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Understanding behavior, thoughts and feelings is not easy, which may explain why it was largely ignored between ancient Greek times and the 16th century. But tired of years of speculation, theory and argument, and bearing in mind Aristotle's plea for scientific investigation to support theory, psychology as a scientific discipline began to emerge in the late 's. Wilheim Wundt developed the first psychology lab in Introspection was used, but systematically i.

It was really a place from which to start thinking about how to employ scientific methods to investigate behavior.

  1. Introduction to Oracle9i - SQL - Student Guide Vol 1.
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  5. Consciousness: a unique way of processing information.
  6. Embodied Cognition.

The classic movement in psychology to adopt these strategies were the behaviorists, who were renowned for their reliance on controlled laboratory experiment and rejection of any unseen or subconscious forces as causes of behavior. And later, the cognitive psychologists adopted this rigorous i. Psychoanalysis has great explanatory power and understanding of behavior, but is has been accused of only explaining behavior after the event, not predicting what will happen in advance and of being unfalsifiable.

Because it has evolved that way! Kline argues that psychoanalytic theory can be broken down into testable hypotheses and tested scientifically.

What is Consciousness? What is Its Purpose?

For example, Scodel postulated that orally dependent men would prefer larger breasts a positive correlation , but in fact found the opposite a negative correlation. Behaviorism has parsimonious i. Behaviorists firmly believed in the scientific principles of determinism and orderliness, and thus came up with fairly consistent predictions about when an animal was likely to respond although they admitted that perfect prediction for any individual was impossible.

The behaviorists used their predictions to control the behavior of both animals pigeons trained to detect life jackets and humans behavioral therapies and indeed Skinner , in his book Walden Two , described a society controlled according to behaviorist principles. Full understanding, prediction and control in psychology is probably unobtainable due to the huge complexity of environmental, mental and biological influences upon even the simplest behavior i. You will see therefore, that there is no easy answer to the question 'is psychology a science?

But many approaches of psychology do meet the accepted requirements of the scientific method, whilst others appear to be more doubtful in this respect. There are alternatives to empiricism, such as rational research, argument and belief. The humanistic approach another alternative values private, subjective conscious experience and argues for the rejection of science.

The humanistic approach argues that objective reality is less important than a person's subjective perception and subjective understanding of the world. Because of this, Carl Rogers and Maslow placed little value on scientific psychology, especially the use of the scientific laboratory to investigate both human and other animal behavior.


This is what the humanistic approach aims to do. Humanism is a psychological perspective that emphasizes the study of the whole person. Humanistic psychologists look at human behavior not only through the eyes of the observer, but through the eyes of the person doing the behaving. Humanistic psychologists believe that an individual's behavior is connected to his inner feelings and self-image. The humanistic approach in psychology deliberately steps away from a scientific viewpoint, rejecting determinism in favor of freewill, aiming to arrive at a unique and in depth understanding.

Humanistic psychologists rejected a rigorous scientific approach to psychology because they saw it as dehumanizing and unable to capture the richness of conscious experience. In many ways the rejection of scientific psychology in the s, s and s was a backlash to the dominance of the behaviorist approach in North American psychology. In certain ways everyone is a psychologist.

This does not mean that everyone has been formally trained to study and be trained in psychology. People have common sense views of the world, of other people and themselves. These common sense views may come from personal experience, from our upbringing as a child and through culture etc.

Common-sense views about people are rarely based on systematic i.


Embodied cognition

Racial or religious prejudices may reflect what seems like common sense within a group of people. However, prejudicial beliefs rarely stand up to what is actually the case. Common sense, then, is something which everybody uses in their day-to-day lives, guides decisions and influences how we interact with one another. But because it is not based on systematic evidence, or derived from scientific inquiry, it may be misleading and lead to one group of people treating others unfairly and in a discriminatory way.

