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History of Psychology


1.Define the term “eugenics” as used by Francis Galton.  Using the work of Galton, Goddard, and Terman, discuss the Eugenics movement, and their misuse of Binet and Simon’s intelligence test.  Why would Binet have been enraged by the misuse of his test by eugenicists if he had lived past 1911?

German Idealism
2.Explain the following notion of Kant: "Thoughts without content are void; intuitions [sensations] without conceptions, blind.”  How does the process of apperception lead to the creation of schemas, and why does it lead to removing the blindness so we can organize our experience and think?
3.Explain the Hegelian concept of dialectic, and why the organicism, historicism and cultural relativism that follow from dialectic are a further step away from Kant’s a priori universalism.

German Materialism
4.What was Gustav Fechner trying to do with his research on psychophysics? Describe one of the experimental methods he used to come up with Fechner’ s Law; define all terms in the law and explain it succinctly.  How does this law answer Kant’s criticism that introspective psychology cannot be a science of mathematical laws, and why were psychologists like Wundt so inspired by it?

5.Hermann von Helmholtz signed the Materialist Manifesto in 1847. What was in this manifesto?  Describe how he used experiments with frog legs to prove the materialist hypothesis.  What experimental methods or principles did he use in this research that are now essential in psychological experimentation?

Experimental Self –Observation & Structuralism
6.Describe how to do an experiment in self-observation in the method of Wundt and Titchener.  What aspects of these experiments look like a modern psychological experiment, and why did this method ultimately fail?

7.Define the term Gestalt, and explain how Gestalt Psychology differs from other schools of psychology that are reductionist or elementarist. For example, how do Gestalt experiments differ from Wundtian experimental self-observation? 

8.Define the concept of insight and discuss, with general principles and examples, how it is evidenced in animal and human problem solving.

William James
9.Describe William James' 5 aspects of "the stream of consciousness." Why did James think it was necessary to replace the “storehouse of ideas” metaphor of the mind with this description of mind?

10.William James was disturbed by the lack of free will in the materialistic view of mind, yet he agreed with Darwin and knew about the then-new work on the nervous system. How did he think a materialistic Darwinian process created a brain that makes adaptive choices?

11.Describe William James’s theory of the self with reference to the material, social, and spiritual selves.  If we have so many selves, how do we deal with the inevitable conflict among them?

E. L. Thorndike
12. What is the connectionist viewpoint of transfer of training, as exemplified in Thorndike and Woodworth's work?  Specifically, what view was the "identical elements" approach meant to contradict?  Also specify how practice, habit, and the formation of connections worked in this view. 

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