History and Systems of Psychology

Ontology
Branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental questions of existence. The philosophical study of the nature of being, existence, or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.
Epistemology
Branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, the limitations of knowledge, and how we acquire knowledge.
Which questions does Epistemology address?
What is knowledge?
How is knowledge acquired?
How do we know that we know?
What is Scientific Knowledge?
Knowledge acquired through the *scientific method* (experimentation) and justified through *logical arguments*
Natural Sciences
The ontological question
Physics, chemistry, biology
Social Sciences
The epistemological question
Economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history
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Karl Popper
Separated scientific form from non-scientific models (falsifiability)
Distinguished sciences from pseudosciences
Falsifiability (Popper)
Only scientific theories allow for the possibility of being proved wrong. They risk falsification based on new facts and discoveries.
Why is it important to falsify a scientific theory?
For any hypothesis to be supported it must be disprovable. No theory is ever completely correct, but if it cannot be proven false, then it can be accepted as truth.
Example of Falsifiability (Popper)
Does God exist? Cannot be a science because there is no way of disproving it.
Thomas Kuhn
The history of science is a series of cycles and stages. Each stage is characterized by a common set of theoretical assumptions (paradigms) shared by most scientists. Scientific understanding requires the analyses of both the *scientific community* (political structure) and its *paradigm* (conceptual structure).
Paradigm (Kuhn)
*Widely accepted set of conceptual statements and technical procedures within a specific domain.*
Social interaction between people establishing what the norm will be. A typical example or pattern of something; a model. A worldview underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject.
Normal Science (Kuhn)
Period in which the paradigm defines both what constitutes a specific problem as well as possible solutions for it.
Paradigm Change (Kuhn)
When new observations cannot be accommodated within a given paradigm, one or more scientists will propose an alternative paradigm, leading to a scientific revolution.
Why do we have multiple paradigms? (Kuhn)
Old and new paradigms cannot coexist. Once a paradigm exists there are only a few new ideas to be created; because almost all the research is paradigm guided. The old and new paradigms are usually incompatible with each other.
Ernst Mayr
Evolutionary epistemology: At a given time, several simultaneous paradigms in psychology are competing in a Darwinian-like fashion. Cultural selection in social sciences.
Is experimental psychology a science? Why or why not?
Yes.
It is based on empirical observations.
It formulates theories that are falsifiable and subject to change in light of new evidence (Popper’s theory).
Is clinical psychology a science? Why or why not?
Yes and No
Psychologists work paradigmatically (Kuhn’s theory), but there are several competing paradigms at any point in time (Mayr’s theory).
Psychology does use scientific methods, but the object of psychological measure is subjective in nature.
Problems in Psychology
1. Identity
2. Mind-Body
3. Nativism vs. Empiricism (Nature vs. Nurture)
4. Universalism vs. Relativism
5. Rationalism vs. Irrationalism
The Identity Problem in Psychology
What is one’s true self? (Socrates & Hume)
The Mind-Body Problem in Psychology
Materialists: The brain creates the mind.
Idealists: Mind is the only reality.
Dualists: Accept the simultaneous existence of both brain events and mental events.
The Nativism vs. Empiricism (Nature vs. Nurture) Problem in Psychology
Nativism: Nature, genes
Empiricism: Nurture, culture
*Intelligence, temperament
The Universalism vs. Relativism Problem in Psychology
Universalism: There are certain universal processes that apply to all humans (example: perception of color)
Relativism: Human existence and the human mind are determined mainly by culture, language, geographical location, etc. The mind develops relative to these local influences.
The Rationalism vs. Irrationalism Problem in Psychology
Rationalism (Greek philosophers, Descartes): Human mind and behavior is ultimately *logical and rational* (everyday simple decisions).
Irrationalism (Freud, post modern philosophers): Human mind and behavior is *emotional and irrational* (important, life-changing decisions).
Polytheistic
Belief in multiple gods
Greek gods
The Greek gods *possessed the whole range of human personality traits* (malicious, sensitive, aggressive, maniacal). The gods also lived *complicated social lives* marked by power games, violence, incest, alcohol, broken promises, etc. Human affairs are reflected/imitated* in heavenly stories and scandals. *There is a god/goddess for most human emotions.*
Sacred Model of Early Greek Religion
Mental illness was of sacred origin.
