The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply ExplainedDK, Catherine Collin, Nigel Benson, Joannah Ginsburg, Voula Grand, Merrin Lazyan, Marcus Weeks
From its philosophical roots through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and developmental psychology, The Psychology Book looks at all the greats from Pavlov and Skinner to Freud and Jung, and is an essential reference for students and anyone with an interest in how the mind works.
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THE PSYCHOLOGY BOOK THE PSYCHOLOGY BOOK LONDON, NEW YORK, MELBOURNE, MUNICH, AND DELHI DK LONDON DK DELHI First American Edition 2012 PROJECT ART EDITOR Amy Orsborne PROJECT ART EDITOR Shruti Soharia Singh SENIOR EDITORS Sam Atkinson, Sarah Tomley SENIOR ART EDITOR Chhaya Sajwan Published in the United States by DK Publishing 375 Hudson Street New York, New York 10014 EDITORS Cecile Landau, Scarlett O’Hara MANAGING ART EDITOR Arunesh Talapatra 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1 001—181320—Feb/2012 US EDITOR Rebecca G. Warren SENIOR EDITOR Monica Saigal Copyright © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited MANAGING ART EDITOR Karen Self EDITORIAL TEAM Sreshtha Bhattacharya, Gaurav Joshi All rights reserved. MANAGING EDITORS Esther Ripley, Camilla Hallinan PRODUCTION MANAGER Pankaj Sharma ART DIRECTOR Philip Ormerod DTP MANAGER/CTS Balwant Singh ASSOCIATE PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Liz Wheeler DTP DESIGNERS Arvind Kumar, Rajesh Singh Adhikari PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Jonathan Metcalf ILLUSTRATIONS James Graham DTP OPERATOR Vishal Bhatia Without limiting the rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. styling by Published in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley Limited. STUDIO8 DESIGN PICTURE RESEARCH Myriam Megharbi PRODUCTION EDITOR Tony Phipps PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Angela Graef A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN:978-0-7566-8970-4 DK books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. For details, contact: DK Publishing Special Markets, 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 or SpecialSales@dk.com. Printed and bound in China by Leo Paper Products Ltd Discover more at www.dk.com CONTRIBUTORS CATHERINE COLLIN VOULA GRAND A clinical psychologist, our consultant Catherine Collin is an Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer in Psychological Therapies) at the University of Plymouth in England. Catherine’s interests lie in primary care mental health and cognitive behavior therapy. As a business psychologist, Voula Grand consults for international corporations on leadership and executive performance. Her ﬁrst novel is Honor’s Shadow. She is currently writing the sequel, Honor’s Ghost. NIGEL BENSON MERRIN LAZYAN A lecturer in philosophy and psychology, Nigel Benson has written several bestselling books on the subject of psychology, including Psychology for Beginners and Introducing Psychiatry. A writer, editor, and classical singer, Merrin Lazyan studied psychology at Harvard University and has worked on several ﬁction and nonﬁction books, spanning a broad range of topics. JOANNAH GINSBURG MARCUS WEEKS A clinical psychologist and journalist, Joannah Ginsburg works in community treatment centers in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Dallas, and regularly contributes to psychology publications. She is joint author of This Book has Issues: Adventures in Popular Psychology. A writer and musician, Marcus Weeks studied philosophy and worked as a teacher before embarking on a career as an author. He has contributed to many books on the arts and popular sciences. CONTENTS 10 INTRODUCTION PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS PSYCHOLOGY IN THE MAKING 18 20 The four temperaments of personality Galen There is a reasoning soul in this machine Descartes 22 Dormez! Abbé Faria 24 Concepts become forces when they resist one another Johann Friedrich Herbart 38 We know the meaning of “consciousness” so long as no one asks us to deﬁne it William James BEHAVIORISM RESPONDING TO OUR ENVIRONMENT 46 Adolescence is a new birth G. Stanley Hall 60 The sight of tasty food makes a hungry man’s mouth water Ivan Pavlov 48 24 hours after learning something, we forget two-thirds of it Hermann Ebbinghaus 62 Proﬁtless acts are stamped out Edward Thorndike 50 66 The intelligence of an individual is not a ﬁxed quantity Alfred Binet Anyone, regardless of their nature, can be trained to be anything John B. Watson 54 72 The unconscious sees the men behind the curtains Pierre Janet That great God-given maze which is our human world Edward Tolman 74 Once a rat has visited our grain sack we can plan on its return Edwin Guthrie 26 Be that self which one truly is Søren Kierkegaard 28 Personality is composed of nature and nurture Francis Galton 75 Nothing is more natural than for the cat to “love” the rat Zing-Yang Kuo 30 The laws of hysteria are universal Jean-Martin Charcot 76 Learning is just not possible Karl Lashley 31 77 A peculiar destruction of the internal connections of the psyche Emil Kraepelin Imprinting cannot be forgotten! Konrad Lorenz 78 Behavior is shaped by positive and negative reinforcement B.F. Skinner 86 Stop imagining the scene and relax Joseph Wolpe 32 The beginnings of the mental life date from the beginnings of life Wilhelm Wundt PSYCHOTHERAPY THE UNCONSCIOUS DETERMIINES BEHAVIOR 92 The unconscious is the true psychical reality Sigmund Freud 100 The neurotic carries a feeling of inferiority with him constantly Alfred Adler 102 The collective unconscious is made up of archetypes Carl Jung 108 The struggle between the life and death instincts persists throughout life Melanie Klein 110 The tyranny of the “shoulds” Karen Horney 111 The superego becomes clear only when it confronts the ego with hostility Anna Freud 112 Truth can be tolerated only if you discover it yourself Fritz Perls 118 It is notoriously inadequate to take an adopted child into one’s home and love him Donald Winnicott 122 The unconscious is the discourse of the Other Jacques Lacan 124 Man’s main task is to give birth to himself Erich Fromm 130 The good life is a process not a state of being Carl Rogers 138 What a man can be, he must be Abraham Maslow 140 Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it ﬁnds a meaning Viktor Frankl 141 One does not become fully human painlessly Rollo May 142 Rational beliefs create healthy emotional consequences Albert Ellis 146 The family is the “factory” where people are made Virginia Satir 148 Turn on, tune in, drop out COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY THE CALCULATING BRAIN 160 Instinct is a dynamic pattern Wolfgang Köhler 162 Interruption of a task greatly improves its chances of being remembered Bluma Zeigarnik 163 When a baby hears footsteps, an assembly is excited Donald Hebb 164 Knowing is a process not a product Jerome Bruner 166 A man with conviction is a hard man to change Leon Festinger Timothy Leary 149 Insight may cause blindness Paul Watzlawick 150 Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through R.D. Laing 152 Our history does not determine our destiny Boris Cyrulnik 154 Only good people get depressed Dorothy Rowe 155 Fathers are subject to a rule of silence Guy Corneau 168 The magical number 7, plus or minus 2 George Armitage Miller 174 There’s more to the surface than meets the eye Aaron Beck 178 We can listen to only one voice at once Donald Broadbent 186 Time’s arrow is bent into a loop Endel Tulving 192 Perception is externally guided hallucination Roger N. Shepard SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BEING IN A WORLD OF OTHERS 193 We are constantly on the lookout for causal connections Daniel Kahneman 194 Events and emotion are stored in memory together Gordon H. Bower 196 Emotions are a runaway train Paul Ekman 198 Ecstasy is a step into an alternative reality Mihály Csíkszentmihályi 200 Happy people are extremely social Martin Seligman 202 What we believe with all our hearts is not necessarily the truth Elizabeth Loftus 208 The seven sins of memory Daniel Schacter 210 One is not one’s thoughts Jon Kabat-Zinn 211 The fear is that biology will debunk all that we hold sacred Steven Pinker 212 Compulsive behavior rituals are attempts to control intrusive thoughts Paul Salkovskis 218 You cannot understand a system until you try to change it Kurt Lewin 224 How strong is the urge toward social conformity? Solomon Asch 228 Life is a dramatically enacted thing Erving Goffman 230 The more you see it, the more you like it Robert Zajonc 236 Who likes competent women? Janet Taylor Spence 237 Flashbulb memories are ﬁred by events of high emotionality Roger Brown 238 The goal is not to advance knowledge, but to be in the know Serge Moscovici 240 We are, by nature, social beings William Glasser 242 We believe people get what they deserve Melvin Lerner 244 People who do crazy things are not necessarily crazy Elliot Aronson 246 People do what they are told to do Stanley Milgram 254 What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Philip Zimbardo 256 Trauma must be understood in terms of the relationship between the individual and society Ignacio Martín-Baró DEVELOPMENTAL PHILOSOPHY FROM INFANT TO ADULT 262 The goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things Jean Piaget 270 We become ourselves through others Lev Vygotsky 271 A child is not beholden to 286 Most human behavior is learned through modeling Albert Bandura 292 Morality develops in six stages Lawrence Kohlberg 294 The language organ grows like any other body organ Noam Chomsky 298 Autism is an extreme form of the male brain Simon Baron-Cohen 324 Emotion is an essentially unconscious process Nico Frijda 326 Behavior without environmental cues would be absurdly chaotic Walter Mischel 328 We cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals David Rosenhan 330 The three faces of Eve Thigpen & Cleckley any particular parent Bruno Bettelheim 272 Anything that grows has a ground plan Erik Erikson 274 Early emotional bonds are an integral part of human nature John Bowlby 278 Contact comfort is overwhelmingly important Harry Harlow 279 We prepare children for a life about whose course we know nothing Françoise Dolto 280 A sensitive mother creates a secure attachment Mary Ainsworth 282 Who teaches a child to hate and fear a member of another race? Kenneth Clark 284 Girls get better grades than boys Eleanor E. Maccoby PSYCHOLOGY OF DIFFERENCE PERSONALITY AND INTELLIGENCE 304 Name as many uses as you can think of for a toothpick J.P. Guilford 306 Did Robinson Crusoe lack personality traits before the advent of Friday? Gordon Allport 314 General intelligence consists of both ﬂuid and crystallized intelligence Raymond Cattell 316 There is an association between insanity and genius Hans J. Eysenck 322 Three key motivations drive performance David C. McClelland 332 DIRECTORY 340 GLOSSARY 344 INDEX 351 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 10 INTRODUCTION A mong all the sciences, psychology is perhaps the most mysterious to the general public, and the most prone to misconceptions. Even though its language and ideas have inﬁltrated everyday culture, most people have only a hazy idea of what the subject is about, and what psychologists actually do. For some, psychology conjures up images of people in white coats, either stafﬁng an institution for mental disorders or conducting laboratory experiments on rats. Others may imagine a man with a middle-European accent psychoanalyzing a patient on a couch or, if ﬁlm scripts are to be believed, plotting to exercise some form of mind control. Although these stereotypes are an exaggeration, some truth lies beneath them. It is perhaps the huge range of subjects that fall under the umbrella of psychology (and the bewildering array of terms beginning with the preﬁx “psych-”) that creates confusion over what psychology entails; psychologists themselves are unlikely to agree on a single deﬁnition of the word. “Psychology” comes from the ancient Greek psyche, meaning “soul” or “mind,” and logia, a “study” or “account,” which seems to sum up the broad scope of the subject, but today the word most accurately describes “the science of mind and behavior.” The new science Psychology can also be seen as a bridge between philosophy and physiology. Where physiology describes and explains the physical make-up of the brain and nervous system, psychology examines the mental processes that take place within them and how these are manifested in our thoughts, speech, and