Despite having a scientific methodology worked out we think , there are further problems and arguments which throw doubt onto psychology ever really being a science. Then, as a last resort, he asked them how a stupid person would do this task. At this point, without any hesitation, they sorted the items into taxonomic categories! Our IQ tests use categorization, and assumptions of how items relate to each other, to test "intelligence". And how many of us, when filling in IQ tests, thought of different ways to answer questions, but answered the way we knew would be considered "right"?

Do they measure anything else? Gardner suggested that there are at least seven separate, relatively independent intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily kinaesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and musical. Each intelligence has core components, such as sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms and meaning of words linguistic , and has a developmental pattern relatively independent of the others.

Special order items

Gardner suggested the relative strengths of these seven intelligences are biologically determined, but the development of each intelligence depends on environmental influences, most particularly on the interaction of the child with adults. This model of intelligence has positively influenced education most particularly by perceiving intelligence as much broader than the mathematical-language focus of modern education, and thus encouraging schools to spend more time on other areas of development.

All these are very positive aspects of the influence of this theory. On the downside, the idea of intelligence as being biologically determined is a potentially dangerous one. Gardner claims that a preschool child could be given simple tests that would demonstrate whether or not they had specific talents in any of those seven intelligences.

The child could then be given training tailored to that talent. Do you know how many outstanding people - musicians, artists, mathematicians, writers, scientists, dancers, etc - showed signs of remarkable talent as very young children? Do you know how many so-called child prodigies went on to become outstanding in their field when adult?

In both cases, not many. The idea of "talent" is grounded in our society, but in truth, we have come no further in demonstrating its existence than the circular argument: he's good at that, therefore he has a talent for it; how do we know he has a talent? Early ability does not demonstrate an innate talent unless the child has had no special opportunity to learn and practice the ability and notwithstanding parental claims and retrospective reports, independent observation of this is lacking. More on the question of innate talent.

The more we believe in innate talent, or innate intelligence, the less effort we will put into educating those who don't exhibit ability - although there are many environmental reasons for such failures. The whole province of intelligence testing is, I believe, a dangerous one. Indeed, I was appalled to hear of its prevalence in American education.

While intelligence was seen as some inborn talent unaffected by training or experience by the early makers and supporters of psychometric tests, recent research strongly suggests that schooling affects IQ score. If you take two children who at age 13 have identical IQs and grades and then retest them five years later, after one child has finished high school while the other has dropped out of school in ninth grade, you find that the child who dropped out of school has lost around 1.

Starting school late or leaving early results in a decrease in IQ relative to a matched peer who received more schooling. In families where children attend school intermittently, there is a high negative correlation between age and IQ, implying that as the children got older, their IQ dropped commensurately.

The most obvious, and simplest, explanation is that much of what is tested in IQ tests is either directly or indirectly taught in school. This is not to say schooling has any effect on intelligence itself whatever that is. Sternberg, R. Successful intelligence: How practical and creative intelligence determine your success in life. I have two sons. One of them was a colicky baby. Night after night my partner would carry him around the room while I tried to get a little sleep.

One night, for his own amusement, my partner chose a particular CD to play. As the haunting notes of the hymns of the 12th century abbess Hildegard of Bingen rang through the room, the baby stopped crying. And stayed stopped. As long as the music played. Experimentation revealed that our son particularly liked very early music plainchant from the 15th century Josquin des Pres was another favorite. We felt sorry for all those parents with crying babies who hadn't discovered this magic cure-all. This one didn't like music. No magic this time. And we realized, it wasn't that 12th century music had magical properties to calm a crying baby.

No, it was this particular baby that responded to this sort of music. The years went on. Nothing we saw contradicted that first impression - one son was "musical", and one was not. It seemed pretty clear to us.

One son took after me, and one took after my partner. My partner plays the piano, and the pipe organ, and the harpsichord. He is "into" Bach. He has played in churches and concerts.

Embodied Cognition (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

He has a shelf full of books on music and cupboards full of music scores, CDs by the score. I like to sing, to myself. I learned the violin for a while in my youth.