1. Why were a number of American universities founded as Scottish schools?
2. What is meant by "common sense" psychology?
3. What is "faculty" psychology?
4. Who were the three major Scottish philosophers?
5. What is the distinction between sensation and perception?
6. What is the difference between primary and secondary laws of association?
7. How did Brown explain our knowledge about the outside world?


During the eighteenth century, Scottish universities exceeded the educational advances of almost every other country. A tremendous emphasis was placed upon education, in Scotland. Public schools and universities established during this period led to an enlightenment in Scotland4. The centers for this enlightenment were Edinburgh, Aberdeen, St. Andrews, and Glasgow. The men were Hume, Hutcheson, Reid, Robertson, Adam Smith and a whole host of lesser men (Durant, v. 9). This penchant for education was not confined to Scotland. Scottish immigrants carried their enthusiasm for culture to America and, in turn, enriched their adopted country. One clear example is that of James Redpath who organized lecture bureaus to carry educational and cultural programs into the remote places of the American heartland (Curti, 1964, p. 582). Andrew Carnegie, although too often identified with the evils of capitalism, started the public library system for what he considered to be the best assurance of democratic education. And further, the Carnegie Institutes have been models of support for education and research (Curti, 1964, p. 502).

At this time, the Scottish School of psychology was established by such men as Hutchinson, Thomas Reid Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, and Sir William Hamilton (Roback, 1952). This school of thought became known for several points of view: 1) it was a common sense psychology; 2) the senses tell us most of what we want to know; any discrepancy must be resolved by the senses; 3) introspection was developed as a method; 4) analysis was a major technique; they analyzed their experiences; 5) truth was sought through rationalism and debate rather than experimentation, the proponents were, therefore, known as arm chair philosophers; 6) ethics, as first principles, were considered to be self evident; 7) philosophy was based on the human mind or intellect.

The "common sense" of Scottish philosophy does not mean "good the practical affairs of life. . ." but it means "...first principles in the minds of men...(McCosh, 1861, p. 273)." The common sense is a "general sense" or a common understanding of what is real. The Scottish school followed Bacon by seeking knowledge through observation. What is observed involves the mind at work, using the inner sense of consciousness. There is, however, some confusion over the notion of "common sense" in Scottish philosophy. As Porter (1961) says, "(Reid's) conception of common sense was indefinite and inconsistently conceived, and his criticisms were applied with unequal acuteness and varied one time the power of knowledge in general... At another it was treated as the Faculty of Reason...(Porter in Robinson, 1961, p. 119)."

The Scottish believed that some truths existed prior to observation. This placed them in the tradition of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Leibnitz and Kant (McCosh, 1861). Since Newton had urged observation and experimentation as a means of studying nature Reid argued that the same thing could be done for the mind (Laurie, 1902).

It was partly because the arm chair philosophy and introspective method of Scottish psychology was associated with stern Calvinistic doctrine and its Puritanical kinds of education, that Americans tended to reject German introspective psychology on the grounds that it was mere "arm chair philosophy."

America was infused with a functional philosophy and an environmental bias. It was already turning away from the faculty psychology long prominent among Scottish Presbyterians. And it was easy, when shifting away from Calvinistic doctrine, to attack German psychology as the behaviorists did by using the same labels as those used against the faculty psychology. Behaviorism could not attack Presbyterianism directly, but it could attack the scientific methods of introspection which had grown out of the Scottish School.

Faculty Psychology.

Scottish psychology was known as faculty psychology. The mind was composed of certain "faculties" or "disciplines" of reasoning. These faculties, like a division of academic disciplines within a college, included specialized mental capacities, assumed for the most part, to be present at birth. These faculties included such things as: memory, reasoning, imitation. They were considered to be powers of the mind (Baldwin, 1894) and gave the mind the capacity to make associations, to learn, and to retain.

The Scottish mind was more dynamic than the more passive mind of the English school, where mind absorbed new images and ideas as mere impressions from experience. These powers of the mind were necessary aids to learning, even as Locke had left room for some qualities, called "powers," with the capacity for self generation. And as Jonathan Edwards claimed that moral and religious knowledge, through some power of God, or Grace, permitted man to see clearly, so Scottish psychology injected a mental power which generated ideas.

