BIOS BY TANGEN
- Adler, Alfred (1870-1937)
- Born in Vienna, the 2nd of six
children. Unhappy childhood; sickly, frail, pampered by parents, jealous of older brother
(mother's favorite). Broke with Freud: sex not motivating force, not stress unconscious.
- Key words: birth order, compensation,
individualtiy, social interest, masculine protest, superiority, inferiority, style of
- Ambrose (340-397)
- Ambrose didnt set out to be a priest. Born in what is now Germany, he studied law
in Rome and began his career as a civil service. When he was appointed governor of Aemilia
and Liguria in 370, he made Milan his headquarters. He was such a popular ruler that four
years after he moved there, he was asked to become Milans bishop. Ambrose accepted
the position, became baptized, and then formally joined the church.
- Angell, James Rowland
- Having studied with both Dewey and James, Angell developed the laboratory
at the Univerisy of Chicago into a major training program. Coming from a long line of
college presidents, Angell studied with Dewey (at Michigan) and James (at Harvard). After
chairing the psychology department at the University of Chicago for 25 years, Angell
became the president of Yale (1921).
- Aquinas, Thomas (1225-1274)
- Born to an aristocratic Italian family, Thomas Aquinas studied at the
University of Naples. But when he joined the Dominican Order, he was abducted by his
family and confined to the family castle. Upon being freed, he traveled to Paris and
studied under Albertus Magnus. Augustine had said that truth must depend on
revelation, but Aristotles philosophy (along with Averroes commentaries)
emphasized the importance of empirical knowledge. Aquinas proposed a middle ground. He
held that some truths can only be known through revelation and others only through
experience. Still others, such as God, can be known through both. Instead of condemning
each, Aquinas reconciled them. He noted that sensory information is not autonomous as
Averroes suggested but that it is processed by the intellect. For Aquinas, body and soul
are separate entities but work together. Man may be a highly specialized animal, but he
possesses a soul.
- Aristotle (384-322 BC)
- Sometimes called the first psychologist, Aristotle proposed 3 laws of
association (i.e., similarity, contiguity, and opposites). A student of Plato, much of
philosophy can be traced by to his writings. Aristotle came to Plato as a student
but stayed on a teacher until Platos death. He served as counselor to Hermias and,
later, as tutor to Alexander the Great. He started a school (the Lyceum), wrote
Athens constitution, and impacted zoology, psychology, ethics, logic, and theology.
Aristotles belief that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones lasted until
Galileo. His view that earth is the center of the universe went unchallenged until
Capernicus. Aristotle argued for the existence of a divine principle above all the rest;
the Prime Mover (first cause) was pure intellect, perfect unity and unchangeable. Like
Hippocrates, Aristotle noted four basic elements, each with its own "specific
gravity." But in addition to earth, air, fire and water, Aristotle added a fifth:
ether (to describe the content of the heavens).
- Although a student of Socrates in Athens, Aristippus was born in Cyrene, so his
philosophy is called Cyrenaicism. The basic doctrine was pleasure is all that matters. For
Aristippus and his followers, the pursuit of happiness required the immediate
gratification of any and every desire. People should control their circumstances, and not
allow circumstances to control them. This Cyrenaic approach allowed no thought of the
consequences because knowledge is unreliable, amoral and only exists in the sensations of
the moment. Although Aristippus may have argued for restraint, for many Cyrenaicism was an
excuse for sexual promiscuity and physical brutality.
- Augustine (354-430)
- Raised in a philosophically-mixed family (his mother was a Christian, his
father was not), Augustine converted to Christianity as an adult. He advocated
introspective meditation, denunciation of the flesh, and the importance of self
understanding. Since true knowledge comes from God, examining the world is of limited
value. For Augustine, the soul is composed of memory, understanding and will. Sometimes called the first of the Christian philosophers,
Augustine's views dominated western Europe for nearly 1000 years. Augustine
believed that truth comes directly from God through introspective self-examination. For
Augustine, the soul is a self-contained entity with no physical dimension. It is a trinity
of memory, understanding, and will.
- His full name was Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Rushd. Born in
Cordoba, Spain, AverroŽs was the son a judge. He studied medicine, philosophy and Muslim
law (which has both moral and legal aspects). His commentaries on Aristotle were
translated into Latin and Hebrew and influenced both Hellenistic Judism and scholastic
philosophy. Averroes became a judge, chief physician for the caliph of Morocco and
believed that the world has no beginning and no miraculous creation. God is "prime
mover" of the universe and the human soul comes from Him. Averroes emphasized both
reason and revelation so much so that his opponents referred to it as "double
- Bain, Alexander (1818-1903)
- The son of a weaver, Bain was born, raised and educated in Aberdeen,
Scotland. Indeed, except for several years in London, he lived whole life in Aberdeen. In
1876, Bain wrote the first journal devoted exclusively to psychology (Mind). He also
provided the first books on psychology as such. Until William James wrote Principles of
Psychology (1890), Bain's books (The Senses and Emotions) were widely used as textbooks of
psychology. A friend of JS Mill (who he met during his London years), Bain was an empiricist and a utilitarianist.
He emphasized the law of contiguity, but differentiated between voluntary and reflexive
behavior, held that people are capable of spontaneous activity which becomes increasingly
purposive as it is rewarded by pleasure, and was a mind-body parallelist. He held that
every sensation has both a physiological and a mental reaction. Bain is sometimes called
the first modern physiological psychologist because of his detailed descriptions of sense
organs and how they worked. He is best known for his description of the reflex arc.
- Bandura, Albert (1925-)
- Born in Mundara, Alberta (Canada), Bandura was educated in America.
Following the tradition of Tolman, Bandura stressed social learning. He held that behavior
is a function of cognitive and environmental factors, and how they interact with previous
behaviors. Essentially, environment is what we make it to be. It is our perception of
reality. In addition to classical and operant conditioning, we can learn by observing
others (modeling). According to Bandura, we can benefit from other's mistakes, and are
motivated by our own goals and dreams. He maintained that people are capable of self-reinforcement (e.g., exceeding your personal
standards of performance) and delayed self-gratification. Bandura offers a positive view
of people actively involved in real life. Although uncomfortable labeling himself as a
cognitive behaviorist, he certainly accepts a softer view of behaviorism.
- Bechterev, Vladimire M
- A contemporary of Pavlov, Bechterev gave a more psychological
interpretation of classical conditioning. His "associated reflex" described the
process better but Pavlov's terms prevailed. Bechterev began the first experimental
psychology lab in Russia (at the University of Kazan). Following his graduation, Bechterev
studied with Wundt, DeBois-Reymond and Charcot. Instead of Pavlov's conditioned reflex,
Bechterev called it an "associated reflex."
Instead of studying secretions (a very physiological orientation), Bechterev studied motor
reflexes. For Bechterev, behavior was completely explainable within a S-R
(stimulus-response) format. Indeed psychology was for him simply "human reflexology."
- Bell , Charles (Sir)
- Knighted in 1831, Scottish surgeon, Charles Bell, was the first to show
that different parts of the brain held different functions, and that there was a
difference between sensory and motor nerves. Formally known as the Bell-Magendie Law (since both made the same discovery
independently), Bell showed that sensory and motor nerves are not bi-directional
communicators but one way conductors of information.
- Berkeley , George
- In an attempt to counter what he perceived to be philosophical attacks on
God, Berkeley did away with reality. He believed that Aristotle's skepticism and the materialism
of Descartes, Hobbes and Locke had been direct attacks on Christianity. Berkeley's
counter-argument to materialism was that matter doesn't exist. Like Locke, Berkeley held
that knowledge is ideas, and the mind acts on ideas. Unlike Locke, Berkeley maintained
that ideas are not caused by the physical world because we can't know physical world
directly. We only know by perception, so reality is perception. Our inner experience is
our perception; the external reality around us is God's perception. To be is to be
perceived. Berkeley's philosophy of perception was a mixture of his two interests: vision
and religion. In addition to emphasizing the importance of associations, Berkeley showed
that complex perceptions can be explained in terms of less complex elements.
- Binet, Alfred (1857-1911)
- Born in Nice, France, and educated at the Sorbonne (law), Binet is best
known for his development of the first standardized test of intelligence. He worked with
Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), but resigned in shame when his research on the healing
powers of magnetism couldn't be replicated. Fortunately, Binet was independently wealthy.
Using his time wisely, Binet read Darwin, Galton, and J.S. Mill, and published studies on
his two daughters (then aged 2 1/2 and 4 1/2). Using tests similar to those employed by
Piaget years later, Binet also provided a detailed, longitudinal study of his daughters.
Binet believed that intelligence was not a single factor but that it represented a cluster
of abilities. In 1908, he and Simon revised their scale to differentiate between levels of
normal intelligence. Binet never liked the terms "intelligence
quotient" (coined by German psychologist, William Stern) or "IQ" (coined by American psychologist Lewis Terman).
Binet thought the emphasis on mental age was limiting. Like Galton, Binet emphasized
individual differences. Unlike Galton, Binet believed that environment was a significant
influence on performance. Binet recommended "mental
orthopedics" (special exercises) to improve an individual's attention and
performance. He believed that with special attention, children could learn better.
Coincidentally, both Galton (89) and Binet (54) died in 1911.
- Binswanger, Ludwig
- Although he studied psychiatry under Bleuler and Jung, Binswanger is best
known for his existential beliefs. One of the first psychoanalysts in Switzerland (and a
personal friend of Freud), Binswanger combined Heidegger's
phenomenology with Freud's psychoanalysis. Binswanger stressed the interconnectedness of
people with their environment. We are responsible for creating our own world design
("Weltanschaung"). This design can be open
or closed, or expansive or constrictive. Stressing the importance of living an authentic
life, he proposed three modes of existence: unwelt (around
world), mitwelt (with world), and eigenwelt (own world). He emphasized the here and now, rejected determinism, and championed freedom
of choice. People should act in their own best interest, Binswanger maintained. Since we
are thrown into the world, our "thrownness"
determines the limits of our freedom. The circumstances within which we can exercise
freedom is called our "ground of existence."
People should seek to grow beyond their limits; it is a process of becoming. Refusing to
"become" causes neurotic or psychotic problems.
