forms the outer layer, also know as the cortex, (the inner part of the spinal cord and several discrete centres within the brain). Secondly, there is a fibrous white mass in the other areas. He speculated that this white mass consisted of narrow channels whose function is to distribute the "souls" that are created in the grey mass. In addition, he also accurately described the blood vessels in the brain, which proved that the brain is not a bloodless organ. Other doctors discovered that strokes can occur in the brain, and that, in case of injuries on one side of the brain, there are often paralysis or loss of feeling on the other side of the body. However, the brain only really became a topic of interest around 1800, in which the German physiologist Franz Josef Gall (1758-1828) played a big part.

Gall confirmed and developed many of Willis' basic ideas about the grey and white matter. He showed that the two halves of the brain are linked by stems of white matter that are called commissures and that other, narrower pieces of white fibres connect the two halves of the brain to the opposite sides of the spinal cord. This helped explain why damage on one side of the brain can lead to paralysis on the other side of it body. He also showed that the brain is in fact the centre for higher mental activity (by describing that animals with a larger brain tend to be more complex, more flexible and display more intelligent behaviour). Gall's anatomical findings were the basis for the later discovery that the brain and spinal cord consist of billions of neurons. Neurons are connected by dendrites, which receive signals from other neurons via axons. Axons tend to cluster together and thus form the white matter, while the cell

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The sensing and perceptive spirit: which developments took place in this area in the period between Kant and the Gestalt psychologists? - Chapter 4

The sensing and perceptive spirit: which developments took place in this area in the period between Kant and the Gestalt psychologists? - Chapter 4


The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) became known because of what he called 'my dogmatic slumbers'. He was trained in the Leibnizian tradition and had written before on subjects such as the origin of God and the difference between absolute and relative space. He was stimulated by one of John Locke's successors to start thinking about 'critical philosophy’, which ultimately led to subtle but crucial changes in how Germany, until then, thought about humanity and nature.

What is Kant's background?

It was the Scotsman David Hume who caused Kant to become inspired to bring empiricism and associationism to an extreme. In addition, he started the logical status of the causal connection (the intuitive belief that certain events are directly 'caused' by certain other prior events).

They started from a cause, which implied a necessary consecutive relationship between certain preconditions and subsequent events. It also suggests that when we observe events, we immediately attribute causality to them. Hume brought this assumption, however, in doubt. He states that 'causality' is nothing more than that we expect events that took place in a certain way in the past, will occur in the same way in the future. The supposed connection between the events is never directly observed, so causality only has a probable rather than an absolute base. 

From a practical point of view, these considerations make no difference. People thrive best in the real world by anticipating regularities in nature, whether or not this causality is genuine or assumed. For a philosopher like Kant, who dealt with the essential nature of human knowledge, this matter was crucial. Kant responded to this challenge with a simple but revolutionary variant of the nativist argument. He argued that even though causality could not be proven to exist in the external world, it nevertheless seemed to be an inevitable part of our experience. Therefore, according to him, it will be an innate quality in our minds. 

He assumed two separate domains of reality, one complete within the human mind and one complete out there. The external or noumenal world consists of things-in-itself: objects in a pure state of independence of human experience. Despite that assuming that a certain object exists and that it interacts with the human mind, the noumenal world can never directly being seen. When this object encounters the human spirit, said spirit transforms the object into the inner or phenomenal world. The term phenomenal comes from the Greek phainomenon, meaning 'appearance', and reflects Kant’s argument that people never directly experience the true reality of things-in-themselves. Instead they experience a number of 'apparitions' or 'phenomena', which are the creation of an active mind who experiences the noumenal world.

To create this

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How did Wundt develop experimental psychology? - Chapter 5

How did Wundt develop experimental psychology? - Chapter 5


The German Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) developed a "Thought-meter" to test the assumed assumption that, when two different stimuli reach our senses at the same moment (for example, when we hear someone speak and at the same time see his lips moving), we also become aware of both stimuli at the same time. On page 174 is his 'thought-meter' with an explanation. When Wundt tested himself, he concluded that he had not consciously experienced visual and visual stimuli at the same time, despite the fact that they took place simultaneously. Instead separate moments of attention were needed. Wundt acknowledged that, like Herman Helmholtz and Gustav Fechner, that he now had a clear psychological process subject to experimentally study, while Kant had implied that this was impossible. Wundt therefore suggested that there was sufficient ground for setting up a new field of experimental psychology. This possibility he introduced in his book from 1862, ‘Contributions to the Theory of Sensory Perception’. He is still seen as the father of modern academic and experimental psychology today.