There were three major Scottish philosophers, Thomas Reid, Dugald Stewart, and Thomas Brown, whose work gave whatever meaning there is to the "Scottish School." Thomas Reid established the importance of will in man, and distinguished between the sensation of the reality out there, and the conception of that reality in the mind. Dugald Stewart brought Hume's theory more nearly consistent with religion. Thomas Brown elaborated upon association theory and identified several important secondary principles of learning.

Thomas Reid spanned the entire eighteenth century. He was born during the reign of Queen Anne, and he lived to see the American and French revolutions begin and end. Anne, second daughter of James II, was not herself a Catholic, but she was sympathetic to the Episcopal cause. During her reign, Anne became the first monarch of the British Empire, the union of Ireland, Scotland, and England.

Great strides were being made in education at the time the Scottish school emerged. The eighteenth century is known as the "Age of Reason" in reference to England and as the "Enlightenment," when speaking of the remainder of Europe. Extensive and impressive literary and scientific writing as well as the press matured during those years . The Times of London was founded in 1785, when Reid was 75 years old and Thomas Brown was only 7. The Encyclopedia Britannica first appeared in Edinburgh in 1771, a few years before Brown was born and before Hume died. This upsurge of literary activity did not always fare well with organized religion. Scotland bred Hume and Adam Smith when the Enlightenment was flourishing, when atheism was peculiarly popular, and when God was nowhere to be found. On the other hand, a certain primitive religious revival was occurring in England as economic problems increased and personal relations decreased. Wesley and the Methodist movement were able to attract large numbers of followers in the urban centers.

Thomas Reid (1710-1796)

Reid headed the Scottish school of philosophy. He took a no-nonsense approach to things. He tackled knotty issues in a straightforward and uncluttered way. As Lewes (1888, p. 619) suggests, Reid's approach was rather similar to that of Dr. Johnson's kicking a stone in a refutation of Berkeley. Reid was born in Kincardineshire, just south of Aberdeen where he attended graduate school later and received his M.A. degree in 1726 . He remained at Aberdeen as the college librarian for a few years . He became professor of philosophy at Kings College there in 1752. In 1763 he went to Glasgow as professor of moral philosophy. While at Glasgow, the young Dugald Stewart studied with him and became his disciple.

Reid advocated a faculty psychology which paralleled, to some extent, German transcendentalism and the French phrenology of Gall. Gall's list of faculties, which formed the basis for analyzing contours of skulls, was in large part taken from the lists prepared by Thomas Reid. Reid has identified some 24 active powers of the mind -- such things as hunger, search for power, capacity for imitation, etc. And there were six intellectual powers -- perception, judgment, memory, etc. (Boring, 1950, p. 205). Consciousness was a power which had other parts of the mind (e.g. feelings) as objects of attention. The 24 active powers surfaced again in the lists of instincts prepared by McDougall. The intellectual powers seemed destined to remain as cognitive functions.

Reid had been appalled by and objected to Hume's complete denial of the reality of objects. Hume had said that since we only knew impressions, those sensations of our sense organs, and since these impressions are transitory, coming and going as they shift in intensity, then it follows that things and people are merely transitory, that they really do not exist, except as occasional impressions fleeting through our minds (Fraser, 1898).

Reid maintained that there certainly was a reality out there and that Hume's skepticism defied a common sense which man had known through the ages. Reid turned his attention to the question of "objective reference." How can one be certain of the objective reality which is sensed in the outside world? The answer followed that of Berkeley, Thomas Brown, James and John Stuart Mill, Wundt, and Titchener, and all persons who followed after him. As Boring puts it, "patterns of sensations have objective reference . . . simply because they are associatively complex (Boring, 1950, p. 206)." Some sensations are so simple as to be subjective -- like a mirage on the highway, based on only one cue; or an illusion containing sense data from just one sense modality. But when there are several sense modalities, like light and sound, the experience is not likely to be perceived as a dream state or an illusion.