- Brentano, Franz (1838-1917)
- Trained in the priesthood (he left the Church when the Vatican Council
proclaimed infallibility of Pope), Brentano emphasized empirical observation but not
experimentation. His "act psychology" focused on
what the mind does. In contrast to Wundt, Brentano was not interested in the mind's
content or component parts but in the active process of thinking. He held that the mind
was responsible for idea-ing (having ideas), judging (affirming the presence or state of
an object), and feeling (generating attitudes).
- Broca, Paul (1824-1880)
- He is best known for his discovery that the brain has a specific area
responsible for speech. Broca hypothesized that his patient's aphasia was caused by a
brain lesion. After the patient died (of unrelated causes), Broca performed an autopsy and
found a lesion on the third frontal convolution of the left cerebral hemisphere. This
portion of the brain which controls speech is called "Broca's
area." More of a clinician than experimenter, Broca taught surgical pathology in
Paris, founded a society of physical anthropology, and served in the French Senate.
- Brown, Thomas (1778-1820)
- Like Reid and Stewart, Brown's rationalism was a reaction against Hume's
empiricism. Brown re-proposed Artistotle's three laws of suggestion: contiguity,
resemeblans, and contrast.
- Buhler, Karl (1879-1963)
- A student of Kulpe, Buhler emphasized "thought elements." That is, thoughts are
composed of non-sensory thought processes.
- Carr, Harvey A (1873-1954)
- Carr maintained that behavior is an "adaptive act." Carr still
used introspection but more behavioral in approach than many functionalists. Using
introspection and observation, Carr studied thinking, emotion and adaptive behavior. Carr
maintained that an "adaptive act" has
3 characteristics: a motivating stimulus, a sensory stimulus, and a response which adjusts
life to meet the requirements set by the motivating stimulus. Thinking, then, is the
substitution of ideas for motivating stimuli, and emotions are physiological readjustments
to the environment.
- Cattel, James McKeen
- Best known for coining the term "mental tests"
and for studying the span of apprehension. A
student of Wundt but greatly influenced by Galton, Cattell was the first to call the
measurement of perceptual acuity and mental functions "mental tests." Focusing on individual differences, Cattell established the
first psychology laboratory for undergraduates (1887, at the U of Pennsylvania).
Interested in practical applications, Cattell started, owned and edited several journals
(e.g., Psychological Review, Science, Popular Science Monthly, The American Nativist, and
School & Society). Similarly, his research focused on practical matters, such as the span of apprehension (the number of elements the mind
- Chomsky, Noam (1928-)
- Although he is primarily a linguist, Chomsky's impact on psychology has
been immense. In his scathing review of Skinner's book Verbal Behavior, Chomsky calls
psychology to task for its oversimplification of language and its acquisition. Chomsky
pointed out that because language occurs in complex situations, stimulus control is very
unlikely. Similarly, unless behaviorism can specify how language is overtly reinforced,
there is no need to assume that reinforcement is involved. Chomsky also attacked response
strength, noting that yelling "beautiful" repeatedly at a painting would show
high response strength but would not necessarily convey what the speaker thought of it.
According to Chomsky's transformational-generative
grammar, language is an innate human capacity. It is a unique, creative process. For
Chomsky, the capacity for language is innate but the actual language one speaks is
learned. He maintains that children acquire language too quickly for it to be learned.
- At nearly the same time as Pythagoras, Confucius was teaching his practical approach to
life. Like Pythagoreanism, Confucianism involves the whole person. It is not a religion
but a political and philosophical approach to every part of life. Confucius focus
was not on the supernatural. He emphasized ethics, morality, and family values such as
duty, kindness and faithfulness. To a corrupt feudal China, Confucius brought a message of
honor. His five virtues (kindness, decorum, wisdom, faithfulness and honesty) were in
direct opposition to the intrigue and decadence of his time.
- Darwin, Charles
- In response to Alfred Wallace's proposed publication,
Darwin published his notes and theory of evolution, causing a major shift in intellectual
thought. At the age of 22, just out of college and trying to avoid
becoming an ordained minister, Charles Robert Darwin served as an unpaid naturalist on an
around the world expedition. After his trip and his father's death, Darwin retired into
the life of a country gentleman. Then, a young naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace,
proposed a theory of natural selection and sent a
copy to Darwin. Darwin then wrote his own version, and both were published in 1858. In
what could be called the Wallace-Darwin theory of evolution,
generational changes in a species are due to their ability to adapt to the environment.
Before Darwin, the world was thought of a series of catastrophes.
The last great catastrophic event (Noah's flood) had wiped out all animals except those on
the ark. Darwin's speculation that related organisms come from common ancestors brought
into question the immutability of species and, by extension, the special creation of
humans.Darwin's theory of evolution replaced Lamarck's contention that the effects of
practice could be seen in one's offspring. Instead, one's survival was attributed to the
ability to react to environmental changes.
- Democritus (460-370 BC)
- According to Democritus, nature is composed of tiny particles which are
in constant motion. He called these particles atoms and classified them in terms of their
size, shape, and angularity. Taste was the result of small, angular winding atoms. Sight
was the result of atoms flying through the air, hitting the eye, and making a copy of the
original object. Thinking was caused by the fastest, smallest atoms. For
Democritus, there is no soul or will; life is reducible to patterns of atomic matter.
- Descartes, Rene
- Sometimes called the father of modern psychology, Rene
Descartes was born in La Haye, France. Although he came from a wealthy family, he was in
poor health for most of his life. Descartes believed that God created the universe, set it
in motion, and left it alone. He held that since God was not involved in the day to day
operations of the universe, it is possible to study the universe and its laws without
making theological statements. Descartes maintained that animals were basically machines
but man has a soul. For Descartes, the soul was more
interconnected with the body than for St. Thomas or St.
Augustine. He reasoned that the soul and the mind had to meet somewhere, and assumed the
meeting occurred in the pineal gland (it has no
duplicate gland). The eyes send gasses through the nerves (hollow tubes) to the pineal
gland, and make an impression on it; that's why he said the eyes are the "mirror of
the soul." These gasses which were thought to be distilled from blood were called
animal spirits (in the same way that drinks which contain distilled alcohol are called
- Dewey, John (1859-1952)
- Like James, Dewey emphasized the individibility of
sensations and the practical functioning of the mind. Born in
Burlington, Vermon, Dewey taught high school before receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy from
Johns Hopkins (1884). An educational reformer at heart, Dewey's psychology, like that of
William James, emphasized practical functions of the mind. He held that a psychological
act can't be broken into elemental parts. Learning not to touch a hot flame is an entire
adaptive function, and is not reducible to its component parts.
- Ebbinghaus, Hermann
- A contemporary of Wundt, Ebbinghaus experimentally
studied and described learning, forgetting, overlearning, and savings. His work is widely
used and cited by cognitive psychologists today. Ebbinghaus read
Fechner's book (Elements of Psychophysics), which inspired him to study for the mind
works. Unaware that Wundt proclaimed it was impossible to study higher mental processes
experimentally, Ebbinghaus did so. In 1878, at his home in Berlin, Ebbinghaus performed
the first experimental work on memory. Although he was the first person to publish an
article on measuring the intelligence of school children (Binet and Simon used his
sentence completion task in their intelligence test), Ebbinghuas is best known for his
thorough study of memory and forgetting.
After creating a list of words to study (each one of a separate card), Ebbinghaus
attempted to learn the entire list. Items on each list were kept in order, but since the
relationship between the words was arbitrary the lists are said to have been "nonsense" words. Some lists were relearned in
order to measure the "savings" on each trial.
Ebbinghaus' famous "retention curve" was a
plot of savings as a function of time. Ebbinghaus showed experimentally what people have
suspected all along. Forgetting occurs rapidly in the first few hours after learning but
it levels out. The best strategy for limiting the decline in recall is to "overlearn" the material (continue studying it after
the list can be recalled without error).
- Epicurus (341-270 BC)
- He encouraged the search for happiness, and the avoidance pain. Although
pleasure was goal of the Epicurean life, it turns out that intellectual pleasure was more
valued that sensual pleasure. Epicureanism is more the search for serenity (absence of
fear) than for the carnal pleasures of Cyrenaicism. Seeking tranquillity through self
control, Epicureans sought to balance pain and pleasure. For example, friendship was
thought to be better than love because it has less pain, even though it has less pleasure.
Epicurus did not directly oppose the worship of the gods, but he did not believe the soul
exists without the body. The universe is infinite and eternal but each person only gets
one life. With no life after death, Epicureans clearly emphasized a materialistic,
intellectual hedonism which highlighted the importance of enjoying the present.
- Erikson, Erik (1902-)
- Erikson's theory of personality development proposed eight developmental
stages. The first 5 stages are comparable to Freud's, including infancy (oral), muscular
(anal), locomotor (genital), latency, and adolescence. In Erikson's sixth stage, the young
adult struggles with intimacy and the development of love. As an adult, the seventh stage
which extends from the mid-twenties to age 65, people focus on caring for their children
and being productive in their careers. Maturity, the eighth stage, included the
development of wisdom and a struggle to turn the fear of death into integrated self.
Erikson emphasized the impact of society on the ego, the continuity of the present and the
past, and the importance of personal identity (an inner sense of uniqueness) and identity
confusion. Erikson's theory of personality development proposed eight stages. In his later
years, Erikson studied the Sioux Indians (S Dakota) and the Yurok salmon fishermen of
northern California. He found the Sioux to be trusting and generous, while the Yurok were
miserly and suspicious. According to Erikson, the difference in behavior was the result of
- Fechner, Gustav Theodore
- A student of Weber, Fechner wrote Weber's idea in the form of a formula,
and called it Weber's law. He revised Weber's law
(showing it was logarithmic), and continued Weber's work on jnd (just noticeable
difference), applying it to weight, temperature, etc. He also studied afterimages and
color vision. His description of the "pleasure
principle" influenced Freud years later. And he solved one of life
"insoluble" questions. Although philosophers had struggled to determine how the
mind and body interrelate, Fechner proposed an elegant solution to the problem. On October
22, 1850, Fechner had a sudden burst of insight. He saw a quantitative relationship
between stimulus (the mind) and sensation (the body). Sensation is dependent on
stimulation but they increase at different rates. An increase in sensation requires a
geometrical increase in stimulation.