behavior. Where philosophy is concerned with thoughts and ideas, psychology studies how we come to have them and what they tell us about the workings of our minds. All the sciences evolved from philosophy, by applying scientiﬁc methods to philosophical questions, Psychology has a long past, but only a short history. Hermann Ebbinghaus but the intangible nature of subjects such as consciousness, perception, and memory meant that psychology was slow in making the transition from philosophical speculation to scientiﬁc practice. In some universities, particularly in the US, psychology departments started out as branches of the philosophy department, while in others, notably those in Germany, they were established in the science faculties. But it was not until the late 19th century that psychology became established as a scientiﬁc discipline in its own right. The founding of the world’s ﬁrst laboratory of experimental psychology by Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig in 1879 marked the recognition of psychology as a truly scientiﬁc subject, and as one that was breaking new ground in previously unexplored areas of research. In the course of the 20th century, psychology blossomed; all of its major branches and movements evolved. As with all sciences, its history is built upon the theories and discoveries of successive generations, with many of the older theories remaining relevant to contemporary psychologists. Some areas of research have been the subject of study from psychology’s INTRODUCTION 11 earliest days, undergoing different interpretations by the various schools of thought, while others have fallen in and out of favor, but each time they have exerted a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on subsequent thinking, and have occasionally spawned completely new ﬁelds for exploration. The simplest way to approach the vast subject of psychology for the ﬁrst time is to take a look at some of its main movements, as we do in this book. These occurred in roughly chronological order, from its roots in philosophy, through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and the study of cognitive, social, and developmental psychology, to the psychology of difference. Two approaches Even in its earliest days, psychology meant different things to different people. In the US, its roots lay in philosophy, so the approach taken was speculative and theoretical, dealing with concepts such as consciousness and the self. In Europe, the study was rooted in the sciences, so the emphasis was on examining mental processes such as sensory perception and memory under controlled laboratory conditions. However, even the research of these more scientiﬁcally oriented psychologists was limited by the introspective nature of their methods: pioneers such as Hermann Ebbinghaus became the subject of their own investigations, effectively restricting the range of topics to those that could be observed in themselves. Although they used scientiﬁc methods and their theories laid the foundations for the new science, many in the next generation of psychologists found their processes too subjective, and began to look for a more objective methodology. In the 1890s, the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov conducted experiments that were to prove critical to the development of psychology in both Europe and the US. He proved that animals could be conditioned to produce a response, an idea that developed into a new movement known as behaviorism. The behaviorists felt that it was impossible to study mental processes objectively, but found it relatively easy to observe and measure behavior: a manifestation of those processes. They began to design experiments that could be conducted under controlled conditions, at ﬁrst on animals, to gain an insight into human psychology, and later on humans. The behaviorists’ studies concentrated almost exclusively on how behavior is shaped by interaction with the environment; this “stimulus–response” theory became well known through the work of John Watson. New learning theories began to spring up in Europe and the US, and attracted the interest of the general public. However, at much the same time as behaviorism began to emerge in the US, a young neurologist in Vienna started to develop a theory of mind that was to overturn contemporary thinking and inspire a very different approach. Based on observation of patients and case histories rather than laboratory experiments, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory marked ❯❯ The ﬁrst fact for us then, as psychologists, is that thinking of some sort goes on. William James 12 INTRODUCTION a return to the study of subjective experience. He was interested in memories, childhood development, and interpersonal relationships, and emphasized the importance of the unconscious in determining behavior. Although his ideas were revolutionary at the time, they were quickly and widely adopted, and the notion of a “talking cure” continues within the various forms of psychotherapy today. New ﬁelds of study In the mid-20th century, both behaviorism and psychoanalysis fell out of favor, with a return to the scientiﬁc study of mental processes. This marked the beginning of cognitive psychology, a movement with its roots in the holistic approach of the Gestalt psychologists, who were interested in studying perception. Their work began to emerge in the US in the years following World War II; by the late 1950s, cognitive psychology had become the predominant approach. The rapidly growing ﬁelds of communications and computer science provided psychologists with a useful analogy; they used the model of information processing to develop theories to explain our methods of attention, perception, memory and forgetting, language and language acquisition, problem-solving and decision-making, and motivation. Even psychotherapy, which mushroomed in myriad forms from the original “talking cure,” was inﬂuenced by the cognitive approach. Cognitive therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy emerged as alternatives to psychoanalysis, leading to movements such as humanist psychology, which focused on the qualities unique to human life. These therapists turned their attention from healing the sick to guiding healthy people toward living more meaningful lives. While psychology in its early stages had concentrated largely on the mind and behavior of individuals, there was now an increasing interest in the way we interact with our environment and other people; this became the ﬁeld of social psychology. Like cognitive psychology, it owed much to the Gestalt psychologists, especially Kurt Lewin, who had ﬂed from Nazi Germany to the US in the 1930s. Social psychology gathered pace during the latter half of the 20th century, when research revealed intriguing new facts about our attitudes and prejudices, our tendencies toward obedience and conformity, and our reasons for aggression or altruism, all of which were increasingly relevant in the modern world of urban life and ever-improving communications. Freud’s continuing inﬂuence was felt mainly through the new ﬁeld of developmental psychology. Initially concerned only with childhood development, study in this area expanded to include change throughout life, from infancy to old age. Researchers charted methods of social, cultural, and moral learning, and the ways in which we form attachments. The contribution of developmental psychology to education and training has been signiﬁcant but, less obviously, it has inﬂuenced If the 19th century was the age of the editorial chair, ours is the century of the psychiatrist’s couch. Marshall McLuhan INTRODUCTION 13 thinking about the relationship between childhood development and attitudes to race and gender. Almost every psychological school has touched upon the subject of human uniqueness, but in the late 20th century this area was recognized as a ﬁeld in its own right in the psychology of difference. As well as attempting to identify and measure personality traits and the various factors that make up intelligence, psychologists in this growing ﬁeld examine deﬁnitions and measures of normality and abnormality, and look at how much our individual differences are a product of our environment or the result of genetic inheritance. such as neuroscience and genetics. In particular, the nature versus nurture argument that dates back to Francis Galton’s ideas of the 1920s continues to this day; recently, evolutionary psychology has contributed to the debate by exploring psychological traits as innate and biological phenomena, which are subject to the laws of genetics and natural selection. Psychology is a huge subject, and its ﬁndings concern every one of us. In one form or another it informs many decisions made in government, business and industry, advertising, and the mass media. It affects us as groups and as individuals, contributing as much to public debate about the ways our An inﬂuential science The many branches of psychology that exist today cover the whole spectrum of mental life and human and animal behavior. The overall scope has extended to overlap with many other disciplines, including medicine, physiology, neuroscience, computer science, education, sociology, anthropology, and even politics, economics, and the law. Psychology has become perhaps the most diverse of sciences. Psychology continues to inﬂuence and be inﬂuenced by the other sciences, especially in areas The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best. Paul Valéry societies are or might be structured as it does to diagnosing and treating mental disorders. The ideas and theories of psychologists have become part of our everyday culture, to the extent that many of their ﬁndings about behavior and mental processes are now viewed simply as “common sense.” However, while some of the ideas explored in psychology conﬁrm our instinctive feelings, just as many make us think again; psychologists have often shocked and outraged the public when their ﬁndings have shaken conventional, long-standing beliefs. In its short history, psychology has given us many ideas that have changed our ways of thinking, and that have also helped us to understand ourselves, other people, and the world we live in. It has questioned deeply held beliefs, unearthed unsettling truths, and provided startling insights and solutions to complex questions. Its increasing popularity as a university course is a sign not only of psychology’s relevance in the modern world, but also of the enjoyment and stimulation that can be had from exploring the richness and diversity of a subject that continues to examine the mysterious world of the human mind. PHILOSO ROOTS PSYCHOLOGY IN THE MAKING PHICAL 16 INTRODUCTION René Descartes publishes The Passions of the Soul, claiming that the body and soul are separate. Abbé Faria investigates hypnosis in his book On the Cause of Lucid Sleep. 1649 Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of the Species, proposing that all our traits are inherited. Francis Galton’s research suggests that nurture is more important than nature, in Hereditary Genius. 