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Cognitive theory posits that how one interprets an event determines how one feels about it and what one will try to do to cope with it. It further suggests that inaccurate beliefs and maladaptive information processing lie at the core of most disorders. Cognitive therapy seeks to reduce distress and relieve dysfunction by teaching patients to examine the accuracy of their beliefs and to use their own behaviors to test their validity. The history of cognitive therapy is in essence a tale of two cities and one institute. Aaron Beck, the progenitor of the approach, did his original work in Philadelphia focused largely on depression before he expanded to other disorders. He spent time subsequently at Oxford University at the invitation of department chair Michael Gelder, whose young protégés David Clark and Paul Salkovskis refined the cognitive model for the anxiety disorders and supercharged their treatment. Anke Ehlers, who extended the model to posttraumatic stress, joined them in the 1990s before all three decamped for the Institute of Psychiatry in London, only to return a decade later. Jack Rachman at the Institute was an early mentor who commissioned conceptual treatises from all three. Chris Fairburn, who stayed at Oxford, developed a cognitive behavioral treatment for the eating disorders that focuses on changing beliefs, and Daniel Freeman from the Institute joined in 2011 with an emphasis on schizophrenia. Cognitive therapy has had a major impact on treatment in the United States but even more so in the United Kingdom, where it reigns supreme. Cognitive therapy encourages patients to use their own behaviors to test their beliefs but keeps its focus squarely on those beliefs as the key mechanism to be changed. It is one of the most efficacious and enduring treatments for the various psychiatric disorders.

Article

Hugo Klappenbach, Antonio Gentile, Fernando Ferrari, and Hernan Scholten

Psychoanalysis in Argentina has been established as a profession since the foundation of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association (1942), and the perspective of Melanie Klein initially predominated. Before that institutional event, Freud’s theories were considered in a more far-reaching and less homogeneous intellectual and medical field. At the beginning of the 20th century, Freud’s first readers in Argentina were strongly influenced by French culture and science. Although the initial mention of Freud’s work was by a Chilean doctor, Germán Greve, intellectuals such as José Ingenieros or Enrique Mouchet also read him from a critical perspective. In the 1950s and 1960s, consolidated psychoanalytic institutional spaces had been developed in Buenos Aires, while in the other provinces there was still the gestation of the institutional field that would allow the specific training of psychoanalysts. In two of the most important cities, Córdoba and Rosario, psychoanalysis was adopted by a group of intellectuals, physicians, and judges linked to the University Reform movement. Deodoro Roca, Jorge Orgaz, Saúl Taborda, Juan Filloy, and Gregorio Bermann adopted the Viennese theories, albeit from different perspectives. In Rosario, the figure of Pizarro Crespo not only integrated Freud’s ideas into a psychosomatic perspective, but, in an unsuspected way, constitutes the first reference to Jacques Lacan’s work in Argentina. Toward the 1960s, the creation of undergraduate psychology programs was marked by the presence of notable teachers linked to psychoanalysis. Around the same time, a new paradigm was introduced into psychoanalysis: Lacanianism. Within the framework of the reception of structuralism, the theories of Louis Althusser and the first discussions of Lacan’s teaching began to spread. This new paradigm had a decisive impact on different professional fields and varying social sciences in the country. While Oscar Masotta became one of the main disseminators of Lacan in Buenos Aires, Raúl Sciarretta and Rafael Paz were more relevant in other provinces of the country, particularly in the cities of Córdoba, Rosario, and Tucumán, cities where the institutionalization of psychoanalysis was strengthened from the 1970s onwards.

