MODULE 2


ISSUES AND ASSUMPTIONS

IN PSYCHOLOGY



PART I



QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED IN MODULE 2:

1. What are the four or five major fields of philosophy?
2. Why does epistemology particularly interest psychologists?
3. What are the different kinds of data used by psychologists?
4. What is the difference between psychological structures and psychological processes?
5. What is the difference between objective and subjective data?

Assumptions about the nature of the universe underlie every science. It is important to understand these assumptions, as Bauer (1952) points out, because they determine the nature of a theory. These assumptions do not originate in a vacuum. They reflect dominant cultural values. Someone once characterized the difference between American and German psychological theories by saying: "American rats run around frantically; the German rats sit and think." Such a statement highlights American and German philosophical differences and reflects some of the values within each country. These values determine the assumptions which, in their turn, have bearing upon the theories.


Secondly, although assumptions determine theory, the converse is also true, that theories influence scientific assumptions. One can never be certain whether the assumptions or the theories originate first in the development of a science. For example, the assumption that


hard work is good and reaps rewards is a belief which shapes American educational theory. Thus, people who work hard should learn better. In turn, educational theory emphasizing frequency of reward and reinforcement of behavior influences and shapes cultural values. The findings of science help to create the values and philosophical assumptions which shape cultural activities.

Theories, once formulated, do not remain static. They shift with the culture. As theory and culture become interrelated, the shifts are sometimes pronounced and frequent. Wheeler (1939, p. 27) has noted changing emphases between organismic and mechanistic conceptions of biology across several centuries. These cyclic swings diminished in both degree of emphasis and interval of time between peak periods for each theory. For example, organismic theory had peak years in 1250, 1650, 1820, and 1940; the peaks for mechanistic theory were 1400, 1775, 1860, and 1950. Extrapolation from the data suggests ever decreasing arcs. Eventually, the two opposing theories should merge as the difference between them becomes imperceptibly small.


This and the next module emphasize the importance of the philosophy of science as we examine the assumptions underlying the development of psychology. Originally, philosophy and science were one field. The meaning of philosophy comes from two words -- philein (to love) and sophia (wisdom). Philosophy begins by seeking wisdom and ends by producing it. Philosophy is, therefore, both process and product. Before the emergence of science, philosophy provided the rational explanation of everything: it produced generalizations and explanations which are similar to those laws identified with science today. Later, however, philosophy became the "science of the first principles." The difference between philosophy and science, however, lies in the methods used to arrive at generalizations. Philosophy had long used methods of rational logical thought, following Aristotelian rules of deductive reasoning. Then, in the seventeenth century, Francis Bacon, in his Novum Organum, proposed that knowledge could be gained through observation or inductive reasoning. Careful observation of the similarities and differences among a group of phenomena would create new insights. This new method (inductive reasoning), led to a new discipline called natural philosophy or, still later, science. This revolution, as Cohen (1985) calls it marked a change from emphasizing intellect and insight to that of the person or method of gaining knowledge.

Philosophy, then, starts with a priori assumptions (generalizations gained either through experience and observation or through imagination or intuition). Philosophy takes these propositions and makes deductions from them; ending up with no really new information. Science, on the other hand, begins with specifics and through analysis and comparison and inductive reasoning, ends up with generalizations. Science thus produces something new -- a new law or principle or generalization (see pp. 28-29).Check page number

FIELDS OF PHILOSOPHY


One field after another broke away from philosophy to become an independent science. Philosophy, then, was left with the first principles -- those basic assumptions underlying science, morals, ethics, and theology. Since the nineteenth century, philosophy has been divided into six fields -- , ethics, axiology, logic, aesthetics, ontology, and epistemology. Ontology and epistemology, the two major fields, together comprise what is known as metaphysics. We will examine each of these six fields in turn.

Axiology. Axiology is the study of value -- that which the individual desires, preserves, prizes, and maintains. As a field of philosophy, axiology is not very old.1 In 1889, the prominent Austrian philosopher, Brentano, equated the concept of value with that of love and affection. Prior to this, in 1883-87, Nietzsche had created new interest in the concept of value through such works as Thus Spoke Zarasthrustra. Nietzsche, influenced by evolutionary theory, defined value similarly to what Brightman calls "any experience that contributes to the enhanced life (Runes, 1942, p. 32)."

