Completed Activity 1 HBM8000 Jean Wood

Completed Activity 1 HBM8000 Jean Wood - Wood, J. HBM8000-1...

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Wood, J. HBM8000-1 Page 1 Foundations of Mental Life The three theoretical points of view that are the main foundations of psychology and sociology are: Behavioralism, Functionalism and Structuralism. In order to understand how each of these methodologies support or challenge each other a basic explanation of each theory is necessary to understand their fundamental concepts. “Functionalism is the oldest, and still the dominant, theoretical perspective in sociology and many other social sciences. This perspective is built upon twin emphasis: application of the scientific method to the objective social world and use of analogy between the individual organism and society.” (McClelland, 2000) Applying scientific method as support to the descriptive explanations is how the Behaviorism theory commands a position as the second foundation of psychology. Early during behaviorism’s origins, the study of behavior objectively without applying any interpretations or explanations had strong proponents. To illustrate this method is the most well known Pavlov’s dog experiment – the bell rang and the dog salivated as he anticipated food. Seen as a branch of natural science by using animals in the experiment the observation of direct behavior influencing other behavior as natural science, hence, laying the groundwork of challenges that went to the interpretation of any introspection or levels of consciousness. This challenge to introspection and consciousness brings the third theoretical viewpoint to the foundations of psychology, Structuralism. This viewpoint, easily misunderstood, lends the belief that the descriptor is of a type of tangible means of an observable object. The mental models created in this school of thought come from the cultural aspects of the individual. “The mental models built from cultural concepts or
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Wood, J. HBM8000-1 Page 2 phenomenon occurring within kinship, organizations or the generational stories passed on from the individual solely based upon the viewpoint of the structuralist. (Glazer, 1994) All three viewpoints can compare equally as a foundation when offering an overall theoretical explanations of an individual. For example, beginning with a man’s
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2010 for the course PSYCHOLOGY HBM8000 taught by Professor Nickerson,wendy during the Spring '10 term at Northcentral.

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Completed Activity 1 HBM8000 Jean Wood - Wood, J. HBM8000-1...

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