Sunday, November 6, 2011


Gordon Allport
Gordon Allport was the youngest of four brothers.  A shy and studious boy, he was teased quite a bit and lived a fairly isolated childhood.  His father was a country doctor, which meant that Gordon grew up with his father’s patients and nurses and all the paraphernalia of a miniature hospital.  Everyone worked hard.  His early life was otherwise fairly pleasant and uneventful.

One of Allport’s stories is always mentioned in his biographies:  When he was 22, he traveled to Vienna.  He had arranged to meet with the great Sigmund Freud!  When he arrived in Freud’s office, Freud simply sat and waited for Gordon to begin.  After a little bit, Gordon could no longer stand the silence, and he blurted out an observation he had made on his way to meet Freud.  He mentioned that he had seen a little boy on the bus who was very upset at having to sit where a dirty old man had sat previously.  Gordon thought this was likely something he had learned from his mother, a very neat and apparently rather domineering type.  Freud, instead of taking it as a simple observation, took it to be an expression of some deep, unconscious process in Gordon’s mind, and said “And was that little boy you?”
This experience made him realize that depth psychology sometimes digs too deeply, in the same way that he had earlier realized that behaviorism often doesn’t dig deeply enough!
Allport received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1922 from Harvard, following in the foot steps of his brother Floyd, who became an important social psychologist.  His career was spent developing his theory, examining such social issues as prejudice, and developing personality tests.  He died in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1967.