Axiology attempts to deal with four main questions -- the experience of value, the types of value, the criterion of value, and the metaphysical status of value. The experience of value, according to Brightman, is represented by numerous psychological concepts as desire, pleasure, interest, preference, will, and so forth. Psychological use of some of these concepts is found in Freud's Id, Murray's Thematic Apperception Test, and Kuder's and Strong's interest inventories. Psychology has never developed an adequate theory of interest, but the topic has received much attention.

Numerous attempts have been made to formulate a criterion of value. Sometimes a logical theory and at other times a psychological theory has been used as a standard. Those criteria most frequently used are as follows: (1) the amount of pleasure given to an individual (Aristippus); (2) the amount of pleasure given to a society (Bentham); (3) intuition or some ultimate insight into preference (Brentano); (4) an objective system (Plato); and (5) naturalistic survival related criteria (Dewey) (Runes, 1942).

Ethics. The second major field of philosophy is ethics, sometimes called moral philosophy. Ethics is primarily concerned with right relations among persons. The issues of approval or disapproval; right or wrong; good or bad; virtue or vice, are ethical issues. There are two general classes of ethics -- a theory of value or desirability, as is found in axiology, and a theory of obligation.

Logic. The third field of philosophy is logic. Formal logic, the most common kind of logic, examines the propositions and deductions to determine whether appropriate rules of reasoning have been used. Symbolic logic, on the other hand, avoids the semantic problems of ordinary language by using special language or calculus to examine propositions. Logic utilizes special rules of reasoning to facilitate orderly debate about topics over which there is disagreement.

Aesthetics. A fourth field of philosophy is aesthetics. Baumgarten, in 1735, was the first to use the word aesthetics. He referred to it as the science of sensuous knowledge which studied beauty rather than truth. In the 1820's, Hegel established the current meaning -- a study of art objects, artistic processes, and the nature of the beautiful. In 1876, one of the first experimental psychologists, Gustav Fechner, used psychophysical methods to study works of art, and thereby initiated a new field of scientific exploration by the use of inductive methods.

Metaphysics

The last two major fields of philosophy to be discussed are ontology and epistemology; both are subsumed under the rubric of metaphysics. One of the earliest metaphysicians was Aristotle who called metaphysics the first philosophy or theology. Andronicus (63 B.C.), however, arranged Aristotle's works and placed physics before metaphysics. Under Aristotle, metaphysics became known as ontology, or the study of being. Kant, however, meant by metaphysics, epistemology, or the study of knowledge. As a general term, metaphysics has come to mean both ontology and epistemology (Baldwin, 1940), although ontology sometimes and epistemology at other times has been considered the central topic.

Ontology.The study of ontology is a search for the nature of being. Although the question of being or reality does not greatly interest most psychologists, the question cannot be escaped when one seeks the cause of sensation or the cause of the object of the sensation. Most psychologists have simple answers. They affirm that there are real events outside of the person which cause the sensation, even though this reality can be adequately explained only by the physicist. This does, of course, simply sidestep the question. Trying to explain an illusion is more difficult, because illusions are clearly a psychological phenomenon. The physicist reports heat waves rising from a pavement. That is the ontological reality. But a person will sometimes see what appears to be water. Reality, in this example, may be something other than what the physicist describes; it is what the individual perceives or what he says he sees. The sensation, then, may be the reality, not the result of some objective reality.

If we look at the subject rather than the object, ontology enters psychology in yet another way. What is the subject and how does the subject exist? Is the subject a personality that perceives the illusion, or is the subject some man behind the personality that perceives. Or is the subject a combination of chemical and physical atoms mechanically related to the perceived object? These are attempts to answer questions about the nature of the subject; in any case, there can be no clear answers, only assumptions.

Epistemology.The second field of metaphysics is epistemology, the study of knowledge. One of the most important philosophical issues for psychology is the question of knowledge. What does a person know? Does he know only ideas which stand for images? Or, does knowledge involve an understanding of the relations between ideas?

Where does knowledge come from? Is it the result of atoms transmitted to the sense organs? Are these atoms transformed in some manner to mental contents? Can outside physical objects create inside electrical or chemical changes? Regardless of the form of transmission, does an active or a passive reception of sensation facilitate knowledge? Does the mind condense incoming data? Does it possess categories which organize and classify sense data into color and size and dimension? Is it the mind that creates the knowing rather than the objects that create the mind?

