Critical Issues in Psychology
Between 400 – 500 words each question, no citations needed, well written
1) Describe the effect of the prevailing view in science on the impact and acceptance of new ways of thinking.
2) What is metaphysics? Give examples of metaphysical questions and relate these examples to current issues in modern psychology.
3) What is epistemology? Describe 3 epistemological theories and be able to give an example of how each theory would address a particular problem in modern psychology.
4) Aristotle as well as other early Greek philosophers set the tone for many important problems in psychology. What was Aristotle’s basic method in the philosophy of science? Give specific examples of how he used his method to address metaphysical questions.
5) What is inductive definition? Describe Socrates’ method of inductive definition and discuss what motivated him to develop his method. Is the logic of inductive definition clearly sound? Why or why not?
6) Describe Karl Popper’s views about the nature of scientific theories. Be sure to make clear what he thought distinguished good from bad scientific theories. Give an example of a good and bad scientific theory from Popper’s point of view.
7) What is the mind/body problem and what are the two basic positions on the problem? Give an example of the existence of the mind/body problem in psychology today.
8) Describe the contribution of each of the three major areas of work (philosophy, physiology and psychophysics) that resulted in the development of psychology as a science.
9) Distinguish between structuralism and functionalism. Name the very basic differences between the two positions and what might have motivated the development of these two views in psychology. Which of these two schools of thought is most influential in psychology today and why? Name the major figures in the historical development of these two schools of thought.
10) Distinguish between Wundt’s empirical work (his research), Wundt’s theory of consciousness and his philosophy of science. Describe each and show that they are different forms of investigation.
11) Describe very carefully Watson’s position as given in his 1929 paper “Behaviourism – The Modern Note In Psychology”. What problem was he attempting to address with his new formulation of psychology? Was he right?