- Flourens, Pierre
- Perfecting the technique of extripation
on pigeons, Flourens showed that each part of the nervous system had its own function and
acted as a unit.
- Freud, Sigmund
- Trained as medical researcher and neurologist, Freud "fathered"
the first clinical branch of psychology. His psychoanalytic approach is the forerunner of
all other forms of counseling and psycho-therapy. Freud emphasized the pleasure principle
- Fritsch, Gustav (1838-1927)
& Hitzig, Edward (1838-1907)
- Working in their own laboratory, two German physicians, Gustav Fritsch
(1838-1927) and Edward Hitzig (1838-1907), discovered the motor cortex of the brain.
Specifically, they found that electrical stimulation of particular areas resulted in
muscle movement. If they stimulated a particular spot on the left side of a dog's brain,
its right leg would move.
- Fromm, Erich (1900-1980)
- Fromm maintained that people are lonely, and seeking social contact.
Basically a social animal, the greater independence one achieves, the greater loneliness
is experienced. To counteract loneliness, people use
myths, religions, and totalitarianism to bind themselves to each other. For Fromm, there
are only two solutions to the problem: join with others in a spirit of love, or conform to
society. He proposed five basic needs: relatedness (creating relationships),
transcendence, rootedness (putting down roots), identity
(uniqueness), and orientation (a consistent frame of reference). According to Fromm,
personality is composed of temperment (inherited.
unchangeable characteristics) and character (which is
learned). Individual character is developed within one's environment and social character
is a result of reaction to society.
- Galen (131-200 AD)
- Born in Pergamum (Asia Minor) and educated in Alexandria, Galen became
well known as a physician and writer. A Greek subject to the Roman Empire, he studied
healing (medicine) in Smyna, traveled widely, and finally moved to Rome at the age of 32.
Although Galen believed that the liver was responsible for blood flow, his knowledge of
anatomy and physiology was so authoritative that it actually discouraged others from
questioning his findings for nearly 1400 years. Using dissection and experimentation,
Galen showed that the speech is controlled by the brain, and that arteries carry blood (in
contrast to the previous view that arteries carried air). He distinguished between sensory
and motor nerves, and held that the mind was located in the brain. Galen also believed
that people are basically cheerful (full of blood) but they can get out of balance.
- Gall, Franz Joseph (1758-1828)
- Although best known for suggesting that there is a relationship between
personality and head bumps, Gall was among the first comparative anatomists. He comparison
of brains, his emphasis of the localization of brain function, and his thorough anatomical
observations are often overlooked in favor of his popularization of phrenology. Popular
with the general population, phrenology assumed that
mental functioning could be determined by observing the variation in skull structure. It
assumed that a given skill was correlated with a particular part of the brain. And the
better one became at that skill, the more that brain portion would enlarge (eventually
forcing the skull to expand as well). Expanded portions (bumps) of the skull, then, were
used to diagnosis skills and abilities. The contour of the skull and face also was thought
to reflect one's honesty, integrity and future potential. So popular was this
pseudo-scientific view that a journal on phrenology was published from 1823-1911.
- Galton, Francis (1822-1911)
- Galton believed that intelligence was a single faculty and that it was
inheritable. He created many tasks to measure intelligence, and developed procedures for
analyzing the data such as co-relation and percentile rank. Galton applied the
evolutionary views of his cousin (Charles Darwin) to the mind. In his book (Hereditary
Genius, 1869), Galton attempted to show that greatness (in law, medicine, etc.) was a
function of family heredity, not environment. It was survival of the intellectually
fittest. Galton developed a number of tests to measure intellectual giftedness. For him, intelligence was measured by sensory capacities
(allowing the best adaptation to the environment). In his London laboratory, people paid
to have their reflexes tested, their height (standing and sitting) measured, and their
strength and reaction time recorded. To analyze his large collection of data, Galton
developed methods of rank order, grouping by percentile rank, and co-relation (by looking at scatterplots).
- Galvani, Luigi (1737-1798)
- Born and educated in Bolgna, Italy, Galvani is less known as a professor
of anatomy than for his conclusion that animal tissue is capable of generating
electricity. Using an electrically-charged scalpel, he accidentally touched the probe to
the leg of a frog, causing it to twitch. Galvani did not conclude that tissue conducts
electricity but that animals actually generate it themselves.
- Gassendi, Pierre
- Noted as a priest, mathematician and philosopher, Gassendi countered
Descartes' deductive, dualistic approach with an inductive,
monistic philosophy. Noting that lower animals movements
are explained without resorting to a mind, Gassendi saw no need to ascribe a mind to
humans. The brain was a sufficient source of control for him. In contrast to Descartes,
who based his existence on thinking ("I think, therefore I am"), Gassendi held
that movement was evidence of existence. Basically a materialist, Gassendi dismissed
Descartes' rationalism, and helped renew interest in materialism
and Epicurean philosophy.
- Born in Sicily, Gorgias is credited with introducing cadence in prose and using everyday
examples and locations in arguments. Best known as the title character of a dialogue by
Plato, Gorgias answers "what is reality?" by suggesting that nothing exits. Or
if it exists it cant be known or communicated. Ironically, Gorgias made a living by
teaching rhetoric (how to communicate effectively).
- Guthrie, Edwin R (1886-1959)
- Like Watson, Guthrie focused on observable behavior. Unlike Watson,
Guthrie held that learning was a one-shot process of association.
In contrast to classical conditioning,
Guthrie's associationism followed Aristotle's concept of contiguity.
Basically, Guthrie held that people tend to do what they did in a similar situation in the
past. That is, the situation provides cues about how to behave. Unlike Thorndike, Guthrie
did not hypothesize a law of effect. It was simply a matter of contiguity. When a stimulus
situation reoccurs, it tends to be followed by the same movement which followed it before.
Guthrie's one shot learning did not preclude
improvement. He maintained that practice doesn't improve performance because of repetition
but because new S-R associations are being made. Although any single movement is learned
in one trial, there is an infinite number of stimulus combinations possible. Each minute
"movement" is learned one at a time but there
are so many combinations to learn that one gets better at basketball. A movement is a
collection or pattern of motor responses. Movement produces stimuli (proprioceptive stimuli) in the muscles and
tendons which help produce the next movement. An "act"
is a collection of movements. Well-established movements and acts are called habits. For Guthrie, each S-R
connection is created at full strength and remains in full force until it is replaced by
new learning. Habit strength is determined by the number of stimuli which can produce a
response. To increase the strength of a habit (hanging up a coat), the proper cues must be
associated with that response. According to Guthrie's theory, the best way to teach
children to hang up their coats when coming in from play is not to make them do it after
they forget. Instead, they should practice the whole sequence by going back outside,
coming in, and hanging up their coats. For Guthrie, the more stimuli which can be
associated with a response the stronger the habit becomes. A director should not add more
rehearsals to improve performance but more dress rehearsals. There are four ways to break
connections: sidetracking, fatigue, threshold, and incompatible response. In sidetracking, the
person avoids the cues which produce the unwanted response (give up smoking while on
vacation). The fatigue method presents a stimulus so often that response is impossible
(ride a horse until it can't buck). The threshold method presents the stimulus in
increasing increments (don't throw into the pool; get use to the water gradually). In the
third method, an incompatible response is substituted (can't chew gum and smoke at the
- Hall, Marshall
- The Scottish physician, Marshall Hall, differentiated between reflexes
and learned behavior. He showed that voluntary, conscious
movements were controlled by the higher brain stem and that involuntary, unconscious
movements were controlled by the lower brain stem.
- Hartley, David (1705-1757)
- Hartley studied at Cambridge and was prepared to follow his father's
footsteps (minister) but his interest in biology led him to seek a medical degree. He is
considered to be one of the first physiological psychologists. In 1749, Hartley published
a combination of psychological and theological insights entitled Observations on Man, His
Frame, His Duty and His Expectations. Like Newton, Hartley dismissed Descartes' contention
that nerves are hollow. He maintained that sensations cause vibrations in the nerves which
in turn cause vibrations in the brain. These vibratuncles
result in ideas (faint vibrations) and memory (reactivating
the original vibrations).
- Helmholtz, Hermann (von)
- The leading scientist of his time, Hermmann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Helmholtz measured the speed of a nerve impulse (a task
previously thought to be impossible), revived Thomas Young's theory of color vision, and
showed that the ear's basilar membrane vibrates sympathetically to stimulation. A student
of Johannes Muller, Helmholtz also invented the ophthalmoscope
(an instrument used to look into the eye and examine the retina).
- Herbart, Johann (1776-1841)
- Frail and precocious as a child, Herbart received his early training from
his mother. Although initially impressed with Kant's writings, Herbart's views more
closely aligned with Leibnitz. Not a nativist, Herbart maintained that psychology could
never be an experimental science, but the mind could be described in mathematical and
quantified terms. Herbart didn't propose laws of association because he believed that
ideas have energy of their own. This internal psychic energy of ideas attracted similar
ideas and repelled opposing ideas. Consequently, Herbart's psychology is referred to as
"psychic mechanics." Herbart emphasized the interaction of ideas. His psychic dynamics followed Leibnitz's monads. In
addition, Herbart held that compatible ideas formed a cluster in consciousness. This apperceptive mass is the result of similar ideas being
drawn toward each other into the conscious mind. For him, ideas could be at varying levels
of consciousness, but they are attracted toward each other into a conscious mass.
- Hering, Ewald (1834-1918)
- A student of Weber and Gustav Fechner, Hering achieved early fame for
discovering the Hering-Breuer reflex. Hering and Breuer
showed that there are receptors in the lungs which help cause respiration. His studies on
space perception were also exceedingly thorough. About mid-career, Hering challenged the
dominant theory of color vision and the authority of its author, Hermann von Helmholtz.
Hering maintained that the Young-Helmholtz model didn't account well for color blindness
or for afterimages of opposite colors. He proposed three retinal receptors, each using
both catabolic and anabolic processes. Hering explanation was reasonable and his research
well done, but the immense prestige of Helmholtz and the force of personalities allowed
the discussion to degenerate into personal confrontation, not scientific debate.
Similarly, when Hering challenged Fechner's law by proposing an alternative explanation,
Fechner's response was very personal. Although Hering wasn't afraid to take on the
intellectual giants of his time, he was no match for their popularity.
