The functionalist protest
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The Functionalist Protest. Functionalists’ Goal: Determine how the organism uses the mind to adapt to the environment First uniquely American system of psychology Deliberate protest against Wundt's and Titchener's systems Interest in applying psychology to real world.

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The Functionalist Protest

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The functionalist protest

The Functionalist Protest

  • Functionalists’ Goal: Determine how the organism uses the mind to adapt to the environment

  • First uniquely American system of psychology

  • Deliberate protest against Wundt's and Titchener's systems

  • Interest in applying psychology to real world


The evolution revolution charles darwin 1809 1882

The Evolution Revolution: Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

  • On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859):one of the most influential books in the world

    • Form and substance of American psychology shaped by Darwin’s ideas


An ode to evolution

An Ode to Evolution

  • Organic life beneath the shoreless wavesWas born and nurs'd in ocean's pearly caves;First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;These, as successive generations bloom,New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.

    • Erasmus Darwin. The Temple of Nature. 1802.


Other predecessors

Other Predecessors

  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1809): Active Modification

    • Through efforts to adapt to environment

    • Inherited by succeeding generations

  • Vestiges of Creation (1844) by Anonymous


Other predecessors1

Other Predecessors

  • Darwin Read Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principle of Population (1789)

    • Food supply increases linearly

    • Human population increases exponetially

    • Result: Starvation is an inevitable part of a cycle

    • Only the most aggressive, intelligent and flexible will survive

    • Social welfare is bad for the Britain


Thomas malthus 1766 1834

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)


Setting the stage 19 th century britain

Setting the Stage – 19th century Britain

  • Zeitgeist

    • Receptive intellectual climate

    • Social evolution due to industrial revolution

    • Growing dominance of science – it was working!


The world comes to europe

The World Comes to Europe


The world comes to europe1

The World comes to Europe

  • Fossils and bones of extinct species found


The functionalist protest

  • HMS Beagle: 1831-1836

  • Captain Fitzroy was looking for a creationist!

  • Darwin makes Geological and Zoological observations that challenge Biblical notions.


The functionalist protest

Galapagos Finches

Peter and Rosemary Grant: visited islands in 1973 to observe modifications in several generations of 13 finch species – Changes occur faster than Darwin predicted!


Darwin finally goes public

Darwin Finally Goes Public

  • Worked on his theory of evolution for 22 years

  • A. R. Wallace (1858) wrote Darwin about a theory of evolution that he developed in 3 days!

  • Ethical dilemma for Darwin

  • Darwin overwhelmed with new physical illness


The functionalist protest

  • Spontaneous variability among members of a species is inheritable – He described genes and mutations without the benefit of biochemistry!

  • Natural selection: process that leads to survival of organisms which adapt to the environment; Elimination of those which do not


Thomas henry huxley 1825 1895 and the evolution controversy

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) and the Evolution Controversy

  • Striving biologist; Leader among England's scientists

  • Champion of Darwin’s theory

  • 1860: Debate on theory of evolution at Oxford: Huxley versus bishop Samuel Wilberforce who defended the Bible and Robert Fitzroy, captain of HMS Beagle


Thomas henry huxley 1825 1895 and the evolution controversy1

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) and the Evolution Controversy

  • 1865 Fitzroy Commits suicide

  • Wilberforce dies

  • 1925: Scopes Monkey Trial

  • 1987: Louisiana “Equal Time” case

  • 1999: Kansas State BOE

  • 2004: Dover, PA


The genie is out of the bottle

The Genie is out of the Bottle

  • The white supremacy movement

  • Social and Economic Darwinism


The genie is out of the bottle1

The Genie is out of the Bottle

  • Darwin’s other work

    • 1871: The Descent of Man

      • Emphasized similarity between animal and human processes

    • 1872: The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

    • 1877: A Biographical Sketch of an Infant


The evolution of machines

The Evolution of Machines

Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

  • Machines would become self-acting

  • Capable of simulating human intelligence

  • Humans become dependent on machines

  • Suggested machines would become superior


Darwin and psychology

Darwin and Psychology

  • Subject matter of psychology goes from elements to functions of consciousness

  • Continuity in mental functioning between humans and lower animals/humans and ancestors

  • Studying animal behavior can help us understand human behavior

  • How does the brain function and adapt?

  • Methods were broadened in scope

  • Increased focus on individual differences and their measurement – no trait is accidental!!


Individual differences francis galton 1822 1911

Individual Differences: Francis Galton (1822-1911)

  • Darwin emphasized differences within species – including humans!

  • Had been examined by Weber, Fechner, Helmhotz but ultimately considered inappropriate by the early German schools

  • Galton – Darwin’s cousin mixed evolution with statistics


Francis galton 1822 1911

Francis Galton (1822-1911)

  • “I have no patience with the hypothesis occasionally expressed, and often implied, especially in tales written to teach children to be good, that babies are born pretty much alike, and that the sole agencies in creating differences between boy and boy, and man and man, are steady application and moral effort.”


Galton s work

Galton’s Work

  • Mental Inheritance

    • HereditaryGenius (1869)

      • Eminent men have eminent sons

      • Specific forms of genius inherited

      • Founded eugenics: improve inherited human traits through artificial selection

      • Applied statistical concepts to heredity problems

      • Eminence not a function of opportunity


Galton s work1

Galton’s Work

  • 1874: English Men of Science

  • 1889: Natural Inheritance

  • Established eugenics laboratory at university college, London

  • 1904: founded organization for promoting racial improvement

  • Clearly opposed the British Empirical movement of the 17th century


Statistical methods and differential psychology

Statistical Methods and “Differential Psychology”

  • Galton assumed statistical techniques of Biology could be applied to mental characteristics. In doing so, developed:

    • Mean and standard deviation

    • Correlation Measures

      • His student, Pearson, developed product-moment coefficient of correlation

    • Pearson’s r: for Galton’s discovery of regression toward the mean


Why galton

Why Galton?

  • Mental Tests (coined by J.M. Cattell)

  • Intelligence and sensory capacities


Galton s passtimes

Galton’s Passtimes

  • “Arithmetic by Smell” and other topics

    • Self-induced paranoia

    • Validity of religious beliefs

    • Power of prayer

    • Yawns and coughs as a measure of boredom

    • Arithmetic by Smell


Animal psychology and the development of functionalism

Animal Psychology and the development of Functionalism

  • Before Darwin: animals were automata

  • With Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals…

    • Continuity between humans and animals

    • Search for evidence of intelligence in animals

    • Human emotional behavior: inheritance of behavior once useful to animals


Foundations of functionalism

Foundations of Functionalism

  • Darwin’s Legacy for Psychology

    • Regard each anatomical structure, including the brain, as a utilitarian element in a total living adaptive system

  • Indirect Legacy

    • Galton and measurement

    • Comparative Psychology

    • Lloyd Morgan inspires Behaviorism


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