This article throws light upon the nine main types of Psychology. The types are: 1. Faculty Psychology 2. Structural Psychology 3. Existential Psychology 4. Functional Psychology 5. Behaviourism 6. Gestalt Psychology 7. Hormic or Purposive Psychology 8. Psychoanalysis 9. Parapsychology.
Type # 1. Faculty Psychology:
‘Faculty psychology’ refers mental processes to their corresponding faculties. The mind is said to have the faculties of sensation, perception, memory, imagination, thinking, feeling, emotion, instinct and volition. The faculties are the different powers of the mind.
Faculty psychology has become obsolete. Stout rightly says that this school explains in a circle when it assigns certain mental processes to a faculty. It merely describes and classifies mental processes, but does not explain them at all.
Thus, it is futile to say that a particular voluntary decision is due to the faculty of will, or that uncommon persistence in a voluntary decision is due to an uncommon strength of will, or of the faculty of will. We explain nothing be asserting that certain mental processes are the functions of certain faculties of the mind.
Faculty Psychology does not help us in causal explanation of mental processes. Modern psychology regards the mind as an organic unity of interdependent processes.
It is not honeycombed with independent faculties. Faculty Psychology does not recognize the causal interaction of mental processes. It gives only an appearance of explanation, and thus retards the progress of knowledge.
Faculty Psychology made a valuable contribution by describing and classifying mental processes, but it failed to explain them by analysing them into their component factors or by the laws of mind. It failed to make psychology an explanatory science.
Type # 2. Structural Psychology:
Structuralism seeks to explain the ‘structure of consciousness’ by analysing it into distinguishable elements or units, and their relations to one another in the complex stream regarded as compounded of such elements. It regards introspection by experts under laboratory conditions as the sole legitimate method.
It conceives the task of psychology to be a complete analysis of the stream of consciousness into ultimate units of atoms of consciousness, together with certain laws of the composition of such units. Structuralism studies the structure of consciousness and analyses it into its elements and their relations.
Titchener, a pupil of Wundt, (1832-1920 A.D.) was an exponent of structuralism in America. Associationism and mental chemistry also are different forms of structuralism. Wundt established the first psychological Institute at Leibzig in 1879.
Type # 3. Existential Psychology:
Existentialism dates back to Wundt, Mach and Avenarius in the nineteenth century. It emerged as a distinct theory in the beginning of this century with the vigorous teachings of E.B. Titchener. The task of psychology, according to Existentalism, is to study the individual’s experiences as ‘existences’, or facts deserving of description, analysis and classification.
Psychology seeks to analyse experiences, to compare and classify them, and arrange them in a system. Existential psychology studies the individual as an experience and as a performer. The individual’s experiences are to be studied on their own account, not as a clue to his performances.
The primary method of psychology is the method of impression. It is on a par with other scientific observations. The subject’s attention is directed in advance to the precise matter which is observed. He observes his experience, under laboratory conditions, and reports it to the experimenter.
The method of impression is not incidental observation, but scientific observation, in which the subject’s mind is set for the particular experience he has to observe. It is the primary method of psychological investigation. It reveals the elementary experiences of the individual. But it has to be supplemented by the method of introspection which reveals more complex experiences.
Existential psychology does not deny the importance of the study of performances. But it leaves this study to others. It suits its attention to the description of experiences as existence of facts. It seeks to forget meanings or values and all reverence to anything beyond the individual’s experience which it seeks to describe. It does not study the objects of experiences.
Physics studies the objects as unrelated to experiences and their relations to one another. Psychology seeks to describe, analyse, compare, and classify the individual’s experiences for themselves. It adopts the method of impression; analyses complex total experiences into the sensory elements, identifies them, and compares and classifies them. Existential psychology is structural psychology.
Type # 4. Functional Psychology:
William James was the founder of functional psychology in America.