- Heidegger, Martin (1889-1976)
- Born in Messkirch, Germany, Heidegger stressed existential phenomenology.
He maintained that people must accept that death in inevitable and that it is followed by
nothingness. For Heidegger the contemplation of death was worse than the real thing.
Heidegger was an active supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. In light of the
horrors of the Holocaust, Heidegger's questioning of what it is to be and his warnings of
the dangers of nihilism (being deprived of meaning) seem
- Hippocrates (460-370
- One of the great doctors of his time, Hippocrates prescribed remedies for
illnesses which were thought to be caused by an unbalance of four basic elements (earth,
air, water, and fire). The goal of medicine was to keep the body's corresponding humors in
balance. For Hippocrates and his followers, life is reducible to 4 elements: earth,
air, fire and water. In the body, each of these elements is associated with a bodily fluid
(humor). When applied to temperaments, each element has a corresponding personality type.
Earth can be seen as phlegm in the body and corresponds to a phlegmatic temperament, which
is slow as earth. Air (blood) produces a sanguine (cheerful) temperament. Fire causes
yellow bile and a choletic, fiery temperament, but water gives the melancholic sadness of
black bile. Although Hippocrates wrote little of the works which bear his name, he
emphasized the importance of clinical observation, and the physical (not spiritual) causes
- Hobbes, Thomas (1588-1679)
- Sometimes called the founder of British empiricism, Hobbes was born in
Maimesburg, England. A rich uncle paid for his Oxford education but Hobbes' interest in
philosophy didn't begin until he turned 40 (and read Euclid's Elements). After visiting
Galileo in 1635, Hobbes was convinced that the universe is composed only of matter and motion. For him, man
is a machine whose mental activity was reducible to the motion of atoms in the brain.
Hobbes was a physical monist who maintained that mental
activity was the function of the brain, and that free will, spirit and mind were illusions. Although Hobbes was friends with Francis
Bacon (and served as his secretary for a short time), he rejected Bacon's inductive reasoning in favor of his other friends (Galileo
and Descartes) deductive methods. Hobbes reintroduced
Plato's and Aristotle's concept of association of
ideas. He held that ideas tend to follow each other, like cars on a train. These
"trains of thought" are often unguided and rambling but they become orderly when
two ideas are similar.
- Holt, Edwin B (1873-1946)
- In contrast to Watson sequencing of conditioned bonds, Holt proposed
learning is a "specific response
relationship." For Watson, each step is tied to the previous one; for Holt,
walking was a molar event. Indeed, he held that most behavior is purposive and meaningful.
- Horney, Karen (1885-)
- Born in Hamburg, Germany on September 18, 1885, Horney did not study
directly with Freud but was greatly influenced by his work. She received her MD from the
University of Berlin in 1913, and moved to the US in 1932. Horney's writings do not form a
systematic theory of psychology but show how Freud's concepts were manipulated and
expanded by his followers. Horney's concept of basic
anxiety embraces Freudian thought but extends its interpretive usefulness. For Horney,
basic anxiety is feeling helpless and is a product of culturalization. Basic anxiety
produces a drive for safety (security). Horney emphasized needs, including the need for
affection, approval, power, ambition and perfection. She divided these needs into 3 types
of personality: toward people, against people, and away from people.
- Hull, Clark Leonard (1884-1952)
- In his late teens, an outbreak of typhoid fever took the lives of several
of Hull's classmates, and (according to Hull) damaged his memory. At the age of 24, Hull
contracted polio, which precipitated his change from mining engineer to psychologist. Hull
was skilled at inventing equipment his needed to perform an experiment. For a study on the
effect of tobacco on performance, he designed a system for delivering heated air (tobacco
and tobacco filled) to the subjects so they would not know which experimental treatment
they were receiving. Similarly, Hull constructed a machine to calculate inter-item
correlations for a series of studies he performed on aptitude testing. Not surprisingly,
Hull believed that people are basically machines. His complex theory of learning is a
combination of Newton's deductive method, Pavlov's classical conditioning, and Euclidean
geometry. For Hull, experimental observations were validity checks on the internal
postulates he had previously deduced. Hull's Hypothetico-Deductive Theory includes
habit strength (the tendency to respond), evenly spaced trials, and reinforcement. Using
inferred state and intervening variables, Hull described
learning as an interactive system of probabilities. Too complex for many and too
theoretical for others, Hull was a pioneer in using animal research to generalize to human
behavior. Despite his poor eyesight and poor health, Hull set a standard of experimental
excellent and theoretical integrity which still serves as a model today.
- Humboldt, Alexander (von)
- The issue of animal electricity was resolved by German naturalist
Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich von Humboldt. He concluded that Galvani's animal
electricity and Volta's bimetallic electricity were related phenomenon. Animals do produce
electricity (e.g., nerve conduction) but that does not rule out the production of
electricity using metallic materials. Humbolt is also known for his exploration of Latin
America, including Venezuela, Columbia, the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, and the Orinoco
and Amazon river systems.
- Hume, David (1711-1776)
- Born and educated in Eddinburgh, Scotland, Hume studied law and business
but never received a degree. As was true of his life, Hume maintained that all knowledge
comes from experience. Like Berkeley, Hume noted that we cannot experience the physical
world directly. You can't prove that a table exists after you leave a room. However, for
Hume, not all perceptions are equal. He distinguished between impressions (strong perceptions) and ideas (caused by weak perceptions. Hume also proposed 3 laws of
resemblance, and causality.
Like Locke and Berkeley, Hume noted that events which happen together in time and space
associated together. Another factor impacting association is resemblance (similarity). To
these, Hume added a third factor: causality (the ability to associate a wound with the
pain that follows).
- Hunter, Walter S (1889-1953)
- Another innovation was presented by Walter S. Hunter (1889-1953). He
designed an apparatus with allowed the study of memory in animals. Hunter's delayed
reaction device restrained the animal from immediately responding. Later, the animal's
memory is allowed to show what it has learned by making a choice.
- James, William (1842-1910)
- As a philosopher, psychologist and writer, James helped shift the focus
from the search for mental structures and elements to the experimental study of mental
functions. His concepts of self, stream of consciousness, pragmatism, and emotion are
still cited today. Best known for his philosophy of pragmatism
, James helped redirect psychology into greater concern with higher mental functioning. A
predecessor of functionalism , James was less
concerned with the mental structures of the mind than with the functions it performs. His
book (Principles of Psychology, 1890) had a tremendous impact of the philosophy and
direction of psychology. James shorter version of Principles, popularly known as
"Jimmy," was a great commercial success. Chronologically between Wundt and
Titchener, James was more of a mind-body dualist (Wundt
was a parallelist, and Titchener a physical monist). Influenced by Darwin, James maintained that behavior
is adaptable, and that in order to survive psychologically people must be conscious of and
adjust to their psychological and emotional environment. For James, consciousness is not a
static picture but more like a flow of a river or stream. It is personal, ever changing, and has
no breaks or cracks in it. James also held that consciousness is selective (we don't
attend to everything) and that it is object oriented (does not deal with itself). Although
not a systematic theory, James envisioned a personal self.
Although James discussed habit, instinct, memory, and reason, his theory of emotion has
endured the longest. Before James, emotion was described as being the cause of action (I
see the bear, I feel fear, I run). James maintained that emotion was a result of action (I
see the bear, I run, I feel fear). Formally known as the James-Lange
theory of emotion (after Danish physiologist C.G. Lange), it represented a major shift
in thinking about emotion.
- The birth of a new religion is always a major event in world history. Jesus was a Jew,
as were most of his followers, but Christianity soon spread to surrounding cultures.
Persecuted by Roman Emperors (including Nero, Domitian, Hadrian, etc.,), it was never very
large until Diocletian (AD 303) endorsed it. Then it grew so rapidly that by 395 AD, its
was Romes state religion, and now is the most widely distributed religion in the
world. Although there no agreement on all theological issues, Christians in general belief
that people possess an eternal spirit which operates independently of the laws of nature.
They believe that Jesus Christ is of central importance, and that he is God (or at least
closely associated with God). Jesus teachings on love, brotherhood, and helping
others are so key concepts.
- Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)
- Jung accepted Freud's insistence on a dynamic psychology of psychic
energy and internal motivation. Like Freud, he was deterministic but unlike Freud, Jung
incorporated aims, goals, and decisions into his model. Although he distinguished between
the conscious and the unconscious, Jung's unconscious included instincts, cultural
knowledge and a basic life urge. Like Freud, Jung believed in the importance of the
unconscious mind, but he subdivided it into the personal
unconscious and the collective unconscious.
According to Jung, emotionally charged collections of private attitudes are called complexes. In contrast, archetypes
are universal thought forms (e.g., hero, mother, wise old man, etc.) are called
archetypes. The most important of these archetypes are formed into systems (i.e., self).
For Jung, the self involved striving for unity and wholeness, and was symbolized by a
mandala, pearl, diamond, circle, or any object with central point. Jung proposed 8
personality types, a combination of two personality orientations (extroversion and
introversion) and four psychological functions (thinking, feeling, sensing and intuiting).
Since the self is multifaceted, it shows different sides at different times. Sometimes the
self presents its public personality (persona). At other
times it reveals its ability to understand the opposite sex (anima
and anius), or its darker (shadow) self.
- Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804)
- Born on April 22, 1724, Kant never traveled more than 40 miles from
Konigsberg, Prussia. He didn't need to; students from all over Europe came to him. His
nativistic approach combined Leibnitz rationalism with Hume's skepticism. Kant was a
student at the University of Konigsberg, and then taught there until he was 73 years old.
He resigned, not because he was too old, but because he would not change. Kant was asked
not include his views on religion in his class lectures; he refused. His refusal may have
been a matter of principle, but Kant resisted change of any kind. So punctual was he on
his daily walk that people set their watches to him. Kant had followed the work of
Leibnitz, but became known for his reaction against Hume. Hume held that causation is the
habit of the mind; it does not come from experience. Kant countered that causation must
come from somewhere, and suggested the mind has a priori
categories of thought. While Hume maintained that nothing can be known entirely, Kant held
that some things are certain. Kant believed these categories to be innate and universal.