One thing that motivates human beings is the tendency to satisfy biological survival needs, which Allport referred to as opportunistic functioning.  He noted that opportunistic functioning can be characterized as reactive, past-oriented, and, of course, biological.
But Allport felt that opportunistic functioning was relatively unimportant for understanding most of human behavior.  Most human behavior, he believed, is motivated by something very different -- functioning in a manner expressive of the self -- which he called propriate functioning.  Most of what we do in life is a matter of being who we are!  Propriate functioning can be characterized as proactive, future-oriented, and psychological.
Propriate comes from the word proprium, which is Allport’s name for that essential concept, the self.  He had reviewed hundreds of definitions for that concept and came to feel that, in order to more scientific, it would be necessary to dispense with the common word self and substitute something else.  For better or worse, the word proprium never caught on.
To get an intuitive feel for what propriate functioning means, think of the last time you wanted to do something or become something because you really felt that doing or becoming that something would be expressive of the things about yourself that you believe to be most important.  Remember the last time you did something to express your self, the last time you told yourself, “that’s really me!”  Doing things in keeping with what you really are, that’s propriate functioning.
The proprium
Putting so much emphasis on the self or proprium, Allport wanted to define it as carefully as possible.  He came at that task from two directions, phenomenologically and functionally.
First, phenomenologically, i.e. the self as experienced:  He suggested that the self is composed of the aspects of your experiencing that you see as most essential (as opposed to incidental or accidental), warm (or “precious,” as opposed to  emotionally cool), and central (as opposed to peripheral).
His functional definition became a developmental theory all by itself.  The self has seven functions, which tend to arise at certain times of one’s life:
 1.  Sense of body
 2.  Self-identity
 3.  Self-esteem
 4.  Self-extension
 5.  Self-image
 6.  Rational coping
 7.  Propriate striving
Sense of body develops in the first two years of life.  We have one, we feel its closeness, its warmth.  It has boundaries that pain and injury, touch and movement, make us aware of.  Allport had a favorite demonstration of this aspect of self:  Imagine spitting saliva into a cup -- and then drinking it down!  What’s the problem?  It’s the same stuff you swallow all day long!  But, of course, it has gone out from your bodily self and become, thereby, foreign to you.
Self-identity also develops in the first two years.  There comes a point were we recognize ourselves as continuing, as having a past, present, and future.  We see ourselves as individual entities, separate and different from others.  We even have a name!  Will you be the same person when you wake up tomorrow?  Of course -- we take that continuity for granted.
Self-esteem develops between two and four years old.  There also comes a time when we recognize that we have value, to others and to ourselves.  This is especially tied to a continuing development of our competencies.  This, for Allport, is what the “anal” stage is really all about!
Self-extension develops between four and six.  Certain things, people, and events around us also come to be thought of as central and warm, essential to my existence.  “My” is very close to “me!”  Some people define themselves in terms of their parents, spouse, or children, their clan, gang, community, college, or nation.  Some find their identity in activities:  I’m a psychologist, a student, a bricklayer.  Some find identity in a place:  my house, my hometown.  When my child does something wrong, why do I feel guilty?  If someone scratches my car, why do I feel like they just punches me?
Self-image also develops between four and six.  This is the “looking-glass self,” the me as others see me.  This is the impression I make on others, my “look,” my social esteem or status, including my sexual identity.  It is the beginning of what conscience, ideal self, and persona.
Rational coping is learned predominantly in the years from six till twelve.  The child begins to develop his or her abilities to deal with life’s problems rationally and effectively.  This  is analogous to Erikson’s “industry.”
Propriate striving doesn’t usually begin till after twelve years old.  This is my self as goals, ideal, plans, vocations, callings, a sense of direction, a sense of purpose.  The culmination of propriate striving, according to Allport, is the ability to say that I am the proprietor of my life -- i.e. the owner and operator!
(One can't help but notice the time periods Allport uses -- they are very close to the time periods of  Freud's stages!  But please understand that Allport's scheme is not a stage theory -- just a description of the usual way people develop.)
Traits or dispositions
Now, as the proprium is developing in this way, we are also developing personal traits, or personal dispositions.  Allport originally used the word traits, but found that so many people assumed he meant traits as perceived by someone looking at another person or measured by personality tests, rather than as unique, individual characteristics within a person, that he changed it to dispositions.
A personal disposition is defined as “a generalized neuropsychic structure (peculiar to the individual), with the capacity to render many stimuli functionally equivalent, and to initiate and guide consistent (equivalent) forms of adaptive and stylistic behavior.”
A personal disposition produces equivalences in function and meaning between various perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and actions that are not necessarily equivalent in the natural world, or in anyone else’s mind.  A person with the personal disposition “fear of communism” may equate Russians, liberals, professors, strikers, social activists, environmentalists, feminists, and so on.  He may lump them all together and respond to any of them with a set of behaviors that express his fear:  making speeches, writing letters, voting, arming himself, getting angry, etc.
Another way to put it is to say that dispositions are concrete, easily recognized, consistencies in our behaviors.
Allport believes that traits are essentially unique to each individual:  One person’s “fear of communism” isn’t the same as another's.  And you can’t really expect that knowledge of other people is going to help you understand  any one particular person.  For this reason, Allport strongly pushed what he called idiographic methods -- methods that focused on studying one person at a time, such as interviews, observation, analysis of letters or diaries, and so on.  These are nowadays generally referred to as qualitative methods.
Allport does recognize that within any particular culture, there are common traits or dispositions, ones that are a part of that culture, that everyone in that culture recognizes and names.  In our culture, we commonly differentiate between introverts and extraverts or liberals and conservatives, and we all know (roughly) what we mean.  But another culture may not recognize these.  What, for example, would liberal and conservative mean in the middle ages?
Allport recognizes that some traits are more closely tied to the proprium (one’s self) than others.  Central traits are the building blocks of your personality.  When you describe someone, you are likely to use words that refer to these central traits:  smart, dumb, wild, shy, sneaky, dopey, grumpy....  He noted that most people have somewhere between five and ten of these.
There are also secondary traits, ones that aren’t quite so obvious, or so general, or so consistent.  Preferences, attitudes, situational traits are all secondary.   For example, “he gets angry when you try to tickle him,” “she has some very unusual sexual preferences,” and “you can’t take him to restaurants.”
But then there are cardinal traits.  These are the traits that some people have which practically define their life.  Someone who spends their life seeking fame, or fortune, or sex is such a person.  Often we use specific historical people to name these cardinal traits:  Scrooge (greed), Joan of Arc (heroic self-sacrifice), Mother Teresa (religious service), Marquis de Sade (sadism), Machiavelli (political ruthlessness), and so on.  Relatively few people develop a cardinal trait.  If they do, it tends to be late in life.
Psychological maturity
If you have a well-developed proprium and a rich, adaptive set of dispositions, you have attained psychological maturity, Allport’s term for mental health.  He lists seven characteristics:
1.  Specific, enduring extensions of self, i.e. involvement.
2.  Dependable techniques for
 warm relating to others (e.g. trust, empathy, genuineness, tolerance...).
 Emotional security and self-acceptance.
4.  Habits of
 realistic perception (as opposed to defensiveness).
 Problem-centeredness, and the development of problem-solving skills.
 Self-objectification -- insight into one’s own behavior, the ability to laugh at oneself, etc.
7.  A unifying
 philosophy of life, including a particular value orientation, differentiated religious sentiment, and a personalized conscience.
Functional autonomy
Allport didn’t believe in looking too much into a person’s past in order to understand his present.  This belief is most strongly evident in the concept offunctional autonomy:  Your motives today are independent (autonomous) of their origins.  It doesn’t matter, for example, why you wanted to become a doctor, or why you developed a taste for olives or for kinky sex, the fact is that this is the way you are now!
Functional autonomy comes in two flavors:  The first is perseverative functional autonomy.  This refers essentially to habits -- behaviors that no longer serve their original purpose, but still continue.  You may have started smoking as a symbol of adolescent rebellion, for example, but now you smoke because you can’t quit!  Social rituals such as saying “bless you” when someone sneezes had a reason once upon a time (during the plague, a sneeze was a far more serious symptom than it is today!), but now continues because it is seen as polite.
Propriate functional autonomy is something a bit more self-directed than habits.  Values are the usual example.  Perhaps you were punished for being selfish when you were a child.  That doesn’t in any way detract from your well-known generosity today -- it has become your value!
Perhaps you can see how the idea of functional autonomy may have derived from Allport’s frustration with Freud (or the behaviorists).  Of course, that hardly means that it’s only a defensive belief on Allport’s part!
The idea of propriate functional autonomy -- values -- lead Allport and his associates Vernon and Lindzey to develop a categorization of values (in a book called A Study of Values, 1960) and a test of values:
1.  the theoretical -- a scientist, for example, values truth.
 the economic -- a businessperson may value usefulness.
 the aesthetic -- an artist naturally values beauty.
 the social -- a nurse may have a strong love of people.
 the political -- a politician may value power.
 the religious -- a monk or nun probably values unity.
Most of us, of course, have several of these values at more moderate levels, plus we may value one or two of these quite negatively.  There are modern tests used for helping kids find their careers that have very similar dimensions.
Allport is one of those theorists who was so right about so many things that his ideas have simply passed on into the spirit of the times.  His theory is one of the first humanistic theories, and would influence many others, including Kelly, Maslow, and Rogers.  One unfortunate aspect of his theory is his original use of the word trait, which brought down the wrath of a number of situationally oriented behaviorists who would have been much more open to his theory if they had bothered to understand it.  But that has always been a weakness of psychology in general and personality in particular:  Ignorance of the past and the theories and research of others.

