Hindsight Bias Effect See Decisionmaking Theories

HISTORICAL MODELS OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. In the history of psychology, the common textbook model suggests that experimental psychology began, consensually, as a science with the work of the German physiologist, psychologist, and philosopher Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (1832-1920) and his establishment of the world's first recognized psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig in 1879. Following 1879, an extended debate in the United States and Europe over the nature, scope, and methods of psychology took place where influences from different lines of research played an important role in the debate and where the so-called "schools," "-isms," and "systems" developed (e.g., structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism). Beyond this period, two main historical models appeared: one model states that the psychological schools or systems were modified by the debate of the first two decades of the 20th century (some schools may have dropped out, but the others continue to exert influence in modified forms up to the present time); and the other model states that the schools gradually disappeared, or were absorbed, and what emerged is called the "mainstream of psychology." A different kind of historical model for psychology (e.g., Mueller, 1979) has two components: one aspect is the recognition of Wundt's achievements in establishing the first experimental psychology laboratory and the first psychological journal (Philosophische Studien) in 1881, and credits Wundt with institutionalizing psychology as a separate discipline; the second component is that since 1904 there has been no discernible long-term systematic direction that has emerged following the appearance of the "schools," and there is no agreed-upon systematic "mainstream psychology." Although this position may seem to be unduly pessimistic, it is suggested that there has been real scientific progress in psychology following the popularity of the "schools." C. G. Mueller notes that it is only when psychologists try to articulate what their science is all about that they encounter difficulty and, although most psychologists have a need to think along systematic lines and to put their research into some broader context, it is when psychologists attempt to do this with some unity that the situation becomes analogous to the physicists' perspectives on the laws of thermodynamics (where every physicist knows exactly what the first and second laws mean, but no two physicists agree about them). Mueller notes, also, that there is a paradox inherent in the fact that psychology selected as the founder of its science (i.e., Wundt) a man whole line of methodological inquiry (i.e., mainly, the introspective method) brought with it no single consensually acceptable experimental method. Thus, the Wund-tian and related traditions brought to the 20th century some interesting psychological questions and issues, yet they brought no method for demonstrating whether the questions were for science or philosophy. Historically, other non-Wundtian lines of inquiry were needed to furnish psychology with the methods to become a science, as well as help resolve the relative facts of, and importance of, psychology's origins. Recently, the notions of psychologic (PL) and overarching psychological theory are offered as ways to explain and formalize the basic conceptual structure of psychology. The PL theoretical (e.g., Smedslund, 1991) contains 26 axioms, 83 definitions, and more than 150 corollaries and theorems; PL allows one to distinguish between the a priori/ noncontingent and the empirical/contingent as a way to discover, and prevent, "pseudoem-pirical" research. Also, the PL paradigm (cf., Kuhn, 1962/1970) suggests that there can be no general and empirical psychological laws, only local or historically-determined regularities. The eclectic overarching psychological theory (e.g., Walters, 2000) rests upon the physical model of nonlinear dynamical systems theory and integrates philosophical existentialism into its structure, as well as being grounded in evolutionary biological theory, symbolic interactionalism theory, object-relations theory, cognitive constructionalism theory, and learning/motivation theories; also, the concept of lifestyle (cf., Adler's theory) is incorporated into overarching psychological theory along with the three main models that constitute lifestyle theory (structural-, functional-, and change-models). See also ADLER'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; A POSTERIORI/A PRIORI DISTINCTION; GREAT MAN/ GREAT PERSON THEORY; NATURALIST THEORY OF HISTORY; PARADIGM SHIFT DOCTRINE; THERMODYNAMICS, LAWS OF. REFERENCES

Kuhn, T. S. (1962/1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Kruglanski, A. W. (1976). On the paradigmatic objections to experimental psychology. American Psychologist, 31, 655-663. Mueller, C. G. (1979). Some origins of psychology as science. Annual Review of Psychology, 30, 9-29.

Smedslund, J. (1991). The pseudo empirical in psychology and the case for psychologic. Psychological Inquiry, 2, 325-338, 376-382. Walters, G. D. (2000). Beyond behavior: Construction of an overarching psychological theory of lifestyles. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Brain Blaster

Brain Blaster

Have you ever been envious of people who seem to have no end of clever ideas, who are able to think quickly in any situation, or who seem to have flawless memories? Could it be that they're just born smarter or quicker than the rest of us? Or are there some secrets that they might know that we don't?

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