Structural psychology aims at the description and analysis of structure of consciousness:
(i) Functional psychology seeks to show the part different kinds of consciousness play in the life of the individual. It seeks to discover the functions of sensation, perception, memory, imagination, reasoning, emotion and volition in the life of the organism. It tries to find out what needs of the organism are satisfied by these mental processes in its growing adjustment to the complex environment.
(ii) It adopts the evolutionary point of view, and tries to show that more and more complex mental processes emerged to meet the pressing needs of the organism, which appeared on the scene to adjust the organism to the complex environment more and more effectively.
The higher mental processes emerged to meet the pressing needs of the organism for a wider and more flexible control of the environment. Thus functional psychology regarded psychology as a branch of biology. It tried to assign a place to psychology in the general field of biological sciences.
(iii) Functional psychology deals with acts or operations rather than with contents or elements it deals with perceiving, conceiving, believing, etc., and not with sensations, concepts, beliefs, etc.
(iv) It also deals with automatic and habitual responses which are not attended with consciousness. William James, Dewey and Y. R. Angell, American psychologist, are advocates of functional psychology.
Type # 5. Behaviourism:
J. B. Watson regards functional psychology as an inconsistent compromise between structural psychology and a truly biological science. He seeks to reduce psychology to a purely biological science. He defined psychology as a science of behaviour. It is not a science of experience. Mental processes are invisible and intangible. They are elusive and do not serve any useful purpose.
Experimental psychology has made progress by studying the ‘performances’ of individuals. Introspection is a deceptive method, and not necessary for psychological investigation. Psychology is the science of behaviour and not the science of experience of consciousness.
Its methods are observation and experiment, which are the methods of physics, chemistry and other exact sciences. It is concerned with behaviour which is the response of the whole organism to the stimuli in the environment.
Psychology is the science of stimulus- response. The sense-organs receive the stimuli, and so are called the receptors. The muscles execute actions in response to stimuli, and are so called the effectors.
Watson denies the existence of sensations. He scrupulously avoids the word ‘sensation’ in the treatment of the senses. He uses such expressions as ‘response to light’, ‘auditory response’, ‘olfactory response’, etc. He rejects ‘sensation’ because it is not sensory-motor behaviour.
He does not mention perception because it involves interpretation of meanings of sensory signs, and because it is very difficult to explain meanings in terms of sensori-motor behaviours.
He explains after-images as reactions of the receptors after the withdrawal of the stimuli acting upon them. After-images are the aftereffects of light stimulation after the eye has been stimulated for a time by a light which is then removed.
The subject may react as though he was stimulated anew by the original light, the so-called ‘positive after-image’, or, as though he was stimulated by light complementary to the original light, the so-called ‘negative afterimage’. Watson never uses the term memory and reduces it to neural habit. He believes in habit memory only and rejects pure memory.
The feeling of familiarity, involved in memory simply means the revival of old visceral (emotional) responses. Watson holds that Memory images consist partly in kinaesthetic impulses and partly in visceral responses. They are not centrally aroused; they do not originate in the brain.
All behaviour is sensori-motor. Watson reduces thinking to sub-vocal talking. Thinking must be a sensori-motor performance of some sort. It consists in implicit speech movements. Thinking is implicit behaviour in the shape of sub-vocal talking that is substituted for over manipulation.
Watson regards the feelings of pleasantness and unpleasantness as partly sensory impulses from the sex organs or other erogenous zones and partly incipient movements of approach or escape. They also are not centrally aroused. Emotions are hereditary ‘pattern reactions’ involving profound changes of the organism as a whole, but particularly of the visceral and glandular systems.
Each separate emotion is a particular pattern of visceral and glandular responses. Watson credits a very young child with fear, rage, and love. Fear is aroused in him by the loss of support by falling, or by hearing a loud sound. Rage is excited by impeding his movements. Love is aroused by gently stroking or patting him. All other emotions are induced in him by conditioning.
Watson regards a reflex action as the simplest type of activity. It is an action that takes place in response to a stimulus in some fairly circumscribed glandular or muscular tissue. An instinct is a system of chained reflexes. It may be analysed into a chain of reflex actions, each such element of activity in the pattern as a whole being called a reflex.