These two fields, ontology and epistemology (being and knowing), underlie most psychological theories. Every scientific system rests upon some kind of philosophical position. If, for example, one believes that knowledge is present at birth, then one kind of theory of education will result. If one believes that knowledge is etched through experience on a blank tablet, then another theory will result. Such a theory likely also requires some motivational concept to account for how a blank tablet and the environment get attracted.

Next, let us examine the assumptions which underlie psychological theory. Different sets of
issues have been identified by five different writers -- English and English, Watson,Wertheimer, Woodger, and Coan. Each of their lists will be presented, but the details will be discussed later as issues under different rubrics.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSUMPTIONS


English and English. In the Dictionary of Psychological and Psychoanalytic Terms, English and English (1958) analyze major issues. These issues unite some psychologists and divide others. The issues are represented below by eight questions. The contrasting points of view which answer these questions appear to the right.


1. What is the basis for systematizing psychology?
2. What is the nature of psychological data?
3. How are psychic occurrences brought about?
4. What is the origin of psychic phenomena?
5. What is the goal of psychology?
6. What are the methods of psychology?
7. What is the organism studied?
8. What kinds of data are studied?
Empiricism vs. Rationalism
Objective vs. Subjective
Determinism vs. Indeterminism
Nativism vs. Empiricism
Descriptive-Analytic-Synthetic
Objective-Introspective-Historical
Human vs. Animal
Structures vs. Processes

Watson, Robert I. In his presidential address to Division 26 of the American Psychological Association, Watson (1967) suggested that psychology, unlike the other sciences, does not have paradigms, such as those used by Kuhn in 1962 and 1963 to analyze the history of science. If psychology lacks unifying paradigms, what does it have?

Watson suggests that psychology has trends, themes, or what he calls prescriptions. These prescriptions are contrasting pairs which represent opposing points of view. These points of view guide the psychologist in his investigations. The eleven pairs of prescriptions are as follows:

1. Conscious-Unconscious
2. Objectivism-Subjectivism
3. Determinism-Indeterminism
4. Empiricism-Rationalism
5. Functionalism-Structuralism
6. Inductivism-Deductivism
7. Mechanism-Vitalism
8. Molecularism-Molarism
9. Monism-Dualism
10. Peripheralism-Centralism
11. Staticism-Dynamicism

The origin of these prescriptions is not clear. Even Kuhn, according to Watson, was obscure about how science was unified prior to the paradigmatic stage. In other words, it is unclear what constituted the pre-paradigmatic stage, where psychology now finds itself.

Watson's prescriptions are similar to the issues identified by English and English and have stimulated investigations by historians of psychology. He cites Fuchs, for example, who attempted to test Watson's claim that psychological schools possess prescriptions which are interlocking and are orientative in function. He asked students to match Watson's prescriptions with various psychological theories. The schools were also characterized by the salience or nonsalience of a particular prescription (p. 441).

Watson further claims that nations can be differentiated by their characteristic patterns of prescriptions. For example, studies by cultural anthropologists demonstrate that value systems within a particular culture reflect individual attitudes and also determine organizational and institutional values. The United States, for example, in comparison to other countries, is clearly more empiricistic than dynamic. One American value is that experience rather than rational or philosophical thought produces knowledge; so, one should seek the causes which determine behavior, rather than describing behavior or its underlying structure. Also, we are more concerned with the mechanical than the humanistic qualities of an event.
Lastly, there are temporal and geographical differences in the preferences for various prescriptions. Different historical periods of time and different geographical locations reflect the dominance of some prescriptions over others.

Watson presents his prescriptions as dichotomies. Some issues, however, have three, four, or more dimensions. The rubrics help to clarify a theoretical system, and they permit comparisons among various theorists with their positions. The underlying assumptions are the belief systems or the philosophy of science supporting a position. If the assumptions underlying a theory are made explicit, the belief systems also become explicit. Too frequently, these assumptions remain obscure while debates over secondary issues continue.