Reid's solution to the problem of our uncertainty about what is out there is to make a distinction between sensation and perception -- a distinction which has remained fairly well in tact to the present day -- that our senses, like the smell of a rose, should be called sensation and that our conception of the external reality that causes the sensation, that is the notion or interpretation of the rose, be called a perception. The former is more physiological, the latter more cognitive.

Reid's second major contribution was an explanation of human movement. Motion is produced by powers or "will" in man which accounts for this action. The notion of power necessarily implies will. "What a man never willed can never be imputed to him as his action." And again, "A being that has no will can have no power (Fraser, 1898, p. 122)." Thus, power is needed for action; the power in man is his will. Modern psychology has subsequently split with lay psychology over this issue of whether there is or is not an inner source of power called "will power."

The common sense conception of power is that it causes events. There is everywhere external power, continually changing and moving inanimate objects. And there also seems to be power within us. Something within us seems to move and cause our actions. What are these causes? Are they inanimate forces or unique human phenomena or both? It is this confusion over the different sources of power that made it difficult to understand Reid. Hume had said that cause and effect were merely correlative. Reid thought that there was some kind of cause. But causes did not always have to be external. They could be internal, as Reid believed. Man, therefore, could be self moving. A century or so later, Lewin made the distinction between Galilean and Aristotelian science, the former proposing external and the latter proposing internal sources of power.

Thomas Brown (1778-1820)

Thomas Brown, the other major Scottish philosopher, was born in Kirkcudbrightshire in the very south of Scotland. He entered Edinburgh University in 1792 and became a student and colleague of Dugald Stewart, a disciple of Reid. Stewart (1753-1828), the son of a mathematics professor at Edinburgh, was himself a professor at Edinburgh. He professed adherence to the Baconian method of empirical investigation but retained sufficient belief in intuitionism as to be considered a moderate. Both Brown, Stewart, and the Scottish School, attempted to counteract the growing skepticism about reality and religion as generated by Hume. In 1804, Brown wrote Cause and Effect, which was an attempt to show how Hume was not so inconsistent with religion after all.

Brown extended the principles of associationism by being the first to identify the secondary laws of association. Primary laws accounted for the transformation of simple ideas into complex ideas. These secondary laws, however, explained why one association would be stronger than another. Brown identified six of these secondary laws of association, or laws of recall: 1) the duration of the original presentation; 2) relative liveliness; 3) relative frequency; 4) relative recency; 5) reinforcement by other ideas; and 6) individual differences (Boring, 1950, p. 208). Thus, when a new idea emerges as the connection of several simple ideas, the degree to which the new learning is remembered depends upon the amount of time spent on the original learning, the vividness of the presentation, the number of times the association had been made, etc. Later, these laws were extended by associationistic psychologists, particularly the behaviorists to account for the strength of conditioning. Contemporary laws, similar to those of Thomas Brown, are found in the learning theory of Clark L. Hull, in his book, Principles of Behavior.

Brown also turned his attention to the problem of objective reference. Berkeley has posed this problem by asking how we know there is something real out there that can be used as a reference point. Brown claimed that the clue to objective reference was a muscular sensation. In other word_as one moves through his environment he confronts objects which create resistance. This gives a clue to the real external objects. It is analogous to a blind person living in a dark, subjective, almost surreal world, whose walk to the kitchen in search of food brings him rapidly into contact with that "real world," that "objective reference" out there. It cannot be all in the mind. Understandably, this notion in 1820, came only after the physiological work on the muscle sense by Sir Charles Bell in 1820 and after the identification of sensitivity in muscles by Steinbuch a decade earlier (Boring, 1950).


Two opposing points of view in explaining human behavior have been prominent -- free will and determinism, vitalism and mechanism, idealism and materialism, or what James called tender and tough minded. The tender minded approach peaked at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, during a last surge of interest in vitalism, humanism, and a concern for human as opposed to animal behavior. After that, mechanistic and materialistic explanations predominated when, with the industrial revolution, man was evaluated in terms of his productivity, efficiency, and materialistic values. Physiological discoveries by Helmholtz and his colleagues projected physical chemical terms as explanations of human behavior and the nervous system. Further, Darwin and evolutionary theory questioned man's unique place in the universe. Although these tough minded answers increased in popularity, they were slow in coming and in the 1970's the pendulum again swung back to humanistic explanations.