What did Wundt's life look like?

Wundt was born in a small village in Germany, where his father was a pastor. The family had good academic connections. As a child, Wilhelm got malaria, after which his parents decided to move to Heidelberg, with a healthier climate. He grew up as an only child and was often picked on. Wilhelm was a real daydreamer, and his first year in high school became a complete failure. Wundt's parents sent him to Heidelberg to live with his aunt and brother Ludwig. Here he found more connection with peers. However, he did not receive a scholarship to the University. Under the supervision of his uncle Arnold, professor of anatomy and physiology he did, however, have academic success.

Wundt's first experiment was led by the German chemist Robbert Bunsen (1811- 1899), and in 1854 he won a gold medal from the university for examining the effect of the nervus vagus on the breathing. Years later, Wundt worked as an assistant to Helmholtz. The 'thought-meter' was very similar to Helmholtz's work on the speed of nerve impulses. Astronomers had problems with the reaction speed for years.  According to Helmholtz personal comparisons and differences arise because there are individual differences in the length of a person's sensory and motor nerves, or in the speed in which the nerves send impulses. It is also possible that the differences arise due to the speed of the central processing in the brain. He could demonstrate this with his thought-meter.

Wundt believed that his discovery, that stimuli are first registered in consciousness responded to it, supported the general philosophical tradition of Leibniz. This is a psychology that explains the receptive and creative qualities of the

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The evolving mind: what psychological developments did Darwin bring? - Chapter 6

The evolving mind: what psychological developments did Darwin bring? - Chapter 6


Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) was unexpectedly asked for the position of naturalist on board of the ship the H.M.S. Beagle. Darwin would support the captain with geological, mineralogical and biological observations, but would also accompany the captain for the next five years in his room. Upon his return, Darwin was known as a talented and respected geologist and collector of biological samples. He had made a number of important observations, which were the beginning of his development of the theory of evolution through natural selection: a revolutionary biological theory with immeasurable implications for psychology.

What did Darwin's life look like?

Darwin came from a rich and respected family. His father was a doctor, his mother was from a famous family that produced Chinese tableware, and his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin (1731- 1802), was one of the most famous intellectual figures of his time. From early on in his live, Darwin possessed two important qualities. First of all, he was very curious and had a love for nature. He was also a warm and sympathetic man, which made him loved with almost everyone he met.

Darwin was sent to a medical school where he learned taxidermy. He didn’t think medications was interesting enough and he had bad memories of this school period. His father therefore placed him at the University of Cambridge, where Darwin was prepped to become an Anglican pastor. Here he became a member of a club called the Gourmet Club. This club was known for their hunt for birds and beasts, which were previously unknown to the taste buds of man. However, this came to an early end when they tried to eat a brown one owl.

Darwin liked geometry, but nevertheless had 'an argument' with binomial theory. Instead, he liked nature, and especially collecting beetles provided him with a lot of fun. He called this his "proof of my zeal." Darwin's enthusiasm for natural history and his friendly personality drew the attention from Cambridge's more scientifically oriented faculty. These people were mainly John Stevens Henslow (1796-1861) and Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), professors in botany and geology. Darwin went on one of their excursions to the countryside and spent a lot of time with Henslow. After graduating in 1831, he went to the north of Wales for a summer for a geological tour with Sedgwick.

Darwin's journey on the Beagle began in December 1831. Darwin devised a sample bag, which he dragged behind the ship and in which he caught thousands of sea creatures he subsequently

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Measuring the mind: what are Galton's thoughts about individual differences? - Chapter 7

Measuring the mind: what are Galton's thoughts about individual differences? - Chapter 7


London's International Health Exhibition of 1884 was characterized by a remarkable exhibition called the anthropometric laboratory that drew many spectators. These spectators became test subjects in this laboratory and eventually received some comparative information about themselves. The devices in it laboratory tested the test subjects different ways and gave them their score and the average score of the previous test subjects.

At that time, these tests were seen as mental tests to measure aspects of intelligence. Today, we see that intelligence uses "higher" mental processes, such as thinking, reasoning and logic. Nevertheless, the creator of these tests, Francis Galton, argued that the people with the highest intellectual possibilities, logically also had the most powerful and most efficient nervous systems and brains. He thought that the powers of one's brain was possibly in relation to its size. So the first test to measure the supposed intelligence of a person was to measure size of one’s head.