Article

Glenn Adams, Annabella Osei-Tutu, and Adjeiwa Akosua Affram

Standard constructions of history pose a celebratory narrative of progress via modern individualist development. In contrast, decolonial perspectives emphasize the coloniality inherent both in Eurocentric modernity and in the individualist selfways associated with Eurocentric modernity. The coloniality of modern individualist selfways is evident not only in the racialized violence that enabled their characteristic experience of freedom from constraint, but also in the epistemic violence that results from the imposition of these ways of being as a developmental standard. Research in West African settings illuminates these forms of epistemic violence. Standard accounts tend to pathologize West African ways of being as immature or suboptimal in relation to a presumed universal developmental pathway toward psychological autonomy. A decolonial response, rooted in decolonial perspectives of Southern theory or epistemology, follows two analytic strategies that disrupt standard accounts. One strategy draws upon local understanding to illuminate the adaptive value of West African patterns. Rather than manifestations of backwardness on a trajectory of modern individualist development, these ways of being reflect developmental trajectories that emerged as an adaptation to cultural ecologies of embeddedness. The other strategy draws upon West African settings as a standpoint from which to denaturalize the modern individualist selfways that hegemonic perspectives regard as just-natural standards. Rather than naturally superior forms, the widespread promotion of modern individualist selfways has harmful consequences related to the narrow pursuit of personal fulfillment and corresponding disinvestment in broader solidarities. With the growth orientation of modern individualist development pushing the planet toward a future of ecological catastrophe, decolonial perspectives direct attention to West African and other communities in the Global South for ways of being, rooted in Other understandings of the past, as a pathway to a sustainable and just future.

Article

The discipline of psychology has an extremely broad range—from the life sciences to the social sciences, from neuroscience to social psychology. These distinctly different components have varying histories of their own. Social psychology is psychology’s social science wing. The major social sciences—anthropology, economics, sociology, and political science—all had their origins in the 19th century or even earlier. But social psychology is much younger; it developed both in Europe and North America in the 20th century. The field’s enormous growth over the past century began modestly with a few scant locations, several textbooks, and a single journal in the 1920s. Today’s social psychologists would barely recognize their discipline in the years prior to World War II. But trends forming in the 1920s and 1930s would become important years later. With steady growth, especially starting in the 1960s, the discipline gained thousands of new doctorates and multiple journals scattered throughout the world. Social psychology has become a recognized, influential, and often-cited social science. It is the basis, for example, of behavioral economics as well as such key theories as authoritarianism in political science. Central to this extraordinary expansion were the principal events of mid-20th century. World War II, the growth of universities and the social sciences in general, rising prosperity, statistical advances, and other global changes set the stage for the discipline’s rapid development. Together with this growth, social psychology has expanded its topics in both the affective and cognitive domains. Indeed, new theories are so numerous that theoretical integration has become a prime need for the discipline.

Article

The intelligence test consists of a series of exercises designed to measure intelligence. Intelligence is generally understood as mental capacity that enables a person to learn at school or, more generally, to reason, to solve problems, and to adapt to new (challenging) situations. There are many types of intelligence tests depending on the kind of person (age, profession, culture, etc.) and the way intelligence is understood. Some tests are general, others are focused on evaluating language skills, others on memory, on abstract and logical thinking, or on abilities in a wide variety of areas, such as, for example, recognizing and matching implicit visual patterns. Scores may be presented as an IQ (intelligence quotient), as a mental age, or simply as a point on a scale. Intelligence tests are instrumental in ordering, ranking, and comparing individuals and groups. The testing of intelligence started in the 19th century and became a common practice in schools and universities, psychotechnical institutions, courts, asylums, and private companies on an international level during the 20th century. It is generally assumed that the first test was designed by the French scholars A. Binet and T. Simon in 1905, but the historical link between testing and experimenting points to previous tests, such as the word association test. Testing was practiced and understood in different ways, depending not only on the time, but also on the concrete local (cultural and institutional) conditions. For example, in the United States and Brazil, testing was immediately linked to race differences and eugenic programs, while in other places, such as Spain, it was part of an attempt to detect “feebleness” and to grade students at certain schools. Since its beginning, the intelligence test received harsh criticism and triggered massive protests. The debate went through the mass media, leading to the infamous “IQ test wars.” Thus, nowadays, psychologists are aware of the inherent danger of cultural discrimination and social marginalization, and they are more careful in the promotion of intelligence testing. In order to understand the role the intelligence test plays in today’s society, it is necessary to explore its history with the help of well-documented case studies. Such studies show how the testing practice was employed in national contexts and how it was received, used, or rejected by different social groups or professionals. Current historical research adopts a more inclusive perspective, moving away from a narrative focused on the role testing played in North-America. New work has appeared that explores how testing was taking place in different national and cultural environments, such as Russia (the former Soviet Union), India, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, Chile, and many other places.

