TAKEHOMEMIDTERM

TAKEHOMEMIDTERM - Thomas Boyer - 301033215 Who Took The...

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Thomas Boyer - 301033215 Who Took The Person Out of Psychology and Who Put It Back? It has been said that Behaviorism and Cognitive Psychology sought to 'take the person out of psychology' whereas Neo-Freudianism and Humanistic Psychology sought to 'put the person back in' the study of psychology. First I will explore how Behaviorism and Cognitive Psychology 'took the person out of psychology' then I will talk about how Neo-Freudianism and Humanistic Psychology have 'put the person back into psychology'. John B. Watson, the founder of Behaviorism, certainly 'took the person out of psychology'. John B. Watson kick started the behaviorist movement when he wrote his famous article 'Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It'. At the time, Watson was deeply dissatisfied by the current direction taken by psychology. In his article, Watson argued that for psychology to become recognized as a science, its methods would have to become objective. To do this, Watson proposed that psychology make behavior, instead of consciousness, the new focus of study. His rationale was that behavior can be directly observed under objective experimental conditions, whereas consciousness cannot. By limiting the focus of psychology only to observable behaviors, Watson rejected the study of imagination, emotions, sensations, perceptions, dreams, and many other cognitive processes that make us who we are - human. Though Watson brought sound scientific methods to the study of psychology, he also rejected all of psychology's juiciest material (cognitive processes) as an object of study. Watson 'took the person out of psychology' because he reduced behaviorism to a mechanical science, one that observed the reactions of our body as though it were a machine.
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Just like Behaviorism, Cognitive Psychology also 'took the person out of psychology'. Cognitive Psychology is a broad term that refers to a number different theoretical approaches. One generalization that can be made about Cognitive Psychology is that it seeks to study mental processes. There are two methods of Cognitive Psychology in particular that 'took the person out of psychology'. The first of these is the computer metaphor of mind. The computer metaphor of mind sought to understand the mind as though it were a computer. When these researchers discovered the striking similarities between transistors, the most basic part of a computer, and neurons, the most basic part of the brain, they were convinced that the brain is in fact a kind of computer. The models they proposed described the brain as though it were a machine: they talked about mechanisms of input, central processing, and output. The computer metaphor of mind 'took the person out of psychology' because it viewed the brain as a machine, simply the sum of its parts. This limited view of the brain meant that many of the things that make us human, such as personality, could not be studied. The computer metaphor of mind 'took the person out of psychology' because of its narrow view of the brain as a machine. The second Cognitive method that 'took the person out of psychology' is that of
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TAKEHOMEMIDTERM - Thomas Boyer - 301033215 Who Took The...

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