Mindmental States Theories

OF. In its generalized form, mind theory refers to people's beliefs, cognitions, and intuitive understanding of their own, and other people's, mind/mental states that develop over a period of time beginning at a very early age (cf., solipsistic doctrine - a philosophical speculation that there can be no proof that phenomena exist outside of the mind inasmuch as everything is assumed to be dependent on personal perception; also, it is the extreme view that only the self exists, where everything and everyone else is a product of one's imagination). Although children typically have a well-developed theory of mind by about the age of three years, they do not yet possess the understanding that people's beliefs may be false (cf., Piaget, 1929). In some atypical and intrapersonal cases, such as children diagnosed with autism, there is an inability to understand the notion of mental states and the way in which such states modify or control behavior (cf., theory of impoverished mind - attempts to account for the condition of autism in children, suggesting that autistic individuals have an "impoverished mind" in which they have difficulty imagining others as holding beliefs, ideas, and expectations; however, such persons can identify emotional states via cues such as facial expression and other observable behaviors in other people). In other interpersonal cases, the inability of one person to appreciate the mental states of other people is called the mind-blindness theory. In general, however, people possess the ability to attribute mental states (beliefs, desires) to themselves and others; D. Premack and G. Woodruff called this ability as having a theory of mind and, thus, possessing a theory of mind enables an individual to explain and predict others' behavior in terms of their mental states. This orientation suggests that when persons in a society or culture lack a theory of mind/mental states, social behavior is affected adversely and where, in particular, cooperation among members in the group is disrupted (cf., Vygotsky, 1978). In a larger philosophical context, the notion of category mistake -described by the English philosopher Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976) - refers to a statement about something that belongs to one category but is intelligible only of something belonging to another category (e.g., as in the case where the mind is referred to as if it were a physical entity). Philosophers also use the notion of inverted qualia (a hypothetical situation in which an individual experiences "qualia," or sensory data/events, such as the experience of the "redness" of roses, in the opposite way to another person) - with the apparent impossibility of knowing if, indeed, inverted qualia exist - as an argument that mental experiences are not reducible to physical entities/states. The versatile German physician, painter, naturalist, and psychologist Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869) developed a topographic hypothesis/model of the mind in which one's awareness of mental contents and functions is divided into four aspects: conscious, precon-scious, general absolute, and partial absolute where the elements possess interactional characteristics; Sigmund Freud initially adopted Carus' model but replaced it, subsequently, with his own structural hypothesis/model/theory consisting of the three aspects/components of unconscious, precon-scious, and conscious (cf., doctrine of uni-versalism - philosophical speculation that some aspects of the human mind are universal; for example, the notion that humans recognize some behaviors as being intrinsically bad or evil such as killing other humans against their will). In the obsolete school of psychology called faculty psychology - developed and popularized by the German philosopher and mathematician Christian Wolff (1679-1754) in the 1730s - it was suggested that the mind is divided into arbitrarily posited powers or capacities (called "faculties"), such as reason, will, and instinct, through which all mental functions and phenomena supposedly occur and interact. In the early act psychology [i.e., an anti-elementalism, anti-content approach that emphasized the unity of interactions with the environment (and which argued that "psychological acts," such as emotions, judgments, and ideations, are intentional, and all analytical attempts to study the individual destroy the acts being studied) of the German psychologist Franz Brentano (1838-1917)], the idiogenetic theory posits that the function of judgment/ideation is a primordial, and original, mental capacity of humans. Faculty psychology served as the basis for the foundation of the later theoretical, and discredited, approach called phrenology - founded by the German physiologist Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) who called it "craniology" and the Austrian physician Johann K. Spurzheim (1776-1832) who called it "phrenology" - that was a doctrine of mental faculties allegedly located in specific areas of the brain and detectable via bumps at corresponding points on the outside of the skull. Another basis for phrenology is found in the doctrine of the modularity of mind, traceable back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) who indicated that cognitive processes are controlled by subsystems that operate as distinct units and with a large degree of independence from one another (cf., Fodor, 1983). Today, in educational theory, modularity theories assume that the human mind is composed of various independent units/modules that may be made to operate in several ways where, over time, the modules relate to each other to establish a type of integrative synthesis [cf., regional-localization theory - states that the brain has special areas that control particular functions, such as the occipital lobes in the back area of the brain as being instrumental in vision; Broca's area - named after the French physician/physiologist Paul Broca (1824-1880) - located in the left cerebral cortex, is essential to the production/motor aspects of spoken language; and Wernicke's area - named after the German neurologist Carl Wernicke (1848-1905) - located in the left cerebral cortex, is essential to the comprehension of meaning in language; cf., Wernicke-Geschwind theory - named after Carl Wernicke and the American neurologist

