Psychology in its attempt to establish itself as a scientific study has come up with ingenious ways to be scientific and objective. It was accepted that psychology was concerned with the thoughts, emotions, feelings and the inner processes of the individual, hence to study these aspects; it must develop a method that would dig and explore the said human processes.
And the answer was the introspective method. However, as soon as it gained following, it also earned criticisms and lead to another methodological development. The major criticism against the introspective method was its subjectivity and unreliability which basically goes against its being a scientific tool. Conversely, the answer to the introspective method was behaviorism which is completely at odds with it.
Behaviorism reduces human behavior into a simple equation wherein a stimulus produces a response and that in order to understand human behavior one must employ the tools of behaviorism. This method appealed to the scientific community as it is measurable, observable and can be replicated. Behaviorism was thought of as a better approach than the introspective method and hence swept it away.
The basic aspect that made the introspective method flawed and unscientific is also the same thing that behaviorism neglected to acknowledge and would have enriched this movement more than it is. I believe that people’s introspections are as much as important as the overt behavior of individuals. Psychology is the study of man’s behavior and our behavior cannot be reduced into a simple stimulus is to response theory.
Clearly, something happens between the perception of the stimulus and the subsequent reaction to the stimulus. Like for example when my professor told us to work on this assignment, it being the stimulus for sure I and all my classmates will react to it by accomplishing our assigned tasks. However, the bulk of the work happens between the day the tasks were assigned to us and the day we submit our completed papers. Taking it further, when I read the questions of this assignment which happens to be the stimulus, I would naturally begin to draft my answers hence my response to the stimulus.
But before coming up with my answers, I have to look inward and ask myself what should be the appropriate answer for this question and how should I present my arguments, in essence I was being introspective. Why we do the things we do can not be fully explained by behaviorism alone.
As dynamic human beings with different experiences, we may react to things in the same way but we may have different perceptions or understanding of that stimuli, like when we hear a baby cry, most of us would go and pick the baby to make it stop, but I might do so because the sound of a crying baby is irritating and another person might pick the baby up out of a genuine concern for the baby, hence what goes on inside our mind is much as important in determining how we react to certain things, why we make decisions and pass judgments on others etc.
Man is a complex being and the vital aspects that would lead to a better study and understanding of man are found on inner processes that cannot be directly observed and quantified, which is why the mechanistic approach of behaviorism was short-lived. By completely throwing man’s introspections out of the picture, behaviorism threw out what made psychology human.
What factors are responsible for the development of modern cognitive psychology?
Cognitive psychology is the study of the science of knowing. Its study encompasses the basic thought processes of man and its importance to our daily existence. The modern cognitive psychology movement has been influenced by computer technology. In order to better understand how the brain functions and how it controls everything that we do, we must first study it, but since it is ethically impossible to take a healthy person’s brain and study it, we must find a similar model, and this is where the idea that the computer is much alike the brain.
With its immense computing power, the computer have been developed to simulate human intelligence and allowed a new way of studying how the brain stores, records, and processes information. Moreover, the brain as the single controlling processing unit in man, it is responsible for all of our bodily actions thus recent developments in imaging have given psychologists the opportunity to study what part of the brain is responsible for what action and how bizarre diseases can be explained by a dysfunction in the brain like the Capgras syndrome.
Write a 200-300 word summary and critical analysis of this article. Discuss what the article is basically about, its strong and weak points, how convincing (or unconvincing) you find its arguments, and how it might be followed up (e.g., if you think the article suggests any promising, new ideas for future research, describe what they are and how they might best pursued.)
The article attempts to discuss how cognitive psychology developed. Kedler proposes that cognitive psychology was not born rather it slowly came into being. The author then presents the influences that contributed to the development of cognitive psychology in history. He says that due to the curious mix of theoretical approaches in cognitive psychology it is not a singularly minded discipline like structuralism or Gestalt psychology.
Moreover, the author claims that because of the complexity in the theories within cognitive psychology and the different areas of study within the discipline have made it more computer science than psychology. The strengths of this article are found on its exhaustive presentation of the different theoretical influences in the field of psychology, from Wund’s introspectionism, Piaget’s cognitive development, Tolman’s cognitive map, and a host of other theories that he categorizes as a study of cognition.
He also gave emphasis on how the fields of communications engineering, computer science, linguistics and human engineering as the mover in the field of cognitive psychology in terms of new researches and areas of discourse. The weakness of this article is in the fact that it was not able to prove how cognitive psychology came into being. The author only enumerated and discussed the numerous theories that had to do with cognition, memory and learning. What he presented were the natural consequences of the theories and a novel explanation of how this theories influenced cognitive psychology is not reiterated, its as if the reader is left to deduce how that came about.
The article is convincing in terms of how cognitive psychology is made up of a number of schools of thought and but it is unconvincing when it says that cognitive psychology is more of a computer science than psychology, when clearly it is within the realms of psychology based on the processes involved in learning, memory, and processing. At the same way, human engineering, communications engineering, linguistics and computer science are based on psychological processes and use constructs that have been studied and explored by psychology first.
Kendler, H. (1987) Cognitive Psychology in Richard P. Honeck, Introductory Readings for
Cognitive Psychology 3rd ed p.6-13 (1997), William C. Brown Communications
Reisberg, D. (2001). Cognition: Exploring the Science of the Mind 2nd edition. New York: WW
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