Watson rejects instincts as innate or hereditary predispositions to perceive specific objects, to feel specific emotions, and to react in a particular manner to a situation as McDougall maintains. Predispositions are mental, and are, therefore, rejected by Watson. Native endowment in the form of instincts, innate capacities, or predispositions is rejected by him.
He believes in environmentalism or complete determination of the individual by the environment. He asserts that he can make any healthy, well-formed child into a scholar, a lawyer, an engineer, a poet, or a philosopher by putting him in the proper environment. The behaviour of the child can be moulded into any form by the appropriate environment.
Watson looks upon any mode of activity, either explicit or implicit in character, not belonging to man’s hereditary equipment as a habit. A habit is a learned act acquired by the individual A habitual act consists in integrating simple separate movements in such a way as to produce a new unitary activity. Instinct and habit are undoubtedly composed of some elementary reflexes.
They differ in the origin of the pattern and the order of unfolding of the elements composing the pattern. In instinct the pattern and the order are inherited; in habit both are acquired by the individual during his life time. A habit is a complex pattern of reflexes learned or acquired by the individual.
Watson accounts for learning by the law of exercise, the law of use, the law of disuse, the law of frequency, and the law of recency. He rejects the law of effect because it refers to pleasure and pain and their effects on actions—pleasure stimulating and repeating an action and stamping it in the organism, and pain arresting and eliminating an action and stamping it out of the organism.
Watson rejects the influence of pleasure and pain because they are mental processes. He regards all learning as conditioning. All learned acts are conditioned responses. All learning is mechanical or by trial and error without reference to the end, or to pleasure and pain.
Watson means by personality an individual’s total assets (actual and potential) and liabilities (actual and potential) on the reaction side. By assets he means the total mass of organized habits which adjust him to the environment.
By liabilities he means the part of his equipment which does not work in the present environment, and prevents him from adjusting himself to the environment. Personality is the pattern of an individual’s behaviour’s in the environment.
Criticism of Behaviourism:
(i) Behaviourism believes in epiphenomenalism. It regards conscious as a by-product or epiphenomenon of the brain. This is absurd. Consciousness is a fact of experience.
(ii) Behaviourism takes a wrongs view of psychology. It cannot be a science of behaviour alone. Behaviour is an expression of experience. Experience is known by introspection. Psychology cannot dispense with introspection. It is a science of experience and behaviour.
The introspective method investigates the individual’s own experience. Observation and experiment investigate his own and other’s behaviour. Behaviourism does not recognise sensation as experience.
(iii) It cannot account for perception because interpretation of meanings of sensory signs is a mental act. From the behaviourist standpoint the problem of meaning is a pure abstraction. We watch what the animal or human being is doing. He ‘means’ what he does. His action shows his meaning. But behaviourism cannot account for meanings.
(iv) It does not recognize pure memory. It wrongly reduces memory to neural habit. But pure memory differs from habit memory as we have already explained. Behaviourism wrongly identifies thinking with sub-vocal talking. Thinking is expressed in talking. It is absurd to hold that thinking is identical with speech. We have already criticized the behaviourist view or thinking.
(v) Behaviourism wrongly regards all learning as conditioning and by trial and error. Human learning is mostly intelligent, rational, or by insight. Even chimpanzees learn by insight. We have already shown that all learning is not conditioning.
(vi) Behaviourism wrongly regards instincts as chains of reflexes. Instinctive acts are complete unitary mental acts. Their unity and purposiveness, variation and adaptation, cannot be explained by reflex actions.
(vii) Behaviourism does not recognize voluntary actions because they involve selection, choice and volition which are mental processes.
(viii) It regards personality as a pattern of behaviour traits. But the pattern can be adequately explained only by the subject’s interest, selection, and reactions to the environment in a particular manner. Personality is the individual’s style of life.
His style is determined by his own characteristic responses to the environment. He cannot be completely moulded and determined by the environment. He determines his own actions freely with the limits of the physical and social environment.