Enthusiasm: Having a god enter you
Bacchanal festivals: showed respect for violent emotions, bloodletting, self-mutilation.
Enthusiasm
Having a god enter you
Bacchanal Festivals
Showed respect for violent emotions, bloodletting, self-mutilation
Early Greek Philosophy Paradigms
1. Psychological Paradigm (6th-7th century BC)
*Hesiod, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato
2. Biological Paradigm (6th century BC)
*Philosophers of nature, Thales, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras
3. Atomistic Paradigm (5th century BC)
*Democritus, Asclepiades
Biological Paradigm
*Physical* anomalies in the brain create *mental* illness
Could our mental life and emotions be explained by changes in a small number of elementary substances?
Could mental pathology be explained by variations in the qualities (moist-dry, hot-cold) of these substances (cerebral anomalies)?
Examples: excess of cerebral fluid = mental torpor, reduction of cerebral fluid = delirium
Atomistic Paradigm
Democritus, Asclepiades
Democritus: There are particles so small that they cannot be divided further (the atom).
Hesiod
Importance of socio-cultural context
Respect for law and social rules become the mark of the civilized person
Sacred therapies and rituals are useless.
Rational model becomes the medical model of mental illness.
Hesiod’s Rational Model
Mental equilibrium requires the control and/or moderation of the passions. You should not have excess of any one emotion.
Mental illness is the inability to control emotions.
Mental symptoms originate from an emotional imbalance. Example: Excess of evil impulses causes anger, envy, hate, or jealousy.
Mental sanity: Friendship, faithfulness, forgiveness, prudence
Negative sentiments are more likely in a *competitive* society
Normalcy is keeping your emotions in check.
Pythagoras
Science should be based on laws and numbers (opposite of Heraclitus).
The basis of true knowledge is the fixed laws and numbers.
Promoted equality of the sexes, abolition of slavery, vegetarianism, and the humane treatment of animals.
Coined the term *philosopher*
Philosophizing/theorizing was considered to purify the soul/mind
Philosophizing
Purifies the soul and the mind
Psychological Paradigm
Remains popular until 4th century AD
Group therapy: goal was to amend faults and check the irrational impulse which causes depression, anxiety, fear, moral distress, anger, excitement.
First to use music for therapeutic purposes
First to use pharmacology, medicinal herbs
Heraclitus
First philosopher to discuss the importance of the unconscious and dreams.
Everything in nature keeps changing and transforming.
How can we truly know something if it is constantly changing?
Plato
Pythagoras –> Socrates –> Plato
“The Republic”
*Pursuit of justice, beauty, & truth in the state & the individual
*First theory of perception (Allegory of the cave)
How do we perceive?
Different species can look at the same thing differently. What we perceive is different types of energy.
Mechanical: tactile, sound
Chemical: taste, smell
Light: visual
We can never know what the world really looks like. We only have access to our visual window that allows us the ability to see.
What is energy? (Plato)
Movement
Plato’s Cave
We are all prisoners and we can only see the shadows cast on the wall projected by the fire and puppets being shown behind you. The Allegory of the Cave is an attempt to explain the philosopher’s place in society: to attempt to enlighten the “prisoners.”
This allegory is related to Plato’s Theory of Forms: Forms or Ideas, and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. Only knowledge of the Forms constitutes real knowledge.
Socrates
First Theory of the Self: KNOW THYSELF
First psychotherapist. You can use words instead of drugs or alcohol to have a pharmaceutical effect on an individual.
One of the first moral philosophers
Essentialist vs. Dialogical view
Truth, knowledge, good, and psychological equilibrium coincide.
Knowledge of the Self (Socrates)
Requires *introspection* (self analysis) and *knowledge of the self-types* (and people who serve as our ideal self-types).
Changes in the self are greater with generational changes in self-types.
Traditional cultures have fewer desirable self-types.
Psychological Introspection (Socrates)
When you talk to yourself, there are two people involved. Which is the real you?
Essentialist View (Socrates)
Self is the material essence we possess and we have to discover
Dialogical View (Socrates)
Self is a dialogue based primarily on social comparison with culturally defined “self types”.
Mental Illness (Socrates)
Ignorance, lack of self-knowledge, one’s inner mental & emotional life.
Can be fought with words (the drug of the soul).