Allport’s most significant books are Pattern and Growth in Personality (1965),The Person in Psychology (1968), and The Nature of Prejudice (1954).  He was a good writer, and none of these books are too technical


His life

Freud was born on May 6, 1856, in Freiberg, Moravia, in what is now the Czech Republic. He was the oldest of eight children, and his father was a wool merchant. When Freud was 4 years old, his family moved to Vienna, the capital of Austria. He graduated from the medical school of the University of Vienna in 1881. Freud later decided to specialize in neurology, the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.

In 1885, Freud went to Paris to study under Jean Martin Charcot, a famous neurologist. Charcot was working with patients who suffered from a condition now called hysteria. Some of these people appeared to be blind or paralyzed, but they actually had no physical defects. Charcot found that their physical symptoms could be relieved through hypnosis.

Freud returned to Vienna in 1886 and began to work extensively with hysterical patients. He gradually formulated ideas about the origin and treatment of mental illness. Freud used the term psychoanalysis both for his theories and for his method of treatment. When he first presented his ideas in the 1890's, other doctors reacted with hostility. But Freud eventually attracted a group of followers, and by 1910 he had gained international recognition.

During the following decade, Freud's reputation continued to grow. But two of his early followers, Alfred Adler and Carl Jung, split with Freud and developed their own theories of psychology . Freud was constantly modifying his own ideas, and in 1923, he published a revised version of many of his earlier theories. That same year, he learned he had cancer of the mouth. He continued his work, though the cancer made working increasingly difficult. In 1938, the Nazis gained control of Austria. Under their rule, Jews were persecuted. Freud, who was Jewish, went to England with his wife and children to escape persecution. He died there of cancer in 1939.

Freud wrote many works. His most important writings include The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), Totem and Taboo (1913), General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1920), The Ego and the Id (1923), and Civilization and Its Discontents (1930). 

His theories

On behaviour. Freud observed that many patients behaved according to drives and experiences of which they were not consciously aware. He thus concluded that the unconscious plays a major role in shaping behaviour. He also concluded that the unconscious is full of memories of events from early childhood. Freud noted that if these memories were especially painful, people kept them out of conscious awareness. He used the term defence mechanisms for the methods by which individuals handled painful memories. Freud believed that patients used vast amounts of energy in forming defence mechanisms. Tying up energy could affect a person's ability to lead a productive life, causing an illness that Freud called neurosis.