He also thought that someone's neurological effectiveness should be related to the speed in which this person can respond to something, therefore there was also a test of response time. He believed in two incorrect, but then generally accepted prejudices, which according to him proved a major correlation between sensory acuteness and intelligence. The first prejudice was that people with intellectual disabilities have both a sensory and intellectual disability. The second bias stated that women were generally less intelligent than men and that they can perceive things less vividly.

Fechner's psychophysics had studied the limitations of sensory discrimination and the Wundtian mental chronometry experiments had carefully measured the reaction time. But these previous studies only focused on established, general psychological principles that apply to all people, while individual differences in sharpness of mind or response time were avoided or rejected. The founder of the Anthropometric Laboratory assumed a Darwinian framework in which variability and adaptation were included. Individual differences in sharpness and reaction time were not "errors" or "irregularities" that were to be avoided but instead were the basic mechanism of evolution and therefore an important subject of interest. The anthropometric laboratory led to the development of the psychology of individual differences. This is a discipline that focuses on measuring variations between people at certain psychological characteristics.

Francis Galton (1822-1911) was the younger cousin and friend of Charles Darwin. He was a curious person and was discoverer, geographer, meteorologist and a biological researcher before he turned his attention to measuring intelligence and other psychological attributions. Many of his psychological ideas (such as his theory of measuring intelligence) were found to be incorrect and too simple. He was, however, the pioneer who came up with the idea that tests

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American pioneers: what are the thoughts of James, Hall, Calkins and Thorndike? - Chapter 8

American pioneers: what are the thoughts of James, Hall, Calkins and Thorndike? - Chapter 8


It became clear at the conference in Munich in 1896 that psychology was slowly becoming a respected scientific and academic discipline. The two professors who were responsible for this, were sadly not there: Wilhelm Wundt and William James (1842-1910). Ironic enough, despite the contribution of both professors to the creation of an intellectual climate, both the professors did not appreciate each other's work. Wundt thought that there was little new information or original content in James’s writing, except for his style, which Wundt called personal and informal (he thought it was beautiful literature, but that it did not fall under psychology). Another reason that Wundt was not all that enthusiastic about James' work, for one was because James also criticized the work of Wundt. The reason for this was in the fact that it took James twelve years old to write his book "The Principles of Psychology ". The two professors each had their own style and stood behind different ones psychology, yet they were two of the most influential professors of their time.

What did James' early life look like?

William James was born in New York. He was the eldest child and came from a rich family. During his childhood and adolescence, he regularly moved with his family around in Europe and America. His father, Henry James Sr., had suffered a restless life and experienced regular anxiety attacks. After he had recovered, he focused on teaching his children and he searched for the best place to do so. Despite that he never actually found this perfect place, all four children remained highly motivated to study.

James had a talent for drawing and art, but because the subject was rejected by his father, he was sent to Harvard in 1861 to study chemistry. At Harvard, he shifted his attention from chemistry to physiology and in 1864 he registered himself at the medical school. A year later ,he interrupted his studies to go on an expedition, supervised by Louis Agassiz (1807- 1873). Agassiz was a biologist and one of the most outspoken critics of Darwin's book 'Origin or Species'. During this trip, James found out that biology was not suitable for him anyway and he returned home.

James convinced his father in 1867 to let him go to Germany, for the mineral baths that were good for his back among other reasons. But after a series of events in 1870, he experienced his first anxiety attack as well and he had trouble recovering from it. Until he read an article about free will in 1870, written by the French philosopher Charles Renouvier (1815-1903). Because of this he started to believe in free will. Also an article

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Psychology as behavioural science: how is this area affected by Pavlov, Watson and Skinner? - Chapter 9

Psychology as behavioural science: how is this area affected by Pavlov, Watson and Skinner? - Chapter 9


Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) was interested in the congenital and reflexive saliva reactions in dogs, which he first called psychic secretions. It was about this saliva that arose automatically and involuntarily once there food was nearby. Pavlov saw that when dogs had become accustomed to the routine of the laboratory, they already started to drool as soon as they entered the research room came in. The dogs had associated the research room with food. These reactions were clearly learned and the result of experience and not of innate reflexes.

