Lec 3- founding psychology

Lec 3- founding psychology - Lecture 3- Founding...

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Lecture 3- Founding psychology: evolution and experiment Notes from Chapter 3 of ‘Putting psychology in its place’ In the 1860’s two developments occurred which supplied an integrating frame for emerging types of psychological inquiry and scientific procedures for pursuing them. They were, respectively, the success of evolutionary thought associated with CHARLES DARWIN and HERBERT SPENCER, and the appearance in Germany of the experimental methodologies identified with GUSTAV FECHNER and WILHELM WUNDT, followed by the British development of parametric statistics. Evolutionary thought Darwin’s ORIGIN OF SPECIES (1859) proposed the doctrine of ‘natural selection’ to explain organic evolution scientifically. Current forms of life had evolved form previous life forms over millions of years. Although Darwin managed to convince the majority of scientists of the validity of the evolution –hypothesis, ‘natural selection’ was immediately attacked as insufficient. The natural selection paradigm only came to victory in the 1920’s. Evolutions major populariser was HERBERT SPENCER, who’s evolutionary THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY (1856) developed his ‘SYNTHETIC PHILOSOPHY’ which claimed evolution as cosmic processes in which matter became progressively more heterogeneous and complex. A fairly small number of central evolutionary ideas can be identified which supply the unified framework that psychologist needed: ∙ Humans were descended from primates and thus could be considered zoologically. they were not semi-divine and beyond the remit of science. ∙‘Spontaneous variation’: the raw material for natural selection was the occurrence in each generation of random variations. ∙ RECAPITULATION- developed by BAER, this heald that each individual recapitulates in its development from conception to maturity the evolutionary stages through which it passes. This became known as BIOGENETIC LAW and can be summed up as; ontogeny reflects phylogeny’. ∙ ‘DEGENERATION’- if natural selection is suspended ‘unfit’ organism survive and reproduce the quality of the population declines and ‘degenerate’ \lines are established, subverting the usual evolutionary process which guarantees ‘survival of the fittest’. ∙ although not strictly required b Darwinian theory, evolution was seen as essentially progressive. MORGAN (1877) - promoted the idea in the human case organic evolution had been succeeded by ‘social evolution’. These notions galvanised interest in human behaviour on a wide range of fronts:
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Lec 3- founding psychology - Lecture 3- Founding...

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