1859 1869 1819 1816 1849 1861 1874 Johann Friedrich Herbart describes a dynamic mind with a conscious and an unconscious in A Text-book in Psychology. Søren Kierkegaard’s book The Sickness Unto Death marks the beginning of existentialism. Neurosurgeon Pierre Paul Broca discovers that the left and right hemispheres of the brain have separate functions. Carl Wernicke provides evidence that damage to a speciﬁc area of the brain causes the loss of speciﬁc skills. M any of the issues that are examined in modern psychology had been the subject of philosophical debate long before the development of science as we know it today. The very earliest philosophers of ancient Greece sought answers to questions about the world around us, and the way we think and behave. Since then we have wrestled with ideas of consciousness and self, mind and body, knowledge and perception, how to structure society, and how to live a “good life.” The various branches of science evolved from philosophy, gaining momentum from the 16th century onward, until ﬁnally exploding into a “scientiﬁc revolution,” which ushered in the Age of Reason in the 18th century. While these advances in scientiﬁc knowledge answered many of the questions about the world we live in, they were still not capable of explaining the workings of our minds. Science and technology did, however, provide models from which we could start asking the right questions, and begin to test theories through the collection of relevant data. Separating mind and body One of the key ﬁgures in the scientiﬁc revolution of the 17th century, the philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, outlined a distinction between mind and body that was to prove critical to the development of psychology. He claimed that all human beings have a dualistic existence—with a separate machinelike body and a nonmaterial, thinking mind, or soul. Later psychological thinkers, among them Johann Friedrich Herbart, were to extend the machine analogy to include the brain as well, describing the processes of the mind as the working of the brain-machine. The degree to which mind and body are separate became a topic for debate. Scientists wondered how much the mind is formed by physical factors, and how much is shaped by our environment. The “nature versus nurture” debate, fueled by British naturalist Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory and taken up by Francis Galton, brought subjects such as free will, personality, development, and learning to the fore. These areas had not yet been fully described by philosophical inquiry, and were now ripe for scientiﬁc study. PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 17 Wilhelm Wundt founds the ﬁrst laboratory of experimental psychology in Leipzig, Germany. Hermann Ebbinghaus details his experiments learning nonsense syllables in his book Memory. G. Stanley Hall publishes the ﬁrst edition of the American Journal of Psychology. William James, the “father of psychology” publishes Principles of Psychology. 1879 1885 1887 1890 1883 1877 1889 1895 Emil Kraepelin publishes the Textbook of Psychiatry. Jean-Martin Charcot produces Lectures on the Diseases of the Nervous System. Pierre Janet suggests that hysteria involves dissociation and splitting of the personality. Alfred Binet opens the ﬁrst laboratory of psychodiagnosis. Meanwhile, the mysterious nature of the mind was popularized by the discovery of hypnosis, prompting more serious scientists to consider that there was more to the mental life than immediately apparent conscious thought. These scientists set out to examine the nature of the “unconscious,” and its inﬂuence on our thinking and behavior. The birth of psychology Against this background, the modern science of psychology emerged. In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt founded the very ﬁrst laboratory of experimental psychology at Leipzig University in Germany, and departments of psychology also began to appear in universities across Europe and the US. Just as philosophy had taken on certain regional characteristics, psychology developed in distinct ways in the different centers: in Germany, psychologists such as Wundt, Hermann Ebbinghaus, and Emil Kraepelin took a strictly scientiﬁc and experimental approach to the subject; while in the US, William James and his followers at Harvard adopted a more theoretical and philosophical approach. Alongside these areas of study, an inﬂuential school of thought was growing in Paris around the work of neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, who had used hypnosis on sufferers of hysteria. The school attracted psychologists such as Pierre Janet, whose ideas of the unconscious anticipated Freud’s psychoanalytic theories. The ﬁnal two decades of the 19th century saw a rapid rise in the importance of the new science of psychology, as well as the establishment of a scientiﬁc methodology for studying the mind, in much the same way that physiology and related disciplines studied the body. For the ﬁrst time, the scientiﬁc method was applied to questions concerning perception, consciousness, memory, learning, and intelligence, and its practices of observation and experimentation produced a wealth of new theories. Although these ideas often came from the introspective study of the mind by the researcher, or from highly subjective accounts by the subjects of their studies, the foundations were laid for the next generation of psychologists at the turn of the century to develop a truly objective study of mind and behavior, and to apply their own new theories to the treatment of mental disorders. ■ 18 THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS OF PERSONALITY GALEN (C.129–C.201 CE) IN CONTEXT APPROACH Humorism BEFORE c.400 BCE Greek physician Hippocrates says that the qualities of the four elements are reﬂected in body ﬂuids. c.325 BCE Greek philosopher Aristotle names four sources of happiness: sensual (hedone), material (propraietari), ethical (ethikos), and logical (dialogike). AFTER 1543 Anatomist Andreas Vesalius publishes On the Fabric of the Human Body in Italy. It illustrates Galen’s errors and he is accused of heresy. 1879 Wilhelm Wundt says that temperaments develop in different proportions along two axes: “changeability” and “emotionality.” 1947 In Dimensions of Personality, Hans Eysenck suggests personality is based on two dimensions. All things are combinations of four basic elements: earth, air, ﬁre, and water. The qualities of these elements can be found in four corresponding humors (ﬂuids) that affect the functioning of our bodies. These humors also affect our emotions and behavior—our “temperaments.” Temperamental problems are caused by an imbalance in our humors… …so by restoring the balance of our humors a physician can cure our emotional and behavioral problems. T he Roman philosopher and physician Claudius Galen formulated a concept of personality types based on the ancient Greek theory of humorism, which attempted to explain the workings of the human body. The roots of humorism go back to Empedocles (c.495–435 BCE), a Greek philosopher who suggested that different qualities of the four basic elements—earth (cold and dry), air (warm and wet), ﬁre (warm and dry), and water (cold and wet)—could explain the existence of all known substances. Hippocrates (460–370 BCE), the “Father of Medicine,” developed a medical model based on these elements, attributing their qualities to four ﬂuids within the body. These ﬂuids were called “humors” (from the Latin umor, meaning body ﬂuid). Two hundred years later, Galen expanded the theory of humorism into one of personality; he saw a direct connection between the levels of the humors in the body and emotional and behavioral inclinations—or “temperaments”. Galen’s four temperaments— sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic—are based on the balance of humors in the body. PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 19 See also: ■ René Descartes 20–21 316–21 Walter Mischel 326–27 ■ Gordon Allport 306–09 Melancholic: sad, fearful, depressed, poetic, and artistic. ■ Hans J. Eysenck Phlegmatic: slow, quiet, shy, rational, and consistent. Choleric: ﬁery, energetic, and passionate. Imbalances in the humors determine personality type as well as inclinations toward certain illnesses. If one of the humors develops excessively, the corresponding personality type begins to dominate. A sanguine person has too much blood (sanguis in Latin) and is warm-hearted, cheerful, optimistic, and conﬁdent, but can be selﬁsh. A phlegmatic person, suffering from excess phlegm (phlegmatikós in Greek), is quiet, kind, cool, rational, and consistent, but can be slow and shy. The choleric (from the Greek kholé, meaning bile) personality is ﬁery, suffering from excess yellow bile. Lastly, the melancholic (from the Greek melas kholé), who suffers from an excess of black bile, is recognized by poetic and artistic leanings, which are often also accompanied by sadness and fear. Imbalance in the humors According to Galen, some people are born predisposed to certain temperaments. However, since temperamental problems are caused by imbalances of the humors, he claimed they can be cured by diet and exercise. In more extreme Galen Sanguine: warm-hearted, cheerful, optimistic, and conﬁdent. cases, cures may include purging and blood-letting. For example, a person acting selﬁshly is overly sanguine, and has too much blood; this is remedied by cutting down on meat, or by making small cuts into the veins to release blood. Galen’s doctrines dominated medicine until the Renaissance, when they began to decline in the light of better research. In 1543, the physician Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564), practicing in Italy, found more than 200 errors in Galen’s descriptions of anatomy, but although Galen’s medical ideas were discredited, he later inﬂuenced 20th-century psychologists. In 1947, Hans Eysenck concluded that temperament is biologically based, and noted that the two personality traits he identiﬁed—neuroticism and extraversion—echoed the ancient temperaments. Although humorism is no longer part of psychology, Galen’s idea that many physical and mental illnesses are connected forms the basis of some modern therapies. ■ Claudius Galenus, better known as “Galen of Pergamon” (now Bergama in Turkey) was a Roman physician, surgeon, and philosopher. His father, Aelius Nicon, was a wealthy Greek architect who provided him with a good education and opportunities to travel. Galen settled in Rome and served emperors, including Marcus Aurelius, as principal physician. He learned about trauma care while treating professional gladiators, and wrote more than 500 books on medicine. He believed the best way to learn was through dissecting animals and studying anatomy. However, although Galen discovered the functions of many internal organs, he made mistakes because he assumed that the bodies of animals (such as monkeys and pigs) were exactly like those of humans. There is debate over the date of his death, but Galen was at least 70 when he died. Key works c.190 CE The Temperaments c.190 CE The Natural Faculties c.190 CE Three Treatises on the Nature of Science 20 THERE IS A REASONING SOUL IN THIS MACHINE RENE DESCARTES (1596–1650) IN CONTEXT The mind and the body are separate. APPROACH Mind/body dualism BEFORE 4th century BCE Greek philosopher Plato claims that the body is from the material world, but the soul, or mind, is from the immortal world of ideas. The mind (or “soul”) is immaterial, but seated in the pineal gland of the brain. 4th century BCE Greek philosopher Aristotle says that the soul and body are inseparable: the soul is the actuality of the body. AFTER 1710 In A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley claims that the body is merely the perception of the mind. 1904 In Does Consciousness Exist? William James asserts that consciousness is not a separate entity but a function of particular experiences. The body is a material, mechanical machine. The mind can control the physical body by causing “animal spirits” to ﬂow through the nervous system. T he idea that the mind and body are separate and different dates back to Plato and the ancient Greeks, but it was the 17th-century philosopher René Descartes who ﬁrst described in detail the mind-body relationship. Descartes wrote De Homine (“Man”), his ﬁrst philosophical book, in 1633, in which he describes the dualism of mind and body: the nonmaterial mind, or “soul,” Descartes says, is seated in the brain’s pineal gland doing the thinking, while the body is like a machine that operates by “animal spirits,” or ﬂuids, ﬂowing through the nervous system to cause movement. This idea had been popularized in the 2nd century by Galen, who attached it to his theory of the humors; but Descartes was the ﬁrst to describe it in detail, and to emphasize the separation of mind and body. PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 21 See also: Galen 18–19 ■ William James 38–45 In a letter to the French philosopher Marin Mersenne, Descartes explains that the pineal gland is the “seat of thought,” and so must be the home of the soul, “because the one cannot be separated from the other.” This was important, because otherwise the soul would not be connected to any solid part of the body, he said, but only to the psychic spirits. Descartes imagined the mind and body interacting through an awareness of the animal spirits that were said to ﬂow through the body. The mind, or soul, residing in the pineal gland, located deep within the brain, was thought to sometimes become aware of the moving spirits, which then caused conscious sensation. In this way, the body could affect the mind. Likewise, the mind could affect the body by causing an outﬂow of animal spirits to a particular region of the body, initiating action. Descartes illustrated the pineal gland, a single organ in the brain ideally placed to unite the sights and sounds of the two eyes and the two ears into one impression. ■ Sigmund Freud 92–99 There is a great difference between mind and body. René Descartes René