Pavlov saw himself as a physiologist and did not want to be associated with 'soft' psychology. After reading Sechenov's book, he became inspired enough to define his research into pure define physiological terminology. He called the psychic secretion conditioned reflexes and he called innate reflexes unconditioned reflexes. The relationship between the two could be examined in the laboratory and interpreted in physiological terms. Although Pavlov hated psychology, psychologists were interested showed for his work. One of those interested was Watson. He claimed the subject of psychology was the objective, observable behaviour, not the traditional mind and its subjective awareness. Inspired by the conditioned reflex of Pavlov, he became the founder of behaviourism.

What did Pavlov's life look like?

As a poor, but gifted student, Pavlov started to study physiology at the University of St. Petersburg. There he focused on the new mechanistic physiology and soon he was known as an exceptionally accurate researcher who even helped doctoral students to get their degree, even before he got his own degree in 1883. Not that he could get started right away: jobs in conducting research were rare. Only after he was forty did he become a professor the St. Petersburg military medical academy, where he set up his own laboratory to carry out his dream: an experimental study into the physiology of the digestion.

Pavlov was known for having two different sides, depending on his environment. In his personal life he was known as naïve, but in the laboratory he was the complete opposite. There he was strict: his animals had to be well fed and the laboratory always had to be well stocked and taken care of. The remarkable thing about his laboratory was its organization. Although he had difficulty organizing his personal life, he succeeded in keeping his laboratory in order very well. Experiments were systematically performed and repeated. New employees were never assigned to a new or independent project, but always had to test existing experiments again. If the new and the old results matched, the new employee could start a new project. Systematic work was something that Pavlov gotten a strain on early on, and that was what he learned to others: working systematically at

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Social psychology: how did this psychology develop in the period after Mesmer? - Chapter 10

Social psychology: how did this psychology develop in the period after Mesmer? - Chapter 10


Johann Joseph Gassner (1727-1779) was a priest who claimed that he could cure disease through exorcism. A lot of patients reported improvement after treatment, but many others thought he was going too far and applied it carelessly. That is why the Viennese physicist Franzz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) was asked to investigate the treatments of Gassner. Mesmer could try to cure patients in a similar way, but then through magnetism rather than of supernatural exorcism. Mesmer duplicated the effects of Gassner and stated that the effects were the result of a strong magnetic force. He explained Gassner's results in a naturalistic and scientific way. Gassner was banished and was not allowed to perform any more exorcisms. Mesmer did a number important discoveries about the phenomenon of hypnotism and has made an attempt to explain this scientifically. He also researched the social influence processes.

What is animal magnetism?

Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) was able to cure patients in the same way as Gassner, but he did also provoke a natural force as a therapeutic mechanism, instead of a so-called supernatural exorcism. He healed many patients and explained that this was due to a strong magnetic force that was concentrated in his own body. So he delivered a naturalistic and 'scientific' explanation. Gassner was then exiled and was not allowed to exercise exorcisms any longer. Mesmer made important discoveries about hypnosis, the process creating a mental concentration that leads to a state of high influenceability and tried to explain this in a scientific way. He also did important research in the field of social influence, which have led to many developments in the social psychology. 

Of his life before 1766, little is known. In 1766 Mesmer got his doctorate in medicine. Much of his dissertation he had taken over from someone else, but one of the parts that he had not copied was about a force he called animal gravity. He argued that magnetism was caused by a group of invisible and mysterious liquids such as electricity, gravity and gases such as helium. His plagiarism remained unnoticed. He married a rich widow and became an active socialist. He was also a good amateur musician and became friends with Mozart. In 1773, Mesmer began to treat a patient who suffered from periodic seizures consisting of symptoms such as convulsions, vomiting and inflammation. He let his patient swallow some pieces of iron and placed magnets on different parts of

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The mind in conflict: what does Freud's psychoanalysis mean? - Chapter 11

The mind in conflict: what does Freud's psychoanalysis mean? - Chapter 11

How did psychoanalysis arise?