The tender minded approach has always been attractive. One major difference between these two points of view is the difference in time orientation -- free will is future oriented and materialistic psychology past oriented. Behavior can be explained as either the striving for future goals or else as products of past determining factors operating unconsciously on the individual. Most psychology students have a clear preference for the former position. This is as true today as it was 75 years ago. G. Stanley Hall, who often taught courses on a whole range of animal life, said the students showed very little interest. Yerkes, Thorndike, and others concurred with Hall. Hall thinks that this is because students, who feel emancipated from animals, are future oriented rather than past oriented (Hall, 1923, p. 371-72). From our knowledge of developmental psychology and one's perception of the life span, it seems reasonable that young people, emancipated from the home and anticipating future independence, would endorse a more vitalistic rather than mechanistic psychology.

In the eighteenth century, this future oriented view of man was adopted by four movements. Arminianism emphasizing motivation from within reinstated the active and emotional side of man. Humanism disengaged man from both God and materialistic determinism. Vitalism held that some inner organizing force propelled the organism toward purposive expression. Spiritualism, which least easily fits this free will rubric, borders on a deterministic philosophy. It does, however, maintain that powerful non-material forces can disregard the laws of the physical world. In this sense, Spiritualism has commonalities with the preceding three systems.


Contrasted with Congregational and Presbyterian doctrine, there emerged on the continent and then gradually in America a group of individuals known as Arminians. These individuals stressed action and opposed a too heavy emphasis upon the rational side of the human condition. (see p. 14)

Jarobus Arminius (1506-1609) was a Dutch theologian and professor of theology at Leyden in 1603. He opposed Calvin's predestination doctrine, and claimed that God forgives all and gives eternal life to those who repent of their sins and admit belief in Jesus Christ. This regenerative theology argued that the lives of individuals could change through a "new birth" or conversion to the ways of Christ. The influence of Arminius was continued by such followers as Latitudinarians, Baptists, Wesleyans, and Congregationalists (Chambers, p. 52).

This regenerative theology assumed that man was free to choose either good or evil. If man chose the good life he was reborn through regeneration and experienced grace or favor from God. For those who have faith, then, grace becomes a possibility. This point of view provided hope for those who otherwise might be damned through predestination in spite of their good works (Roback, 1952, p. 25).


Is man the center of the universe or is man the means to the glorification of God? Humanistic philosophy competed with British empiricism and the American Puritans. The earlier philosophers, especially the Presbyterians, saw man and his works as either glorifying God or else proof that God had chosen these men for Grace and saving.

The new humanism, on the other hand, was ". . . based upon the concept of the Greek Sophists that man is the measure of all things (Sahakian, 1968, p. 268)" and was stimulated by the German poet Schiller (1759-1805). The American philosophers, especially Dewey and others, picked this up, saying that man, rather than God, is the center of the world, if not the universe. Man is not a means to the end of God; rather, man himself is the end. Man does not glorify God; rather, God is the glorification of man. Understandably, the new humanism was the father of action psychology today. (See Unit 9)

What was known as rationalism seemed to lead only to dogma; humanism led to experimentation. The rationalists worshiped reason as a God; the humanists worshiped man. As Frankel (1973) has suggested, there have always been rationalists and their opponents, which include some of the major controversies in the history of man. These opposing factions include: the Sophists and the Pythagoreans; Aristotelian and Augustinian Christians; Dominicans and Franciscans; Coleridge and the Utilitarians; Henri Bergson and Bertrand Russell.

Reese (1927) identified five different kinds of humanists: 1) the Sophists (5th century B.C.) who turned from a study of the universe to a speculation of man. 2) Renaissance humanists in the fourteenth century who changed from a study of the classics to that of the modern world. 3) The Encyclopedic humanists of the second half of the eighteenth century who fought error and magnified human desires. 4) the philosophical humanists of the twentieth century who saw human nature as the center of the knowledge process. 5) the educational humanists, the scientific humanists, and the religious humanists who believed that education, objects, and worship are for the advancement of humans rather than for the glorification of God. Contemporary jargon calls this education for individuals "relevant education" --education for individual ends rather than education for its own sake.