Descartes An analogy for the mind Taking his inspiration from the French formal gardens of Versailles, with their hydraulic systems that supply water to the gardens and their elaborate fountains, Descartes describes the spirits of the body operating the nerves and muscles like the force of water, and “by this means to cause motion in all the parts.” The fountains were controlled by a fountaineer, and here Descartes found an analogy for the mind. He explained: “There is a reasoning soul in this machine; it has its principal site in the brain, where it is like the fountaineer who must be at the reservoir, whither all the pipes of the machine are extended, when he wishes to start, stop, or in some way alter their actions.” While philosophers still argue as to whether the mind and brain are somehow different entities, most psychologists equate the mind with the workings of the brain. However, in practical terms, the distinction between mental and physical health is a complex one: the two being closely linked when mental stress is said to cause physical illness, or when chemical imbalances affect the brain. ■ René Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine (now called Descartes), France. He contracted tuberculosis from his mother, who died a few days after he was born, and remained weak his entire life. From the age of eight, he was educated at the Jesuit college of La Flèche, Anjou, where he began the habit of spending each morning in bed, due to his poor health, doing “systematic meditation”— about philosophy, science, and mathematics. From 1612 to 1628, he contemplated, traveled, and wrote. In 1649, he was invited to teach Queen Christina of Sweden, but her early-morning demands on his time, combined with a harsh climate, worsened his health; he died on February 11, 1650. Ofﬁcially, the cause of death was pneumonia, but some historians believe that he was poisoned to stop the Protestant Christina converting to Catholicism. Key works 1637 Discourse on the Method 1662 De Homine (written 1633) 1647 The Description of the Human Body 1649 The Passions of the Soul 22 DORMEZ! ABBE FARIA (1756–1819) IN CONTEXT APPROACH Hypnosis BEFORE 1027 Persian philosopher and physician Avicenna (Ibn Sina) writes about trances in The Book of Healing. 1779 German physician Franz Mesmer publishes A Memoir on the Discovery of Animal Magnetism. AFTER 1843 Scottish surgeon James Braid coins the term “neurohypnotism” in Neurypnology. T he practice of inducing trance states to promote healing is not new. Several ancient cultures, including those of Egypt and Greece, saw nothing strange about taking their sick to “sleep temples” so they could be cured, while in a sleeplike state, by suggestions from specially trained priests. In 1027, the Persian physician Avicenna documented the characteristics of the trance A gentle request or commanding order… state, but its use as a healing therapy was largely abandoned until the German doctor Franz Mesmer reintroduced it in the 18th century. Mesmer’s treatment involved manipulating the body’s natural, or “animal,” magnetism, through the use of magnets and suggestion. After being “mesmerized,” or “magnetized,” some people suffered a convulsion, after which they claimed to feel better. …combines with the highly concentrated mind of a subject… 1880S French psychologist Emile Coué discovers the placebo effect and publishes Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion. 1880S Sigmund Freud investigates hypnosis and its apparent power to control unconscious symptoms. In this state the subject becomes more susceptible to the power of suggestion. …to induce a state of “lucid sleep” (hypnotic trance). PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 23 See also: Jean-Martin Charcot 30 ■ Sigmund Freud 92–99 ■ Carl Jung 102–07 ■ A few years later, Abbé Faria, a Portugese-Goan monk, studied Mesmer’s work and concluded that it was “entirely absurd” to think that magnets were a vital part of the process. The truth was even more extraordinary: the power to fall into trance or “lucid sleep” lay entirely with the individuals concerned. No special forces were necessary, because the phenomena relied only upon the power of suggestion. Milton Erickson 336 Nothing comes from the magnetizer; everything comes from the subject and takes place in his imagination. Abbé Faria Lucid sleep Faria saw his role as a “concentrator,” helping his subject get into the right state of mind. In On The Cause of Lucid Sleep, he describes his method: “After selecting subjects with the right aptitude, I ask them to relax in a chair, shut their eyes, concentrate their attention, and think about sleep. As they quietly await further instructions, I gently or commandingly say: ‘Dormez!’ (Sleep!) and they fall into lucid sleep”. It was from Faria’s lucid sleep that the term “hypnosis” was coined in 1843 by the Scottish Abbé Faria Franz Mesmer induced trance through the application of magnets, often to the stomach. These were said to bring the body’s “animal” magnetism back into a harmonious state. surgeon James Braid, from the Greek hypnos, meaning “sleep” and osis meaning “condition.” Braid concluded that hypnosis is not a type of sleep but a concentration on a single idea, resulting in heightened suggestibility. After his death, interest in hypnosis largely waned until the French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot began to use hypnotism systematically in the treatment of traumatic hysteria. This brought hypnosis to the attention of Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud, who were to question the drive behind the hypnotic self, and discover the power of the unconscious. ■ Born in Portuguese Goa, José Custódio de Faria was the son of a wealthy heiress, but his parents separated when he was 15. Armed with introductions to the Portuguese court, Faria and his father traveled to Portugal where both trained as priests. On one occasion, the young Faria was asked by the queen to preach in her private chapel. During the sermon, he panicked, but his father whispered, “They are all men of straw—cut the straw!” Faria immediately lost his fear and preached ﬂuently; he later wondered how a simple phrase could so quickly alter his state of mind. He moved to France, where he played a prominent part in the French Revolution and reﬁned his techniques of self-suggestion while imprisoned. Faria became a professor of philosophy, but his theater shows demonstrating “lucid sleep” undercut his reputation; when he died of a stroke in 1819 he was buried in an unmarked grave in Montmartre, Paris. Key work 1819 On the Cause of Lucid Sleep 24 CONCEPTS BECOME FORCES WHEN THEY RESIST ONE ANOTHER JOHANN FRIEDRICH HERBART (1776–1841) IN CONTEXT Experiences and sensations combine to form ideas. APPROACH Structuralism BEFORE 1704 German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz discusses petites perceptions (perceptions without consciousness) in his New Essays on Human Understanding. 1869 German philosopher Eduard von Hartmann publishes his widely read Philosophy of the Unconscious. AFTER 1895 Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer publish Studies on Hysteria, introducing psychoanalysis and its theories of the unconscious. 1912 Carl Jung writes The Psychology of the Unconscious, suggesting that all people have a culturally speciﬁc collective unconscious. Dissimilar ideas resist one another and become forces in conﬂict. Similar ideas can coexist or combine. One idea is forced to become favored over another. The favored idea stays in consciousness. J ohann Herbart was a German philosopher who wanted to investigate how the mind works—in particular, how it manages ideas or concepts. Given that we each have a huge number of ideas over the course of our lifetime, how do we not become increasingly confused? It seemed to Herbart that The unfavored idea leaves consciousness; it becomes an unconscious idea. the mind must use some kind of system for differentiating and storing ideas. He also wanted to account for the fact that although ideas exist forever (Herbart thought them incapable of being destroyed), some seem to exist beyond our conscious awareness. The 18thcentury German philosopher PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 25 See also: Wilhelm Wundt 32–37 ■ Sigmund Freud 92– 99 Anna Freud 111 ■ Leon Festinger 166 – 67 Thoughts and feelings contain energy, according to Herbart, acting on each other like magnets to attract or repel like or unlike ideas. ■ Carl Jung 102– 07 ■ Two ideas that cannot coexist comfortably repel each other... + – Ideas that do not contradict each other are drawn together and can coexist in consciousness. + – – + Gottfried Leibniz was the ﬁrst to explore the existence of ideas beyond awareness, calling them petite (“small”) perceptions. As an example, he pointed out that we often recall having perceived something—such as the detail in a scene—even though we are not aware of noticing it at the time. This means that we perceive things and store a memory of them despite the fact that we are unaware of doing so. Dynamic ideas According to Herbart, ideas form as information from the senses combines. The term he used for ideas—Vorsfellung—encompasses thoughts, mental images, and even emotional states. These make up the entire content of the mind, and Herbart saw them not as static but dynamic elements, able to move and interact with one another. Ideas, he said, can attract and combine with other ideas or feelings, or repulse them, rather like magnets. Similar ideas, such as a color and tone, attract each other and combine to form a more complex idea. + – ...and one of them may even be pushed out of consciousness. However, if two ideas are unalike, they may continue to exist without association. This causes them to weaken over time, so that they eventually sink below the “threshold of consciousness.” Should two ideas directly contradict one another, “resistance occurs” and “concepts become forces when they resist one another.” They repel one another with an energy that propels one of them beyond consciousness, into a place that Herbart referred to as “a state of tendency;” and we now know as “the unconscious.” Herbart saw the unconscious as simply a kind of storage place for weak or opposed ideas. In positing a two-part consciousness, split by a distinct threshold, he was attempting to deliver a structural solution for the management of ideas in a healthy mind. But Sigmund Freud was to see it as a much more complex and revealing mechanism. He combined Herbart’s concepts with his own theories of unconscious drives to form the basis of the 20th-century’s most important therapeutic approach: psychoanalysis. ■ Johann Friedrich Herbart Johann Herbart was born in Oldenburg, Germany. He was tutored at home by his mother until he was 12, after which he attended the local school before entering the University of Jena to study philosophy. He spent three years as a private tutor before gaining a doctorate at Göttingen University, where he lectured in philosophy. In 1806, Napoleon defeated Prussia, and in 1809, Herbart was offered Immanuel Kant’s chair of philosophy at Königsberg, where the Prussian king and his court were exiled. While moving within these aristocratic circles, Herbart met and married Mary Drake, an English woman half his age. In 1833, he returned to Göttingen University, following disputes with the Prussian government, and remained there as Professor of Philosophy until his death from a stroke, aged 65. Key works 1808 General Practical Philosophy 1816 A Text-book in Psychology 1824 Psychology as Science 26 BE THAT SELF WHICH ONE TRULY IS SØREN KIERKEGAARD (1813–1855) IN CONTEXT APPROACH Existentialism BEFORE 5th century BCE Socrates states the key to happiness is discovering the “true self.” AFTER 1879 Wilhelm Wundt uses self-analysis as an approach to psychological research. T he fundamental question, “Who am I?” has been studied since the time of the ancient Greeks. Socrates (470–399 BCE) believed the main purpose of philosophy is to increase happiness through analyzing and understanding oneself, famously saying: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Søren Kierkegaard’s book The Sickness Unto Death (1849) offers self-analysis as a means to understanding the problem of “despair,” which he I wish to be other than I am: to have a different self. So I try to make myself into someone different. 