Wertheimer, Michael. In a paper delivered to the Division 26 meetings of the American Psychological Association in 1970, Wertheimer proposed a list of ten basic issues. This list includes concepts similar to those proposed by English and by Watson. Wertheimer's list includes two methodological and eight substantiative issues. An interesting aspect of Wertheimer's list is that he attempts to identify different psychologists who represent opposing points of view on each issue. The issues and the names of typical theorists representing each end of the continuum follow:

IssuesTheorists
1. Theory vs. Data
2. Simplicity vs. Complexity `
3. Ansum vs. Transum
4. Subjectivity vs. Objectivity
5. Past vs. Present
6. Mind vs. Body
7. Richness vs. Precision
8. Good vs. Evil
9. Nature vs. Nurture
10. Man as Master vs. Man as Victim of his Fate
Freud vs. Eysenck
Guthrie vs. Jung
Spence vs. Wertheimer
G. Kelly vs. Behavior Modification
Transition vs. Lewin
Lecky vs. Hebb
White vs. Estes
Maslow vs. Hull
McClearn vs. Clinic
Rogers or May vs. Skinner

Woodger, J. H. A fourth set of issues was proposed by Woodger (1929) to analyze biological theories. This list is probably the simplest yet the most comprehensive of all the groups of issues. This set of issues, along with that of Watson's, covers the major issues we will discuss in subsequent units. It would be well to keep these in mind for future reference.

1. Vitalism vs. Mechanism
2. Structure vs. Function
3. Organism vs. Environment
4. Teleology vs. Causation
5. Mind vs. Body

Coan, Richard W. A fifth set of issues is a set of dimensions produced by factor analysis and proposed by Coan (1968). These dimensions were based on some classical distinctions proposed by a number of prominent psychologists and are reviewed below:

1. Allport (1955) proposed a dimension of differentiating Locke and Leibnitz, where materialism and empiricism contrasted with mentalism and vitalism.

2. Rogers (l961) suggested an objective vs. existential dimension, along which a theory might be described as either objective or as being an individualistic frame of reference.

3. Ansbacher (1961) proposed an elementarism vs. holism, or part vs. whole dimension.

4. Murray (1938) classified theorists as either centralists or peripheralists. These terms have originated from neurology, where the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) coordinates bodily activities, while the peripheral nervous system connects sensory and motor processes and thus relates the mind to the environment. Thus, in psychology, centralists are those who stress ego, mind, and consciousness (e.g., Freudians or humanists), while peripheralists are environmentalists (e.g. behaviorists).

5. James (1907), in a classical discussion of different psychologists, proposed a "tender vs. tough minded" dimension. The tender minded psychologists were more religious, humanistic, applied, and person oriented; the tough minded psychologists, on the other hand, were more materialistic, sensationistic, and experimentally rigorous.

6. Brunswik (1952) proposed a "subjective vs. objectivistic" or a "molar vs. molecular" dimension, analogous to James' tender and tough minded dimension.

Coan then asked specialists in the history of psychology to rate 142 theorists on the extent to which each represented a dimension. A factor analysis of these ratings yielded three factors: (l) subjectivism vs. objectivism, (2) holism vs. elementarism, and (3) qualitative vs. quantitative. The second major variable,functional vs. structural, represented three factors: (a) personal vs. transpersonal, (b) dynamic vs. static, and (c) endogenism vs. exogenism. These six factors, then, accounted for the 34 variables under investigation. Coan then used Ward's hierarchical grouping procedure to find which theorists possessed a high degree of agreement on any one or more of the 34 variables. This hierarchical grouping then yielded clusters of similar theorists. James, McDougall, Jung, Goldstein, and Brentano emerged as one cluster representing similarities in theoretical positions. Dewey, Allport, Adler, and Rogers were in another cluster. Both of these small clusters combined to form a higher order cluster which was different from another containing such persons as Binet, Terman, Galton, and Woodworth.

MAJOR ISSUES IN PSYCHOLOGY


Most of the issues outlined above can be combined together into four groups. This will form the basis for our discussion. These groups of issues suggest four major questions which need to be raised regarding the role of theory in psychological thought. (1) What kinds of data should psychologists use when developing their theories? (2) What methods should psychologists use in collecting data? (3) What assumptions are made about how the phenomena are brought about; what are the causes of psychological phenomena (whether that be mind or behavior)? (4) What should be the goals of psychology?