Thus, education in the 1960's, stimulated by the demands from third world and other groups for relevant education, changed to practical, personal, subjective, and individually meaningful emphasis in education. Progressive education had finally come full circle, advocated in the 1930's by an educated elite and ridiculed by the masses, to a philosophy demanded by the masses and ridiculed by the elite. No longer were there demands for classical courses requiring academic skills or even technical skills usually associated with increasingly higher levels of educational activity. The demands, rather, were for personal and individual ends. By the mid 1970's, the pendulum again swung back, first at Harvard and Yale, and then as others replaced student centered core courses with those of traditional academic subject matter. But, by 1975, the economic conditions of the recession prompted many liberal arts schools to reduce academic offerings by substituting more practical courses helpful for job seeking and as demanded by students (The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18, 1975, p. 1). The demand by students for practical education was matched by the demand on the part of many colleges and universities for students. The economic difficulties faced by many universities has tempted some to use popular academic programs as a way of attracting more students, even though the job market would not warrant such encouragement.5

Negative connotations have frequently been associated with humanism. It has variably been branded as materialistic, anti intellectual, communistic, tender minded, general, and atheistic. But the accusations have not always been justified. Reese (1927) negates as invalid four charges frequently leveled against humanism. He states that: 1) humanism is not materialistic. Materialism sometimes implies mechanism, frequently associated with it. But humanism emphasizes organic development of the individual, not mechanistic development. 2) Humanism is not positivism. Humanism worships humanity rather than God and Humanism is not interested in abstractions such as positivism. 3) Humanism is not rationalism. Humanists worship humans, not reason as the rationalists do. (Humanists do recognize, however, that it is the rational side of man which makes him distinct and different from animals and, in that regard, there are similarities between the Humanists and Rationalists.) 4) Humanism is not atheism. Humanism's attitude is that of enquiry and exploration and discovery rather than of negation or a denial of God. While there are many characteristics of humanism which are typically American, humanism has not been a predominantly American product.


The concept of vitalism, bandied easily about in psychology, is perhaps the least understood because it attempts to explain the unexplainable. That is, vitalism assumes that individual forces within, direct and guide behavior in some unobservable, purposive way. Warden states that these forces "...must be thought of as a concrete realization, both in structure and function, of an inner perfecting principle, the entelechy (1927, p. 70)." The soul determines the organization and the movement, a reflection of Aristotle's concept of form.

Vitalism, primarily a German philosophical notion, can be traced back to the philosophy of Leibnitz and his universal centers of activity, the monads -- dynamic, creative, emerging centers of force. Action, therefore, came from within, not from without. Subsequent German philosophers followed the same lead. Herbart adopted dynamic philosophy to explain new ideas as the competition between opposing concepts in consciousness. Fichte established his philosophy on the supposition that a force underlies all of nature. He claimed that life was vitalistic and dynamic, that things got propelled because of a force underlying all existence, and that the great life force was "absolute will." Schelling, another German philosopher, generalized this concept to all nature. Thus, everything moves in the direction of voluntarism. If all of nature is leading from involuntarism to voluntarism, then it is leading from unconsciousness to consciousness, according to Schelling (Blanchard, 1924). Vitalism probably received its greatest support from early evolutionary theorists, who maintained that life was moving in an upward direction in the universe. The term "vital power," apparently originating with Lamarck, was believed to be one of two causes of evolution, one of which was the increase of complexities of phenomena (Russell, 1916). Bergson's "vital force" or elan vital supported the vitalistic theories of geologists and botanists (Scoon, 1968). Lamarck, Chambers, Spencer, and the German natural philosophers all thought that evolution was goal directed. The "idea" of animals, man, and flowers was assumed to be present from the very beginning -- "perhaps in the mind of God (Kuhn, 1962, p. 170)." Darwin's use of the term "evolution" appeared to follow the same principle, namely, that structures emerge and develop toward some goal. Darwin, however, by proposing natural selection, suggested that nature, rather than some future goal, selected out what was to survive. The hardest part of Darwin's theory to accept, the really disturbing part, was not evolutionary theory, because that had long been coming, but that it abolished teleological evolution -- the idea that there is some overriding plan in the universe to which each stage of development was progressing. Darwin abolished goal direction in favor of natural selection (Kuhn, 1962, p. 171).