1913 John B. Watson denounces self-analysis in psychology, stating that “introspection forms no essential part of its methods.” I fail and despise myself for failing. I succeed and abandon my true self. 1951 Carl Rogers publishes Client-centered Therapy, and in 1961 On Becoming a Person. Either way, I despair of my true self. 1960 R.D. Laing’s The Divided Self redeﬁnes “madness,” offering existential analysis of inner conﬂict as therapy. To escape despair I must accept my true self. 1996 Rollo May bases his book, The Meaning of Anxiety, on Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Anxiety. To be that self which one truly is, is indeed the opposite of despair. PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 27 See also: Wilhelm Wundt 32–37 ■ William James 38–45 ■ Carl Rogers 130–37 ■ Napoleon’s overreaching ambition for power, as depicted in this painting of him as a student, led him to lose sight of his true self and all-too-human limitations, and ultimately to despair. considered to stem not from depression, but rather from the alienation of the self. Kierkegaard described several levels of despair. The lowest, and most common, stems from ignorance: a person has the wrong idea about what “self” is, and is unaware of the existence or nature of his potential self. Such ignorance is close to bliss, and so inconsequential that Kierkegaard was not even sure it could be counted as despair. Real desperation arises, he suggested, with growing self-awareness, and the deeper levels of despair stem Søren Kierkegaard from an acute consciousness of the self, coupled with a profound dislike of it. When something goes wrong, such as failing an exam to qualify as a doctor, a person may seem to be despairing over something that has been lost. But on closer inspection, according to Kierkegaard, it becomes obvious that the man is not really despairing of the thing (failing an exam) but of himself. The self that failed to achieve a goal has become intolerable. The man wanted to become a different self (a doctor), but he is now stuck with a failed self and in despair. Abandoning the real self Kierkegaard took the example of a man who wanted to become an emperor, and pointed out that ironically, even if this man did somehow achieve his aim, he would have effectively abandoned Søren Kierkegaard was born to an afﬂuent Danish family, and raised as a strict Lutheran. He studied theology and philosophy at Copenhagen University. When he came into a sizeable inheritance, he decided to devote his life to philosophy, but ultimately this left him dissatisﬁed. “What I really need to do,” he said, “is to get clear about what I am to do, not what I must know.” In 1840, he became engaged to Regine Olsen, but broke off the engagement, saying that he was unsuited to marriage. His general state of melancholy had a profound effect Rollo May 141 ■ R.D. Laing 150–51 his old self. In both his desire and accomplishment, he wants to “be rid of” his self. This disavowal of the self is painful: despair is overwhelming when a man wants to shun himself—when he “does not possess himself; he is not himself.” However, Kierkegaard did offer a solution. He concluded that a man can ﬁnd peace and inner harmony by ﬁnding the courage to be his true self, rather than wanting to be someone else. “To will to be that self which one truly is, is indeed the opposite of despair,” he said. He believed that despair evaporates when we stop denying who we really are and attempt to uncover and accept our true nature. Kierkegaard’s emphasis on individual responsibility, and the need to ﬁnd one’s true essence and purpose in life, is frequently regarded as the beginning of existentialist philosophy. His ideas led directly to R.D. Laing’s use of existential therapy, and have inﬂuenced the humanistic therapies practiced by clinical psychologists such as Carl Rogers. ■ on his life. A solitary ﬁgure, his main recreational activities included walking the streets to chat with strangers, and taking long carriage rides alone into the countryside. Kierkegaard collapsed in the street on October 2, 1855, and died on November 11 in Friedrich’s Hospital, Copenhagen. Key works 1843 Fear and Trembling 1843 Either/Or 1844 The Concept of Anxiety 1849 The Sickness Unto Death 28 PERSONALITY IS COMPOSED OF NATURE AND NURTURE FRANCIS GALTON (1822–1911) Personality is composed of elements from two different sources. IN CONTEXT APPROACH Bio-psychology BEFORE 1690 British philosopher John Locke proposes that the mind of every child is a tabula rasa, or blank slate, and hence we are all born equal. Nurture is that which is experienced from birth onward. Nature is that which is inborn and inherited, and… 1859 Biologist Charles Darwin suggests that all human development is the result of adaptation to the environment. 1890 William James claims that people have genetically inherited individual tendencies, or “instincts.” AFTER 1925 Behaviorist John B. Watson says there is “no such thing as inheritance of capacity, talent, temperament, or mental constitution”. 1940s Nazi Germany seeks to create a “master Aryan race” through eugenics. We can improve our skills and abilities through training and learning, but… …nature sets the limits to how far we can develop our talents. Nature and nurture both play a part, but nature is the determining factor. F rancis Galton counted many gifted individuals among his relatives, including the evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. So it’s not surprising that Galton was interested in the extent to which abilities are either inborn or learned. He was the ﬁrst person to identify “nature” and “nurture” as two separate inﬂuences whose effects could be measured and compared, maintaining that these two elements alone were responsible for determining personality. In 1869, he used his own family tree, as well as those of “judges, statesmen, PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 29 See also: John B. Watson 66–71 ■ Zing-Yang Kuo 75 ■ G. Stanley Hall 46–47 ■ Eleanor E. Maccoby 284–85 ■ Raymond Cattell 314–15 Characteristics cling to families. Francis Galton commanders, scientists, literary men… diviners, oarsmen, and wrestlers,” to research inherited traits for his book Hereditary Genius. As predicted, he found more highly talented individuals in certain families than among the general population. However, he could not safely attribute this to nature alone, as there were also conferred beneﬁts from growing up in a privileged home environment. Galton himself grew up in a wealthy household with access to unusually good educational resources. A necessary balance Galton proposed a number of other studies, including the ﬁrst large survey by questionnaire, which was sent out to members of the Royal Society to inquire about their interests and afﬁliations. Publishing his results in English Men of Science, he claimed that where nature and nurture are forced to compete, nature triumphs. External inﬂuences can make an impression, he says, but nothing can “efface the deeper marks of individual character.” However, he insists that both nature and nurture are essential in forming personality, since even the highest natural endowments may be “starved by defective nurture.” Intelligence, he says, is inherited, but must be fostered through education. In 1875, Galton undertook a study of 159 pairs of twins. He found that they did not follow the “normal” distribution of similarity between siblings, in which they are moderately alike, but were always extremely similar or extremely dissimilar. What really surprised him was that the degree of similarity never changed over time. He had anticipated that a shared upbringing would lessen dissimilarity between twins as they grew up, but found that this was not the case. Nurture seemed to play no role at all. The “nature–nurture debate” continues to this day. Some people have favored Galton’s theories, including his notion—now known as eugenics—that people could be “bred” like horses to promote certain characteristics. Others have preferred to believe that every baby is a tabula rasa, or “blank slate,” and we are all born equal. Most psychologists today recognize that nature and nurture are both crucially important in human development, and interact in complex ways. ■ Francis Galton Sir Francis Galton was a polymath who wrote proliﬁcally on many subjects, including anthropology, criminology (classifying ﬁngerprints), geography, meteorology, biology, and psychology. Born in Birmingham, England, into a wealthy Quaker family, he was a child prodigy, able to read from the age of two. He studied medicine in London and Birmingham, then mathematics at Cambridge, but his study was cut short by a mental breakdown, worsened by his father’s death in 1844. Galton turned to traveling and inventing. His marriage in 1853 to Louisa Jane Butler lasted 43 years, but was childless. He devoted his life to measuring physical and psychological characteristics, devising mental tests, and writing. He received many awards and honors in recognition of his numerous achievements, including several honorary degrees and a knighthood. Key works Galton’s study of twins looked for resemblances in many ways, including height, weight, hair and eye color, and disposition. Handwriting was the only aspect in which twins always differed. 1869 Hereditary Genius 1874 English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture 1875 The History of Twins 30 THE LAWS OF HYSTERIA ARE UNIVERSAL JEAN-MARTIN CHARCOT (1825–1893) IN CONTEXT APPROACH Neurological science BEFORE 1900 BCE The Egyptian Kahun Papyrus recounts behaviorial disturbances in women caused by a “wandering uterus.” c.400 BCE Greek physician Hippocrates invents the term “hysteria” for certain women’s illnesses in his book, On the Diseases of Women. 1662 English physician Thomas Willis performs autopsies on “hysterical” women, and ﬁnds no sign of uterine pathology. AFTER 1883 Alfred Binet joins Charcot at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, and later writes about Charcot’s use of hypnotism to treat hysteria. 1895 Sigmund Freud, a former student of Charcot, publishes Studies on Hysteria. K nown as the founder of modern neurology, French physician Jean-Martin Charcot was interested in the relationship between psychology and physiology. During the 1860s and 1870s, he studied “hysteria,” a term then used to describe extreme emotional behavior in women, thought to be caused by problems with the uterus (hystera in Greek). Symptoms included excessive laughing or crying, wild bodily movements and contortions, fainting, paralysis, convulsions, and temporary blindness and deafness. From observing thousands of cases of hysteria at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, Charcot deﬁned “The Laws of Hysteria,” believing that he understood the disease completely. He claimed that hysteria was a lifelong, inherited condition and its symptoms were triggered by shock. In 1882, Charcot stated: “In the [hysterical] ﬁt… everything unfolds according to the rules, which are always the same; they are valid for all countries, for all epochs, for all races, and are, in short, universal.” See also: Alfred Binet 50–53 ■ Charcot suggested that hysteria’s similarity to a physical disease warranted a search for a biological cause, but his contemporaries dismissed his ideas. Some even believed that Charcot’s “hysterics” were merely acting out behavior that Charcot had suggested to them. But one student of Charcot, Sigmund Freud, was convinced of hysteria’s status as a physical illness, and was intrigued by it. It is the ﬁrst disease Freud describes in his theory of psychoanalysis. ■ Charcot gave lectures on hysteria at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. He believed hysteria always followed ordered, clearly structured phases, and could be cured by hypnotism. Pierre Janet 54–55 ■ Sigmund Freud 92–99 PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 31 A PECULIAR DESTRUCTION OF THE INTERNAL CONNECTIONS OF THE PSYCHE EMIL KRAEPELIN (1856–1926) IN CONTEXT APPROACH Medical psychiatry BEFORE C.50 BCE Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius uses the term “dementia” to mean “being out of one’s mind.” 1874 Wilhelm Wundt, Kraepelin’s tutor, publishes Principles of Physiological Psychology. AFTER 1908 Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler coins the term “schizophrenia,” from the Greek words skhizein (to split) and phren (the mind). 1948 The World Health Authority (WHO) includes Kraepelin’s classiﬁcations of mental illnesses in its International Classiﬁcation of Diseases (ICD). 