Cal Poly Pomona PSY 410 - CHAPTER 10 FUNCTIONALISM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO (35 pages)

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CHAPTER 10 FUNCTIONALISM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO



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CHAPTER 10 FUNCTIONALISM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AND COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Dr Nancy Alvarado Functionalists Unlike the Structuralist and Gestalt schools Functionalism did not have a single leader Functionalism was intended to be an inclusive pragmatic useful American psychology Major American functionalists are John Dewey James Rowland Angell Harvey A Carr Woodworth Thorndike were sympathetic to it Today nearly all psychologists are functionalists John Dewey 1859 1952 Dewey was not only a psychologist but also an important philosopher and educational innovator social critic and commentator He represented New England values all his life After graduating from Univ of Vermont Dewey taught public high school for 2 years Teachers taught all subjects there were no required qualifications Discipline was physical kids were expected to sit quietly until called learn by rote and ask no questions John Dewey Dewey at Johns Hopkins Mich Dewey was a grad student under G Stanley Hall Classmates were Woodrow Wilson Cattell Following graduation he became an instructor at the Univ of Michigan teaching philosophy psychology He wrote Psychology in 1887 which was overshadowed by W James Principles in 1890 He published an assessment of language development in children one of his few empirical studies in 1894 It was probably based on his own children Dewey s Functionalism In 1894 Dewey became chair at Univ of Chicago Dewey s dept included psychology pedagogy In 1896 he published The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology emphasizing the adaptive value of mind and consciousness He criticized stimulus response and sensation idea dichotomies saying that responses and ideas always occur in a functional context child reaching for flame We must consider how the response adjusts to the environment the stimulus s psychological value W James s Reflex Arc Example Suppose now these assumptions being granted that we have a baby before us who sees a candle flame for the first time and by virtue of a reflex tendency common in babies of a certain age extends his hand to grasp it so that his fingers get burned So far we have two reflex currents in play first from the eye to the extension movement along the line 1 1 1 1 of Fig 3 and second from the finger to the movement of drawing back the hand along the line 2 2 2 2 If this were the baby s whole nervous system and if the reflexes were once for all organic we should have no alteration in his behavior no matter how often the experience recurred The retinal image of the flame would always make the arm shoot forward the burning of the finger would always send it back But we know that the burnt child dreads the fire and that one experience usually protects the fingers forever Dewey s View of Education Dewey considered himself a democratic evolutionist Culture education government make people different than other species ensuring ability to compete for all All people should have an equal chance to accomplish this educational reform was critical Dewey wrote The School and Society 1899 with psychology as the basis for sound educational theory and practice meeting 4 child needs Conversation curiosity construction artistic expression Dewey s Lab School Dewey established a university based laboratory school to study how children think and learn 140 students 23 teachers 10 grad student assistants A model for similar lab schools on college campuses Education must foster growth and keep the mind flexible opposed to rote and drill learning The educator s role was to foster divergent thinking not transmit dogma Lessons were presented in some context e g cooking math together Dewey s Later Life In 1904 Dewey went the Columbia University He was a charter member of the APA and president in 1899 He was the 4th psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences He founded the first teacher s union in NYC With Cattell he founded the AAUP was its first president He supported the ACLU NAACP He remains influential despite never doing an expt James Rowland Angell 1869 1949 Angell took over leadership in Chicago when Dewey left Angell was Dewey s student in Michigan then studied with W James Munsterberg at Harvard then met Wundt Ebbinghaus Helmholtz He wrote a doctoral dissertation on Kant but was never awarded his degree due to poor German His teaching positions led to becoming Acting president of the Univ of Chicago in 1918 James Rowland Angell Angell s father was president of the University Michigan his brother Frank founded psychology labs at Cornell and Stanford Universities his brother Alexis became a professor of law at the University of Michigan and later a judge and his brother in law was head of the history department at the University of Michigan His maternal grandfather was a professor of mathematics and later president of Brown University Angell s Functionalism Angell described functionalism as a protest movement in his Presidential Address to the APA He saw functionalism as the study of mental operations or functions not mental elements Functionalism studies thinking not thoughts The structuralist asks What is mind The functionalist asks What is mind for Consciousness is adaptive Functions are studied under real life conditions Functionalism assumes a constant interplay between the psychological and the physical they are one Functionalism and Darwin Angell supported comparative psychology study of animal psychology Angell listed 3 primary contributions of Darwin Doctrine of instinct Idea of continuity among the minds of different species Study of the expression of the emotions He was especially interested in the evolution of intelligence and the history of instinct studying rats Watson was his student He was president of Yale Harvey A Carr 1873 1954 Carr was a grad student at U of Chicago working with Watson and writing a dissertation on visual autokinetic effects like Wertheimer In 1908 he replaced Watson and directed the animal laboratory at U of Chicago in 1926 he became Dept Chair In 1927 Carr was elected APA President He used a flexible wide ranging mature functionalist approach and was a careful precise experimenter He disliked being labeled Robert Sessions Woodworth 1869 1962 Woodworth studied religion but became a teacher instead Hearing G Stanley Hall lecture and reading William James changed his life He enrolled at Harvard to study psychology He earned a graduate fellowship at Columbia to work with Cattell earning his Ph D His early experiments were on transfer of


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