A psychologist's position on each of these issues will necessarily affect both his findings and his theories. Selection of one kind of data will produce different kinds of conclusions. The methods of data collection (whether self reports, experimental studies, naturalistic observations, or whatever) will necessarily affect the subsequent results. Assumptions about the causes of behavior will produce different theories, depending upon whether one assumes behavior is determined or is a product of free will, whether it is a result of environmental factors or of inherited characteristics. And lastly, a psychologist believing that psychology should create changes for the betterment of mankind will be engaged in research which is different than when one looks for laws and principles for the sake of knowledge alone.

We will examine each of these questions in order. The greatest attention, however, is devoted to the first question, the nature of the data. To this question we now turn. The last of these questions will be discussed in Module 3.

What is the Nature of the Data?

Kinds of Data. Psychological data can be classified into four areas -- sensation, perceptions, behaviors, and experiences. Sensations are images, sounds, or feelings. Fechner found a way to quantify these. He asked subjects to make discriminations between two or more different stimuli. The report of a just noticeable difference was a bit of information, and such discriminable differences were correlated to a physical scale. Even though the mind can not make direct observations, differences in sensations are reliably reported.

Another kind of psychological datum is a perception -- an interpretation of a sensation. Perceptions, therefore, are more cognitive and central, rather than physical and peripheral. Two different sensations may have the same elements, but the pattern, meaning, or interpretation could vary. Figure ground reversals are such illustrations; the elements are the same but one's perception or interpretation can vary from minute to minute.

A third kind of data for study is that of behavior. The most limited definition of a behavior is a muscular change or glandular secretion. Larger, more global, or molar, behaviors would include total acts having purpose and meaning. The behaviorists advocate and most psychologists agree that the subject matter or the data of psychology should have some observable and independently verifiable base, as do behaviors.

The fourth kind of data is what might be loosely referred to as experiences. This is the data advocated by those humanistic psychologists who distrust mechanistic, impersonal, and generalized statements. Since each individual is presumed to be unique, these psychologists claim one should recognize the un repeatable,un analyzable, personal experiences of each individual. One might question, however, whether such data really form a science at all.

Source of Data. The nature of the data cannot be separated from the question about where the data might come from, or what is the source of the data. The kind of data which is used generally prescribes certain sources of the data. For example, those psychologists who define psychology as the study of behavior look to a variety of organisms, whether humans or subhumans, as a source, since behavior is natural to all animals. On the other hand, those who define psychology as the study of consciousness or selves limit the source of data to human subjects. Data from humans can be further characterized as individual, social, or abnormal.

Structures (or products) and Processes. Another question is whether the data should be structures or processes. Structures, according to English and English, are the more enduring personality characteristics such as attitudes, habits, or abilities. Processes, on the other hand, are psychological acts or events which take place in time and then disappear. They are activities -- sensing, perceiving, thinking, and responding. A mental image or memory is a structure. But thinking, or solving a problem, is a process.

Some psychologists prefer to study structures, some to study processes. Wundt, a founder of structural psychology, concentrated on the structural products or contents of the mind -- ideas and mental images which the mind contained. The Wurzburg school of psychology, on the other hand, prominent during the first part of the twentieth century, was noted for studying the processes of thought rather than the products of thought. Kulpe and others attempted to show how the mind worked, functioned, and acted. They studied processes.

Some theorists, like Titchener the structuralist, have adamantly maintained that psychology, or any science for that matter, must first search for underlying structural characteristics and delay until a later stage the study of the function of these parts. Biology, for example, began by successfully cataloging anatomical parts. Later, it launched into experimental studies of functional physiology. It is the old question of answering "what" before answering "why" questions. The later study of biological processes, which occurred with increasing frequency during the first half of the nineteenth century, eventually culminated in brilliant biological discoveries. In psychology, structuralism (Wundt, Titchener) came first; followed by functionalism (James, Dewey, Watson).

Objective vs. Subjective Data. A last issue about data concerns their objectivity or subjectivity. Objective data come from observations made by other persons. One criterion of objectivity is whether it can be verified, i.e., can a second or third observer obtain the same data under the same conditions? The major criterion of objective data is independent verification by another observer. To be sure, any observer might introduce bias into his reports. But the extent to which the bias can be eliminated is the degree to which the data are objective.