1950s Chlorpromazine, the ﬁrst antipsychotic drug, is used to treat schizophrenia. G erman physician Emil Kraepelin believed that the origins of most mental illnesses are biological, and he is often regarded as the founder of modern medical psychiatry. In his Textbook of Psychiatry, published in 1883, Kraepelin offered a detailed classiﬁcation of mental illnesses, including “dementia praecox,” meaning “early dementia,” to distinguish it from late-onset dementia, such as Alzheimer’s. Schizophrenia In 1893, Kraepelin described dementia praecox, now called schizophrenia, as consisting “of a series of clinical states which hold as their common a peculiar destruction of the internal connections of the psychic personality.” He observed that the illness, characterized by confusion and antisocial behavior, often starts in the late teens or early adulthood. Kraepelin later divided it into four subcategories. The ﬁrst, “simple” dementia, is marked by slow decline and withdrawal. The See also: Wilhelm Wundt 32–37 ■ second, paranoia, manifests in patients as a state of fear and persecution; they report being “spied upon” or “talked about.” The third, hebephrenia, is marked by incoherent speech, and often by inappropriate emotional reactions and behavior, such as laughing loudly at a sad situation. The fourth category, catatonia, is marked by extremely limited movement and expression, often in the form of either rigidness, such as sitting in the same position for hours, or excessive activity, such as rocking backward and forward repeatedly. Kraepelin’s classiﬁcation still forms the basis of schizophrenia diagnosis. In addition, postmortem investigations have shown that there are biochemical and structural brain abnormalities, as well as impairments of brain function, in schizophrenia sufferers. Kraepelin’s belief that a great number of mental illnesses are strictly biological in origin exerted a lasting inﬂuence on the ﬁeld of psychiatry, and many mental disorders are still managed with medication today. ■ R.D. Laing 150–51 THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MENTAL LIFE DATE FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF LIFE WILHELM WUNDT (1832–1920) 34 WILHELM WUNDT IN CONTEXT APPROACH Experimental psychology BEFORE 5th century Ancient Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato claim that animals have a low level, distinctly nonhuman consciousness. 1630s René Descartes says that animals are automata without feeling. 1859 British biologist Charles Darwin links humans to animal ancestors. AFTER 1949 Konrad Lorenz changes the way people see animals by showing their similarities to humans in King Solomon’s Ring. 2001 American zoologist Donald Grifﬁn argues in Animal Minds that animals have a sense of the future, complex memory, and perhaps consciousness itself. T he idea that nonhuman animals have minds and are capable of some form of thought dates back to the ancient Greek philosophers. Aristotle believed that there are three kinds of mind: plant, animal, and human. The plant mind is concerned only with nutrition and growth. The animal mind has these functions, but can also experience sensations, such as pain, pleasure, and desire, as well as initiating motion. The human mind can do all this and reason; Aristotle claims that only humans have self-awareness and are capable of higher-level cognition. Consciousness is “inner experience.” So all psychology must begin with self-observation… Every living being has this inner experience. …recorded through experimentation designed to expose involuntary reactions. Every living being must always have had this inner experience. This yields quantitative data about consciousness. The beginnings of the mental life date from the beginnings of life. Psychology is the scientiﬁc study of the mental life. The similarity of humans to animals was a critical issue for philosophers, but even more so for psychologists. In the 15th century, the French philosopher René Descartes claimed that animals are no more than reﬂex-driven, complex machines. If Descartes was correct, observing animals could tell us nothing about our own behavior. However, when Charles Darwin asserted some 200 years later that humans are linked to other animals genetically, and that consciousness operates from the creatures at the very lowest end of the evolutionary scale to ourselves, it became clear that experiments on animals might be revealing. This was the position held by the German physician, philosopher, and psychologist Wilhelm Wundt, who described a continuum of life from even the smallest animals to ourselves. In his book Principles of Physiological Psychology, he claimed that consciousness is a universal possession of all living organisms, and has been since the evolutionary process began. To Wundt, the very deﬁnition of life includes having some kind of mind. He declared: “From the standpoint of observation, then, we must regard it as a highly probable PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 35 See also: René Descartes 20–21 B.F. Skinner 78–85 ■ William James 38–45 ■ Edward Thorndike 62–65 The beginnings of a differentiation of mental function can be found even in the protozoa. Wilhelm Wundt Even single-celled organisms have some form of consciousness, according to Wundt. He suggested the amoeba’s ability to devour food items indicates a continuity of mental processes. hypothesis that the beginnings of the mental life date from as far back as the beginnings of life at large. The question of the origin of mental development thus resolves itself into the question of the origin of life.” Wundt went on to say that even simple organisms such as protozoa have some form of mind. This last claim is surprising today, when few people would expect a single-celled animal to demonstrate even simple mental abilities, but it was even more surprising when ﬁrst stated more than 100 years ago. Wundt was keen to test out his theories, and he is often called “the father of experimental psychology” because he set up the world’s ﬁrst formal laboratory of experimental psychology in Leipzig University, Germany, in 1879. He wanted to carry out systematic research on the mind and behavior of humans, initially through subjecting the basic sensory processes to close examination. His laboratory inspired other universities in the US and Europe to set up psychology departments, many of which were modeled on his original laboratory and were led by pupils such as Edward Titchener and James Cattell. Observing behavior Wundt believed that “the exact description of consciousness is the sole aim of experimental psychology.” Although he understood consciousness as an “inner experience,” he was only interested in the “immediately real” or apparent form of this experience. This ultimately led him to the study of behavior, which could be studied and quantiﬁed by “direct observation.” Wundt said that there are two types of observation: external and internal. External observation is used to record events that are visible in the external world, and is useful in assessing relationships such as cause and effect on Wundt’s laboratory set the style for psychology departments around the world. His experiments moved psychology out of the domain of philosophy and into science. ■ John B. Watson 66–71 ■ physical bodies—for example, in stimulus and response experiments. If a nerve ﬁber in a dead frog is given a small electric shock, the connecting muscles twitch, causing the legs to move. The fact that this happens even in a dead animal illustrates that such movements can occur without any consciousness. In living creatures, such actions are the basis of the automatic behavior that we call “reﬂexes,” such as immediately moving your hand when you touch something hot. Wundt’s second type of observation, termed “introspection” or “self-observation,” is internal observation. This involves noticing and recording internal events such as thoughts and feelings. It is crucial in research because it provides information about how the mind is working. Wundt was interested in the relationship between the inner and outer worlds, which he did not see as mutually exclusive, but as interactive, describing it as ❯❯ 36 WILHELM WUNDT “physical and psychical.” He began to concentrate on the study of human sensations, such as the visual sensation of light, because these are the agencies that link the external physical world and the internal mental world. In one experiment, Wundt asked individuals to report on their sensations when shown a light signal—which was standardized to a speciﬁc color and a certain level of brightness, and shone for a ﬁxed length of time. This ensured that each participant experienced exactly the same stimulus, enabling responses of different participants to be compared and the experiment to be repeated at a later date, if required. In insisting upon this possibility for replication, Wundt set the standard for all future psychological experiments. In his sensory experiments, Wundt set out to explore human consciousness in a measurable way. He refused to see it as an unknowable, subjective experience that is unique to each individual. In the light-response experiments, he was particularly interested in the amount of time between a person receiving some form of stimulus and making a voluntary reaction to it (rather than an involuntary one), The exact description of consciousness is the sole aim of experimental psychology. Wilhelm Wundt Our sensations provide details of shape, size, color, smell, and texture, but when these are internalized, Wundt says, they are compounded into complex representations, such as a face. and he used various instruments to measure this response exactly. He was also just as interested to hear what his participants reported in common as he was in apparent individual differences. Pure sensations, Wundt suggested, have three components: quality, intensity, and “feeling-tone.” For example, a certain perfume may have a sweet odor (quality) that is distinct but faint (intensity) and is pleasant to smell (feeling-tone), while a dead rat might give off a nauseating (quality), strong (intensity) stench (feeling-tone). All consciousness originates in sensations, he said, but these are not internalized as “pure” sensory data; they are perceived as already collected or compounded into representations, such as a dead rat. Wundt called these “images of an object or of a process in the external world.” So, for example, if we see a face with certain features—mouth shape, eye color, nose size, and so on—we may recognize the face as a person we know. Categories of consciousness Based on his sensory experiments, Wundt claimed that consciousness consists of three major categories of actions—representation, willing, and feeling—which together form an impression of a unitary ﬂow of events. Representations are either “perceptions,” if they represent an image in the mind of an object perceived in the external world (such as a tree within eyesight), or “intuitions” if they represent a subjective activity (such as remembering a tree, or imagining a unicorn). He named the process through which a perception or intuition becomes clear in consciousness “apperception.” So, for example, you may perceive a sudden loud noise and then apperceive that it is a warning sign, meaning that you are about to be hit by a car if you don’t get out of the way quickly enough. The willing category of consciousness is characterized by the way it intervenes in the external world; it expresses our volition, or “will,” from raising an arm to choosing to wear red. This form of consciousness is beyond experimental control or measurement. However, Wundt found that the third category of consciousness, feeling, could be measured through subjective reports from experimental PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 37 participants, or through measuring levels of behavior such as tension and relaxation or excitement. Cultural psychology For Wundt, the psychological development of a person is determined not only by sensations but also by complex social and cultural inﬂuences, which cannot be replicated or controlled in an experimental situation. He included religion, language, myths, history, art, laws, and customs among these inﬂuences, discussing them in a ten-volume work, Cultural Psychology, which he wrote during the last 20 years of his life. Wundt saw language as an especially important part of culture’s contribution to consciousness. Any verbal communication begins with a “general impression,” or uniﬁed idea of something we wish to say. Having “apperceived” this general starting point, we then choose words and sentences to express it. While speaking, we monitor the accuracy of the intended meaning. We might say, “No, that’s not right, I mean…,” and then choose a different word or phrase to