Joseph Breuer and Bertha Pappenheim came up with the "cathartic method" as treatment. In that method. Breuer hypnotized Breuer Pappenheim and asked her to go back to the first times she had experienced a specific physical sensation (such as her symptoms). Hypnotizing made it easier to reach forgotten memories (but only high emotion memories, associated with symptoms). By recovering the forgotten memory, she can release the oppressed emotions. This way the symptoms could disappear.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), friends with Breuer, remembered the method years later tried it out. He found out that it works better than direct hypnosis. Together with Breuer, he wrote the book "Studies on Hysteria", which became the starting point for Freud's new field. He called this field psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis played an important role in the history of the Mental Hygiene Movement and the Child Guidance Clinics. In the book, different cases they showed and brought on the general hypothesis that patients with hysteria suffered this because of their repressed memories. It was not about normal memories, but memories about emotion-laden experiences that were stored in the unconscious, which turned them into a disease ("pathogenic ideas"). Without access to normal consciousness, the emotional energy that accompanies the pathogenic ideas is not expressed in the normal way and thus cannot be released. The stimulus that normally aroused the memories was now used to the pinched emotional energy, causing the hysterical symptoms. The hysterical symptoms were conversions (the transition of emotional information into physical energy). With hypnosis, people can consciously gain access to the pathogenesis ideas, allowing the normal expression of their pinched energy to take place. This is because the cause of the symptoms is directly addressed. One downside is that the "cathartic method" is only applicable to people who can be deeply hypnotized.

Freud grew up as the oldest child in his family, but with half-brothers who were as old as his mother and a nephew (grandson of Freud's father) who was older than he. By this unusual family composition Freud may have become susceptible to family relationships, which he later emphasizes in his theories. When Freud studied at the University of Vienna, he met the philosopher Franz Brentano, who became his inspiration. In 1874, Brentano published a book, "Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint". In his book, he emphasized the Act psychology, in which he put the essential nature of the subjects within psychology and those within the physical sciences directly opposed to each other. The physical sciences studied objects, while for Brentano, the basic units of psychological analyses were previously actions, which always referred to the contents of an object. For example, where the basic unit of physical analysis was probably an atom, the psychological base unit was an action like thinking about an atom or believing it that a certain atom exists. So all mental phenomena have a component that indicates what they are "about", a way in which the object is involved or implied in the consciousness. This, Brentano called intentionality. 

Brentano also believed that each psychological theory must be dynamic, or able to take into account the influence of

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Personality psychology: what are the thoughts of Allport and Maslow? - Chapter 12

Personality psychology: what are the thoughts of Allport and Maslow? - Chapter 12


As discussed earlier, Titchener was involved in a new scientific approach of psychology, namely structuralism. He had tried to scientifically analyse experiences, but in the form of the most elementary sensations and feelings. Titchener was the opponent of Freud. The invitation that Gordon W. Allport (1897-1967) received for the conference "Society of Experimentalists", set up by Titchener, was probably one of the biggest mistakes he’s made, considering Allport was more focused on the subject of personality. Titchener responded negatively to Allport and belittled him during the conference. The disappointment in Allport was temporary, however, because he was the first to teach at the university in personality psychology.

Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970) also could not find himself in Titchener's model. Allport and Maslow were similar to each other in the fact that they are both regularly the limits of psychology and searched for, but that was also just about it. Allport was interested in personality psychology, in which the subjects varied from individual case studies to statistical analysis of mutual relationships on a large scale. Maslow was interested in which factors caused people to be "normal" or "healthy". He formulated an influential theory on human motives, as they are in a hierarchy and became a supporter of humanistic psychology. Both theories formulated by Maslow and Allport were an important part of the development and evolution of modern psychology as we know it today.

Who was Gordon W. Allport (1897-1967)?

Allport became fascinated by his teacher Munsterberg at Harvard, who felt that there were two fundamentally different types of psychology: Firstly, psychology is causal and objective, and is aimed at emphasizing deterministic and mechanistic relationships between specific stimuli and the reactions they produce. The other kind of psychology is purposeful and subjective, which requires psychologists to gain insight into certain thinking processes and perspectives of the participants and to share these insights.