Subjective data are individual contents of consciousness, e.g., ideas,images, or attitudes. As such, they cannot be verified by other observers. Subjective experiences may have objective counterparts as in the case of verbal reports or brain wave recordings. Verbal reports or graphic recordings can be independently observed by several persons and are, therefore, considered objective, regardless of whether one can use them as evidence for underlying personal feelings. Note that these objective indexes do not transform the thoughts into objective data- they simply shift the attention of the psychologist from subjective data to objective data.

Wundt, psychology's founder, disclaimed the notion that there were different kinds of data, inside or outside of the person. The data might be that of feelings (of inside) or perceptions (of outside). Being inside did not make it any more subjective, nor outside any more objective. Psychology, he protested, studied immediate experience, that which was fresh and unmediated. Physics, on the other hand, dealt with mediate experience, or data interpreted by abstractions made from observations.

In general, those events more characteristic of matter than of mind are considered more objective. Jewell (1868) analyzed all phenomena as (1) mind, which is known as idealism; (2) matter, known as materialism; or (3) mind and matter, which constitute one of the various forms of realism. Scientific psychology, representing most of psychology today, attempts to be objective by reducing mental contents to a material base, or by assuming that mind and matter are parallel and that investigating one would reveal characteristics of the other.

Modern science was boosted by the British empiricists -- Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, -- on the assumption that knowledge came by way of experience, from sensations. Images or representations of external reality are impressed upon the tabula rasa. Although the British empiricists assumed that knowledge came through sense data, they used anti-empirical subjective reports as a means for studying the very phenomenon (the mind) they were trying to explain.

Kant, however, pointed out that there were patterns in knowledge which could be understood only by reference to some outside referent. The mind took an active part in processing information; it must, therefore, synthesize elements. The mind itself had a reality independent of experience.

The issue here is clearly what is acceptable as data in psychology. If the data are internal processes, experiences, or thoughts, then there are no universal principles; there is only individual relativism. If the data are constructions of an active mind, then there may be unique data but the characteristics or faculties of the mind would need to be understood. If the origin of the mind is ignored, as to whether formed by experiences or at birth, then one might examine just the behaviors and avoid the dilemma about the mind.

In the next module, we will look at three other important issues facing psychologists: the methods used, how psychological phenomena are brought about, and what are the goals of psychology.

Before continuing to Module 3

Complete Progress Check 1 for Module 2...

NOTES

1. (p. 13) One of the first systematic essays on value in the English language was Valuation, published in 1909 by W. M. Urban, influenced by the psychologist J. Mark Baldwin of Princeton. Munsterberg of Harvard University published at the same time another early treatise, Eternal Values, a non-Fichtean system based on a phenomenological method. Other books followed: General Theory of Value in 1926 by R. B. Perry; The Idea of Value, 1929, by J. Laird; Theory of Valuation, 1939, by John Dewey; and Language, Truth and Logic, 1936, by A. J. Ayer. Baldwin, Munsterberg, and Dewey were all psychologists and all presidents of the American Psychological Association.

Top of Page


MODULE 2
PROGRESS CHECK 1


Now test yourself without looking at the reading.
Select those answers which are correct (one or more) or fill in the blank spaces.


1. What is the major discipline from which psychology emerged?
a. biology
b. chemistry
c. philosophy
d. zoology

2. "Natural philosophy" was the original term used for:

a. logic
b. mathematics
c. science
d. forming generalizations from observation

3. The question of whether reality is the object out there or whether reality is some figment of our imagination is a question of:
a. epistemology
b. axiology
c. metalography
d. ontology

4. Axiology is the study of:
a. truth
b. beauty
c. value
d. knowledge

5. The issues presented by Watson represent:
a. characteristics of particular theorists
b. opposing pairs of concepts
c. an alternative to the paradigms suggested by Kuhn
d. guides to psychological investigations.

