- How do we understand behavior and feelings? Are they separate pieces that can be altered one by one? Are they part of a holistic system?
- What methods do these different theorists use to gain knowledge? Do their methodologies reflect their theories?
- Which methodologies and theories are still used today? Which aren’t?
- What other researchers or thinkers do each group cite? Are these things different? Do they line up with their methodologies and theories? For instance, why does Freud cite philosophers and literature?
- How would these different theories of mind translate into practice? What kind of therapy would you develop if you believed in each theory of mind?
- Is there a singular self? What is it? How do we come to know it or know about it?
- Which of these ways of thinking about the mind is most familiar to you? Which have entered popular culture?
- Which of these ideas allows you to explain yourself, your experiences or your behavior best? Does this line up with which idea has the most empirical support?
September 9: Behaviorism & Conditioning
- John B. Watson’s “Psychology as a Behaviorist Views It” (1913)
- “Drool: Ivan Pavlov’s Real Quest” (New Yorker, 2014)
Optional reading: B.F. Skinner’s “Behaviorism at Fifty” (1963)
September 11: Freud & Psychoanalysis
Before you start reading: list everything you know about Freud here. The results will display as a word cloud, so please use one word answers (or if you have to use two words, smush them together.)
- “Freud the Philosopher”
- One case study on wiki: Anna O., Dora, Little Hans, or Rat Man
- One article on Freud’s legacy: “Why Freud Survives”, “Why Freud Still Matters, When He Was Wrong About Almost Everything”, “Therapy Wars: The Revenge of Freud”, “Freud is Widely Taught at Universities, Except in the Psychology Department”, “As a Therapist, Freud Fell Short, New Research Suggests”
- If you are not familiar with basic Freudian concepts, read: “What are the most interesting ideas of Sigmund Freud?” for a quick introduction.
- Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
- “Who Am I? The Self/Subject According to Psychoanalytic Theory”
- “The Role of Long Case Histories in the Development of Psychoanalysis”
- Secrets of a Soul (you can stream it here or on YouTube.)
- If Freud was wrong about a lot of things, if his research can’t be replicated, if he wasn’t always good for his patients, does that mean his ideas are completely worthless? What can or should we still take from Freud?
- What value does metaphor and imagination have in a field like psychology, particularly as it becomes more and more empirical and research-driven?
- Compare Freud to the behaviorists here; does one of these appeal to you more when thinking about how to explain yourself? Is the more appealing one the more empirical one?
September 16: Phenomenology & Altered States
- “My Twelve Hours as a Madman” (Maclean’s, 1953)
- James Chapman’s “The Early Symptoms of Schizophrenia” (1966)
- Steven J. Novak’s “LSD before Leary: Sidney Cohen’s Critique of 1950s Psychedelic Drug Research” (Isis, Vol 88, No. 1, March 1997)
- Browse the Albert Hoffman Library
- Humphrey Osmond’s “A Review of the Clinical Effects of Psychotomimetic Agents” (1957)