Freud also concluded that many childhood memories dealt with sex. He believed that his patients' reports of sexual abuse by a parent were fantasies reflecting unconscious desires. He theorized that sexual functioning begins at birth, and that a person goes through several psychological stages of sexual development. Freud believed the normal pattern of psychosexual development is interrupted in some people. These people become fixated at an earlier, immature stage. He felt such fixation could contribute to mental illness in adulthood. This theory is known as
Freud's theory of psychosexual development. 

On the mind.  Freud divided the mind into three parts: (1) the
id, (2) theego, and (3) thesuperego. He recognized that each person is born with various natural drives that he called instincts, such as the need to satisfy sexual desires and the need to be aggressive. The id is the source of such instincts. The desire for sexual pleasure, for example, comes from the id. The ego resolves conflicts between instincts and external reality. For example, it determines socially appropriate ways to obtain physical satisfaction or to express aggression. The superego is a person's conscience. A person's ideas of right and wrong--learned from parents, teachers, and other people in authority--become part of the person's superego.

All people have some conflict among the three parts of the mind, but certain people have more conflict than others. For example, the superego might oppose angry behaviour. In that case, the id and the superego would clash. If the parts of the mind strongly oppose one another, psychological disturbances result.

On treatment. At first, Freud treated neurotic patients by using the hypnotic techniques he had learned from Charcot and the Austrian doctor Josef Breuer. But he later modified this approach and simply had patients talk about whatever was on their minds. He called this free association. By free associating--that is, by speaking freely--the patient sometimes came upon earlier experiences that contributed to the neurosis.

Often, however, the painful feelings that caused the neurosis were held in the unconscious through defence mechanisms. Freud then analysed the random thoughts that had been expressed during free association. He did this in an effort to penetrate the patient's defence mechanisms. He also interpreted the patient's dreams, which he believed contained clues to unconscious feelings. Freud talked with the patient about the person's earlier experiences in order to understand the root of the problem. He paid particular attention to transference, the patient's shifting of painful feelings--hostility or love, for example--toward Freud himself. If the psychoanalyst could help the patient understand and deal with unpleasant feelings or painful memories, the symptoms of the neurosis might then disappear. 

His influence

Freud was one of the world's most influential thinkers. He showed the crucial importance of unconscious thinking to all human thought and activity. Freud's strongest impact occurred in psychiatry and psychology. His work on the origin and treatment of mental illness helped form the basis of modern psychiatry. In psychology, Freud greatly influenced the field of abnormal psychology and the study of the personality.

Freud's theories on sexual development led to open discussion and treatment of sexual matters and problems. His stress on the importance of childhood helped teach the value of giving children an emotionally nourishing environment. His insights also influenced the fields of anthropology and sociology. Most social scientists accept his concept that an adult's social relationships are patterned after early family relationships.

In art and literature, Freud's theories influenced surrealism . Like psychoanalysis, surrealistic painting and writing explores the inner depths of the unconscious mind. Freudian ideas have provided subject matter for authors and artists. Critics often analyze art and literature in Freudian terms.

Since the 1970's, many scholars and mental health professionals have questioned some of Freud's theories. Feminists attacked Freud because he seemed to believe that in some respects women were inferior to men. For example, he thought that women had weaker superegos than men and were driven by envy. Other people challenged the theory that patients' memories of early sexual abuse reflected fantasies rather than actual experiences.

As a result of such criticism, most scholars and psychoanalysts now take a more balanced approach to Freud's theories. They use the ideas and techniques from Freud that they find most useful without strictly following all of his teachings. No one, however, disputes Freud's enormous influence.

John B. Watson

Watson, John Broadus (1878-1958), an American psychologist, became best known as the leader of a revolutionary movement in psychology called behaviourism. His early work in biology, medicine, and the behaviour of lower organisms led him to question the existence of the mental processes which psychologists claimed to be studying. He undertook to account for the behaviour of both human beings and other animals in purely physiological and physical terms in his Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist (1919).

Hans J. Eysenck

Hans J. Eysenck, 81, a popular, pioneering and controversial German-born British behavioral psychologist best known as a champion of the
statistical analysis method and his opposition to the discipline of psychoanalysis, died Sept. 4 at a hospice in London. He had cancer. 