6. The methods which a psychologist uses will:
a. determine the goals of psychology
b. affect his conclusions
c. depend upon his orientation
d. be the same for all psychologists

7. A process, as opposed to a structure, would include such phenomena as:
a. a feeling
b. an attitude
c. thinking
d. intelligence

8. The set of issues developed by Coan have been:
a. factor analyzed
b. more comprehensive than others
c. sympathetic to community psychology
d. psychoanalytically oriented

9. Subjective data are:
a. within the individual
b. not directly observable by others
c. sometimes made objective by some observable technique
d. behaviors

10. A science:
a. has a truth or false value about it
b. is based upon certain underlying assumptions
c. reflects the culture and environment from which it emerges
d. can be controversial when the underlying issues are debated

11. If the basis of psychology is fact or observation, the proper data of psychology is:
a. behaviors/activities
b. contents of awareness
c. personalistic data
d. mental associations

Now score yourself from the Answer Key


MODULE 2


EXERCISES


1. Experimental psychology resulted from the marriage or union of:

a. physics and clinical psychology
b. chemistry and philosophy
c. philosophy and medicine
d. philosophy and physiology

2. Some psychology courses discuss the nature of the world, i.e., what is reality, who am I and,who are other persons. Such courses deal primarily with philosophical questions called:

a. ontology
b. epistemology
c. metaphysics
d. aesthetics

3. Metaphysics, a major field in philosophy, incorporates two major subfields called _______________ and _______________.

4. The word philosophy means______________ _____________________________________.

5. Some perception psychologists are interested in illusions and how the external world may appear to change under changing sets of conditions, and another way under a different set of conditions. In philosophy, the question of what is reality and how there are different kinds of reality is a field called__________________.

6. Wertheimer's issues are presented as:

a. opposing pairs
b. continuums
c. illustrative of various prominent theorists
d. four in number

7. The four major issues which are common to all the lists of issues are the questions of what in psychology should be the major:
_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

8. Objective data are data which can be verified by:____________________________________.

9. The kinds of data which psychologists investigate are sensations, perceptions, experiences, and ________________________.

10. Many psychologists deal with children's experiences and what they remember as a part of their mental make-up. The field in philosophy which deals with those issues of how do we know what we know is called:
a. ontology
b. epistemology
c. metaphysics
d. aesthetics

Answers:


4. love of knowledge (wisdom)
7. data, methods, causes, goals
2. A,C
1. D
10. B, C
9. behavior
8. another observer
6. A,B,C
3. ontology, epistemology
5. ontology

NOW TAKE PROGRESS CHECK 2





MODULE 2

PROGRESS CHECK 2



1. Theories are such that they:
a. remain static
b. change as the culture changes
c. interact with the culture
d. sometimes fluctuate back and forth between two opposing points of view

2. The major fields of philosophy are: axiology, ethics, logic, aesthetics, and:
a. ontology
b. epistemology
c. psychology
d. phenomenology

3. The philosophical field concerned with the beautiful is:
a. ontology
b. ontogeny
c. metaphysics
d. aesthetics

4. The paradigms suggested by Kuhn are:
a. unclear
b. not applicable to contemporary psychology
c. the basis for psychological investigation
d. in contrast to Watson's "prescriptions"

5. The data in psychology may be either processes or structures. An example of a process would be(a):
a. social attitude
b. unconscious idea
c. visual illusion
d. thinking

6. The set of issues which Coan factor analyzed were based upon:
a. ratings made by historians of psychology
b. dimensions suggested by the writings of prominent theorists

c. Watson's prescriptions
d. paradigms

7. The data of psychology might be either structures or processes. Structures are relatively permanent psychological characteristics, such as:
a. behaviors
b. feelings
c. attitudes
d. habits

8. Subjective data are:
a. interpreted by an observer
b. ambiguous
c. verbal reports
d. available to only one person

9. Who am I? Am I something different from sticks and stones? Am I different from Gods and Angels? Am I different from cats and dogs? Such questions are called metaphysical questions, a field in philosophy referred to as:
a. epistemology
b. aesthetics
c. ethics
d. ontology

10. Ethics is the study of:
a. religion
b. right relations among people
c. truth
d. that which is beautiful

11. All the lists of issues in psychology can be summarized by four questions. What are the sources of data, methods, causes, and _______________ of psychology.

1 or none wrong, go to Module 3.
More than 1 wrong, see instructor.

Check your answers with the Answer key

Click here for the Home Page

Top of page

Now go to

Module 3

Psych 601 Home Page

Unit 1 Table of Contents

January 24, 2009