DEVELOPMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL THOUGHT
BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Q1. Discuss Wilhelm Wundt’s contribution in developing psychology as a separate discipline.
Ans. Wilhelm Wundt opened the Institute for Experimental Psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879. This was the first laboratory dedicated to psychology, and its opening is usually thought of as the beginning of modern psychology.
Indeed, Wundt is often regarded as the father of psychology. Wundt was important because he separated psychology from philosophy by analyzing the workings of the mind in a more structured way, with the emphasis being on objective measurement and control.
This laboratory became a focus for those with a serious interest in psychology, first for German philosophers and psychology students, then for American and British students as well.
All subsequent psychological laboratories were closely modeled in their early years on the Wundt model.
Wundt’s background was in physiology, and this was reflected in the topics with which the Institute was concerned, such as the study of reaction times and sensory processes and attention.BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
For example, participants would be exposed to a standard stimulus (e.g. a light or the sound of a metronome) and asked to report their sensations.
Wundt’s aim was to record thoughts and sensations, and to analyze them into their constituent elements, in much the same way as a chemist analyses chemical compounds, in order to get at the underlying structure.
The school of psychology founded by Wundt is known as voluntarism, the process of organizing the mind. During his academic career Wundt trained 186 graduate students (116 in psychology).
This is significant as it helped disseminate his work. Indeed, parts of Wundt’s theory were developed and promoted by his one-time student, Edward Titchener, who described his system as Structuralism, or the analysis of the basic elements that constitute the mind.
Wundt wanted to study the structure of the human mind (using introspection). Wundt believed in reductionism.
That is, he believed consciousness could be broken down (or reduced) to its basic elements without sacrificing any of the properties of the whole.
Wundt argued that conscious mental states could be scientifically studied using introspection. Wundt’s introspection was not a casual affair, but a highly practiced form of self-examination.BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
He trained psychology students to make observations that were biased by personal interpretation or previous experience and used the results to develop a theory of conscious thought.
Highly trained assistants would be given a stimulus such as a ticking metronome and would reflect on the experience.
They would report what the stimulus made them think and feel. The same stimulus, physical surroundings and instructions were given to each person.
Wundt’s method of introspection did not remain a fundamental tool of psychological experimentation past the early 1920’s. His greatest contribution was to show that psychology could be a valid experimental science.
Wundt contributed to the development of psychology was to do his research in carefully controlled conditions, i.e. experimental methods.
This encouraged other researchers such as behaviorists to follow the same experimental approach and be more scientific. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
However, today psychologists (e.g, Skinner) argue that introspection was not really scientific even if the methods used to introspect were, Skinner claims the results of introspection are subjective and cannot be verified because only observable behavior can be objectively measured.
Wundt concentrated on three areas of mental functioning; thoughts, images and feelings. some of these areas are still studied in cognitive psychology today.
This means that the study of perceptual processes can be traced back to Wundt. Wundt’s work stimulated interest in cognitive psychology.
On the basis of his work, and the influence it had on psychologists who were to follow him, Wundt can be regarded as the founder of experimental psychology, so securing his place in the history of psychology.
At the same time, Wundt himself believed that the experimental approach was limited in scope, and that other method would be necessary if all aspects of human psychology were to be investigatedBPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
Q2. Discuss the key issues and debates in the discipline of psychology.
Ans. The key issues and debates include gender and culture in psychology; free will and determinism; nature-nurture debates; idiographic and nomothetic approaches and ethical issues and social sensitivity.
Understand the three major issues in development: continuity and discontinuity, one common course of development or many unique courses of development, and nature versus nurture.
Mind Body Debate: One of the central questions in psychology (and philosophy) concerns the mind/body problem.
Is the mind part of the body, or the body part of the mind? If they are distinct, then how do they interact? And which of the two is in charge?
Nature vs. Nurture: This debate within psychology is concerned with the extent to which particular aspects of behavior are a product of either inherited (i.e. genetic) or acquired (i.e. learned) characteristics. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
Nature is that which is inherited/genetic. Nurture which refers to all environmental influences after conception, i.e. experience.
Reductionism vs. Holism: Reductionism is the belief that human behavior can be explained by breaking it down into smaller component parts.
Reductionists say that the best way to understand why we behave as we do is to look closely at the very simplest parts that make up our systems, and use the simplest explanations to understand how they work.
In psychology, the term is most appropriately applied to biological explanations (e.g. genetics, neurotransmitters, hormones) of complex human behaviors such as schizophrenia, gender and aggression Holism refers to any approach that emphasizes the whole rather than their constituent parts. In other words ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.
Idiographic vs. Nomothetic: The term “nomothetic” comes from the Greek word “nomos” meaning “law”. Psychologists who adopt this approach are mainly concerned with studying what we share with others.
