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Maner, J. Does social exclusion motivate interpersonal reconnection?
Twentieth Century Psychology: The History of Psychology(Brett and Peters)
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Defining Social Psychology: History and Principles
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Developmental psychology has played a huge role in pedagogy and the scientific, theoretical approach to education; it's also a fascinating subject to study if you're a parent. Photo: Mirror neurons? Sometimes we mimic one another's behavioral unconsciously, such as when two friends stand next to one another and, quite unawares, adopt exactly the same posture. Psychologists think our brains contain "mirror neurons," which are activated both when we do things and when we see other people doing those things. That encourages us to copy other people's behavior, and possibly explains how we feel empathy with others.
Thousands of years ago, before humans started to create fixed settlements and developed agriculture, we lived much like other animals and day-to-day survival was our only preoccupation. How different things are now. Although the world's poorest people still experience life as a horrible daily battle to survive, most of us, thankfully, get to lead lives that alternate between reasonably tolerable work and extremely tolerable pleasure. Both of these things involve using our brains as much as or more than our bodies; both see us functioning as living computers—"human information processors"—that take in information, process or store it in our brains, and then output results.
The way we process and store information is what cognitive psychologists study. How do we understand a simple sentence whispered into our ears? How can we remember everything from how to ride a bicycle to the names, in order, of all the American presidents?
And is there any fundamental difference between these two types of memory knowing how to do something, which is called procedural memory , and knowing facts about the world, which is declarative memory? Where behaviorists liked to pretend that "internal mental processes" didn't matter, didn't exist, or probably both, cognitive psychologists spend their time teasing out the precise nature of those processes, typically coming up with flowchart models that break such things as memory and language processing a field of its known, often known as psycholinguistics into sequences of discrete components.
Applying this to the study of memory, for example, has given us models of mind that suggest memory breaks into separate long-term and short-term stores, with the short-term or "working" memory itself divided into distinct areas that process visual impressions, snippets of spoken language, and so on. Artwork: Ulric Neisser's famous caricature of cognitive psychology from his book Cognition and Reality.
Cognitive psychology is not limited to how we process the structure of information, but also what information means. The word cognition is a synonym for thinking and reasoning, two areas that cognitive psychologists have also studied using computational models.
Classics in the History of Psychology -- Buhner ()
How do we make informed judgements about things, such as whether one car is a better buy than another? Why do we live in absolute fear of things like terrorist attacks but happily cross roads, drive cars, ride bicycles, drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes all of which pose far greater risk to our safety and health? Why do we play lotteries when the chances of winning are so much less than the odds of being struck by lightning? These are the sorts of questions cognitive psychologists consider under the broad umbrella of thinking and reasoning.
Photo: The psychology of typography: Thanks to things you've read and seen previously, you read words printed in different fonts typefaces with a slightly different meaning and emotion: elegant, relaxed, friendly, imperative, hostile, or whatever it might be. You can emphasize a message you want to get across by choosing the most appropriate font. That's one of the key principles of graphic design—and it happens in your mind, not on the page.
Though related to cognition, intelligence, which we might define as a general ability to solve problems, is a separate area of study, and it's much less fashionable than it used to be several decades ago. There are several reasons for this. From Sir Cyril Burt a prominent British psychologist who allegedly faked research data about his studies of intelligence to William Shockley the co-inventor of the transistor who, predictably, became embroiled in controversy when he dared to suggest that there was a link between race and intelligence that made white people intellectually superior to blacks , the study of intelligence has often proved intensely controversial.
The controversies, though important, distract from a much more fundamental difficulty: how should we define intelligence and is it even a meaningful concept? Some cynics have defined intelligence as the mere ability to pass intelligence tests, but although psychometric testing is as popular as ever in recruitment for jobs, intelligence tests are not, and never have been, a predictor of people's ability to live happy, worthwhile, successful lives. When you study psychology, it's remarkably easy to forget that most of the cool and fascinating things you discover happen inside the brain—an apparently unremarkable organ often compared to "two fistfuls of porridge.
One extreme, early example of neuropsychology, known as phrenology , famously involved quack doctors claiming they could tell interesting things about someone's personality by feeling their skull for bumps. Although the idea seems risible today, the central idea of phrenology—that the brain is modular, with discrete regions having specialized functions—is now known to be essentially correct.
However, it's an unhelpful oversimplification to suggest, for example, that the right half of the brain is dreamily creative while the left half is clinically rational; for most of the things we do, many different parts of the brain are involved, either working in parallel or in complex serial circuits. Photo: Brain scanners have revolutionized psychology.
By showing up the activity inside our brains when we think certain thoughts or do certain things, they can help to reveal which areas of the brain do what. If cognitive psychology can break things like memory or language into separate areas or processes, is it possible to locate parts of the brain where those things happen? That's the basic thinking behind a hugely successful field called cognitive neuropsychology , which involves trying to map abstract processes and functions discovered through cognitive psychology onto very concrete areas of the brain that neuropsychologists have discovered and vice-versa.
Some psychologists—modern-day mental Mercators —get carried away in a frenzy to map the brain, forgetting that the ultimate goal is not to draw a tourist's guide to the inside of your head but to produce a scientific explanation of the mind: who we are and why we do the things we do. While neuropsychologists do study healthy, functioning brains, they also devote a lot of their time to researching people whose brains have become damaged through such things as head injuries, strokes, or degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
We can discover much about how things like memory and language processing work by studying what people can no longer do when specific areas of their brain are damaged or destroyed. In the most spectacular cases, it's possible to find people with very localized brain damage who can no longer do very specific things for example, recognizing faces or reading words ; we can infer from this that the damaged brain areas play a key role in whatever function has been lost—and that helps us build up a map of which parts of the brain do what.
People are hugely diverse and different—that's one of the things that makes life interesting.
While it's difficult to define "normal" behavior, it's somewhat easier to point to examples of abnormal behavior, which is harmful to people and those around them. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are believed to be largely behavioral and cognitive, for example: you might develop an eating disorder if you convince yourself you're fat, after becoming obsessed with skinny catwalk models.
Illnesses such as Parkinson's disease are more to do with neurochemistry and biology: Parkinson's is believed to occur when nerve cells in the brain stop producing dopamine, an essential chemical neurotransmitter that sends messages around the brain. The dominant influence of Western, white, and male academics in the early history of psychology meant that psychology developed with the biases inherent in those individuals, which often had negative consequences for members of society that were not white or male.
Women, members of ethnic minorities in both the United States and other countries, and individuals with sexual orientations other than heterosexual had difficulties entering the field of psychology and therefore influencing its development. They also suffered from the attitudes of white, male psychologists, who were not immune to the nonscientific attitudes prevalent in the society in which they developed and worked.
What are the different kinds of psychology?
In addition, the experimental subjects of psychology were mostly men, which resulted from underlying assumptions that gender had no influence on psychology and that women were not of sufficient interest to study. An article by Naomi Weisstein, first published in Weisstein, , stimulated a feminist revolution in psychology by presenting a critique of psychology as a science. She also specifically criticized male psychologists for constructing the psychology of women entirely out of their own cultural biases and without careful experimental tests to verify any of their characterizations of women.
These include re-evaluating and discovering the contributions of women to the history of psychology, studying psychological gender differences, and questioning the male bias present across the practice of the scientific approach to knowledge. Culture has important impacts on individuals and social psychology, yet the effects of culture on psychology are under-studied.
In this sense, it has remained a descriptive science, rather than one seeking to determine cause and effect. For example, a study of characteristics of individuals seeking treatment for a binge eating disorder in Hispanic American, African American, and Caucasian American individuals found significant differences between groups Franko et al. The study concluded that results from studying any one of the groups could not be extended to the other groups, and yet potential causes of the differences were not measured.
This history of multicultural psychology in the United States is a long one. The role of African American psychologists in researching the cultural differences between African American individual and social psychology is but one example. Sumner established a psychology degree program at Howard University, leading to the education of a new generation of African American psychologists Black, Spence, and Omari, Much of the work of early African American psychologists and a general focus of much work in first half of the 20th century in psychology in the United States was dedicated to testing and intelligence testing in particular Black et al.
That emphasis has continued, particularly because of the importance of testing in determining opportunities for children, but other areas of exploration in African-American psychology research include learning style, sense of community and belonging, and spiritualism Black et al. The American Psychological Association has several ethnically based organizations for professional psychologists that facilitate interactions among members.
Since psychologists belonging to specific ethnic groups or cultures have the most interest in studying the psychology of their communities, these organizations provide an opportunity for the growth of research on the impact of culture on individual and social psychology. Board of Education civil rights case. Before the time of Wundt and James, questions about the mind were considered by philosophers. However, both Wundt and James helped create psychology as a distinct scientific discipline.
Wundt was a structuralist, which meant he believed that our cognitive experience was best understood by breaking that experience into its component parts. He thought this was best accomplished by introspection. William James was the first American psychologist, and he was a proponent of functionalism. Like Wundt, James also relied on introspection; however, his research approach also incorporated more objective measures as well.
Sigmund Freud believed that understanding the unconscious mind was absolutely critical to understand conscious behavior. This was especially true for individuals that he saw who suffered from various hysterias and neuroses. Freud relied on dream analysis, slips of the tongue, and free association as means to access the unconscious. Psychoanalytic theory remained a dominant force in clinical psychology for several decades.
Gestalt psychology was very influential in Europe. Gestalt psychology takes a holistic view of an individual and his experiences. Although they left their laboratories and their research behind, they did introduce America to Gestalt ideas. Some of the principles of Gestalt psychology are still very influential in the study of sensation and perception. Behaviorism focused on making psychology an objective science by studying overt behavior and deemphasizing the importance of unobservable mental processes. John Watson is often considered the father of behaviorism, and B. Thus, a humanistic movement within psychology began to take hold.
Humanism focuses on the potential of all people for good. Both Maslow and Rogers were influential in shaping humanistic psychology. During the s, the landscape of psychology began to change. A science of behavior began to shift back to its roots of focus on mental processes. The emergence of neuroscience and computer science aided this transition. Ultimately, the cognitive revolution took hold, and people came to realize that cognition was crucial to a true appreciation and understanding of behavior. How did the object of study in psychology change over the history of the field since the 19th century?
In part, what aspect of psychology was the behaviorist approach to psychology a reaction to? Freud is probably one of the most well-known historical figures in psychology. Where have you encountered references to Freud or his ideas about the role that the unconscious mind plays in determining conscious behavior? In its early days, psychology could be defined as the scientific study of mind or mental processes.
Over time, psychology began to shift more towards the scientific study of behavior. However, as the cognitive revolution took hold, psychology once again began to focus on mental processes as necessary to the understanding of behavior. Behaviorists studied objectively observable behavior partly in reaction to the psychologists of the mind who were studying things that were not directly observable.