Life history
Since the 1950s, Dr. Eysenck had vocally propounded the view that the
experimental methods used in the physical sciences, particularly
statistical tests, should be applied in psychology, psychotherapy and            
especially psychoanalysis.

Dr. Eysenck, who spent decades as head of the Psychology Department of the
University of London's Institute of Psychiatry, was a pioneer in the
development of "behavior therapy." That is a method of treating patients
by addressing their immediate problems, a process he said could be done in
a limited number of sessions rather than the seemingly unending, indirect
method of psychoanalysis.

He also developed radical and immensely controversial theories on subjects
ranging from tobacco and cancer to crime and the occult to IQ testing and
genetics. He spread his views in more than 75 books and a thousand
technical articles.

His writing gained him a worldwide audience of general readers as well as
scientists. He once explained that his books ranged from "Uses and Abuses
of Psychology," which he wrote in two weeks and which sold millions of
copies, to the scholarly, scientific and academic "Reminiscence,
Motivation, and Personality: A Case Study in Experimental Psychology,"
which he said took him 15 years of research and writing and sold "several
hundred" copies.

In the words of a true scholar, he announced that he had deduced a "strong
negative correlation between sales and the time taken to write a book."

His more popular books included works published by Penguin Books, such as
"Sense and Nonsense in Psychology" and "Check Your Own IQ."

In 1971, he published "The IQ Argument: Race, Intelligence and Education,"
in which he suggested that it was possible that genetics might explain
differences in IQ scores between blacks and whites. This resulted in his
becoming a target of student protesters in Great Britain and the United

Although many scientists attacked this finding on scientific or
philosophical grounds, few accused Dr. Eysenck, who had left his native
Germany rather than join the Nazi Party, of any kind of racism.

Other controversial works included his 1965 book "Smoking, Health and
Personality," which propounded that smoking does not cause cancer but is a
symptom, along with cancer, of mysterious hereditary and emotional

In addition to his books and articles, he edited the standard "Handbook of
Abnormal Psychology" and the three-volume "Readings in Extroversion and
Introversion." He also contributed articles to the "Encyclopedia of the
Social Sciences." In 1962, he founded and began a long stint as editor of
the journal Behavior Research and Therapy.

His 1952 book "The Structure of Human Personality," in which he posited
that human personality can be defined in terms of intelligence,
neuroticism, introversion-extroversion and psychoticism, led to the
development of the Maudsley Personality Inventory. Also known as the
Eysenck Personality Inventory, the psychological battery became widely
used in Britain.

Hans Jurgen Eysenck was born in Berlin. Both his parents acted, and the
future psychologist himself appeared in a film at age 3. Refusing to join
the Nazi Party to attend college, he went to France and studied French
literature and history at the University of Dijon and then to England,
where he studied British history and literature at Exeter University.

He then decided he wanted to become a physicist, so he enrolled in the
University of London. While registering, he was informed that German
science credits were not acceptable for London but that he would be
admitted to study psychology.  Although, he later claimed, he did not even
know what psychology was, he heartily accepted.

Dr. Eysenck fell in love with the subject and was fortunate in being able
to study under Sir Cyril Burt, the noted psychologist who was an early
advocate of statistical studies, and the legendary statistician Karl
Pearson. Dr. Eysenck graduated in 1938 and received his doctorate, also
from the University of London, in 1940.

During World War II, he was a research psychologist at an emergency
hospital near London that treated mentally disturbed service personnel.
After the war, he joined the staff of London's famed Maudsley Hospital,
perhaps Britain's leading psychiatric training ground. In 1947, he became
head of the hospital's psychology department, and the next year, he joined
the faculty of the University of London. In 1950, he became head of the
university's new psychiatry institute, located at Maudsley Hospital.

In addition to his work in Britain, he served as a visiting professor at
the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California-Berkeley.

Early in his career, he became known for his interests in behavior
modification and personality and for his lack of enthusiasm for Freudian
psychoanalysis. In the early 1950s, he began attacking psychoanalysis in
the profession's own journals, maintaining that there was no statistical
evidence to prove that the treatment actually worked.

His marriage to the former Margaret Malcolm Davies ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, the former Sybille Bianca Giulietta Rostal,
whom he married in 1950 and who lives in London; a daughter from his
second marriage, Connie Eysenck of Bethesda; a son from his first
marriage; three sons from his second marriage; and eight grandchildren

Abraham Maslow

Abraham Harold Maslow was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York.  He was the first of seven children born to his parents, who themselves were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia.  His parents, hoping for the best for their children in the new world, pushed him hard for academic success.  Not surprisingly, he became very lonely as a boy, and found his refuge in books.
To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY).  After three semesters, he transferred to Cornell, and then back to CCNY.  He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin, against his parents wishes.  Abe and Bertha went on to have two daughters.