There are others who advanced vitalistic principles. Goethe, the great German philosopher, had an early concept of evolution not unlike Lamarck's. The great physiologist, Liebig, believed that the vital principle was the source of energy, but Mayer and Helmholtz later showed that oxidation was related to muscular contraction; this meant the end of vitalism. Another German philosopher, Hegel, held that ideas evolved by some pressure from within and was necessary to the ideas which followed later. His "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis" is evolutionary in nature.

The last of the great vitalists was Mueller, the German physiologist. He had been the mentor of Helmholtz and other great German scientists who later repudiated their master when claiming that only physical-chemical explanations would be used to account for physiological processes. McDougall, the last of the American vitalists, centered on internal sources of motion and behavior through his instinct doctrine. Stahl maintained that the difference between animal and non-living phenomenon was that the soul generated unconscious bodily functions.

Although vitalism was primarily a German phenomenon, protagonists in the more materialist United States were the English born McDougall, a brilliant but never popular psychologist, and George Trumbull Ladd (1832-1921), a theologically trained minister and later eminent Yale University psychologist. Ladd received his A.B. degree and D.D. degree from Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Almost 90 years later, Western Reserve established a distinguished professorship of psychology in Ladd's name. Perhaps appropriately, the sole holder of that professorship has been George Wilson Albee, president of the American Psychological Association, and eminent clinical psychologist who has championed humanistic psychology in the last half of the twentieth century.

Although Ladd was primarily known as a vitalist, he did make early contributions of note to experimental psychology. His laboratory workbook, Elements of Physiological Psychology, later co-authored with Woodworth, has been one of the most prominent handbooks of experimental psychology.

Ladd, using Plato's tripartite psychology as a prototype, proposed a threefold psychology of consciousness -- intelligence, feeling, and conation (usually interchangeable with will, though will was preferred "when describing the active involvement of the mind in behavior (Miles, 1969, p. 133)." James referred to this analysis of consciousness by Ladd as unraveling a rope of three strands. Ladd was a Kantian philosopher and understandably attributed to consciousness these faculties of the mind. The world was directed by intelligence. The vital force was a function of intelligence. Motivation, therefore, was subordinated to cognition. "The uniting force of the universe is a will guided by ideas (Miles, 1969, p. 161)." Therefore, although Ladd was a vitalist, this force was directed not by some blind animal push, but by man's intelligence. Although it would appear that Ladd contradicted Darwin's evolutionary theory, Boring calls Ladd an early functionalist, since consciousness was adaptive. The self is active, the mind has purpose, and psychology, therefore, a practical value (Miles, 1969, p. 158).


Circle those answers which are correct (one or more) or fill in the blank spaces.
1. Scottish philosophy emphasized:
a. nativism
b. empiricism
c. peripheralism
d. spiritualism

2. During the eighteenth century, Scotland was considerably advanced in:
a. education
b. science
c. technology
d. mathematics

3. The three major Scottish philosophers were:

4. As posed by Thomas Reid, sensation differed from perception in that the former was a(n):
a. idea in the mind
b. mental reflection of external reality
c. awareness of outside reality
d. abstraction from reality

5. The position that the mind passively receives sense data rather than actively organizing experiences, is a point of view adopted by the:
a. empiricists
b. rationalists
c. British
d. Germans

6. The point of view that there is something in the mind besides what comes in through experience is a point of view adopted by Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant and others. These philosophers were referred to as _______________________.

7. Thomas Brown was one of the first to propose:
a. primary laws of association
b. secondary laws of association
c. the distinction between sensation and perception
d. criteria of objective reference

6 or more correct, go to Unit Test.
Less than 6 -- complete exercises on next page.



1. The German philosopher, Leibnitz, had proposed that the underlying nature of the universe consisted of monads. These monads were centers of force. Action, therefore, came from within rather than determined from without. The Scottish philosophers took a parallel position when they proposed that the faculties of the mind, present at birth, permitted individuals to construct their own world. Scottish philosophers maintained that the mind was divided into certain disciplines or ___________________________.

