Sigmund Freud ( ) PSY 3360 / CGS 3325 Historical Perspectives on Psychology Minds and Machines since Dynamics of the Personality

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1 PSY 3360 / CGS 3325 Historical Perspectives on Psychology Minds and Machines since 1600 Dr. Peter Assmann Spring 2015 Sigmund Freud ( ) When a member of my family complains to me of having bitten his tongue, pinched a finger, or the like, he does not get the sympathy he hopes for but instead the question: Why did you do that? Defense mechanisms Dynamics of the Personality Difficulties in free association can be caused by an internal struggle against the expression of conflicting ideas. Defense mechanisms exist to suppress these painful or traumatic thoughts. Freud linked the pattern of neurotic symptoms to conflicts between sexual feelings or urges and the psychological defenses against them. Bringing the conflict to consciousness through free association was a step on the way to a cure. Ego Id Superego Ego defense mechanisms Displacement Condensation Projection Rationalization Reaction formation Repression Sublimation Displacement Redirection of an impulse toward a substitute target that resembles the original in some way but that is safer. Projection Freudian defense mechanism in which one s own unacceptable feelings are repressed and then attributed to someone else instead. Denial A psychoanalytic defense mechanism that comes into play when one is unable to face reality or admit the truth. Rationalization Freudian defense mechanism in which a person s true motivations are denied and a false excuse or explanation is substituted for them. Identification In Freudian theory, a process that occurs when a child assimilates aspects of the same sex parent into his or her own personality; one result is the superego. 1

2 Freud s Contributions Psychological basis for mental disorders Comprehensive theory of personality Development of psychotherapy Role of the unconscious mind Concepts of ego, id, superego Theory of personality dynamics Psychosexual theory of development Ego defense mechanisms Criticisms of Freud s Theory Operational definitions of theoretical terms Basis for verification/falsification Sources of data Overemphasis on human sexuality Effects of psychoanalytic training Generalizability Development and intelligence Francis Galton sensory acuity, head size, reaction time nature vs. nurture biological determinism Alfred Binet ( ) Binet criticized Galton s view of inherited intelligence; emphasized individual differences in intelligence, attention, motivation, and background Binet-Simon tests of intelligence mental age vs chronological age Development and intelligence Charles Spearman s two-factor theory of intelligence ( g and s ) William Stern: intelligence quotient (IQ) Howard Gardner: Multiple intelligences Genetic epistemology Active construction of knowledge Interaction with environment involves psychological adaptations to environmental contingencies 2

3 Stage theory of cognitive development Intellectual development is not gradual but abrupt, progressing through a series of developmental stages. Sensory-motor stage 0-2 years egocentric Basic sensory and motor activities Pre-linguistic Criterion for moving to the next stage: object permanence (basis for naming and linguistic reference) Preoperational stage 2-7 years Classification by similarity Not yet able to master mental operations (e.g. arithmetic) Emerging use of symbols Criterion for moving to the next stage: Conservation of quantity Concrete operations stage 7-11 years Able to master conservation and some abstract concepts but only if applied to concrete problems Reversibility Transitivity Less egocentric Criterion for moving to the next stage: mastery of abstract problems Formal operations stage 12 years - adulthood Able to master abstract and symbolic reasoning Metacognition Hypothetico-deductive reasoning How does change occur? Schema/schemata - cognitive structure or framework Assimilation: process by which new experiences are incorporated by existing modes of thinking 3

4 How does change occur? Accommodation: process by which existing modes of thinking (cognitive structures) are changed to incorporate new experiences. How does change occur? Equilibration: process of reconciling cognitive structures with experience force responsible for intellectual growth the driving force behind Piaget's theory of intellectual development. The child's conception of number (1941) The child's conception of space (1948) The child's conception of time (1947) The construction of reality in the child (1957) Invariant sequence All-or-none Hierarchical progression How does change occur? Assimilation Accommodation Equilibration Problems for the theory Intermediate stages? Children may show less mature modes of reasoning on some tasks Underestimation of young children's reasoning abilities Concepts of assimilation and accommodation are vague. 4

5 Testing the theory Cross-cultural studies Generalization Kohlberg stages of moral development Approaches to the study of animal behavior Anthropomorphism The mathematical talents of Clever Hans Occam s Razor The requirement that we shave off unnecessary or extraneous assumptions when trying to understand and explain the behavior of humans and animals. Morgan s Canon In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher psychical faculty, if it can be interpreted as the outcome of the exercise of one which stands lower in the psychological scale. Conway Lloyd Morgan (1894) Animal minds? Darwin (1871) The Descent of Man Sensory abilities, memory, attention, curiosity, learning, emotions, and forms of reasoning can be found in many species of animals. Studies of animal behavior Natural history and field studies Laboratory experiments Ethology versus behaviorism 5

6 Ethology Ethology is an evolutionary approach to the study of animal behavior. Naturalistic observation Field experiments Role of natural selection and adaptation Darwin s theory of natural selection 1. Variation exists in behavioral traits 2. Some of that variation is heritable 3. More individuals are born than leave offspring for future generations 4. Certain behaviors make individuals better adapted to their environment. These individuals survive longer and leave more offspring than those with less successful traits Animal cognition George Romanes ( ) Conway Lloyd Morgan ( ) Morgan s Canon: "in no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher psychical faculty, if it can be interpreted as the outcome of the exercise of one which stands lower in the psychological scale" (Morgan 1894, p. 53). Ethology: The naturalistic study of behavior Niko Tinbergen Konrad Lorenz Karl von Frisch ( ) ( ) ( ) 6

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