express ourselves better. Whoever is listening has to Wilhelm Wundt In the course of normal speaking… the will is continuously directed to bringing the course of ideas and the articulatory movements into harmony with each other. Wilhelm Wundt understand the meaning that the speaker is trying to convey, but the actual words may not be as important as the general impression, especially if strong emotions are involved. As evidence of the fact that we use this process, Wundt points out that we often remember the general meaning of what a person has said long after we’ve forgotten the speciﬁc words that were used. The ability to use true language, as opposed to just exchanging limited signs and signals, is today Born in Baden (now Mannheim) Germany, Wilhelm Wundt was the fourth child in a family with a long history of intellectual achievement. His father was a Lutheran minister. The young Wundt was allowed little time for play, as he was pushed through a rigorous educational regime, attending a strict Catholic school from the age of 13. He went on to study at the universities of Berlin, Tübingen, and Heidelberg, graduating in medicine in 1856. Two years later, Wundt became assistant to the physician Hermann von Helmholtz, who was famous considered by many psychologists to be a key difference between human beings and the rest of the animal kingdom. There may be a few exceptions, including nonhuman primates such as chimpanzees, but language is generally considered to be a human ability that is very important in consciousness. Consciousness and species The deﬁnition of consciousness continues to be debated, but it has not fundamentally changed since Wundt. The level of consciousness within animals has not yet been established, and this has led to the formation of special Codes of Ethics for animal experiments, intensive farming, and blood sports such as fox hunting and bull ﬁghting. Of particular concern is whether animals experience discomfort, fear, and pain in ways that resemble the form in which we feel them ourselves. The fundamental question of which animals have self-awareness or consciousness remains unanswered, although few psychologists today would assume, as Wundt did, that it applies even to the microscopic protozoa. ■ for his work on visual perception. While at Heidelberg, Wundt started teaching the world’s ﬁrst course in experimental psychology, and in 1879 opened the ﬁrst psychology laboratory. Wundt wrote over 490 works and was probably the world’s most proliﬁc scientiﬁc writer. Key works 1863 Lectures on the Mind of Humans and Animals 1896 Outline of Psychology 1873 Principles of Physiological Psychology WE KNOW THE MEANING OF “CONSCIOUSNESS” SO LONG AS NO ONE ASKS US TO DEFINE IT WILLIAM JAMES (1842–1910) 40 WILLIAM JAMES IN CONTEXT APPROACH Analysis of consciousness BEFORE 1641 René Descartes deﬁnes consciousness of self in terms of the ability to think. 1690 English philosopher and physician John Locke deﬁnes consciousness as “the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind.” 1781 German philosopher Immanuel Kant states that simultaneous events are experienced as a “unity of consciousness.” AFTER 1923 Max Wertheimer in Laws of Organization in Perceptual Forms shows how the mind actively interprets images. 1925 John B. Watson dismisses consciousness as “neither a deﬁnite nor a usable concept.” William James T he term “consciousness” is generally used to refer to an individual’s awareness of his or her own thoughts, including sensations, feelings, and memories. We usually take this awareness for granted, except when we are having difﬁculties—such as trying to do something when we are very tired. But if you focus your thoughts on your consciousness, you soon become aware that your conscious experiences are constantly changing. While reading this book, for example, you may be reminded of past experiences or present discomforts that interrupt your concentration; plans for the future may spontaneously spring to mind. Thinking about your conscious experiences makes you realize just how much your thoughts are changing, and yet they seem to come together, merging and carrying on smoothly as a whole. American psychologist William James compared these everyday experiences of consciousness to a stream that continuously ﬂows, despite the odd interruption and change of direction. He declared: “A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ are the metaphors by which it is most William James was born in 1842 to a wealthy and inﬂuential New York family, and traveled widely as a child, attending schools in both Europe and the US. James showed early artistic ability and initially pursued a career as a painter, but his growing interest in science eventually led to him to enrol at Harvard University in 1861. By 1864, he had moved to Harvard Medical School, although his studies were interrupted by bouts of physical illness and depression. He ﬁnally qualiﬁed as a physician in 1869, but never practiced medicine. Consciousness… does not appear to itself chopped up in bits… It is nothing jointed; it ﬂows. William James naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness….” James’s famous description of the “stream... of consciousness” is one that almost everyone can identify with, because we all experience it. Yet, at the same time, James points out that it is very hard to actually deﬁne: “When I say every thought is part of a personal consciousness, ‘personal consciousness’ is one of the terms in question… to give an accurate account of it is the most difﬁcult of philosophic tasks.” In 1873, James returned to Harvard, where he became a professor of both philosophy and psychology. He set up the ﬁrst experimental psychology courses in the US, playing a key role in establishing psychology as a truly scientiﬁc discipline. He retired in 1907, and died peacefully at his home in New Hampshire in 1910. Key works 1890 The Principles of Psychology 1892 Psychology 1897 The Will to Believe PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 41 See also: René Descartes 20–21 ■ Wilhelm Wundt 32–37 ■ John B. Watson 66–71 Fritz Perls 112–17 ■ Wolfgang Köhler 160–61 ■ Max Wertheimer 335 This “most difﬁcult of philosophic tasks” has a long history. The ancient Greeks discussed the mind, but did not use the term “consciousness” or any equivalent. However, there was debate as to whether something separate from the body exists at all. In the fourth century BCE, Plato made a distinction between the soul and body, but Aristotle argued that even if there is a distinction, the two cannot be separated. ■ Sigmund Freud 92–99 ■ Consciousness seems to be a stream of thoughts. These thoughts are entirely separate from each other… Each thought follows one after another… Early deﬁnitions René Descartes, in the mid-17th century, was one of the ﬁrst philosophers to attempt to describe consciousness, proposing that it resides in an immaterial domain he called “the realm of thought,” in contrast to the physical domain of material things, which he called “the realm of extension.” However, the ﬁrst person accredited with the modern concept of consciousness as an ongoing passage of individual perceptions is the 17th-century English philosopher John Locke. James was drawn to Locke’s idea of passing perceptions and also to the work of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant was impressed by the way our experiences come together, noting that if we hear a noise and feel pain at the same time, we typically experience these as one event. He called this the “unity of consciousness,” a concept that inﬂuenced many later philosophers, including William James. James felt the most important point about consciousness is that it is not a “thing” but a process—it is what the brain does to “steer a nervous system grown too complex to regulate itself.” It allows us to ❯❯ …and yet somehow they combine to give us a sense of uniﬁed consciousness. This is because thoughts that enter our awareness at the same time form a “pulse” within the stream of consciousness. These pulses jolt us from one conclusion (or “resting place”) to another... ...but continue to stream onward. We know the meaning of “consciousness” so long as no one asks us to deﬁne it. Our consciousness is constantly evolving. 42 WILLIAM JAMES No-one ever had a simple sensation by itself: consciousness… is of a teeming multiplicity of objects and relations. William James reﬂect upon the past, present, and future, to plan and adapt to circumstances and so fulﬁll what he believed was the prime purpose of consciousness—to stay alive. But James found it hard to imagine the structure of a uniﬁed consciousness. He likened it to a group of 12 men: “Take a dozen can I words, take twelve men, and to each give one word. Then stand the men in a row or jam, and let each think of his word as intently as he will; nowhere will there be a consciousness of the whole sentence.” If consciousness is a stream of distinct thoughts, James struggled to see how these combine. As he said, “The idea of a plus the idea of b is not identical with the idea of (a + b).” Two thoughts added together cannot be made into one idea. They are more likely to form an entirely new idea. For example, if thought a is “it’s nine o’clock,” and thought b is “the train leaves at 9:02,” thought c—“I’m going to miss my train!”—might follow. Combining thoughts James concluded that the simplest way to understand how thoughts within the stream of consciousness might combine to make sense is to suppose “that things that are known together are known in single pulses of that stream.” Some one think only of The 12-word sentence problem was used by James to illustrate his difﬁculty in grasping how a uniﬁed consciousness stems from separate thoughts. If each man is aware of just one word, how can there be a consciousness of the whole sentence? thoughts, or sensations, he believed, are unavoidably connected, like Kant’s example of hearing a noise and feeling pain at precisely the same time, because any thoughts that enter our awareness during the same moment of time combine to form a pulse, or current, within the stream. We may have many of these currents ﬂowing through our consciousness, some fast and some slow. James stated that there are even resting points, where we pause to form pictures in our minds, which can be held and contemplated at length. He called the resting places “substantive parts,” and the moving currents the “transitive parts,” claiming that our thinking is constantly being dislodged from one substantive part toward another, propelled by the transitive parts, or current. We are, therefore, effectively “bumped” from one conclusion to another by the constant stream of thoughts, whose purpose is to pull us ever forward in this way. There is no but word sentence the not whole PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 43 Dots of pure color make up this work by the French Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat. Yet our brain combines these separate elements so that what we see is a human ﬁgure. ﬁnal conclusion; consciousness is not a thing but a process, which is constantly evolving. James also drew attention to the personal nature of consciousness, stating that thoughts do not exist independently of a thinker—they are your thoughts or mine. Each one is “owned” by someone, and never “comes into direct sight of a thought in another personal consciousness than its own.” And it is these thoughts “connected as we feel them to be connected” that form the self. As thoughts cannot be divided from the self, James said that investigating this self should be the starting point of psychology. Experimental psychologists did not agree, because “the self” cannot be offered up for experimentation, but James thought it was enough to work with our understanding of a self that does certain things and feels in certain ways. He called this the “empirical self,” which manifests itself through its behavior, and suggested that it consists of several parts—the material self, spiritual self, and social self—each of which can be studied through introspection. Theory of emotion In the early stages of his research into consciousness, James realized that the emotions play an important role in our daily lives, and went on to develop, with his colleague Carl Lange, a theory about how they relate to our actions and behavior. What was to become known as the James–Lange Theory of Emotion states that emotions arise from your conscious mind’s perception of your physiological condition. To illustrate this theory, James used the example of seeing a bear, then running away. It