Article

Instinct has been one of the more contentious concepts throughout the history of psychology and social psychology. Broadly defined, instinct is considered innate, patterned behavior for living organisms that does not require learning or experience. Almost all early psychologists engaged in the study of instincts, and many attempted to classify them. One of the debates that emerged was whether there is a simple dichotomy between instinct and reason, with animals endowed with instinct for survival but only humans with the ability to rely on reason. With more influence from Darwin’s evolutionary theory, however, the idea that instincts were modifiable and a common trait for humans and animals became accepted. This also led to the idea that human instincts could be understood by examining the instincts of animals and the mental development of children. With the arrival of behaviorism, the concept of instinct began to fall out of favor altogether, and all behaviors were attributed to learning or conditioning. More recently, evolutionary psychologists have reclaimed the notion of instinct, although the understanding of this concept still varies and has an uncertain fate in the discipline.

Article

Gabriel Ruiz and Natividad Sánchez

Transnational historiography, which emerged in the 1990s, covers historical phenomena that transcend the boundaries of the nation-state, analyzing the processes of circulation, transformation and hybridization of scientific ideas and practices across national frontiers. When scientific knowledge flows between different countries, the ideas that emerge in one particular national context adapt to the new local contexts of their hosts, with their particular cultural, social, political and scientific traditions. In psychology, the transnational approach provides a productive theoretical framework capable of going beyond the traditional US-centered perspective that has dominated the historiography of psychology since the mid-20th century. This US-based historiography has, for example, interpreted the historical influence of I. P. Pavlov in terms of two main factors: his methodological contribution—the conditioned reflex—and the existence of a behaviorist tradition in the receptor psychology community. However, a more global analysis questions the need for these two elements and, at the same time, offers insights into the conditions that facilitated or hindered the flow of Pavlovian science beyond the United States. Thus, for example, between 1903 and 1970 the dissemination and appropriation of the Pavlovian science of conditioned reflexes took two different routes: in America, scientific aspects and factors dominated; whereas elsewhere, politics prevailed over science. This happened in countries such as China, Cuba, and Spain, with dictatorial regimes at different ends of the political spectrum, where Pavlov’s work arrived under the auspices of government programs to modernize scientific and clinical institutions. Once Pavlov’s ideas had been introduced through reform programs in each country, they were accepted or rejected depending on whether the sign of the regime in question converged with the ideology prevailing in the Soviet Union, which it did in China and Cuba, but not in Spain. In these countries, where psychology did not have strong institutional roots and behaviorism was not a dominant approach, Pavlovian ideas found a receptive audience among health professionals-doctors, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists - keen to embrace new ideas and treatments for mental disorders. Thus, from a transnational perspective, the global repercussion of Pavlov’s ideas went far beyond the strictly methodological sphere.

Article

Vindhya Undurti

There is no explicitly defined field as feminist psychology(ies) in India. It is therefore necessary to look beyond the discipline of psychology and examine the scholarship available in other disciplines as well as in activist efforts to illumine questions that are of concern to feminist psychology(ies)—questions of how inequitable access to resources, disproportionate burden of care giving and gender stereotypical identities impact on gender relations and on women’s well-being and identity. From the interface of psychology with feminisms, three thematic areas emerge against the backdrop of past and contemporary socio-political developments in the country that have directly or indirectly influenced and informed the content and direction of research in these thematic areas. The three key themes are (a) mental health and well-being and the influence of the interlinked perspectives of gender, public health, human rights and social justice on this field, (b) gender-based violence and the evolution of psychosocial interventions for reduction and prevention of violence, and (c) the socio-historical construction of identities and the construction of masculinities in particular and that of the “modern Indian woman” in the conundrum of tradition and modernity. First, the literature on gender and mental health emphasizes the need to connect mental health with social determinants, demonstrates the existence of gender bias in access to mental health services, shows that women are represented more in common mental disorders whose aetiology is associated with the social position of women, and highlights the relationship of gender-specific risk factors such as domestic violence to the occurrence of depression in women. Second, the body of work on interventions for reducing and preventing gender-based violence shows services such as one-stop centers hinged on a psychosocial intervention model; and women’s collectives for alternate dispute resolution based loosely on feminist principles, serving as a platform for voicing and recognition of violence and connecting survivors to institutional services. Third, the socio-historical context of identity construction reveals masculinity as a product of interplay of the colonizing and colonized cultures in the nationalist period of pre-independence India, the subsequent turn to “aggressive Hindu communalism” as a model for masculinity and the construction of femininity in the conundrum of tradition and modernity. Thus, despite e some influence and infusion of perspectives on each other, feminisms and psychology in India continue to run parallel to each other, and feminist psychology(ies) in India remains an indistinct field as yet.