Norman Geschwind (1926-1984), attempts to explain how the brain processes information related to speech and other verbal behaviors]. In the modern computational theory of mind (e.g., Pinker, 1988; cf., Horst, 1996) - which is a central strategy/dogma at the heart of cognitive science, and is analogous to the doctrine of atomism in physics, the germ theory of disease in medicine, and plate tectonics theory in geology - it is posited that mental processes are formal manipulations of symbols/programs consisting of sequences of elementary processes made accessible by the information-processing capabilities of neural tissue; accordingly, images may be viewed as patterns of activation in a three-dimensional array of cells accessed by two overlaid coordinate systems (i.e., a fixed viewer-centered spherical coordinate system, and a movable object-centered or world-centered coordinate system); such a theoretical framework allows the researcher to generate, inspect, and transform images, as well as attend to locations and recognize shapes. The term mental model -introduced in 1943 by the Scottish psychologist Kenneth J. W. Craik (1914-1945) - refers to an internal representation having the same structure (in an abstract sense) as the aspect or portion of external reality that it represents; for example, the English psychologist David C. Marr's (1945-1980) 3-D model of visual perception; the British psychologist Philip N. Johnson-Laird's (1936- ) proposition that mental models are constructed by people to carry out inductive and deductive reasoning on the basis of propositions that are not themselves mental models by typically lead to mental models; and other psychologists' suggestions that mental models are needed to comprehend discourse, to experience consciousness, and the have a body image. The terms metacognition and meta-memory [which, again, may be traced back to Aristotle, and popularized more recently in the 1970s by the American psychologists John H. Flavell (1928- ), Richard E. Nisbett (1941- ), and Timothy D. Wilson (1951- )] - refer to beliefs and knowledge about one's own cognitive/mnemonic processes, and may be applied to regulation of one's cognitive functions, including planning, checking, and monitoring processes - such as planning for a cognitive strategy when memorizing material, checking accuracy in performing mental arithmetic, or monitoring one's comprehension during reading. Research in this area indicates, generally, that people often are unaware of the variables that influence their own choices, behavior, and evaluations, and typically - when questioned -produce verbal re-ports that may be misleading and filled with errors. The theory of mental self-government, developed by the American psychologist Robert J. Sternberg (1949- ), is a model that attempts to reconcile intelligence and personality, and proposes a set of intellectual styles that are stated in terms of the various functions, forms, levels, and aspects of government, such as the legislative/executive, mon-archic/anarchic, and global/local dimensions. See also COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLE; EMPATHY THEORY; FREUD'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; GESCHWIND'S THEORY; IMAGERY/MENTAL IMAGERY, THEORIES OF; INTELLIGENCE, THEORIES/LAWS OF; LEARNING THEORIES/ LAWS; MIND-BODY THEORIES; MIND/ MENTAL SET, LAW OF; PIAGET'S THEORY OF DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES. REFERENCES

Piaget, J. (1929). The child's conception of the world. New York: Littlefield, Adams.

Aristotle. (1941). De anima (On the soul). In R. McKeon (Ed.), The basic works of Aristotle. New York: Random House.

Craik, K. J. W. (1943). The nature of explanation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Morris, C. W. (1946). Six theories of mind.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ryle, G. (1949). The concept of mind. London: Hutchinson. Scher, J. M. (Ed.) (1966). Theories of mind.

New York: Free Press. Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. D. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 84, 231-259. Premack, D., & Woodruff, G. (1978). Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind" The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 4, 515-526.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Flavell, J. H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring. American Psychologist, 34, 906-911.

Hebb, D. O. (1980). Essay on mind. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Sternberg, R. J. (1980). Sketch of a compo-nential theory of human intelligence. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 573-584.

Fodor, J. A. (1983). The modularity of mind. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.

Johnson-Laird, P. N. (1983). Mental models: Towards a cognitive science of language, inference, and consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Leslie, A. M. (1987). Pretense and representation: The origins of "Theory of Mind." Psychological Review, 94, 412-426.

Richards, R. J. (1987). Darwin and the emergence of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Astington, J., & Harris, P. L. (1988). Developing theories of mind. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Pinker, S. (1988). A computational theory of the mental imagery medium. In M. Denis, J. Engelkamp, & J. T. E. Richardson (Eds.), Cognitive and neuropsychological approaches to mental imagery. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: M. Nijhoff.

Wellman, H. M. (1990). The child's theory of mind. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.

Newell, A. (1991). Metaphors for mind, theories of mind: Should the humanities mind? In J. J. Sheehan & M. Sosna (Eds.), Boundaries of humanity: Humans, animals, machines. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Whiten, A. (1991). Natural theories of mind. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Fodor, J. A. (1992). A theory of the child's theory of mind. Cognition, 44, 283296.

Carruthers, P., & Smith, P. K. (1996). Theories of theories of mind. New York: Cambridge University Press. Horst, S. (1996). Symbols, computation, and intentionality: A critique of the computational theory of mind. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press. Lillard, A. (1998). Ethnopsychologies: Cultural variations in theories of mind. PsychologicalBulletin, 123, 3-32. Sigel, I. E. (1999). Development of mental representation theories and applications. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Velde, van der, C. D. (2004). The mind: Its nature and origin. New York: Prometheus Books.

Funny Wiring Autism

Funny Wiring Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment