Lec 2- origins and theories

Lec 2- origins and theories - History of psychology Lecture...

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Lecture 2- origins of psychology Notes made form chapter 1 and 2 of ‘putting psychology in its place’ Psychology has a long past, but a short history. Whilst many historians of science consider themselves to be scientists, few historians of psychology consider themselves to be psychologists. Historians of psychology thus see themselves as representing a self-reflecting facet of psychology, as the discipline’s introspections, doing what is sometimes referred to as ‘METAPSYCHOLOGY’. HERMAN EBBINGHUS- ‘psychology has a short history but a long past’. Many claim that ever since ancient Greece, the questions that modern day experimental psychologists try to answer are the same, the methods of answering them has juts changed. Terms in the history of psychology: ‘WHIGGISH’ – coined by the political historian J.H. PLUMB, which refereed to the general assumption that history is necessarily progressive. ‘INTERNALIST’- INTRDICUED BY SOCIOLGIST Robert Merton, when studying the history of psychology, concentrating on theories and discoveries in its own terms. EXTERNAL- looks how its fortunes were determined by economic and cultural factors. It is never possible of course, to write history form anything other than the present, the interests, priorities and questions directing historical research inevitably arise within present cultural and intellectual climates. The PRESENTIST error is in imagining today’s perspective on the past to be the final one. History of psychology is unlike most other areas of history of science in that its practitioners usually picture themselves as contributing to the very discipline they are chronicling- and in the very act of doing so. The view of science as a product and expression of specific contexts has, moreover, been developed into a way of looking at human behaviour and ideas in general, merging into the approach, adopted by many social psychologists as ‘SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM’- and thus represents a psychological or ‘meta-psychological’ thesis in its own right. ‘Doing psychology’ is the human activity of studying human activity, it is human psychology examining itself- and what it produces by way of new theories, ideas and beliefs about itself is also a part of psychology! This self-referring relationship is known as REFLEXIVITY. A PSYCHOLOGIST is not an external objective observer. The psychologist is not outside of the things they study. CHANGES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL LANGAUGE SIGNIFY PSYCHOLGICAL CHANGES IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. Contrary to some contemporary psychologists (such as Paul and Patricia Churchland); Graham Richards (2002) does not believe there is some independent psychological ‘reality’ beyond the language to which it refers with greater or lesser ‘accuracy’- and which psychology may eventually succeed in ‘scientifically’ capturing in a new technical vocabulary. The consequences of this are that nobody prior to Freud ever had an Oedipus
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PSYCH 2007 taught by Professor Na during the Winter '06 term at Trinity College Dublin.

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Lec 2- origins and theories - History of psychology Lecture...

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