Article

Raymond E. Fancher

Gordon W. Allport was a prominent Harvard University psychologist during the mid-20th century, notable both for his early and effective promotion of “personality” as an important psychological subdiscipline, and in his later career as a social psychologist for works on several issues of major social importance. In 1921 he and his older brother Floyd Allport jointly proposed the study and measurement of traits as the foundation of a new subdiscipline of personality psychology, with Gordon’s Harvard doctoral research a pilot study demonstrating the feasibility of the approach. On a subsequent postdoctoral fellowship in Germany Allport became impressed by William Stern’s “personalistic” psychology, which held that a person’s “individuality” could be defined in two ways: relational individuality, comprised of the particular combination of numerous measurable traits manifested by a subject in studies such as Allport’s thesis; and real individuality, a Gestalt-like conception of a personality that is more than just the sum of its parts, and discoverable only through a qualitative analysis of the traits’ role in an overall life history. These ideas inspired in Allport a conception of personality as a broad and independent psychological field that would incorporate both the “nomothetic,” experimental methods of the natural sciences in measuring and studying personality traits, and the non-experimental “idiographic” methods utilized in the historical and humanistic fields for providing conceptions of wholly integrated, unique personalities. Noting that Anglo-American psychology was heavily dominated by the former approach, he became an outspoken advocate of the latter as a necessary complement to it. Allport taught undergraduate seminars promoting this conception at Harvard and Dartmouth between 1924 and 1930, before returning permanently to Harvard in 1930. There, both independently and in collaborations with others, he conducted and promoted seminal personality research employing both nomothetic and idiographic methods. His comprehensive and authoritative 1937 textbook, Personality: A Psychological Interpretation, was a landmark in establishing personality as a major psychological discipline. With enhanced reputation, Allport became a leading institutional figure in American psychology. For the rest of his career he continued to advocate an inclusive, “eclectic” approach to personality psychology, while also turning attention to important social issues such as wartime morale and propaganda, the influence of radio as a mass medium, the role of religion in personality and society, and with particular impact the nature of prejudice.

Article

Bearing witness to the Holocaust has taken many different forms and sought to achieve a variety of goals. Forms of testimony include structured and unstructured interviews; audio, video, and written narratives; individual and group formats; and recollections of survivors young and old—from those who testified just after the war to those who only came forth decades later. Different combinations of these distinct forms of testimony contribute to their variety. Most of the time such testimony has aimed to fill out the historical record or deepen moral reflection. Early on, they offered insight into what occurred during the Holocaust, sometimes providing vivid details that revealed the horrific experiences the survivors had endured. This early approach gave those who had not been on the scene an inside look into what actually happened during the Holocaust. Much of the testimony was by those who had experienced the Holocaust themselves. Later, the focus turned to residual trauma and how it manifested itself in the daily life of survivors. Others viewed testimony as potentially therapeutic and elicited it through engaging with survivors in sustained conversations or by encouraging them to give voice to wartime childhood memories. Ultimately, as a more positive and intergenerational perspective began to take hold in the field of psychology, trauma has been seen as something that can be transcended. Hence, some scholars have highlighted the psychological insight to be found within oral and written testimony. Important to note in this context is that a number of Holocaust survivor interview projects have been spearheaded by psychologists. Moving from the early postwar period to the present moment, this article intends to survey both the psychological insights gleaned and the projects conducted. The article will also consider the influence of postwar psychological movements on the style, emphasis, and concepts of psychologically motivated interview projects.