After graduating, Allport became an English and Sociology teacher at a small school in Turkey. Later on he returned to Harvard for a PhD in psychology. He always had great admiration for the psychoanalysis and promoted this to academic psychologists. As an assistant to Floyd, he learned a lot about new developments in psychology. One of these topics was personality. Some psychologists were interested in measuring non-intellectual characteristics with personality tests. The corresponding concept of personality studies, according to Allport, was the focus on individual differences in properties. They suggested a model for of personality, consisting of four groups: intelligence, temperament, self-expression and sociality. In Hamburg, Allport met the professor

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The developed spirit: how have Binet and Piaget contributed to the study of intelligence? - Chapter 13

The developed spirit: how have Binet and Piaget contributed to the study of intelligence? - Chapter 13


During the late 1880s Binet studied the behaviour of his daughters. He also tried new psychological tests on them. Some tests were about reaction time and sensory discrimination. He discovered that his daughters, without developed intellect, it did about as well as adults. He did not think the measurements were good indicators of intelligence. He wanted tests that were about higher and more complex functions, such as language and abstract reason. He was not the only pioneer in testing intelligence, Piaget did this too. He discovered that children have no concept of ​​objects as stable and permanent, and as separate from yourself and your perception. The hypothesis the result is that the intelligence of a child is not is less than that of an adult, but qualitatively different is. There are different development stages.

What did the life and career of Binet look like?

Alfred Binet (1857-1911) was born in France. Binet graduated in law but then went to the medical school. However, he did not like this either. He read a lot of books in the library of Paris at the age of 22. He discovered books about experimental psychology and was instantly inspired by this. In 1880, he had his first scientific publication. He also became enthusiastic about the association psychology of John Stuart Mill. According to Binet, intelligence also works through the law of association. Then Binet became Charcot's assistant, and this remained the case for over a year. He published three books and more than 20 articles on various topics.

Eventually Binet found out that he had had too much faith in Charcot's name and prestige and had not been critical enough. Binet began to do experiments with his daughters at home. He was very aware of the individuality of everyone's intelligence. Deeply impressed by the individuality of man, he decided to work with his colleague Victor Henri in 1895 to set up a program that they called individual psychology (not too confuse with Alfred Adler's approach). They were looking for a series of short tests that would take less than 2 hours and could be carried out with each person. With the help of such tests, one was able to obtain as much information as you could with years of observations and interviews. 

Binet anticipated many projective tests. He was looking for a combination of several long-term tests that could serve as a replacement for the extensive case study, but unfortunately he did not find it. He had confirmed his conviction with the help of the direct testing that the higher, complex mental functions, the significant intellectual differences could be measured.

Together with

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What does cognitive psychology entail? - Chapter 14

What does cognitive psychology entail? - Chapter 14


There are three issues at the heart of this chapter. First, Hobbes was busy with analysing the properties and processes that underlie human reason. Hobbes was concerned with how the mind receives and acquires knowledge. His answer led to a second point. He suggested that mathematical calculations and logical reasoning are the same. Thirdly, since the use of Indo-Arabic numbers, mathematics had become a routine process through it apply a few simple rules.

How did artificial intelligence develop?

Blaise Pascal's machine (1623-1662) was the first in a series of theoretical and technological innovations to create a mechanical likeness of the human mind. The Pascaline stands known as one of the first machines specially built for artificial intelligence (AI). After the "Pascaline", Leibniz came up with a new mechanism, which he called the "stepped cylinder". This could also carry out multiplications and divisions.

Leibniz began by constructing a new universal language for philosophy, the signs of which would function in the same way as the mathematical symbols. He imagined that different words would contain a different word, and that there was a logical hierarchy. An example is: the concept of "human" is included in the concept of "animal", and the concept "animal" is back in the concept of a "living thing". When the new universal language would be complete, all concepts would be given a rating that reflects the exact degree of inclusiveness in relation to each other. People would go out with the help of the new language different languages ​​and cultures can not only communicate with each other, but also be able to calculate solutions for the problems that divided them. However, the dream of Leibniz didn’t ever come true. Logical statements could not be reduced to arithmetic. Classic logic and traditional arithmetic was seen as an example of general symbolic logic.  Leibniz also came up with the idea of ​​binary arithmetic - the representation of all figures through of ones and zeros.

What did Charles Babbage do?

Charles Babbage (1792-1871) designed a mechanical calculator that was very accurate in generating  arithmetic tables and calculate polynomial functions. This machine he called the "difference engine" because it would use the "method of difference" to calculate things. He also came up with the analytical machine (or the "programmable computer"), with which he practically could perform all kinds of calculations. The machine consisted of five main components: An input system for the data and instructions. "The mill" to be able to carry out the calculations. This part was similar to

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What does the applied psychology mean? - Chapter 15

What does the applied psychology mean? - Chapter 15


Hugo Munsterberg (1863-1916) was known for his articles about how psychological knowledge could be applied in daily life. He felt that scientific psychology is superior to the normal human brain and that the methods had to be used to improve the way people judge others and the world around them. Munsterberg also showed interest in the influence of emotion, suggestion and dissociation on perception. He felt that these processes had consequences for the psychology of testimony and detecting deceit. That's why he thought that psychological expertise also applied had to be in court. 