is not the case that you see the bear, feel afraid, and then run away because of the fear. What is really happening is that you see the bear and run away, and the conscious feeling of fear is caused by the action of running. This contradicts what most people might think, but James’s view was that the mind’s perception of the physical effects of running—rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, and perspiring heavily— is translated into the emotion of fear. Another example, according to his theory, would be that you feel happy because you are conscious that you are smiling; it is not that you feel happy ﬁrst, and then smile. Pragmatism Related to James’s theories about consciousness is his approach to the way we believe things to be true or not. He stated that “truths emerge from facts... but... the ‘facts’ themselves are not true; they simply are. Truth is the function of the beliefs that start and terminate among them.” ❯❯ 44 WILLIAM JAMES Curies’ scientiﬁc knowledge had been questioned and modiﬁed, but its core truths remained intact. Further studies There is but one indefectibly certain truth… the truth that the present phenomenon of consciousness exists. William James James deﬁned “true beliefs” as those that the believer ﬁnds useful. This emphasis on the usefulness of beliefs lies at the heart of the American philosophical tradition of pragmatism, which was central to James’s thinking. In the course of our lives, James claimed that we are continually testing “truths” against each other, and our conscious beliefs keep changing, as “old truths” are modiﬁed, and sometimes replaced by “new truths.” This theory is particularly relevant to the way that all scientiﬁc research, including psychology, progresses. James cited the discovery of the radioactive element radium by Pierre and Marie Curie in 1902 as an example. In the course of their investigations, the Curies found that radium appeared to give off unlimited amounts of energy, which “seemed for a moment to contradict our ideas of the whole order of nature.” However, after conscious consideration of this revelation, they concluded that “although it extends our old ideas of energy, it causes a minimum of alteration in their nature.” In this instance, the The period following James’s death saw the rise of the behaviorist movement, and a decline of interest in consciousness. Consequently, little theorizing on the subject happened from around the start of the 1920s up until the 1950s. One important exception was the German-based Gestalt movement, which emphasized that the brain operates in a holistic way, taking account of whole conscious experiences, rather than separate events—just as when we look at a picture, we see not just separate dots, lines, and shapes, but a meaningful whole. This concept is behind the now famous Gestalt phrase: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” Since the 1980s, however, psychologists and neuroscientists have developed a new ﬁeld of research called “consciousness studies,” focusing on two main areas of interest: the content of consciousness, as reported by people who are considered to be normal and healthy; and the consciousness of people whose state of awareness has been impaired in some way. The latter group includes cases, such as when the subject is in a “persistent vegetative state” (PVS)—in which patients in a coma are awake and breathing independently, but have apparently lost all higher brain functions. The goal with both paths of research is to try to ﬁnd ways of Pierre and Marie Curie’s research, like most scientiﬁc work, modiﬁed, rather than totally contradicted, earlier theories. New “truths,” James claimed, constantly modify our basic beliefs in a similar way. assessing consciousness as objectively as possible, and to understand its underlying mechanisms—both physical and psychological. Modern neuroscience has demonstrated that there are mechanisms of consciousness. By the closing years of the 20th century, the British molecular biologist and biophysicist Francis Crick was claiming that consciousness is related to a speciﬁc part of the brain—the prefrontal cortex area, which is involved in thought processes such as planning, problem-solving, and the control of behavior. Research carried out by the Colombian neuroscientist Rodolfo Linas links consciousness to the activities of the thalamus in conjunction with the cerebral cortex. The thalamus, a structure embedded deep in the center of the brain, is responsible for regulating vibrations inside the brain at certain frequencies; if these regular rhythms are disrupted—by an infection or genetic causes—then an individual may experience neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, as well as psychological conditions, such as depression. PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 45 MRI scans of the brain have helped to identify structures such as the thalamus, seen in the center of this scan, that appear to have links to consciousness. But when it comes to deﬁnitions of consciousness, modern attempts still remain vague and difﬁcult to apply. For example, the American neuroscientist Antonio Damasio calls consciousness “the feeling of what happens,” and deﬁnes it as “an organism’s awareness of its own self and its surroundings.” As William James suggested, more than 100 years earlier, consciousness is hard to deﬁne. Lasting legacy An edited version of James’s 1890 book, The Principles of Psychology, is still in print, and his ideas have been a major inﬂuence on many psychologists, as well as other scientists and thinkers. The application of his pragmatic philosophy to facts—concentrating not on what is “true” but on what it is “useful to believe”—has helped psychology move on from the question of whether the mind and body are separate or not to a more useful study of mental processes, such as attention, memory, reasoning, imagination, and intention. James claimed his approach helped to move philosophers and psychologists “away from abstraction, ﬁxed principles, closed systems, and pretended absolutes and origins, towards facts, action, and power.” His insistence on focusing on the wholeness of events, including the effects of different environments on our actions—in contrast to the introspective, structuralist approach of breaking down our experiences into small details—has also shaped our understanding of behavior. Before James started teaching the subject at Harvard in 1875, there were no independent psychology courses available in any American university. But within 20 years, around 24 colleges and universities in the US had recognized psychology as a distinct academic discipline, and were offering degrees in the subject. Three specialist psychology journals were also founded in that time, and a professional organization— the American Psychological Association—was formed. James introduced experimental psychology to America, despite claiming to “hate experimental work.” He did so because he had come to realize that it was the best way to prove or disprove a theory. But he continued to value the use of introspection as a tool of discovery, especially of mental processes. The shift in the perception of psychology and its concerns from being considered, “a nasty little subject” (in James’s words) into a vastly beneﬁcial discipline owes much to his work. In 1977, in a speech celebrating the 75th anniversary of the formation of the American Psychological Association, David Krech, then Professor Emeritus in psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, referred to James as the “father of psychology.” ■ All these consciousnesses melt into each other like dissolving views. Properly they are but one protracted consciousness, one unbroken stream. William James 46 ADOLESCENCE IS A NEW BIRTH G. STANLEY HALL (1844–1924) IN CONTEXT APPROACH Human development BEFORE 1905 Sigmund Freud, in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, claims the teenage years are the “genital stage.” AFTER 1928 American anthropologist Margaret Mead, in Coming of Age in Samoa, declares that adolescence is only recognized as a distinct stage of human development in Western society. 1950 Erik Erikson, in Childhood and Society, describes adolescence as the stage of “Identity vs. Role Confusion,” coining the term “identity crisis.” 1983 In Margaret Mead and Samoa, New Zealand anthropologist Derek Freeman disputes Mead’s claim that adolescence is merely a socially constructed concept. Human development is determined by nature: it is a repetition of our “ancestral record.” A child has animallike dispositions and goes through several growth stages. At adolescence, the evolutionary momentum subsides; this is a time for individual change. During this wild, lawless time, teenagers are increasingly sensitive, reckless, self-conscious, and prone to depression. The child then emerges as an adult: a more civilized, “higher-order” being. Adolescence is a new birth. PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS 47 See also: Francis Galton 28–29 Erik Erikson 272–73 ■ Wilhelm Wundt 32–37 T he word “adolescence” literally means “growing up” (from the Latin adolescere). In theory, it describes a distinct stage between childhood and adulthood, but in practice often simply deﬁnes the “teenage” years. In most Western societies, the idea of adolescence was not recognized until the 20th century; childhood ended and adulthood began at a certain age—typically at 18. Pioneering psychologist and educator, G. Stanley Hall, in his 1904 book Adolescence, was the ﬁrst academic to explore the subject. Hall was inﬂuenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution, believing that all childhoods, especially with regard to behavior and early physical development, reﬂect the course of evolutionary change, and that we each develop in accordance with our “ancestral record.” One key inﬂuence on Hall was the 18th-century Sturm und Drang (“Storm and Stress”) movement of German writers and musicians, which promoted total freedom of expression. Hall referred to adolescence as “Sturm und Drang;” he considered it a stage of emotional turmoil and rebellion, with behavior ranging from quiet moodiness to wild risk-taking. Adolescence, he stated, “craves strong feelings and new sensations… monotony, routine, and detail are intolerable.” Awareness of self and the environment greatly increases; everything is more keenly felt, and sensation is sought for its own sake. Modern echoes Many of Hall’s ﬁndings are echoed in research today. Hall believed that adolescents are highly susceptible to depression, and described a ■ Sigmund Freud 92–99 ■ “curve of despondency” that starts at the age of 11, peaks at 15, then falls steadily until the age of 23. Modern research acknowledges a similar pattern. The causes of depression that Hall identiﬁed are startlingly familiar: suspicion of being disliked and having seemingly insuperable character faults, and “the fancy of hopeless love.” He believed the self-consciousness of adolescence leads to self-criticism and censoriousness of self and others. This view mirrors later studies, which argue that teenagers’ advanced reasoning skills allow them to “read between the lines,” while also magnifying their sensitivity to situations. Even Hall’s claim that criminal activity is more prevalent in the teenage years, peaking around 18, still holds true. But Hall was not totally negative about adolescence. As he wrote in Youth: Its Education, Regiment, and Hygiene, “Adolescence is a new birth, for the higher and more completely human traits are now born.” So, for Hall, adolescence was in fact a necessary beginning of something much better. ■ Adolescence is when the very worst and best impulses in the human soul struggle against each other for possession. G. Stanley Hall G. Stanley Hall Born into a farming family in Ashﬁeld, Massachusetts, Granville Stanley Hall graduated from Williams College, Massachusetts in 1867. His plans to travel were thwarted through lack of funds, so he followed his mother’s wish and studied theology for a year in New York, before moving to Germany. On Hall’s return to America in 1870, he studied with William James for four years at Harvard, gaining the ﬁrst psychology PhD in the US. He then returned to Germany for two years to work with Wilhelm Wundt in his Leipzig laboratory. In 1882, Hall became a professor at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, where he set up the ﬁrst US laboratory speciﬁcally for psychology. He also launched the American Journal of Psychology in 1887, and became the ﬁrst president of the American Psychological Association in