Aristotle
Pythagoras –> Socrates –> Plato –> Aristotle
Psychosomatic model
Cardiocentric (brain is a secondary function)
Mind-Body Problem
First to discuss the function of *art as catharsis*
Psychosomatic Model (Aristotle)
The heart is the center of mental life and emotions.
The brain (a cold and moist tissue) acts only to cool the intensity (heat) of emotions around the heart.
Melancholic personalities had an above average intellect as compared to manic/euphoric personalities.
Seasonal changes and aging can also modify one’s natural heat.
Mind-Body Problem (Aristotle)
Matter vs. Form:
Perception: The mind receives the form of an object and not its matter.
The mind is the form/function of the body.
The whole justifies the existence of its parts.
Gestalt School of Psychology
1920s Germany
The form of information influences our perception more so than the content.
Remembering (Memory)
The act of spontaneous recollection of an event from the past.
Recall (Memory)
The act of actively searching one’s memory.
Laws of Association of Thought
Law of Contiguity: Thoughts are grouped together in our mind based on how we experience them.
Law of Similarity: Similar thoughts are remembered together.
Law of Contrast: Opposing thoughts are remembered together.
Law of Frequency: The more two things happen together, the better you remember them.
Law of Contiguity
Thoughts are grouped together in our mind based on how we experience them.
Law of Similarity
Similar thoughts are remembered together.
Law of Contrast
Opposing thoughts are remembered together.
Law of Frequency
The more two things happen together, the better you remember them.
Categories of Organic Life
Vegetative soul: plants; involved only in growth, nutrition, and reproduction
Sensitive soul: animals; experience pain, pleasure, and memory
Rational soul: humans; think, reason, and possess rational thought
The Question of Human Nature
You need all to be “human”:
1. Humans are political animals; humans are social creatures.
2. Human behavior is governed by social rules and norms.
3. Humans are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Atomistic Philosophy
Mental disease is caused by movement disorder in the atoms, not a brain process.
Democritus
Atomistic Philosophy
Ontological Thesis
Solidist
Ontological Thesis (Democritus and Asclepiades)
Defined atoms. All is formed by aggregates of invisible atoms.
Materialistic: There is no separation between the mind and the body.
Mental Disorders (Ontological Thesis, Democritus and Asclepiades)
Caused by natural factors (disorder of movement of the atoms). The atoms are not traveling properly. There is no difference between mental illness and physical disease. The pathological process is found in the organ tissues.
Examples: Depression is the slowness of movement of fundamental atoms. Mania is the aggressive, excited movement of the atoms.
Asclepiades
Atomistic Philosophy
Ontological Thesis
Therapy (Atomistic Philosophy)
Normalize the movements of the atoms within the brain and the nerves using musk, exercise, wine, baths, etc. Use of torpedo fish for migraines was the first version of ECT.
Hippocrates
Founder of medicine
Physical and mental disorders are caused by natural factors and not by magic and supernatural causes. The interpretation of symptoms should be theory driven.
Neurocentric hypothesis
Hysteria theory
Neurocentric Hypothesis (Hippocrates)
The brain is the center of mental and emotional life.
Hysteria Theory (Hippocrates)
The imbalance of the functioning of the uterus in a virgin, spinster, widow, and the barren woman.
The lack of sexual and maternal activity produces a hormonal imbalance of the humors.
All hysterical symptoms are caused by *uteri transmotio*
*Suffocation – trachea
*Anxiety – liver
*Fear and Sadness – heart.
Therapy for Hysteria Theory (Hipporcates)
Sexual intercourse or masturbation
Opium to calm the uterus
Strong odors for stuporous or catatonic states
Galen
Follower or Hippocrates
Extended Hippocrates’s theory of humors into the first theory of human personality
Temperament: to mix the humors
4 Temperaments (Galen)
1. Choleric: Quick-tempered, fiery; yellow bile
2. Melancholic: Sad, pensive, low energy; black bile
3. Sanguine: Optimistic, outgoing; blood
4. Phlegmatic: Uninvolved, sarcastic, odd; pituita
Cynics
Diogenes: Rejected all social conventions
People can learn, however, what makes life complicated is subscribing to social norms and conventions.
Back to Nature Philosophy (Cynics)
Society is the source of all evils. The only chance at happiness results from being in touch with your own natural self.