That is to say in establishing laws or generalizations.The term “idiographic” comes from the Greek word “idios” meaning “own” or “private”.
Psychologists interested in this aspect of experience want to discover what makes each of us unique.
Psychology as a Science: Science is a particular approach to studying the world that emphasises objectivity i.e. the experimenter is clearly separated from what they are studying. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
Key features of science include: objectivity (all sources of bias are minimized); collection of empirical data to support or refute a hypothesis; and predictability.
Free-will vs. Determinism: The free will/determinism debate revolves around the extent to which our behavior is the result of forces over which we have no control or whether people are able to decide for themselves whether to act or behave in a certain way.
The determinist approach proposes that all behavior is determined and thus predictable.
Free will assumes that we are free to choose our behavior, in other words we are self determined e.g.. people can make a free choice as to whether to commit a crime or not (unless they are a child or they are insane)
Animal Research: This raises the issue of whether it’s morally and/or scientifically right to use animals. Main criterion is that benefits must outweigh costs.
But benefits are almost always to humans and costs to animals.
If chimpanzees are subjected to research with drugs and possibly surgery, and the result is a cure for schizophrenia, then many perimenting with chimpanzees) are justified, or made acceptable by the ends (the cure to a horrible, life-shortening disease) Animal research also raise the issue of extrapolation.
Can we generalise from studies on animals to humans as their anatomy & physiology is different from humans? Animals cannot think about their experiences and invoke reason, patience, memory or self-comfort. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
Q3. Non-western traditions in Psychology
Ans. Most psychological phenomena are intrinsically culture-bound. Psychological theories developed in one culture may not automatically be generalizable to the behavior of the people of another culture.
Psychology as a science-primarily developed in Europe and America, based on the behavioral data of Western people studied by the psychologists grew in the Western culture.
This obviously limits the applicability of psychology as it is to developing countries. This does not mean, however, that there should be as many psychologies as there are cultures.
More generally valid psychology will emerge by identifying what is culturally specific in the main stream psychology and adopting new concepts of general applicability from other cultures.
In the article below, stages of interaction between Western psychology and indigenous thought are described based on the history of psychology in Japan.
Q4. Jung’s structure of psyche
Ans. Jung believed that the human psyche was composed of three components:
• The ego
• The personal unconscious
• The collective unconscious BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
According to Jung, the ego represents the conscious mind while the personal unconscious contains memories including those that have been suppressed.
The Origins of Jung’s Archetypes: Where do these archetypes come from then? The collective unconscious, Jung believed, was where these archetypes exist. He suggested that these models are innate, universal, and hereditary.
Archetypes are unlearned and function to organize how we experience certain things.
“All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes,” “This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule.
In their present form, they are variants of archetypal ideas created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality.
For it is the function of consciousness, not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses but to translate into visible reality the world within us,” he suggested Jung rejected the concept of tabula rasa or the notion that the human mind is a blank slate at birth to be written on solely by experience.
He believed that the human mind retains fundamental, unconscious, biological aspects of our ancestors. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
These “primordial images,” as he initially dubbed them, serve as a basic foundation of how to be human. These archaic and mythic characters that make up the archetypes reside with all people from all over the world, Jung believed.
It is these archetypes that symbolize basic human motivations, values, and personalities. Jung believed that each archetype played a role in personality, but felt that most people were dominated by one specific archetype.
According to Jung, the actual way in which an archetype is expressed or realized depends upon a number of factors including an individual’s cultural influences and uniquely personal experiences.
Jung identified four major archetypes but also believed that there was no limit to the number that may exist.
The existence of these archetypes can not be observed directly but can be inferred by looking at religion, dreams, art, and literature.
The four main archetypes described by Jung as well as a few others that are often identified include the following
Q 5 Cross-cultural and Indigenous Psychology
Ans. Cultural psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and indigenous psychology are the major psychological approaches to studying the relationship between culture and psychology. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
The three approaches have developed in relative isolation from each other, and each has accumulated a substantial corpus of theoretical and empirical work.
The time is ripe for assessing and comparing these similar yet different approaches. Indeed, some confusion reigns concerning why all three exist, how they compare, and whether they can be synthesized to form a unified study psychology.
This chapter compares the similarities and differences of the three approaches, and it assesses their strengths and weaknesses.
My goal is to use the comparison to select the most useful and valid elements and combine them in a coherent, logically consistent, valid paradigm for understanding the relation of culture and psychology.
I argue that this goal is more useful and scientific than eclectically combining incongruent, flawed theories wholesale; or minimizing their differences in a false picture of basic harmony.
Since the objective of the chapter is a paradigm of general principles, the comparison of the three approaches shall analyze their treatment of broad issues.
