11 Functionalism

11 Functionalism - Lecture 11: Functionalism, the US brand...

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Lecture 11: Functionalism, the US brand of Psychology
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I. INTRODUCTION A. Introduction Early psychology full of conceptual tension Wundt’s laboratory in 1879 is an important date in the history of psychology Perhaps as important is the 1890 publication of William James’ Principles of Psychology. It predates Titchener’s Structuralism in the US and is best conceived as a competitor. James’ book is often seen as the foundation of a new uniquely US approach psychological called functionalism Functionalism and Structuralism seems to be the paradigmatic battle that Kuhn had talked about.
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I. INTRODUCTION B. Psychology in the US Shaskin’s (1975) History of US Psychology Stage one: moral and mental philosophy Psychology included topics such as ethics, divinity, and philosophy. To learn psychology was to learn the accepted theology of the day. Influence of Samuel Johnson and John Locke. Stage two: intellectual philosophy Psychology became a separate discipline and US psychology. Influenced by the Scottish common sense philosophers of Thomas Reid and William Hamilton.
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I. INTRODUCTION B. Psychology in the US Shaskin’s (1975) History of US Psychology Stage three: the U.S. Renaissance Psychology becomes an empirical science and by the late 1880’s there is an uniquely US take: Publishing of John Dewey’s textbook, the first issue of the American Journal of Psychology James’s Principles of Psychology (1890) Psychology began emphasizing individual differences, adaptation to the environment, and practicality. Stage four: functionalism Science, emphasis on the individual, and evolutionary theory combined into the school of functionalism.
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I. INTRODUCTION C. Functionalism An understanding of psychological processes by their casual relations to one another and to sensory inputs and behavioral outputs Never a well-defined school Did not have one recognized leader or an agreed- on methodology. Common themes, however, ran through the work of whose calling themselves functionalists. Opposed the elementarism of structuralism Rejected the reduction of psychological processes into basic elements.
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I. INTRODUCTION C. Functionalism Focus was to understand the function of the mind Focus was not upon a description of its attributes. The function was to aid the organism in adapting to its environment. A practical science Desired to be a practical science and findings to the improvement of the human condition Research on many participants Participants included animals, children, and abnormal humans and the use of any
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I. INTRODUCTION C. Functionalism Concerned with “why” of mental processes This led directly to an interest in motivation. Accepted both mental processes and
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11 Functionalism - Lecture 11: Functionalism, the US brand...

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