Therapy (Cynics)
Early cognitive approach
Being indifferent to fate will emancipate us from fear, anxiety, and sadness.
Stoicism
Zeno: First to introduce the concept of duty to family, friends, and society as an important mission in life.
Mental Illness (Stoicism)
Emotional imbalance (affections) due to interpersonal relationships. The psychomorbid symptom was a disturbance of the mind as caused by the negative emotions. All affections originate in sadness, bereavement about a loss.
Therapy (Stoicism)
Early cognitive approach
We can’t control events but we can control our attitudes toward them.
Drugs do not work; only psychotherapy can help in revealing the limits of your passions.
Philosophy of Life (Stoicism)
Predestination: Life happens according to a grand plan. There are no accidents. Whatever comes your way you should accept with “dignity, indifference, and tolerance of grief.” The world is an orderly, predetermined place.
Epicureanism
The greatest happiness lies in the little things. A good life is balanced, moderate, and prudent. “Pleasure is the beginning and end of a blessed life.” Extreme pleasures are short lived and are followed by extreme pain or a desire for an even more extreme pleasure.
Philosophy of Life (Epicurianism)
Friendship is the highest form of social pleasure.
The goal of the wise is the absence of pain and fear.
Gods should not be feared because they are not involved with world affairs.
Skeptics
The doubting philosophers. Nothing can ever be known for certain. Absolute truths/general principles are all illusions. Nothing can be proven without a doubt. Phenomena merely occur, they are not true or false, good or evil. The therapist should only be concerned with the symptoms and etiology, the objective factors. Similar symptoms can be grouped together into syndromes.
The Demonic Model
Psychology in the middle ages was dominated by the Church. Deviance/heresy is conceptualized in theological terms. Mental illness was a sickness due to witchcraft. Witches, Jews, and adulterers are heretics. The Grand Inquisition and ordinary Christians are the persecutors.
Malleus Maleficarum
The Hammer of the Withces. Medieval DSM.
Ontological claim: The belief that there are such beings as witches is so essential to the Catholic faith that to maintain the opposite opinion manifestly savours of heresy.
Witch
Hebrew word meaning poisoner because making and selling arsenic related poison was common practice. Predominantly diagnosed in women.
Diagnostic Methods for Witches
Self-confessions, denunciations
Sudden, dramatic onset of illness
Water immersion (float = guilty)
Form molten lead takes when poured into water (First Rorschach test)
Body marks (extra nipples, birthmarks, moles in evil shapes
Invisible marks: insensitivity to pain (witch pricking)
Mesianic Therapy
The patient’s soul has to be healed/saved at any costs, even when it causes harm to the patient themselves.
Johann Meyer
Spoke publicly against the abuses and excesses of witch-hunts. Distinguished between witches and prisoners (guilty of criminal acts).
Rationalism
Mind/Reason is the only valid basis for truth, knowledge, and action.
Descartes, Leibniz
Empiricism
Sensory experiences constitute the only source of knowledge, truth, and action.
Hoppes, Locke, Hume, Condillac
Descartes
Rationalism. Father of modern philosophy.
“I think therefore I am” makes mind more certain than matter. Knowledge begins with doubt. The only thing you can trust is the mind, which is more certain than matter. Thoughts, and not external objects, are regarded as the fundamental empirical certainties. + Fundamental principles of inference/judgment. = Knowledge.
4 Rules of Certainty (Descartes)
1. Create clear categories
2. Divide into as many parts as possible
3. Begin with the simplest categories, then more on to the complex
4. Be complete
Mind and Body Problem (Descartes)
Much of human behavior can be explained in terms of mechanical features. Bodies are machines and they should be studied mechanically. There is a limitation to the body. There is no limitation to the mind. The body works according to mechanical principles. I am thinking substance/soul, distinct from the body, easier to know than the body. Only humans possess a mind capable of consciousness, free choice, & reason.
Conclusion: The body and the mind are different things (Cartesian dualism). There are some ideas that are innate in the person, such as the existence of God and morals regarding right and wrong.
How do the body and mind interact?
Body and mind interact through the pineal gland in the brain. The human mind is free (reflective) to inhibit or enhance the mechanical (reflexive) behavior of the body, but not vice versa. Human mind/soul can, by volition, create movement that is not determined by physical laws.