He believed that people come prepackaged with free will. We have an innate understanding
of right and wrong. We know what we should do, but we choose whether or not we follow that
rule. When in doubt about how to act, Kant recommends that we act as if our action was an
example of a universal truth. Moral judgment for Kant is a categorical imperative.
- Kierkegaard, Soren Aabye
- Born in Copenhagen, Kierkegaard was raised in a restrictive religious
environment. His father was a Lutheran who interpreted his religion through guilt and
gloom. Reacting to his father's narrow-mindedness, Kierkegaard rebelled during his college
years but returned to studying theology after his father died. Two years after his father
died, Kierkegaard made a major shift in his life. He decided not to become a minister, and
abruptly called off his year long engagement to a local girl. Living off his father's
inheritance, he devoted himself to the ministry of writing. He wrote 20 books in the next
14 years. In contrast to Hegel's systematic and rational view of life, Kierkegaard focused
on the ambiguity and sheer excitement of an unpredictable existence. He saw that
philosophy can be used as an excuse for not taking personal responsibility. According to
Kierkegaard, life is full of riddles. Although people desire the infinite truths of life,
they are occupied with its trivialities. We are fragile finite beings but we want to live
forever. It is only when we submit to the will of God that we find ultimate freedom. For
Kierkegaard, we find our meaning because of these mysteries, not in spite of them.
- Koffka, Kurt (1887-1941)
- A student of Stumpf, Koffka assisted Wertheimer with his experiments, and
advocated Gestalt psychology. Born and educated in Berlin, Koffka escaped the Nazi regime,
moved to America, and taught at Smith College (Kohler taught at Swathmore).
- Kohler, Wolfgang (1887-1967)
- Born in Estonia and educated in Berlin, Kohler is best known for his
insight experiments with apes. During WWI, Kohler was director of an anthropoid station on
Tenerife (in the Cannery Islands). He was either there to study chimpanzees or as a spy to
study Allied shipping; both interpretations are possible. Although his children report he
had a secret radio they were not to talk about, Kohler preferred to discuss his
observations of Sultan (an ape). According to Kohler's observations, many animals are able
to solve problems by insight. Chimpanzees could solve a string problem (how to get a
banana tied to the end of a string), and Sultan was able to join two sticks together to
get his food. In Kohler's later work, he trained chickens to peck at the darker of two
discs. After acquiring the skill, they were able to select the darker disk even when the
amount of grayness changed. When the original dark disc was paired with an even darker
disc, the chickens were still able to choose the darker one.
- Kulpe, Oswald (1867-1915)
- A student of Wundt, Kulpe is best known for "imageless thought." In contrast to many of
Wundt's students (who believed that though without sensations or images was impossible),
Kulpe maintained that thinking need not have images present. Emphasizing higher mental
processes, Kulpe and his colleagues at Wurzburg (sometimes they are called the Wurzburg
School) looked less at sensations and more at thinking.
- La Mettrie, Julien (de)
- Born on December 25, La Mettrie was encouraged to become a priest but
turned to medicine instead. Quick-witted and quick-tempered, La Mettrie wrote pointed and
often satirical articles on medicine and its practice. During the war between France and
Austria (1742), La Mettrie caught a high fever. During his recovery, he considered the
relationship between the mind and body, and concluded that they are more fully intertwined
that Descartes had proposed. Indeed, La Mettrie's solution was to disavow any spiritual
aspect of the mind. Like Hobbes, La Mettrie was a physical
monist: all that exists is matter. Matter could be rearranged, which explained humans
as being more complex animals, but there is no qualitative difference between them.
- Lashley, Karl (1890-1958)
- A student of Watson at Johns Hopkins, Lashley more physiologist than
psychologist. Best known for his doctrine of "mass
action," Lashley showed that the "brain fields" proposed by Gestalt
psychology did not exist. Kohler had held that the brain functions by electrical fields;
Lashley short-circuited the "field" by putting silver foil on the cortex and yet
the behavior still occurred. In another animal study, Lashley showed that when brain
portions are damaged (i.e., surgically removed), rats don't lose the ability to make
light-dark discriminations. Although limited in scope, other parts of the brain take over
functions when the brain is incapacitated. Similarly, when cats and monkeys were taught to
escape, and portions of the cortex are removed ("extirpation"),
the animals could not initially perform the task but were able to relearn it. Technically
called "equipotentiality," Lashley
maintained that each part of the brain was equally important.
- Leibnitz, Gottfried
- A proponent of parallelism (the mind
and body are separate and independent), Leibnitz is best known as a mathematician. Born in
Leipzig, Germany, Leibnitz misunderstood or mistranslated Loche's philosophy; consequently
his views, partly in reaction to what he thought Loche said, emphasize an active mind. In
philosophy, Leibnitz is credited for introducing the idea of the unconscious mind and for proposing atom-like entities he
called monads. Using the latest technological advances of
his day (the microscope), Leibnitz concluded that life was present in everything. This
observation didn't coincide with Leibnitz view of God, so he proposed an elaborate theory
which reconciled his two beliefs. According to Leibnitz, the universe was established by
God with a preset harmony. This harmony is composed of indestructible points of life
force. Each point of force (monad) is self-contained, living and conscious. Monads,
however, vary in intelligence and consciousness. Like atoms, there is an infinite supply;
unlike atoms, monads are alive. Indeed, everything is alive, even inanimate objects. There
is variety in size, style and number but everything is composed of monads. According to
Leibnitz, humans are made up of the most intelligent monads, most of which are highly
conscious. Less conscious monads produce "petite perceptions" (less conscious
states). Although monads helped explain some phenomena, Liebnitz believed that the mind
and body were parallel, independent systems. For him, the brain (composed of physiological
material) could produce anything immaterial (such as ideas), so they must be correlated
- Lewin, Kurt (1890-1947)
- Like Koffka, Lewin studied with Stumpf. Although part of the general
Gestalt movement, Lewin is best known for his field theory.
Using geometry's terms and Gestalt ideas, he held that people live in a psychological life space. According to Lewin, life space can be
subdivided into regions. The boundaries between these regions can vary in
firmness-weakness and nearness-remoteness. The topology of the fields is different for
each individual but vectors of psychic force can describe
an individual's wants and fears. For Lewin, there are levels of reality. Each person seeks
to resolve the disequilibrium (tension) between their
inner self and the outside environment. It is possible to move from region to region (locomotion) along pathways in those regions (hodos). But when a goal is obstructed (a barrier), positive valences grow stronger (we want what we
can't have). Needs give rise to tension which are a particular valence
(positive or negative attraction). When two positive valences are present, the person
experiences an approach-approach conflict (i.e., must choose between two equally
attractive alternatives). When the valences are negative, the result is an
avoidance-avoidance conflict (i.e., two equally
unattractive alternatives. Naturally, the most difficult conflict is when we want and
don't the same thing (an approach-avoidance conflict).
- Little Albert
- In their 1920 article, Watson & Raynor show that fear can be
classically conditioned. Their subject was a small child, named Albert B (affectionately
called Little Albert).
- Locke, John (1632-1704)
- Educated at Oxford, Locke is best known for his Essay Concerning Human
Understanding, which was 17 years in the making. Locke disputed Descartes' emphasis on innate ideas. It was commonly held in Locke's time that
morality was instilled in people by God. That is, people are born with knowing right from
wrong. In contrast, Locke proposed that the mind is as a blank slate (tabula rasa) and
that ideas come from experience. Borrowing from his teacher Robert Boyle, Locke
differentiated between primary and secondary qualities. Qualities are idea producers. Primary qualities are inseparable from the object, and
generate in us ideas of solidity, shape, and movement. Secondary
qualities (such as color and taste) do not correspond to the physical world but are
psychological in nature. Locke was a dualist (mind and
body exist separately), an empiricist (emphasized
experience, and an associationist. He held that if the
blind could be made to see, they would not be able to visually identify a cube because
they had only experienced it by touch. They would need to learn to associate the shape
- Loeb, Jacques (1859-1924)
- The German biologist Jacques Loeb (1859-1924) believed that behavior was
the result of biological and chemical processes. Best known for inspiring his student
(John Watson), Loeb proposed that animals are similar to plants; both react selectively to
chemical and environment input.
- Nine years after the birth of Averroes, Cordoba was again blessed; this time with the
birth of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides.Maimonides studied astronomy, logic, and
mathematics, and was the royal physician to the sultan of Egypt. But he is best known as a
philosopher and theologian. Not only did he become the chief rabbi of Cairo, Maimonides
wrote the Mishneh Torah, and the Thirteen Articles of Faith, bringing him the nickname of
the "Second Moses." So famous was he that his formal name (Rabbi Moses ben
Maimon) was simplified to Rambam (an acrostic formed from his initials). Maimonides was
the most influential Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages; his impact would be comparable
to St. Augustine. He wrestled with the nature of good and evil, what it means to have free
will, and whether or not Judaism and Aristotles philosophy were compatible.
- Mani was the founder of Manichaeism, a major contender to Christianity until the Middle
Ages. Based on two visions he had (at age 12 and 24), Mani declared himself a prophet,
traveled to India, and then returned to Persia to preach. He viewed life as a dualistic
struggle between two worlds. The spiritual world was light, good, and God; the material
world was dark, evil, and Satan. Like the aristocrats and the peasants, there were two
classes of people: the elect and auditors. The auditors went on weekly fasts, gave
themselves to good works and hoped to be reborn as the elect. The elect sought a life
devoid of the material and carnal desires. They ate no meat, drank no wine, and remained
celibate. They were above doing work; they were spiritual leaders.
- Marbe, Karl (1869-1951)
- A colleague of Kulpe, Marbe conducted imageless thought studies, and
introduced the concept of a mental set . Essentially,
people acquire a rule of how to solve problems and apply that rule even after the
circumstances have changed and the rule is no longer valid.
- Maslow, Abraham (1908-1970)
- Best known for his optimistic view of human nature and his hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, self-actualization is a process, not an all-or-none
phenomena. This process develops through five levels: physiological, safety, love &
belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Arranged in a hierarchy, development can not
proceed to the next level until those needs are met. Self esteem, for example, can't be
increased until one's physiological and safety needs have been met. Maslow believed that
people are inherently good and that the process to self actualization is inevitable (if
society nurtures it). People have a built in capacity for love which is shaped by society.