(ix) Environmentalism reduces man to an automaton. Behaviourism is mechanistic and deterministic. The only merit of behaviourism lies in its recognition of the importance of behaviour in the study of psychology. But in its enthusiasm for its new approach to the problem of psychology it has missed the special characteristic of psychology as a science of experience.
Type # 6. Gestalt Psychology:
Gestalt psychology appeared as a revolt against the analytical psychology of Wundt. He holds that experience comes in complexes or compounds, not in elements. Every experience is complex. Every action is complex.
Therefore, the task of psychology is first to analyse these complex processes into their elements, and then to study how the elements are combined into complex products and the laws of their combination.
Psychology should first identify the elements of experience and then work them into compounds. Gestalt psychology calls the analytical psychology brick and mortar psychology, with emphasis on the brick. Analytical psychology emphasizes the elements of experience and behaviour.
But Gestalt psychology starts with the fundamental assumption that every kind of experience or behaviour is a unique, whole, gestalt, which cannot be analysed into elements. Gestalt is its slogan. It means ‘shape’, ‘form’, ‘pattern’, or ‘configuration.
The Gestalt “psychologists are called configurationists. Psychology should not, therefore, aim at analysis of complex experiences and actions in to their elements, because it falsifies their nature. Experiences and actions are organized wholes. Psychology should study the properties of these organized wholes as they occur in experience or in performance.
Gestalt psychology stresses organized wholes. The human or animal organism is a gestalt. It is not a mere sum or aggregate of parts and organs. All parts of an organism are interrelated. The organism acts as a whole, and its behaviour does not consist of a sum of reflexes. The brain also functions as a whole. A simple reflex acts upon other parts of the organism and is not confined to a particular part of the body.
Sherrington demonstrated the ‘integrative action of the nervous system’. Pavlov showed the dependence of one conditioned reflex on another. Lasyly showed that the brain functioned as a whole in all learning. Gestalt, psychology holds that the animal’s behaviour is a whole, a gestalt, from the very start. Gestalt psychology insists oh the organized wholeness of behaviour most strongly.
Gestalt psychologists hold that we perceive an object as a gestalt or a whole. We do not perceive it as an aggregate of parts. The object of perception is always a whole, a gestalt, a configuration, and not a mere sum of parts. The perception of a situation, pattern or configuration depends upon the total activity going on in the brain.
Gestalt psychologists distinguish between figure and ground in perception. We always perceive a figure in a background. We have already discussed the Gestaltist theory of perception of a figure in a ground.
The Gestaltists make much of closing the gap. They hold that a closed figure has an advantage against an irregular figure with gaps. There is a natural tendency to close up gaps. It is not a result of experience of many whole objects. The Gestaltists believe that it represents the brain dynamics in receiving a mass of stimuli from the eye.
When an irregular figure with gaps is seen, there are unbalanced tensions in the brain. The receptive process in the brain gravitates towards equilibrium.
The brain receives an unclosed figure with unbalanced tensions. But it receives a closed figure with tensions restored to equilibrium. The brain responds to a figure as a whole. The visual perception of figure, shape, size and motion is not acquired but direct.
It is inherent in the nature of brain activity. The movements of the eye in seeing are important factors in the process of seeing-figures or objects. The motor activity is a vital factor in visual perception.
The Gestaltists recognize the importance of motor activities. But they think that motor responses to the environment are determined by perceptual activity; they cannot be studied apart from the perception of the environment. Motor activity follows from perceptual activity.
The environment is perceived, and then the motor response follows. Motor activity cannot be studied apart from perceptual activity which deter fries it since the organism acts a whole. Perception and motor response are embedded in the total activity of the organism.
The Gestaltists look upon association as cohesion. Two or more perceptions which occur together or in close succession are not bound together mechanically by a glue called association. They do not maintain an independent existence before and after they are connected.