These include the nature of culture, the nature of psychology, the manner in which cultural factors organize psychology, the manner in which psychology guides cultural behavior, the nature of agency, what kind of data is most revealing of the cultural organization of psychology, is a general science of cultural psychology possible or does each culture require a distinctive theory and methodology?
The chapter demonstrates that cultural psychology is the most comprehensive and valid of the three approaches and should be used as the foundation of a paradigm.
At the same time, it has gaps that can be filled in by contributions from cross-cultural psychology and indigenous psychology. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
These must be reconstituted so as to be congruent with the framework of cultural psychology.
The chapter additionally emphasizes that the three approaches, like all social science theories and methodologies, rest upon political assumptions about the social system in which we live.
Q6. Criticism of Functionalism
Ans. Criticism of Functionalism: Functionalism has been criticized for downplaying the role of individual action, and for being unable to account for social change.
In the functionalist perspective, society and its institutions are the primary units of analysis. Individuals are significant only in terms of their places within social systems (i.e., social status and position in patterns of social relations).
Some critics also take issue with functionalism’s tendency to attribute needs to society. They point out that, unlike human beings, society does not have needs; society is only alive in the sense that it is made up of living individuals.
By downplaying the role of individuals, functionalism is less likely to recognize how individual actions may alter social institutions.
Critics also argue that functionalism is unable to explain social change because it focuses so intently on social order and equilibrium in society.
Following functionalist logic, if a social institution exists, it must serve a function. Institutions, however, change over time; some disappear and others come into being.
The focus of functionalism on elements of social life in relation to their present function, and not their past functions, makes it difficult to use functionalism to explain why a function of some element of society might change, or how such change occurs.
Q7. Basic assumptions of behaviourism
Ans. Basic Assumptions All behavior is learned from the environment:
• Behaviorism emphasizes the role of environmental factors in influencing behavior, to the near exclusion of innate or inherited factors. This amounts essentially to a focus on learning.
• We learn new behavior through classical or operant conditioning (collectively known as “learning theory’). BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
• Therefore, when born our mind is ‘tabula rasa’ (a blank slate).
Psychology should be seen as a science:
• Theories need to be supported by empirical data obtained through careful and controlled observation and measurement of behavior. Watson (1913) stated that:
• ‘Psychology as a behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is … prediction and control.’ (p. 158).
• The components of a theory should be as simple as possible. Behaviorists propose the use of operational definitions (defining variables in terms of observable, measurable events).
Behaviorism is primarily concerned with observable behavior, as opposed to internal events like thinking and emotion:
While behaviorists often accept the existence of cognitions and emotions, they prefer not to study them as only observable (i.e., external) behavior can be objectively and scientifically measured.
Therefore, internal events, such as thinking should be explained through behavioral terms (or eliminated altogether). BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
Q8. Vector psychology
Ans. This part of Lewin’s system involved the concepts that were related to motivational aspects of human behaviour and thus have a major role to play in understanding human behaviour fully.
According to Lewin, an individual is a complex energy system. Psychical energy is the one that is used to accomplish psychological work.
A state of disequilibrium may arise due to increase in tension in one or the other part of the system.
When a person wishes to achieve equilibrium that results in creation of psychical energy and when the tension equalizes the system halts.
Need has been described either as physiological condition (such as hunger, thirst, sex) or a psychological condition (such as desire to be rich).
A distinction was also made between a need and a quasi-need. A quasi- need is one with specific intentions shaped by social factors (Lewin, 1951).
For instance, need to eat a specific pizza at a particular restaurant. Lewin also believed that needs are highly associated with tension systems and dissipation of tension is only possible with satisfaction of a particular need. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
Tension has been described as a state of disequilibrium between two or more states of the inner-personal region.
This idea was tested by Bluma Zeigarnik. The subjects in this research were given a series of simple tasks to carry out.
In some instances, they were interrupted before the completion of the task and in others, they were allowed to finish the task to completion.
It was hypothesized that the tension would dissipate when a task is completed, but tension persists for a longer duration if the task is interrupted.
This assumption was tested by asking the subjects to recall different tasks they had performed. It was predicted that there would be a better recall for interrupted tasks in comparison to the completed ones.
The findings supported this prediction and this phenomenon was called the Zeigarnik effect.
An explanation offered for this was that tension persisting from an unfinished tasksmay be a reason for the subjects to rehearse the material associated with that task. Later more evidence was found for this effect (Alper, 1948; Deutsch, 1954).
Another important concept discussed by Lewin was vector. It refers to the psychological forces influencing the person to an extent that he/she moves in a particular direction.
Three properties of vectors have been highlighted. They are-direction (it may be towards or away from the goal object), strength (vector is said to be correlated with the valence of the object-attraction or repulsion, defining its strength), and a point of contact.
A vector is represented by an arrow when related to a person (P). The longer is the line of arrow, greater is the strength of the vector. BPCC 106 Free Solved Assignment
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