Munsterberg was eventually seen as the father of applied psychology. One of the first publications of Munsterberg was a report, in which he challenged Wundt, his teacher, about the subject of "will". He felt that the concept of will was actually the experiencing of one’s internal motor process when it is in response to a stimulus. After Munsterberg permanently established himself at Harvard, his interest grew towards applied psychology. Areas where he wanted to introduce applied psychology were legal testimony and individual psychotherapy. In the period in which psychotherapists assigned themselves the task to heal the mind, Munsterberg saw himself as an objective, scientific outsider. Every therapy that simply just assumed the existence of the unconscious (just like Freud had introduced), he saw as unscientific. The techniques used by Munsterberg were in stark contrast to those of psychoanalysis and were more functional in nature. In the approach that Munsterberg used, Clients were trained to forget their problems and deviant behaviors suppress. One of the interests of Munsterberg was the application of psychology in the business and industry. This approach was called psychotechnology.

What is the scientific management?

To deal with the rapidly growing urbanization and industrial expansion, Frederick Winslow Taylor (1865-1915) designed a system, which he named scientific management. The purpose of this system was to increase the efficiency and productivity of the factories by applying scientific methods. One of the changes that Taylor encouraged was applying standardized tasks through careful analysis of industrial work. The emphasis was on increasing production by an increase of efficiency, or in other words: let employees do more work in a shorter time, by providing them with fast, repetitive tasks that were easier to do. Munsterberg quite like the approach that Taylor had.

Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972) and her husband Frank Bunker Gilbreth (1868-1924) together developed the complex motion studies to identify the most efficient way to get a task done. By using a camera, which registered the necessary movements made when performing of a task, the Gilbreths analysed different types of work and activities. As a result, they identified 18 basic hand movements, which they called "therbligs". They felt that efficiency could

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What does clinical psychology mean? - Chapter 16

What does clinical psychology mean? - Chapter 16


Paul Meehl, wrote a book 'Clinical Versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence, in which he emphasizes the superiority of empirical data above clinical assessment when predicting behaviour described. He was a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapist. The 1950s are also called the Golden Century for psychoanalysis in the US. Since then, the clinical psychology began to take shape.

Who were Molly Harrower and Hermann Rorschach?

After World War II, there was a shortage of professionals who had mental health problems treatment, especially the trauma. Psychologists were increasingly asked for psychiatrists to fill in. Molly Harrower (1906-1999) was a psychologist with a private practice in New York. Until then, this kind of privilege had only been reserved for psychiatrists. She was probably the first psychologist with a private practice in New York. She studied the psychological effects of operations and worked with neurosurgeon Penfield. Harrower looked at reactions from patients. She was also interested in the Rorschach projective technique, also known as the ink stain test, discovered by Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922). Rorschach was interested in the effects of mental states on perception. His test consisted of a series of unstructured stimuli - symmetrical ink stains. The tester shows the ink blot and asks: what could this be? Patients may then each give an answer. Rorschach found not the content but the perceptual processes of the answers important, and how this related to mental states or neurological conditions. The tester also looks at which determinants (color, shape, texture or movement) patients used when replying. Rorschach wanted to use it for diagnostics, but criticism was that the test was not properly validated. Harrower combined her interest in the Rorschach test with her interest in the psychological effects of operations. She discovered that the answers to the test of patients with brain tumours differed from patients without tumours. Harrower made it clear that diagnosing mental disorders is only one small task of a psychologist. Psychologists must have one overall picture of someone. According to Harrower, this is the distinction between psychiatrists and psychologists.

Who was David Shakow?

There was therefore a need for more clinical psychologists, and because of this the National Mental Health Act passed in 1946. David Shakow was chosen to participate in the 'Committee on Training'. He was prominent in designing a standardized graduation program for clinical psychology. He was trained as a researcher, just like Harrower. He became a professor in psychiatry at the University of Illionois Medical School, and psychology professor in Chicago. 

There was tension within the APA between 'pure'

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