Each Question needs to be a minimum of 450 words. No citations are needed.
1) What is a mental element?
2) What are operationism and positivism? How did they influence the transition of psychology from the functionalist to the behaviourist era? Are we purely operationist in psychology today? Why or why not?
3) Do you think the following statement makes sense, why or why not? “Since consciousness has never and could never be directly observed, at best, it is a hypothetical construct and so should not be a part of scientific psychology.”
4) Describe the logic of construct validation theory and its importance to the history of psychology. Include in your answer: a) the problem that CV theory addressed, b) the difference between operationism and CV theory, and c) the basic logical error of CV theory according to operationism.
5) Discuss the historical use of analogies for the mind/mental phenomena in psychology. Talk about the types of analogies that have been used by psychologists and philosophers to help understand the nature of mental phenomena. Discuss the sense in which cognition is similar to consciousness and, hence, the sense in which the problem of cognitive psychology is similar to the problem of structuralism and functionalism.
6) According to Niesser, what is cognition? What kind of phenomena are cognitions? Are cognitions directly observable? What is the role of cognitions in scientific psychology (how do we use the idea in psychology)?
7) You have been introduced to the basic problem of psychology:
“what is the subject matter of psychology (so, for instance, what is a memory, what is a thought, what is consciousness)?”
and you have seen how this problem has been treated throughout the history of psychology. You have seen the four basic approaches that have been used to address the problem (metaphysics, operationism, CV Theory, and the OLV), and are clear that there are fundamental disagreements and fundamental incompatibilities between these four approaches. You have also seen that the problem of the nature of psychological phenomena is not merely philosophical or “academic”. You should now be aware, at least in the case of mental disorder, that the problem has immediate, enormous, and current significance.
Considering all that you have learned, what is the basic lesson that you will take with you in to your other courses and your life in general from your new understanding of this issue?
8) Select a single concept from a modern psychology text and show that there are both theories about what it is and definitions of it.
9) What did Wittgenstein say about the role of language in psychology? How does this relate to what Szasz said about the nature of mental illness?
10) According to Hacker, what is the mind? What would Hacker say about the position of Rene Descartes (the 17th century Cartesian view) that the mind is a kind of entity that interacts with the brain at the pineal gland? (Hint: watch “Hacker in Holland” and “Hacker in Oxford” very carefully)