Although each person is a unique individual, it is possible to distinguish between D and B
motives. D motives are the result of deficiencies which
must be met. In contrast, B motives are the result of
growth needs, and seek to fulfill one's inner potential.
- May, Rollo (1909-)
- Born in Ada, Ohio, May introduced Heidegger's existentialism to America.
While he recovered from tuberculosis (just prior to receiving his Ph.D.), May read
Kierkegaard and Freud, and ultimately wrote his dissertation of their views on anxiety.
Differentiating between normal and neurotic anxiety, May maintained that normal anxiety
can help you grow. Emphasizing man's capacity to "will"
(actively choosing the best of possibilities), May maintained that we must choose to love.
Love is composed of sex, eros (the need to unite with
others), phila (brotherly love), and agape (love for all mankind).
- McDougall, William
- Born in Lancashire, England, McDougall was a major opponent of Watson's
behaviorism. Trained as a medical doctor, his interest in psychology was sparked by
William James. McDougall's basically animistic philosophy (there is a bit of soul in
everything) was is stark contrast to Watson's mechanistic approach. According to
McDougall, behavior is not simply a response to a stimuli but is goal seeking and
purposive. Calling his approach "hormic
psychology," McDougall viewed behavior as being spontaneous, persistent, and goal
directed. McDougall opposed the use of introspection for studying mental processes. He
held that behavior is instinctive and composed of cognitive,
conative, and affective
aspects. Cognition includes the perception and recognition of a stimulus. The
predisposition to goal seeking action is the conative process. The affective aspect of
behavior is what occurs between cognition and goal attainment. It is the "emotional core" of the individual. For McDougall,
a person's emotional core was stable and unimpacted by learning. Learning can change
perception (i.e., different stimuli can be used) and/or it can change action (i.e.,
improved performance) but a person's emotional core remains untouched. Behavior was the
result of individual and groups of instincts. If two or more instincts become attached to
the same object, the tendency toward action is called a "sentiment." McDougall proposed that group behavior
also was the result of instinctive behavior. Socialization is not a single instinct but is
composed of instinct combinations. According to McDougall, emotions become stronger in
groups. Coining the term "group mind,"
McDougall applied his model of individual motivation to group process. Group action and
emotion are essentially the same as for individuals but more intense.
- Mead, George Herbert
- A good example of the humanistic movement, Mead emphasized self-awareness as a function of psychological
evolution. He argued that self evolves out of object awareness. Although there is no self
at birth, it develops through a socialization process. Language is critical to this
process because interaction with the environment creates self awareness. Mead's theory
reflected his personal experience. He was born in a small town in Massachusetts, received
his education at Oberlin and Harvard, and became a major influence at the U of Chicago.
His self-awareness no doubt grew as he experienced more of his environment. Even Mead's
career was a social product. He never published a book but his articles and students
continued to preach Mead's humanistic views. For Mead, problem solving should be rational
and useful. We develop different selves for different audiences, but the self is a product of those experiences, not a process we
- Mill, James (1773-1836)
- According to Mill, the vividness and frequency of associations between
sensations glues simple sensations into complex ideas. Mill's "mental mechanics" accentuated the composite
nature of ideas. The concept of a window, for example, is made of smaller ideas (glass,
wood, etc.). For Mill, the mind is predictable and passive. He was a enthusiastic follower
of utilitarianism. As proposed by Mill's friend
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), personal and governmental decisions should be based on the
usefulness (utilitarianism) of the outcome. Essentially a hedonistic view of the world,
utilitarianists sought to maximize personal and corporate pleasure. Right and wrong were
replaced with pleasure and pain. Mill's greatest contribution was not in generating new
insights but in providing a thorough summary of associationism.
In 1829, he published Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind (revised by his son,
John Stuart Mill, in 1869).
- Mill, John Stuart
- Although psychology was more of a hobby than a vocation for James Mill,
his son, JS Mill was a major proponent of the systematic study of human nature. Like his
father, JS was an elementalist. Like his father, JS Mill accepted contiguity as a law of
association, but also believed that similarity and intensity were important. Unlike his
father, JS held that the mind is active, and that the process of thinking was more like
"mental chemistry" than mental
mechanics. According the JS, ideas can fuse together, creating something new out of simple
- Born in Meca around 570 AD, Mohammed (literally, "the sword")
founded a new religion, Islam (surrender to God). In a revelation he received at age 30,
Mohammed was selected as a prophet of God. In 622, he was forced to flee to Medina, but by
711, Islam was the accepted religion of Arabia, Syria, Egypt, and Purisa, and had crossed
into Iberia, Spain. A great tribal leader, Mohammed unified various factions into
an effective force. When Mecca wanted Mohammed extradited, Medina refused. When Mecca
pressed the matter, Mohammeds army cut off Meccas supply lines. Even when the
Melina was besieged by 10,000 troops from Mecca, Mohammeds outnumbered army
wouldnt surrender. After peace was established, Mohammed made annual pilgrimages to
Mecca. Like Confucius, Mohammed presented an integrated view of life. Spiritual, social,
political and economic parts of life are all intertwined. Faith requires good works,
political power allows social reform.
- Morgan, C Lloyd (1852-1936)
- Morgan took sort of a semi-experimental approach but is best known for
his "cannon." Morgan's cannon is that
higher level inferences should not be made if a lower level inference can explain the
behavior. That is, scientific explanations should use the difficult explanations only when
- Muller, Johannes (1801-1858)
- In contrast the thinking of his day, Muller held that each nerve leads to
one sensation only. The message nerves carry is not determined by the stimulation (visual,
auditory or tactile) but by the brain. If the eye is stimulated by touch (pressure),
electricity or by light waves, the result is a visual sensation.
- Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich
- A Nobel prize winning physiologist, Pavlov is best remembered for his
description of classical conditioning. A believer in the primacy of physiology, Pavlov
thought psychology to be a fad. As far as he was concerned, psychological problems were
physiologically based but currently unexplained. Pavlov's classical description notes that
the presence of an unconditioned stimulus
(food) produces an unconditioned response
(saliva of a given amount; varying somewhat between trials and between dogs). After
sufficient pairings of the food with another, previously unused stimulus (e.g., light),
the conditioned stimulus (light) could bring
about a response (conditioned response). The
conditioned response was weaker than the unconditioned response (i.e., less saliva) and
forgettable (if repeated too often without food being presented). Pavlov called the
conditioned response "psychic secretion,"
and explained it as being the result of higher cortical involvement. For Pavlov,
reinforcement was in terms of reiteration. One reinforced behavior as in reinforcing steel
(added more of it). Pavlov believed that mental functioning was completely neurological.
He proposed a "dynamic stereotype," a
neurological mapping of the environment.
- Piaget, Jean (1896-1980)
- Born and raised in Neuchatel, Switzerland, Piaget was always interested
in biology and zoology. After earning his Ph.D. in biology, he became interested in
psychology, particularly in how cognition develops. While working for Binet at the
Sorbonne, Piaget noticed that children don't solve problems like adults do. Children are
not miniature adults but have their own distinctive style of thinking which develops in
stages. Piaget proposed four stages of cognitive development: sensorimotor,
preoperational, concrete and abstract. The sensorimotor
stage occupies the first two years of a child's life. In this stage, children acquire
motor control, and learn to interact with objects and accommodate to the world. In the preoperational stage (ages 2 to 7, children acquire
language. Their thinking is egocentric and contradict themselves but are not bothered by
it. They can name objects, think intuitively, and argue their point of view. They cannot
argue from someone else's point of view, and believe that tall and thin containers hold
more than short, fat ones). In the concrete
operational stage (ages 7 to 12), children can manipulate numbers, develop rules for
classifying objects, and acquire conservation (e.g.,
know that shape is not the same as quantity). In the formal
operational stage of development (ages 12 to adult), children acquire abstract
thinking, can discuss hypothetical situations, and perform systematic searches for
- Plato (427-347 BC)
- Differentiating between perfect ideas and imperfect matter, Plato
introduced a dualistic view of the world. Ideas are separate from matter and exist in
their own world. What we see are imperfect representations of those perfect forms. For
Plato, knowledge is reminiscent (existing in the soul before birth), and the psyche is the
source of thinking and moral actions. Plato was a dualist, in the sense that he
separated ideas (which were good) from matter (which was at worse evil and at best
imperfect). In his 35 dialogues, Plato describes the search for wisdom. Ultimately, he
concludes that the essence of people (the psyche) are made of three parts: the rational,
the will and the appetites. Education raised people from lowly appetites to the use of
will and ultimately to the highest human achievement philosophy. Naturally, Plato
suggests that society should be composed of three classes: the philosopher-kings, the
military and the merchants. Platos Academy (school) offered courses in
astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and political science.
- Plotinus (205-270)
- Although not a Christian, Plotinus neo-Platoian approach presented the
soul as an eternal, immaterial entity which thinks, perceives, and is separate from the
body. Considered the founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus didnt just revive
Platos ideas; he revamped them. In addition to the dualistic views of Plato,
Plotinus added many principles from Pythagorus. He held that people perceive the material
world through their senses and the spiritual world through their intellect. Pure
Intelligence (nous) emanate from the Absolute Being and can be detected only by our souls.
Unlike Plato, he believed that the soul and body were completely separate. Although he
lived in Rome, Plotinus was not a Christian; his views were more akin to Hellenistic
- Like Gargias, Protagorus taught grammar and rhetoric. So skilled was he as persuasive
speech that he called himself a Sophist (expert craftsman) and gave lessons for a fee
(unlike the philosophers of the time). Although Sophists instituted the first educational
system, they were criticized for being money oriented. If info-mercials had been available
at the time, Protagorus would have had one on persuasive speech. He would have told the
audience that truth is not absolute; it is a matter of opinion. And opinions can be
changed with persuasive speech, if you know how; and for a fee Protagorus (like "spin
doctors" of today) would teach you how. Not only was Protagorus criticized for
distorting philosophy into a business, his ideas were considered dangerous. If "man
is the measure of all things," no rules could be uniformly applied. Such radical
teaching was thought to be subversive, and Protagoras was forced into exile. He drowned
enroute to Sicily.
