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Psychology and Buddhism. Min-Ju Liao. Outline. Introduction of Psychology Cognitive Psychology Psychology vs. Buddhism. I. Introduction of Psychology. What is psychology?. Psychology is the science of behavior and the mind

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Presentation Transcript
  • Introduction of Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology vs. Buddhism
what is psychology
What is psychology?
  • Psychology is the science of behavior and the mind
    • psychologists often use behavioral data to make influences about the mind
early approaches in psychology
Early approaches in psychology
  • Laboratory dissection of the mind(Wilhelm Wundt, 1832-1920)
    • Complex mental processes can be understood as sequences of more elementary processes
  • Structuralism(Titchener, 1867-1927)
    • Learning the structure of the mind through analyzing elementary conscious experience
    • Introspection: to look inward to examine one’s own conscious experience
      • e.g., a flash of light is sensed as blue, strong, brief, and clear
  • Functionalism(William James, 1842-1910)
    • Purposes or goals are the most important aspects of human consciousness and actions
    • Introspection(e.g., examine one’s own emotional states)
major approaches in psychology
Major approaches in psychology
  • Studying basic psychological processes
    • Functionalist perspective
      • Evolution(natural selection) and learning - Behavioral psychology
    • Physiological perspective
      • Neurobiological psychology
    • Information-processing perspective
      • Cognitive psychology
  • Studying the whole person and the person’s relationships to the social environment
    • Developmental perspective
    • Social perspective
    • Personality and disorders
      • Psychoanalysis
      • Humanities
approaches in psychology
bell -> no response

Food -> salivation

bell + food -> salivation

bell -> salivation

Approaches in Psychology
  • Behavioral psychology(Pavlov, Watson, Skinner):
    • Stimuli -> Response
    • Basic learning process: classical conditioning and operantconditioning
      • Classical conditioning (Pavlov’s discovery)
        • Law of association by contiguity
      • Operant conditioning: the consequence of behavior affects the likelihood of the recurrence of the behavior
        • A starving rat in a box -> accidentally press a level -> food or water (reinforcement) -> keep pressing the level
        • Law of effect
    • Training and behavioral therapy
Approaches in Psychology
  • Neurobiological psychology:
    • Understanding the physiological mechanism in the brain that organizes and controls behavior

e.g. use fMRI to examine brain activities while people are engaging in different behaviors

e.g. Dr. Richard Davidson studies brain activities during six different meditations – meditation on visualization, compassion, one-pointedness, devotion, fearlessness, open-state (see “The Lama in the Lab” by Daniel Goleman)

approaches in psychology1
Approaches in Psychology
  • Cognitive psychology:
    • Influenced by computer evolution
    • Using the concept of “information processing” to study mental processes such as attention, perception, memory, thinking, problem solving, and decision making
approaches in psychology2
Approaches in Psychology
  • Psychoanalysis(Freud, Erikson):
    • Unconscious mind
    • Conflict between biological instincts and society's demands
    • Early childhood experiences
    • id, ego, superego
      • Id: most primitive portion of the personality (basic biological urges)
      • Ego: ego is derived from the id, but it obeys reality principle
      • Superego: represents the internalized rules and admonitions of the parents and society – judge ego has been good or bad
    • Psychotherapy: regression therapy
Approaches in Psychology
  • Humanistic psychology(Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow):
    • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
    • Self, self-concept, self-worth - unconditional positive regard
    • Self-actualization: a desire to realize one’s potential, to fulfill oneself
    • Psychotherapy: “client center”, full acceptance, no judgment
cognitive psychology
attention resources









decision making

working memory

long-term memory

Cognitive psychology

From “introduction to human factors engineering”, by Wickens, C. D., Gordon, S. E., Liu, Y, 1998

cognitive psychology1
Cognitive psychology
  • Sensory processes:
    • Senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, kinesthesis and vestibules, skin
    • Psychophysics – relations between the characteristics of physical stimuli and our sensory experience
      • e.g.
cognitive psychology2
Cognitive psychology
  • Perception:
    • Attention
    • Visual perception:
      • eye -> visual cortex in the brain
      • perceptual phenomena (color, form/shape, feature-ground, motion, depth, etc.)
    • Top-down vs. bottom-up processes
cognitive psychology3
Cognitive psychology
  • Perception
    • Stroop effect

GreenRed Blue


cognitive psychology4
Cognitive psychology
  • Perception
    • Illusion
cognitive psychology5
Cognitive psychology
  • Perception
    • Illusion
cognitive psychology6
Cognitive psychology
  • Perception
    • Figure-ground perception
cognitive psychology7
Cognitive psychology
  • Memory:
    • Short-term (working) memory vs. long-term memory
    • Encoding & retrieval
      • Encoding: the process that controls the movement of information from working memory to long-term memory

e.g. rehearsing

      • Retrieval: the process that controls the movement of information from long-term memory to working memory

e.g., recall, recognition

    • Explicit memory (declarative, conscious)
      • episodic memory
      • semantic memory
    • Implicit memory (unconscious)
      • procedural memory
cognitive psychology8
Cognitive psychology
  • Thinking
    • Mental activities that are utilized whenever we plan actions, solve problems, evaluate things, or make decisions.
    • Main elements of thought: mental representation
      • e.g., analogical vs. symbolic representation
  • 色(form):物質基礎
    • 色因: 地, 水, 火, 風
    • 色相: 五感官, 五塵
  • 受(feeling):領納, 對色蘊的覺受
    • 樂受, 苦受, 不苦不樂受; 身受 & 心受
  • 想(perception):取像, 認識
    • 眼觸所生想, 耳觸所生想, …
  • 行(volition):造作, 心採取行動; 意志作用
    • 五十一心所 (e.g.,記憶,…)
    • 所有複雜之心理作用
  • 識(consciousness):了別(明瞭及識別)現象之真實意義
    • 六識, 染識, 阿賴耶識
psychology vs buddhism
Psychology vs. Buddhism
  • Behavioral psychology: 色(物質) & 行為的關係
  • Neurobiological psychology: 身 (brain) & 受,想,行的關係
  • Cognitive psychology:

- psychophysics: 色(物質) & 受的關係

- attention: 作意

- perception: 想

- memory, thinking: 行

  • Psychoanalysis: 潛意識
  • Humanities: 自我
佛法概論 第四章 有情與有情的分析
  • 佛法以有情為本,那就應該認識有情是什麼。佛常用「三處觀」去觀察有情,分別有情的真相。但有情的分別觀察,要從有情的流轉相續中,與身心的相依中去考察,不可為靜止的、孤立的機械分析…這有情中心論的觀察,都說到了心與色,即證明了有情是色心平等和合相應的存在者,不能偏重於物質或精神。
psychology vs buddhism1
Psychology vs. Buddhism
  • Final notes:
    • 西方心理學或是從不同的角度研究個別的五蘊、心所及它們之間的對應關係; 或是從自我及實我出發來探討心理問題
    • 佛法提供的則是一個拓展在時間和空間上的全觀分析 –
      • 在時間上, 有情自無始以來即在流轉輪迴
      • 在空間上, 有情是五蘊身心交感, 相互依存的和合個體
    • 佛法更進一步教我們看到此五蘊有情的究竟本質其實是苦,空, 無常, 無我, 而一切煩惱的根源是我們的貪瞋痴, 是我們的執取
    • 佛法給我們的才是究竟的了解及究竟的解脫