He and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin.  Here, he became interested in psychology, and his school work began to improve dramatically. He spent time  there working with Harry Harlow, who is famous for his experiments with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior.
He received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin.  A year after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality.
He began teaching full time at Brooklyn College.  During this period of his life, he came into contact with the many European intellectuals that were immigrating to the US, and Brooklyn in particular, at that time -- people like Adler, Fromm, Horney, as well as several Gestalt and Freudian psychologists.
In 1951, Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he met Kurt Goldstein (who introduced him to the idea of self-actualization) and began his own theoretical work.  It was also here that he began his crusade for a humanistic psychology -- something ultimately much more important to him than his own theorizing.
He spend his final years in semi-retirement in California, until, on June 8 1970, he died of a heart attack after years of ill health.

Edward C. Tolman
Edward Chance Tolman was an American psychologist who made significant contributions to the studies of learning and motivation. Considered a cognitive behaviorist today, he developed his own behaviorism when the likes of Watson were dominating the field (Kimble et al, 1991). Tolman was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1886. He remained there as he grew up and was educated in the Newton Public Schools. He lived in a family of "upper middle" socioeconomic status and had a father who was the president of a manufacturing company. His brother, Richard, was five years older than he was and both he and Richard were expected to go into the family business.

He and his brother decided to seek academic careers, against their family's wishes. Both went on to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Richard pursued a career in academics, ultimately becoming a world-renowned theoretical chemist and physicist, and Edward initially sought a bachelor's degree in electrochemistry. Tolman changed the course of his career during his senior year after reading the works of William James. He decided to become a philosopher. After graduation in 1911, he attended summer school and took a course in philosophy and psychology. He concluded that he wasn't quite smart enough for philosophy and that psychology was more to his liking.

That coming fall, Tolman enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School as a philosophy and psychology graduate student. At that time, the disciplines were a combined department. A course in ethics, taught by Ralph Barton Perry, as well as readings of McDougall, eventually led to his interest in motivation. After his first year as a graduate student, he went to Giessen in Germany to study for his PhD examination in German (at that time all PhD examinations were conducted in French, German, or Russian). It was in Germany where he was introduced to Gestalt psychology through the teachings and readings of Koffka (Kimble et al, 1991).

Upon returning to Harvard from his summer in Germany, Tolman studied in the laboratory under Hugo Munsterberg and Langfeld researching nonsense syllable learning. His PhD dissertation was a study of retroactive inhibition (Hilgard, 1987). He received his doctorate in 1915. He later returned to Giessen to learn more about Gestalt psychology during the fall of 1923. Tolman became an instructor at Northwestern University and taught for three years after receiving his doctoral degree. He described himself as being self-conscious, inarticulate, and fearful of his classes. His pacifist views led him to lose his job when, during World War I, he was called to the Dean for anti-war statements reported in a pacifist student publication (Kimble et al, 1991).

Tolman went on to become an instructor at the University of California in Berkeley in the fall of 1918 where he remained for the rest of his life. Similar to his stand for academic freedom shown at Northwestern University, his passion for the pursuit of truth led to his refusal to sign the California loyalty oath. During the "Year of the Oath" (1949-50), the university attempted to impose loyalty oaths on their faculty, in compliance with state law. He advised his peers to sign and to leave the contest up to those like him, who were able to afford it. This act of courage gave him tremendous recognition. He credited his wisdom in psychology to his years at Berkeley and his happy marriage (Kimble et al, 1991)


Edward Tolman made several significant contributions to the field of psychology. It was at Berkeley where he created a cognitive theory of learning, which became his trademark to the field. He thought of learning as developing from bits of knowledge and cognitions about the environment and how the organism relates to it. This was in contrast to the theories of Thorndike and Hull who thought of learning as a strict stimulus-response connection. (Kimble et al, 1991).

To study learning, Tolman conducted several classical rat experiments. One of his most well known studies involved maze running. He examined the role that reinforcement plays in the way that rats learn their way through complex mazes. These experiments eventually led to the theory of latent learning which describes learning that occurs in the absence of an obvious reward (Barker, 1997).