2. The point of view that learning can be explained as a result of events in the environment, outside of the individual, was adopted by such contemporary psychologists as Thorndike, Guthrie Pavlov, Skinner, Hull, and others. This point of view is referred to as _________________, in opposition to another point of view called rationalism.

3. Phrenology was the study of the bumps on people's heads. It was assumed that these bumps reflected enlarged underlying brain tissue which, in turn, indicated differential amounts of intellectual skills or abilities. These abilities were assumed to be innate. Scottish faculty psychology also believed in innate characteristics of the mind and therefore encouraged the development of "scientific" ________________________.

4. There are two major laws of learning. One, how do simple ideas get attached together to form complex ideas. For example, the idea of a book is a complex idea made up of simple ideas such as paper, print, hardness, whiteness, etc. Laws accounting for how these simple ideas get associated together into larger ideas are called primary laws of learning. Another group of laws, called secondary laws, attempt to explain the strength of memory, how we happen to remember one book rather than another book, or how we happen to recall the name of a friend more easily than the name of a stranger. Inductive learning, such as associating an apple, pear, and banana belonging to a class of objects called fruit is explained by _________________________ laws of learning. Skinner, explaining how children remember new learning more easily, uses laws of reinforcement; these laws are _________________________ laws of learning.

5. The British empiricists explained learning as a product of sensory experiences; in other words, information comes in to form ideas in the mind. The rationalists, primarily Germans, believed that while experience was necessary, all knowledge does not originate from experience. Some of it is given apriori. "The rationalist's theory of knowledge says, then, that it is not Nature which imposes its necessary truths upon us; it is we who project laws onto Nature (Hilgard and Bower, 1975, p. 12)." The philosophical position about learning as advocated by Locke is called _______________. The position that self evident truths or faculties of the mind already exist is called ________________________.

6. Piaget's theory of cognitive development emphasizes the importance of biological maturation; that is, that certain stages of physical and intellectual development are built into the organism. This point of view, in contrast to the empiricism of the Behaviorists, emphasizes _________________ rather than empiricism.

7. Rationalism and vitalism are frequently adopted by the same people, who believe that human behavior can be explained by phenomena that are unique to humans as opposed to animals. Rationalism, however, emphasizes the importance of the mind, while vitalism emphasizes the importance of some internal strivings, a motivation factor.

The contemporary learning theory of Edward C. Tolman, "...referred to the purpose of behavior, always pointing to the fact that an act sequence seemed integrated and held together by the fact that it was striving toward a particular goal (Hilgard and Bower, 1975, p. 123)." This point of view has frequently been criticized as being identified with the philosophical positions of _______________________.

8. Scottish faculty psychology maintained that there were certain innate characteristics of the mind. Therefore, it was more _____________________ rather than empiricistic.


3. phrenology 6. rationalism
7. vitalism 1. faculties
2. empiricism 8. nativistic
5. empiricism; rationalism
4. primary, secondary



1. The three major Scottish philosophers were Stewart, Brown, and:
a. Locke
b. Mill
c. Ladd
d. Reid

2. There was a close association between Scottish Presbyterianism and Scottish philosophers. The Presbyterians believed in predestination, which assumes that man inherited a certain destiny. The Scottish philosophers believed in the inheritance of the mind, a point of view similar to the German philosophers, both of whom were considered to be ________________________.

3. The faculty psychologists were:
a. English
b. Arminians
c. Scots
d. Vitalists

4. Thomas Brown, in proposing the secondary laws of association, was attempting to explain: a. how simple ideas get connected to complex ideas b. why physical phenomena are associated with psychological phenomena c. why some ideas are remembered longer than other ideas d. the relationship between sensation and perception

5. Scottish psychologists were known as "common sense" psychologists, which meant:
a. all persons had the same perception of what was real
b. although there are five sense organs there is just one major sensation
c. the common man on the street should be looked to for explanations
d. having a good sense about the practical affairs of life

6. The Scottish philosophers were primarily reacting against:
a. Locke
b. Berkeley
c. Kant
d. Hume


5 or more correct, go to Unit Test.
Less than 5 Instructor conference.

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