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1 Forerunners of Functionalism. 2 Functionalism 1 st non-German based school of psychology 1 st non-German based school of psychology Study of the functions.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Forerunners of Functionalism. 2 Functionalism 1 st non-German based school of psychology 1 st non-German based school of psychology Study of the functions."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Forerunners of Functionalism

2 2 Functionalism 1 st non-German based school of psychology 1 st non-German based school of psychology Study of the functions and adaptive value of the mind Study of the functions and adaptive value of the mind Heavily influenced by Charles Darwin and his cousin Sir Francis Galton Heavily influenced by Charles Darwin and his cousin Sir Francis Galton

3 3 Darwin’s theory of evolution Based upon natural selection – not survival of the fittest Based upon natural selection – not survival of the fittest –Characteristics that are advantages for survival of one’s offspring will be selected to be passed on –Adults with these characteristics were more likely to survive and have offspring that survive –Adaptability was seen as important

4 4 “Psychological” contributions of Darwin Descent of man (1871) Descent of man (1871) –There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental abilities Expression of the emotions in man and animals (1872) Expression of the emotions in man and animals (1872) –Presented a possible cause of insanity A biographical sketch of an infant (1877) A biographical sketch of an infant (1877) –Recorded his observations of his children’s development

5 5 Charles Darwin 1831 – 1836 – Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle as a naturalist 1831 – 1836 – Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle as a naturalist 1859 – finally published his theory of evolution 1859 – finally published his theory of evolution Ethical dilemma – Alfred Wallace, another naturalist, sent Darwin a copy of his theory of evolution to get help having it published Ethical dilemma – Alfred Wallace, another naturalist, sent Darwin a copy of his theory of evolution to get help having it published Solution – both presented their theories at the same meeting – Darwin’s had much more data and support for the theory Solution – both presented their theories at the same meeting – Darwin’s had much more data and support for the theory

6 6 Charles Darwin While his theory was controversial, Darwin was not and did not personally take part in the vicious debate his theory created While his theory was controversial, Darwin was not and did not personally take part in the vicious debate his theory created He remained friends with church officials, and was buried in a place of honor at his church He remained friends with church officials, and was buried in a place of honor at his church Never knighted Never knighted

7 7 Opposition to theory of evolution Religious leaders who were defending church dogma Religious leaders who were defending church dogma White supremacists - if all races descended from a common ancestor how could the white race be superior White supremacists - if all races descended from a common ancestor how could the white race be superior John Landon Down’s explanation John Landon Down’s explanation

8 8 Darwin as a foundation for functionalism Importance of the study of animals – comparative psychology Importance of the study of animals – comparative psychology Stressed functions of the mind; not the structure Stressed functions of the mind; not the structure Expanded the methodologies available to study psychological processes Expanded the methodologies available to study psychological processes Focused on individual differences and the importance of variation Focused on individual differences and the importance of variation

9 9 Francis Galton Independently wealthy, intelligent, and curious Independently wealthy, intelligent, and curious Greatest contributions involved the social and psychological implications of evolution Greatest contributions involved the social and psychological implications of evolution –Hereditary Genius (1869) –Eugenics – eminent people should be encouraged to reproduce and discourage the unfit from reproducing Also important development and use of statistical methods Also important development and use of statistical methods –Use of the mean, normal distribution, standard deviation, and correlation –Regression to the mean

10 10 1 st psychometric laboratory Galton created 1 st clinic designed to measure human abilities Galton created 1 st clinic designed to measure human abilities For 3 pennies, you could have your mental and physical abilities tested For 3 pennies, you could have your mental and physical abilities tested Most measured human attribute was sensory acuity Most measured human attribute was sensory acuity –Men have better discriminatory ability than women –Women better at visual imagery, but...

11 11 Important contributions to psychology Applied statistical probability to human attributes Applied statistical probability to human attributes Use of the survey or questionnaires to gather data Use of the survey or questionnaires to gather data –Study of English and Scottish schools Development of 2 association tests that are still used today Development of 2 association tests that are still used today –Word association –Free association Identical twin studies of nature-nurture Identical twin studies of nature-nurture

12 12 Influence of the Zeitgeist Inquiries into human faculty and its development (1884) Inquiries into human faculty and its development (1884) –Included 2 chapters on the faculty of prayer 2 nd edition nd edition 1904 –Omitted the 2 chapters on prayer 1909 – he was knighted for his “contributions to science” 1909 – he was knighted for his “contributions to science”

13 13 Social Darwinism of Herbert Spenser Application of evolutionary theory to social and economic systems Application of evolutionary theory to social and economic systems Spenser coined the expression “survival of the fittest Spenser coined the expression “survival of the fittest Fit the American personality of the times: Fit the American personality of the times: –Development of the biggest most powerful companies because they are “most fit” –Genocide of native populations as unfit