Hugh Blodgett conducted the first experiment using the paradigm of learning without reward in 1929. Three groups of rats were trained to run a maze. The control group, Group 1, was fed upon reaching the goal. The first experimental group, Group 2, was not rewarded for the first six days of training, but found food in the goal on day seven and everyday thereafter. The second experimental group, Group 3, was not rewarded for the first two days, but found food in the goal on day three and everyday thereafter. Both of the experimental groups demonstrated fewer errors when running the maze the day after the transition from no reward to reward conditions. The marked performance continued throughout the rest of the experiment. This suggested that the rats had learned during the initial trials of no reward and were able to use a "cognitive map" of the maze when the rewards were introduced.

The initial learning that occurred during the no reward trials was what Tolman referred to as latent learning. He argued that humans engage in this type of learning everyday as we drive or walk the same route daily and learn the locations of various buildings and objects. Only when we need to find a building or object does learning become obvious. Controversy developed from Tolman's theory of latent learning, but several investigators demonstrated that rats do learn in the absence of rewards (Hothersall, 1995).

Tolman identified himself as a behaviorist and eschewed the type of introspection that was practiced by Wundt and Titchener. However, he was also opposed to the behaviorism of Watson. He was known for initiating his own kind of behaviorism which he referred to as "purposive behaviorism (Kimble et al, 1991)." His idea of purposive, or molar, behaviorism, as illustrated in his book Purposive Behavior in Animals and Men (1932), sought to demonstrate that insight (the cognitive control of learning) was not restricted to the evolutionary capabilities of the apes (Hilgard, 1987). He strongly advocated to theorizing at the molar level, which was demonstrated by several studies showing that rats learn the place where they have been rewarded rather than the particular movements required to get there (a demonstration of place learning). These studies also supported Tolman's stance that learning did not involve the strengthening of connections between stimulus and response, or conditioned learning (Kimble et al, 1991).

In one of Tolman's experiments used to illustrate purposive behavior in rats, Tolman used the apparatus shown in Figure 1.
A was the starting box and B was the goal. A hungry rat learned to run to B very quickly and without hesitation. Tolman wondered what was learned when this occurred. One explanation was that the rat had learned the response "turning right" which led to food. However, Tolman preferred the explanation that the rat had developed a cognitive map of the maze and where the place of the reward was located. Those who followed Tolman, known as "Tolmaniacs", developed a test to determine the right answer. Once a rat had learned how to run from A to B, it was started at C. The stimulus-response explanation predicted that the rat would turn right and reach D. The cognitive map explanation predicted that the rat would reach the reward in B. The test demonstrated that most of the rats reached B, thereby leading Tolman to conclude that a cognitive map was most likely developed by rats in maze running (Hothersall, 1995).

Tolman is best remembered for being a pioneer in cognitive psychology during a time when behaviorists dominated the field. He is classified as a cognitive behaviorist today and the originator of the cognitive theory. His idea of cognitive maps is one of his theories that is still used today. Cognitive maps were the precursor to concepts of spatial memory and spatial thinking. He extended most of his contributions to the credit of others including his students, his teachers at Harvard, and Kurt Lewin.

Kimble et. al. (1991) states that Tolman also conjured up theories of behavior and motivation. He felt that a motive drives an organism's behavior until some internal state is rectified and until that happens, the organism continues to behave. He also believed, like most psychologists at that time, that behavior could be generalized across species and explained by the behavior of the rat. Those who admired Edward Tolman most considered him a sane and sensible man. He was not an imperialist and never believed that one view was all encompassing. He was broad-minded and was always willing to change his views and revise his ideas should new evidence arise. He never believed that psychology should be set in its ways and theories; it is ever-changing and should always remain that way.

1886 Born in Newton, Massachusetts
1911 Earned Bachelor's Degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in electrochemistry
1911 Enrolled in Harvard Graduate School as a philosophy and psychology student
1912 Went to Giessen in Germany to study for his PhD examination; was introduced to Gestalt psychology
1912 Studied nonsense syllable learning under Hugo Munsterberg and Langfeld
1915 Earned Doctorate from Harvard after his dissertation studying retroactive inhibition
1915 Began teaching at Northwestern University
1918 Dismissed from Northwestern for a pacifist contribution to a student publication
1918 Began teaching at University of California Berkeley
1923 Returned to Giessen in Germany to study Gestalt psychology
1930 Studied the role of reward in experiments of maze running with rats
1932 Wrote the book Purposive Behavior in Animals and Men
1937 Presented his Presidential address to the American Psychological Association
1940 Chairman of Lewin's Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
1942 Published Drives Toward War in an effort to understand human drives that lead to war
1946 Tolman's latent learning experiments and other aspects of his theory were criticized by Spence and Lippitt
1949 Wrote "There is More than One Kind of Learning," a paper where he argued that learning motor skills and solving problems are governed by different laws
1949 Refused to sign the loyalty oath as imposed by the University of California Berkeley
1957 Received an APA award for distinguished scientific contributions
1959 Received an honorary LL.D. degree from the University of California
1959 Died November 19th