- Pyrrho of Elis (360-270)
- He was the leader of the Skeptics. Traveling as part of
Alexanders entourage to Persia and India, Pyrrho discovered that all of the truths
he firmly held were not accepted everywhere. Travel is such an eye-opening experience
because you not only see places, you meet people with different backgrounds, cultures and
values. It is not uncommon to re-evaluate your assumptions about life the first time you
meet a person from a different culture who is nice, reasonable, thoughtful, and yet has an
entirely different view of life. Having found truth in other cultures, Pyrrho maintained
that we should withhold judgment of other people and their beliefs. Truth is not absolute,
and, indeed, cannot be known. Consequently, we examine our lives and maintain a spiritual
attitude of tranquillity, calm and freedom from passion. Because this process of
examination (skeptesthai) involves the questioning of assumptions, skepticism has come to
represent the questioning of reality.
- Believing that the ultimate explanation of everything could be found in
numbers, Pythagaras introduced several major concepts, including the Pythagorean theorem
(the sides of a right triangle are mathematically related to the hypotenuse) and his
assertion that the world is not flat but a sphere. Although best known for his
mathematics of square triangles (the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the
square of the other two sides), Pythagoras viewed mathematics as part of a religious,
political and philosophical approach to life. Pythagoreanism believes in the harmony of
the universe, the ultimate principle of proportion, and the orderliness of thought.
According to this view, the best way to understand the mysteries of life is through
obedience, self-examination, and simplicity of food and dress. The Pythagoreans believed
that planets, including the earth, were not flat but were spheres rotating around a common
fire. They also believed in the transmigration of souls, so it was not unusual that
Pythagoras said he could remember all of his previous lives, including having been a
warrior in the Trojan War.
- Reid, Thomas (1710-1796)
- Like Hartley, Thomas Reid was the son of a minister. Although Reid's
uncle was a personal friend of Newton, Reid was not an empiricist. Reid's rationalism was a reaction against Hume and a defense of commonsense thinking. Hume questioned reality because it
is experienced only through our senses; Reid pointed out that real people know and deal
with reality all the time. Clearly the mind knows more than its own processes, and
actively organizes sensations. Reid's "faculty psychology" included six
intellectual powers: perception, judgment, memory, conception, moral taste and will.
People have the ability (faculty) to actively interact with the world around them. This
interaction is direct, and requiers no specialized philosophy; it's simply naive realism.
- Rogers, Carl Ramsom (1902-1988)
- Rogers established a therapy where the therapist is relatively weak.
Originally called "nondirective"
therapy, the client was given no direction at all. The choice of topic was purely that of
the client. Later, Rogers modified his approach, and called it "client centered." Stressing the
client-therapist relationship and the importance of "unconditional regard" (total
acceptance), Rogers provided a warm, friendly (home-like?) environment.
- Romanes, George John
- George John Romanes (1848-1894) collected anecdotal material on the
importance of animals. A friend of Charles Darwin, Romanes collected animal stories and
attributed human characteristics to animals (anthropomorphism).
- Sartre, Jean-Paul (1905-1980)
- Born in Paris, Sartre's philosophy is an unsystematic collection of plays
and novels. Focusing attention of the meaning of existence, he concludes that there is no
reason people should exist. But since they do exist, they should freely make their own
decisions. Although Sartre stressed that decisions should be personal, unaided by
religion, morality or society, he was active in the French Resistance during WWII. He
believed that people should rebel against authority, and yet in his later years, Sartre
moved from existentialism to social communism
- Skinner, Burrhus Frederic
- Best known for his model of learning, Skinner emphasized the importance
of what happens after a response. Not S-R, but S-R-C (stimulus-response-consequence),
Skinner expanded Thorndike's law of effect to an entire system of reinforcement. Conceding that there are too many
stimuli to categorize, Skinner focused on the response and its consequence. Positive reinforcers increase behavior strength; positive punishment decreases behavior temporarily (as
long as the punisher is present). Only extinction (the
continued absence of a reward) decreases behavior permanently (e.g., if they stop paying
you, you don't go to work). Negative reinforcement
(the removal of something bad) increases the likelihood of behavior and negative punishment (the removal of something good)
temporarily decreases it. Basing his findings on animal research (mostly rats and
pigeons), Skinner identified five schedules
of reinforcement: continuous reinforcement, fixed
interval (FI), fixed ratio (FR), variable interval (VI) and variable ratio (VR). Continuous reinforcement is used
to shape (refine) a behavior. Every time the subject performs the desired behavior, it is
rewarded. Continuous reinforcement leads to quick learning and (after the reinforcement is
stopped) quick descent. In an attempt to apply his research to practical problems, Skinner
adapted his operant conditioning chamber (he hated the popular title of "Skinner box") to child rearing. His "Baby
Tender" crib was an air conditioned glass box which he used for his own daughter for
two and a half years. Although commercially available, it was not a popular success.
Skinner's also originated programmed instruction.
Using a teaching machine (or books with small quizzes which lead to different material),
small bits of information are presented in an ordered sequence. Each frame or bit of information must be learned before one is
allowed to proceed to the next section. Proceeding to the next section is thought to be
- Small, Willard S
- The fourth person to impact animal research was Willard .S. Small. In
1901, he invented the animal maze. It became the first
practical way to systematically test animal responses, and has been widely used to study
physiological and psychological issues (including motivation, learning, and memory).
- Socrates (469-399 BC)
- Primarily known through Plato's writings, Socrates is sometimes called
the first social scientist because of his interest in ethics, economics, and aesthetics.
He believed that thought came from the psyche (the spirit or soul of the individual). Tall,
dark and handsome would not have described Socrates well. Short, dark and unattractive
would have been closer. But his sharp mind, witty sense of humor, and unequaled speaking
ability made him very popular. He preferred talking to writing, and spent much of his life
in the marketplace of Athens. Socrates was more concerned with the nature of man than with
the composition of matter. In 399 BC, Socrates was charged with interfering with the gods
(a crime punishable by death). His continued reference to an inner voice was interpreted
as demonic possession, and his teaching was thought to undermine the morals of
Athens youth. Found guilty by a small majority, Socrates countered with an
alternative sentence (as was customary). Instead of suggesting a serious alternative,
however, Socrates offered to pay a small fine. They jury was not amused, and with
increased majority sentenced him to die by lethal dosage of hemlock.
- Solon asked how government could be more responsive to ordinary people.
About the time King Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Solon
introduced democracy to Athens. Using a four-tier hierarchical structure based on wealth,
each class of citizen had certain responsibilities as well as privileges. Solons
system of democracy was not perfect or overly popular. It was too radical for the wealthy
and not radical enough for the poor. But it was an attempt to bring about change in the
fundamental way people are governed.
- Spencer, Herbert
- Born in working class Derby, England, Spencer was a
working man. With no formal schooling, at age 17 he got a job on the railroad. Then, when
he turned 28, he set off for London to become a journalist. After a stint as an assistant
editor for The Economist, Spencer became a success working the freelance market. Spencer
liked the idea of evolution. Basing his ideas on Lamarck, then on Darwin, he proposed
evolution is an on-going process of differentiation. Life grows in complexity, and
learning occurs by contiguity. For Spencer, when associations occur often enough, they can
be passed on to the following generation. Like Bain, Spencer was a hedonist. They believed that pleasure increased the
frequency of behavior. Known as the Spencer-Bain
principle, it says that the probability of a given behavior occurring increases if it
is followed by pleasure, and decreases if that behavior is followed by pain. In 1852,
Spencer coined his best known phrase "survival of the fittest." It was term
Darwin later used himself.
- Spinoza, Baruch (1632-1677)
- In contrast to Descartes' separation of God, mind and matter, Baruch
(Benedict in Latin) Spinoza proposed an integrated view. Not three separate entities;
three aspects of one substance. Although raised in the predominantly Christian city of
Amsterdam, and contrary to the teaching of his parents who were Portuguese Jews, Spinoza
was basically a pantheist (God does not exist as a separate entity but is in everything).
He believed that mind and body can't be separated because matter and soul are the same
thing but viewed from different points of view. Spinoza's double-aspectism (mind-body are
two sides of the same coin) was in contrast to the dualism
of Descartes and others. Dualists held that the material mind and spiritual mind were
independent but had to meet somewhere. Spinoza's monism
eliminated the conflict by reducing mind and matter to the same substance.
- Stewart, Douglad
- Like Reid, Douglad Stewart was a Scottish common sense rationalist. In
1892, Stewart wrote Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind which included sections
on perception, memory, imagination, language and thinking. It was still used as a text at
Yale in 1824.
- Since the universe is orderly, good and outside of our control, the
Stoics asserted that we should be content with what happens. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) was a
- Stumpf, Carl (1848-1936)
- Influenced by Brentano's act psychology, Stumpf was Wundt's major rival.
Although he restricted his work to space perception and audition, Stumpf's laboratory at
the University of Berlin was a serious competitor to Wundt's lab at the University of
Leipzig. Like Wundt, Stumpf used introspection as his primary method of investigation.
Unlike Wundt, Stumpf didn't require his assistants to be trained introspectionists. When
researching the psychology of music, for example, Stumpf preferred trained musicians over
trained introspectionists. In a series of articles, Wundt and Stumpf argued the matter.
Although it began as a theoretical discussion, it deteriorated into a personal, bitter
dispute. The dispute may have been a continuation of their battle for a prestigious job
(when Stumpf was selected over Wundt to follow Helmholtz at the University of Berlin).
- Sullivan, Harry Stack
- Sullivan proposed a seven-stage developmental process. According to
Sullivan, people are surrounded by interpersonal
fields, and must be understood within that context. Known for his interpersonal theory
of human relationships, Sullivan used the concept of dynamism.
Other complex dynamisms which are composed of feelings, attitudes and self images are
called personifications. Personifications people
hold in common are called stereotypes. According to
Sullivan, there are three modes of experience: protaxic
(flowing sensations), parataxic (the development of
superstitions and relationships), and syntaxic (the use
of words and numbers). There also are two sources of tension:
needs and anxiety. Needs are biological necessities, and anxiety is the result of real or imagined threats. The
process of meeting one's needs is described in Sullivan's theory of personality
development, which has seven stages, each one allowing the development of greater personal
- Terman, Lewis Madison
- Born on a farm in central Indiana (12th of 14 kids), Terman began his
education in a 1-room school and ended with a Ph.D. from Clark University. Suffering from
tuberculosis, he took became a school principal in San Bernadino, California (for its warm
climate) and taught at a local teacher's college (which later became UCLA). In 1910,
Terman accepted a position at Stanford, where he stayed until 1942. It was at Stanford
that Terman learned of Binet and Simon's intelligence test. Finding the scoring uneven,
Terman revised and Americanized the test. In the 1916 revision, known as Stanford-Binet,
Terman coined the term "intelligence ratio,"
and suggested it be multiplied by 100 for the "IQ."