British Empiricism
All knowledge is derived from experience. To know is to learn. To learn is to associate.
Hobbes
Founder of British Empiricism
Humans (body and mind) can be understood entirely in terms of mechanistic principles. *Free will does not exist; every decision is determined by what came before it, your past experiences.* Mental processes are derived from our sensory experiences.
Locke
Empiricist
Tabula Rasa
People are born as a blank slate and their experiences will write a lot of the information in their blank slate. This is what the individual then knows, their knowledge base.
Some operations of the mind are innate in the individual:
*Perception
*Remembering (Memory)
*Imagining
*Doubting
*Willing
Aristotle’s Laws of Association
There is nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses. However, the operations of the mind are innate. Simple ideas (sensations) –> Complex ideas (reflections). Mind cannot create or destroy ideas (sensations), it can only arrange/rearrange various ideas in an infinite number of ways.
Condillac
The operations (processes to store and manipulate information) can be learned as well. Some people process information differently. The process is innate, it comes naturally to them.
Sentient Statue Argument: It processes higher processing abilities by recycling sensations in the same order (memory), in a different order (imagination), and by grouping together similar pleasant experiences (personal preference).
Hume
Mind: One perception at a given point in time.
Self: The self exists as a temporary, illusory perception of personal memory and images.
Kant
Tried to bring together the empiricist and rationalist views on knowledge acquisition and learning.
Knowledge is not all derived from experience. Experience cannot *create* a concept, it can only *assume* one.
Example: There is a boat floating down a stream. There is nothing about the position or location of the boat to suggest the concept of time. We must already *possess* (rationalist) that concept in order to *experience* (empiricist) things as occurring in time.
Categories of Thought/A Priori Knowledge (God’s Laws)
1. Space & Time + Quantitiy
*Unity (one)
*Plurality (many)
*Totality (all)
2. Quality
3. Relation
4. Modality
Innate knowledge structures (inner institutions) that allow us to organize all of our sensory experiences.
What the mind “brings to” the objects it experiences.
Transcendental Ideas
3 Ideas that give unity to our experiences
1. Self/Mind: Keeping together all of our psychological states/events
2. World/Universe: General synthesis of external events
3. God: Regulating both internal and external states
Not necessarily about transcendent objects/beings
Antinomy
A logical contradiction between two statements, both reasoned correctly
The 4 Antinomies
1. The world is limited in time and space vs. The world is unlimited in time and space.
2. Every substance is made up of simpler parts vs. Every substance cannot be broken into its simplest parts.
3. The laws of nature require causality in a deterministic manner (cause & effect) vs. Free will does not require deterministic causality.
4. There must be a necessary cause for the world (God) vs. An absolutely necessary cause does not need to exist.
Romanticism
School of philosophical thought that emphasized the importance of emotions (as opposed to reason) in understanding human nature.
Promoted a “return-to-nature/free-the-child-inside-you” way of life.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Man is born free and yet we see him everywhere in chains.
All governments are based on the faulty Hobbessian assumption that people need to be governed.
We should all be distrustful of organized religion, science, and societal laws as *guides* for human conduct; instead we should always trust our first impulses and emotions.
Emotions above the intellect.
Noble savage
Noble Savage (Rousseau)
All humans are born naturally good but are later transformed, tainted by the laws and the institutions of society.
Existentialism
The basis for understanding human nature is the unique experiences of each individual. We are all subjective beings trying to make sense of a cold and impersonal universe; our personal feelings are the best guides of our conduct.
Kierkegaard
The Crisis of the West: Science is not all that different from religion in its mechanistic, logical march toward understanding. The ultimate human experience is the embrace of God purely on faith without the need for a logical, rational explanation for that decision. The religious experience is a very personal, unique feeling. The knee-jerk rituals of organized religion only prevent us from truly experiencing God.
Existential Psychology
1. We are unique; therefore, anything we learn about animal behavior or others is not relevant to the understanding of others.
2. The only way to understand another is to study him/her as a whole.
3. The most useful method to study another person is phenomenology (subjective experiences, how things *appear* to us)
4. The pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain will not make us happy; the main motive of one’s existence is personal growth in learning, dealing, & creating meanings in our lives.
5. Human nature is essentially neutral. We are neither good nor bad to begin with.
6. We have free will and are responsible for our own actions.

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