B.F. Skinner

Skinner, B. F. (1904-1990), was an American psychologist. He was best known for his research into the learning process and his belief in a planned society. Skinner was a leading supporter of programmed instruction, in which the principles of learning determined in the laboratory are applied to classroom teaching. He was also known as a student of behavioural psychology, the study of the observable behaviour of human beings.

Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. He became interested in the work of the American behavioural psychologist John B. Watson and the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov.

In 1936, Skinner joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota. During World War II (1939-1945), Skinner designed his first "baby box," or Air Crib, a controlled environmental chamber for infants. From 1958 until 1975, Skinner was Edgar Pierce professor of psychology at Harvard University.

"Essentially, only one thing in life is of real interest to us - our psychical experience. Its mechanism, however, was and still is shrouded in profound obscurity."
I. P. Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist most famous for describing the psychological phenomenon referred to as a "conditioned response". Pavlov made a number of other very important discoveries in the realm of physiology, particularly related to digestion. Indeed, it was while studying the secretion of digestive enzymes that he became interested in the integration of the body and the brain.

Born to a Russian minister on September 14, 1849, Pavlov grew up in the town of Ryazan. Due to a childhood accident, Ivan was unable to attend school as early as other children, but did get started at age 11. After finishing school he was sent to theological seminary to follow in his father’s footsteps, but dropped out in 1870 to enroll at the University of St. Petersburg. It was there that Pavlov became interested in and started his career in physiology.
His first research project, under the tutelage of Elie Cyon, involved investigation of pancreatic nerves, and this work earned him gold medal honors at the university. Pavlov continued his studies at the Military Medical Academy between the years of 1875 and 1879. He finished his dissertation and earned the degree of doctor of medicine in 1883. Pavlov gained the influence of prominent researchers such as Ludwig, Heidenhain, and Bofkin during the next several years, and was named Professor of Pharmacology at St. Petersburg Institute of Experimental Medicine in 1895. Soon after this honor he became Professor of Physiology, and held that position until 1924.
Pavlov's first independent work focused on the physiology of the circulation of the blood. He studied the influence of variations in blood volume on blood pressure. He also investigated the nervous control of the heart, and argued that rhythm and strength of cardiac contractions are controlled by four types of nerves. It was during this first independent study that Pavlov used unanesthetized, neurologically intact dogs. This method became the mainstay of Pavlov’s methodology.
Pavlov felt that the experimental methods used by many physiologic researchers introduced too many sources of error. In order to understand the true physiological mechanisms of an organ, that organ had to be observed as it functioned as a part of whole body:

Alfred Adler

Adler, Alfred (1870-1937), an Austrian psychiatrist, developed important theories concerning the motivation of human behaviour. According to Adler, the major force of all human activity is a striving from a feeling of inferiority toward superiority and perfection. Adler at first referred to this force as a drive for power. He later called the force a striving for superiority. Adler termed his school of thought individual psychology. Today, this school of psychological thought is frequently referred to as Adlerian psychology.

Adler taught that everyone experiences feelings of inferiority. He believed that each person strives to overcome such feelings according to a unique set of goals. Every individual, he said, also has a unique way of attempting to achieve the goals. Adler used the term style of life for the person's goals and methods of pursuing them. He claimed that the style of life becomes established by the age of 4 or 5. He also believed that an individual's self-image and opinion of the world reflect the person's style of life.

The importance of social forces in determining behaviour was emphasized by Adler. He believed that each person is born with a trait called social interest. This ability enables the individual to relate to other people and to place the good of society above selfish interests. Many of Adler's ideas have become part of the theory and practice of psychiatry.

Adler was born near Vienna, Austria. He received his MD degree from the University of Vienna in 1895. Adler was an eye specialist and a neurologist before becoming a psychiatrist. From 1902 to 1911, he worked with the famous Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. Between 1919 and 1934, Adler established child guidance clinics in Vienna. He trained teachers, worked with parents, and supervised teachers' clinical activities with disturbed children. Adler moved to New York City in 1934.

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