To popularize the view of gifted-is-good, Terman helped establish a TV game show (Quiz
Kids) to show how good looking, well mannered and friendly intelligent children were.
Fortunately, the revelation that the show was rigged didn't occur until after Terman's
- Thales (about 600 BC)
- Sometimes called the earliest scientist, Thales predicted eclipses of the
sun (possibly by accident, possibly by observation). He maintained that the cosmos could
be reduced to water; no doubt based on its necessity for life. About the same
time as Solon, Thales of Miletus was encouraging a scientific approach to nature.
Its not clear whether his prediction was based on astronomy and geometry or by dumb
luck, but Thales is said to have predicted the eclipse of the sun which occurred on May
28, 585 BC. Thales had a very simple world view. He believed that everything comes from
water and eventually returns to that fundamental state.
- Thorndike, Edward Lee
- A student of William James, Thorndike proposed that S-R bonds are stamped
in and remain in effect until stamped out by a new connection. He studied the
puzzle-solving abilities of cats and dogs in puzzle-boxes.
Thorndike's contention was that learning is the process of creating S-R connections
("bonds"). According to him, learning is not
insight but trial and error attempts to find the
correct response. Once the correct response is discovered it is "stamped in." In contrast to the belief that a human
mind should be trained (with good literature, etc.), Thorndike proposed three laws of
learning: readiness, exercise and effect. In place of the trained mind approach to
education, Thorndike advocated the "transfer
of training." According to his theory, learning new tasks is related to how
similar they are to previously learned tasks. That is, transfer depends on how many
identical elements are held in common. Similarly, Thorndike's definition of intelligence
is the amount of transfer capacity. He identified three
types of intelligence: abstract, social and mechanical. There is no general mental
ability as far as Thorndike was concerned.
- Titchener, Edward B
- Born in Chichester, England (with a well known family name and no money),
Titchener attended college (Malvern College and then Oxford) on scholarships. He studied
in Wundt's lab, then moved to Cornell where he stayed for the rest of his life. Titchener
proposed that there are 3 elements of consciousness: sensations, images and affections. He
rejected Wundt's tridimensional theory of emotion in favor of a single dimension of
pleasure-unpleasure. For Titchener, the basic elements of experience included quality (its distinguishing characteristics), intensity (amount), and duration
(length of sensation). In addition, he held that a sensation could be judged on its
clearness. Titchener proposed that there are 3 general stages of attention: involuntary (e.g., sudden noise), secondary
(direct, voluntary attention to an object), and derived
(i.e., a habit is formed by the repetition of a stimulus).
- Tolman, Edward Chance
- Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Tolman received his undergraduate degree
in chemistry from MIT. Impressed by James writings, Tolman changed to psychology (earning
his Ph.D. at Harvard). Best known for introducing the term "intervening variables," he also was a pioneer
investigate of cognitive maps. Although he had no systematic theory, Tolman called himself
a purposeful behaviorist. He held that behavior is purposeful, goal directed, and molar
(not reducible to instincts or reflexes).
- Volta, Alessandro (1745-1827)
- In 1801, Napoleon honored the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta's work
on electricity by making him a count. A professor of physics, Volta built the first
electrophorus and the first electric battery. He experimented with igniting gasses using
an electric spark, and with animal electricity. In contrast to Galvani, Volta did not
believe in animal electricity. He maintained that the flow of electricity was between two
metals Galvani had placed on either side of the frog's leg. The frog was simply a detector
(a conductor) of the electricity.
- Watson, John Broadus (1878-1958)
- Born in Greenville, S Carolina, Watson was a student of both Angell and
Loeb but was greatly influenced by the writings of Pavlov. Applying the principles of
classical conditioning to all learning, Watson became the focal point of behaviorism. From
white rats in mazes to "Little Albert,"
Watson emphasized S-R conditioning. Ignoring high mental processes altogether, Watson
explained all behavior in terms of stimulus-response. Although he initially allowed for
three innate emotions (fear, rage and love), Watson generally denied the influence of
heredity on behavior. He initially maintained that some instincts
are present, changed to their appearing only in infants, and finally rejected instincts
completely. Watson's emphasis on S-R connections has not lasted
as long as his insistence on observable behavior. Describing the mind as a mystery box,
Watson directed psychology's attention away from speculative theories to experimental
observations. In an attempt to apply behaviorism to practical problems, Watson proposed
"experimental ethics," a classical
conditioning rehabilitation program for inmates. Assuming that personality was nothing
more than a collection of habits, Watson's program aimed to change habitual antisocial
behaviors. In 1920, Watson achieved fame of a different sort. Sued by his wife for divorce
(he had been having an affair with his lab assistant, Rosalie Raynor), Watson was forced
to resign from Johns Hopkins. He turned to commercial advertising and pioneered the area
of marketing research.
- Watt, Henry (1879-1935)
- A student of Kulpe, Watt performed word association experiments, and
proposed that the key to solving these problems is in the instructions of the task.
- Weber, Ernest H (1795-1878)
- As a pioneer of experimental psychophysics, Weber noted that the skin
registers changes in temperature, not constant readings. Similarly, he showed that if 2
pin points are placed close enough together, they are perceived as one pin prick. Weber
had subjects hold weights in each hand and report whether they were identical or
different. He found that people could not detect a change in weight until there was a 1:40
ratio. Weber's jnd (just noticeable difference) was the first
reliable law of psychophysics.
- Weiss, Albert P (1879-1931)
- Born in Germany but raised in America, Weiss attempted to explain
behavior in terms of atoms, electrons and protons. His
emphasis on physiological processes and an organism's interaction with the environment
helped establish bisocial behaviorism.
- Wertheimer, Max (1880-1943)
- Born in Prague, Wertheimer studied law and philosophy at the University
of Prague, and psychology under Stumpf and Kulpe. Best known for his explanation of the
"phi phenomenon" (e.g., the apparent
motion made by flashing lights in sequence), Wertheimer was a founder of Gestalt psychology. In 1910, on a train ride from
Vienna to Germany, Wertheimer noted that it's possible to perceive motion when none
exists. Wertheimer followed up his informal exploration with formal experiments using a
tachistoscope. He found that when two flashes of an image are 200 milliseconds apart they
are perceived as separate images, and at 30 milliseconds the images appeared simultaneous.
Gestalt principles of perceptual organization include proximity, similarity, continuity,
and pragnanz (literally, good form). Using visual
illusions, Gestalt psychologists were able to show that the perceptual models of the day
were inadequate. Extending that view, they proposed that people perceive and think in
nonlinear ways, actively influence perception, and use insight
as well as trial and error learning.
- Woodworth, Robert Sessons
- In contrast to the behaviorist's S-R (stimulus-response) model,
Woodworth's "dynamic psychology"
insisted that the organism plays an important part in the process (S-O-R).
Although interested in cause-effect relationships, Woodworth noted that consciousness and
other aspects of the individual were important for an understanding of how and why people
behave as they do. For Woodworth, any model of behavior must include mechanism (how things
are done) and drive (why things are done). During WWI, Woodworth applied his ideas
to the development of the Personal Data Sheet. Essentially the first large scale
personality inventory, the PDS was used to predict the emotional stability of soldiers in
- Wundt, Wilhelm (1832-1920)
- As a child, Wundt was shy, awkward, and alone. A seemingly incurable
daydreamer, he didn't do well in school (including flunking a year of high school). Yet
Wundt became one of the most prolific and productive scientists of his century. Others
(Weber, Fechner, Fritsch & Hitzig) had conducted psychological experiments, but
Wundt's program was composed of interlocking studies, held together by his theory of volition. Wundt's intent was to create a new science. He
approached the matter from two perspectives. First he established an experimental
psychology. Then, he developed a non-experimental psychology (what today would be called
social psychology or cultural anthropology). Although Wundt clearly intended to integrate
the two branches, his followers emphasized the experimental branch and ignored Wundt's
more global theoretical work. Wundt used introspection,
reaction-time, and word association experiments to investigate simple mental processes.
And historical analysis and naturalistic observation for the study of higher mental
processes. Wundt and his students also did some of the earliest research on word
association. They measured the amount of time between word presentation and the first word
that came to mind. Their findings are remarkably similar to the work done by cognitive
psychologists 50 years later. Similarly, long before Piaget published his observations of
children, Wundt observed and recorded the words and actions of his daughter. Wundt
introduced a tri-dimensional theory of emotion. According to Wundt, subjective feelings
can be described on three dimensions: excitement-calm; pleasure-displeasure; and
tension-relaxation. Sensations and/or feelings can be clustered together, and are called compounds . When feelings cause action, it is called
volition or will. For Wundt, the process was that of creative
synthesis . and the resulting sum of all the compounds is called the apperceptive mass.
- Yerkes, Robert Mearns
- Best known for his work with apes, Robert Mearns Yerkes (1876-1956) was
the premier psychobiologist of his time. Prior to founding Yerkes Laboratories of Primate
Biology, he taught at Harvard and the University of Minnesota. Yerkes also was responsible
for testing army draftees in WWI and the creation of Army
Alpha and Beta tests.
- Zeno (333-262 BC)
- Founded the Stoic movement Zeno
of Citium (Cyprus), founded a philosophy which not only impacted the Greeks but became
highly influential in the Roman Empire. This Zeno taught philosophy from the painted
public porch (stoa poikile), so his followers became known as stoics. Like Plato, Stoicism
holds 4 virtues as central: wisdom, courage, justice and temperance. In opposition to the
Epicurean focus on pleasure, the Stoics emphasized Self-control, duty, and the equality of
all people. The Stoics held that there is one universal spirit (Logos) who created an
orderly, deterministic universe and then left it on it own. Our souls are a reflection of
that universal divine reason but we must deal with the reality of our physical
circumstances. Indeed, we must "accept all things in a spirit of content."
Copyright 2010 Ken Tangen