The Gestaltists hold that when two or more discrete perceptions or ideas enter into a configuration, they are connected with one another by virtue of their men-ship in a whole; they are retained and recalled as members of a single pattern, and not as isolated and independent items.
Gestalt psychology dislikes the explanation of behaviour in terms of the stimulus and the response. It smells of atomistic psychology. Gestaltists reject analysis of experience into sensory elements, and analysis of behaviour into simple reflexes in response to simple stimuli. They object to a connection between a stimulus and a response, whether provided by nature or acquired from experience.
They do not regard instincts as chains of reflexes. They do not regard learned behaviour as integration of reflexes by the process of ‘conditioning’. They hold that learning consists in organization of perceptual activity and organization of motor activity or behaviour.
Perception is always of a whole, a pattern, a figure in a ground. It is never a complex of simple units combined with one another. Behaviour is always an integrate movement, a whole, a pattern. It is never a complex of simple units or reflex actions.
An infant passes from a simple coordinated movement to a complex coordinated movement. His movements are crudely organized at first; then, they become more organised. His adjustments to the environment involve organization of sensory experience as well as that of motor response, both being embedded in the total activity of the organism. This total activity has a unique nature from the beginning.
The bonds between ideas emphasized by the Associationists, and bonds between stimuli and motor responses emphasized by the Behaviourists are not sufficient causes of action. The Gestalists account for some actions by the formula of ‘closing the gap’.
You put a letter in your pocket with a view to posting it. The act sets up a tension in your organism which is relieved when the letter is posted. When you put the letter in your pocket you leave a gap in your behaviour.
The gap is filled when you place it in a letter box. Filling the gap restores this particular dynamic system to a state of equilibrium. When a person undertakes a task, tensions are generated in his organism, which are relieved when the task is completed.
Probably the brain dynamics of seeing a closed figure and completing an unfinished task are the same. Unbalanced brain tensions are relieved and reach equilibrium with ‘closing the gap’.
Kohler, a Gestaltist, holds that chimpanzees learn by insight,—not by trial and error. They do not learn mechanically, acting impulsively, repeating, successful actions and checking unsuccessful actions, and stamping in the former and stamping out the latter, according to the law of effect.
They learn by insight. They have the power of ‘seeing the point’; they see the key to a situation. Learning consists in performing a new movement by which the gap between the present situation and the goal may be bridged.
The unique movement can be performed when the key to the situation as a whole or a pattern is fully grasped, which includes the goal and leads to it. Perceptual re-organisation of the situation is necessary for learning a new movement to master a novel situation.
The Gestalt psychologists hold that the facial expression of an emotion should be taken as a complex whole. The face must be taken as a whole, and not as segregated parts of expression. Evidently, the shape to the face resides in the face as a whole, and the emotional expression of the face likewise resides in the face as a whole.
In studying the facial expression of an emotion we should not altogether ignore the parts; in fact, the parts are the expressions of the whole face. We should consider the parts of the facial expression of an emotion in relation to the whole.
An emotion finds its expression in the whole face, and the different features of the face, for example, brow elevated, eyes wide, lips retracted etc., are the expressions of one underlying emotion that expresses itself in the face as a whole. The Gestalt psychologists regard the character of a person as an organized, whole, a gestalt, and not as a mere sum of traits.
It cannot be estimated by measuring each trait and placing his traits side by side in diagram because it fails to show which trait is dominant and which traits are subordinate to it in his character, and because it does not show the function of each trait in his personality. So personality is not a mere sum total of isolated traits, but a pattern or configuration.
Criticism of Gestalt Psychology:
(i) Gestalt psychology has made a solid contribution to the psychology of perception. It is right in rejecting atomistic or mosaic psychology and laying stress on experience and behaviour as wholes, patterns, or configurations.
But it does not seek to explain the nature of wholes or gestalten. It wrongly links up integral experiences of the wholes with the dynamics of the brain and the organism, unbalanced tensions and equilibrium in them, which are not experimentally verified.
(ii) The Italian psychologist, Rignan, contends that the term gestalt has been used in different senses.