14 14 Application of evolutionary theory Europe – widely accepted as it applied to biology and development of species Europe – widely accepted as it applied to biology and development of species United States – less accepted as it applied to biology, but widely accepted as it was applied to social and economic policy United States – less accepted as it applied to biology, but widely accepted as it was applied to social and economic policy Problem: data supported the evolution of species, but no evidence of data to suggest social evolution functions the same as physical evolution Problem: data supported the evolution of species, but no evidence of data to suggest social evolution functions the same as physical evolution

15 15 William James Considered to be the most important psychologist at the beginning of the 20 th century Considered to be the most important psychologist at the beginning of the 20 th century More of a philosopher – he rejected strict experimental laboratories More of a philosopher – he rejected strict experimental laboratories Major contributions to psychology presented in his book, Principles of Psychology Major contributions to psychology presented in his book, Principles of Psychology

16 16 Principles of Psychology What was important to know about consciousness was how it worked and its adaptability What was important to know about consciousness was how it worked and its adaptability 4 basic characteristics of consciousness: 4 basic characteristics of consciousness: –It is personal –It is ever-changing –It is continuous –It is selective

17 17 Principles of Psychology (cont.) Habit formation – nervous system is plastic; it can be changed by experience until age 30. Habits are reflexes; established pathways between brain areas Habit formation – nervous system is plastic; it can be changed by experience until age 30. Habits are reflexes; established pathways between brain areas Temperament – individuals differ in temperament Temperament – individuals differ in temperament Motivation – derived from competing instincts Motivation – derived from competing instincts

18 18 Legacy of William James His importance and his acceptance of functionalism gave it validity His importance and his acceptance of functionalism gave it validity But, his hatred of the lab and teaching of psychology may have prevented functionalism from being accepted if not for a student who had a more experimental perspective But, his hatred of the lab and teaching of psychology may have prevented functionalism from being accepted if not for a student who had a more experimental perspective

19 19 G. Stanley Hall 1 st PhD awarded from Harvard department of philosophy and 1 st American PhD on a psychological topic – st PhD awarded from Harvard department of philosophy and 1 st American PhD on a psychological topic – – professorship and the 1 st psychological research laboratory at Johns Hopkins 1884 – professorship and the 1 st psychological research laboratory at Johns Hopkins st president of Clark University st president of Clark University

20 20 General Contributions Founded the American Journal of Psychology Founded the American Journal of Psychology Founded the Journal of Genetic Psychology Founded the Journal of Genetic Psychology One of the founders of the American Psychological Association in 1892 One of the founders of the American Psychological Association in 1892 Brought Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to the U.S. to speak in 1909 Brought Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to the U.S. to speak in 1909 Unique contribution was in developmental psychology Unique contribution was in developmental psychology –1 st psychologist to describe adolescence as a distinctive period of development

21 21 Influence of evolution Child development was a recapitulation of evolution Child development was a recapitulation of evolution All forms of development (behavioral, social, etc.) recapitulate human evolution All forms of development (behavioral, social, etc.) recapitulate human evolution Unable to abandon recapitulation theory of development even when shown to be wrong Unable to abandon recapitulation theory of development even when shown to be wrong

22 22 Interest in sex differences and sex education Instrumental in the beginning of studying sex differences and education Instrumental in the beginning of studying sex differences and education Led to his opposition to co-education and the education of women between years of age (the adolescent period) Led to his opposition to co-education and the education of women between years of age (the adolescent period)

23 23 Arguments against co-education Women were not inferior; they were different Women were not inferior; they were different 3 arguments against co-education: 3 arguments against co-education: 1.Adolescence was a critical period for the development of female reproductive organs 1.Adolescence was a critical period for the development of female reproductive organs –All female powers were needed during adolescence for proper development of these organs –Education would damage reproductive organs by diverting energy to mental activity –This would result in decreased fertility and sickly children

24 24 Arguments against co-education 2.Adolescent males needed freedom to engage in cathartic expressions of his savage impulses 2.Adolescent males needed freedom to engage in cathartic expressions of his savage impulses –Making them be gentlemen resulted in them becoming a feminine or a wild male 3.Natural sex differences during adolescence was the basis for future attraction between sexes 3.Natural sex differences during adolescence was the basis for future attraction between sexes –Overexposure leads to disillusionment in both sexes

25 25 President of Clarke University From 1896 – 1920 approx. 150 women earned graduate degrees at Clarke From 1896 – 1920 approx. 150 women earned graduate degrees at Clarke All graduate students admitted by the President All graduate students admitted by the President Why the paradox? Education bad for women. We will educate them. Why the paradox? Education bad for women. We will educate them. Money Money

26 26 Hall and Eugenics Attempting to improve the human “stock” through selective breeding thereby improving the genetic make up of society Attempting to improve the human “stock” through selective breeding thereby improving the genetic make up of society Hall supported government control of reproduction and held a belief in higher and lower classes Hall supported government control of reproduction and held a belief in higher and lower classes Very influential in Europe and North America Very influential in Europe and North America Educational discrimination – educational resources should only be spent on the best children (from the best families, of course) Educational discrimination – educational resources should only be spent on the best children (from the best families, of course)


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