(i) The occurence of simple spatial and temporal relations between sensations, and
(ii) The formation of meanings and things out of the former.
(iii) He further contends that the Gestaltists fail to understand that the meanings are achieved through our interests and desires out of sensations. The Gestaltists ignore the role of affective and conative tendencies in perceiving things.
(iv) The Gestaltists ignore instincts and reflexes which are emphasized by Hormic psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Behaviourism. Their findings have to be harmonized with the Gestalist teachings.
(v) The Gestalt theory insists on the role played in mental life by gestalt, from, configuration and opposed to sensations formed or organized. This insistence is in no way original, but is a kind of revolt against the doctrine of associationism. But the Gestalt theory condemns analysis too much.
It is not justified in rejecting analysis altogether. Psychology cannot do wholly without the analytic method. It, as a science, must use analysis and synthesis both. By refusing analytical method in the domain of psychology the Gestalt theory opens the way to arbitrary interpretation and un-analysed conceptions.
(vi) Spearman rightly points out that the growth of the mind appears to be characterized by simultaneous differentiation and integration. The psychologist may start with simple elements and work them up into integral experiences; or he may start with complex integral experiences and analyse them into simple elements; the eventual results should always be the same.
In short, then, the Gestalt theory of priority of whole to its constituents has little foundation.
(vii) Organization of wholes or Gestalten cannot be explained without the conative impulse or striving of the subject. The nature of the conative dispositions or interest determines the nature of the field of organization. Different interests determine different ends or goals which are realized through the unification of different wholes. One single whole is viewed in different ways by persons of different interests.
The parts of Calcutta, for example, are organized in different ways according to the interests of different individuals. Thus Gestalt psychology does not probe deep into the nature and cause of gestalten or patterns. But certain Gestalt ideas betray a remarkable teleology or purposiveness, though it is not emphasized by the Gestalists.
Gestalt Psychology and Behaviourism:
Gestalt psychology in Germany began as a revolt against the established order. It rebelled specifically against the psychology of Wundt, and generally against Associationism. Behaviourism and Gestalt psychology both revolted against the analytic psychology which was current at the time.
But they revolted in different ways. Behaviourism revolted against the intellectual bias of the older psychology, and excluded experience from the scope of psychology. It looked upon an animal or a man as a behaving organism.
It confined psychology to the analysis of behaviour. Gestalt psychology revolted against analysis of experience and behaviour both, and confined psychology to the study of experience and behaviour as wholes. Behaviourism rejected ‘association of ideas’ in favour of ‘association of stimulus and response’.
Gestalt psychology rejected the notion of association altogether, and regarded every kind of experience or behaviour as a whole. Behaviourism rejected introspection as a method of psychological investigation because it shut our experience or consciousness from its scope.
But Gestalt psychology did not reject introspection because it regarded experience as a proper object of study in psychology. Only it rejected the analytical type of introspection which was emphasized by existentialism and Associationism.
It rejected analysis altogether. It conceived every kind of experience and behaviour as a whole which defies analysis. Behaviourism rejected sensations because they are not motor responses.
Gestalt psychology also rejected sensations because they are elements or atoms of experience. Behaviourism regarded the reflex as an elementary act, and complex actions as compounds of reflexes. Gestalt psychology rejected sensations as well as reflex actions because they are elements of experience and behaviour. Gestalt psychology revolted analytical psychology of Existentialism and Associationism
Type # 7. Hormic or Purposive Psychology:
McDougall is the pro-pounder of the Hormic theory. The term hormic is derived from the Greek work Horme, meaning an urge to action. Purpose is the central concept of Hormic Psychology. Nobody can dispute the fact of human purpose. Voluntary actions of men are purposive. But McDougall asserts that every action of an animal is purposive.
Even instinctive actions are’ purposive. Each animal species is so constituted that it naturally seeks to realize certain goals, which satisfy its needs. These organic needs and the tendencies to satisfy them by trying to realize certain goals (such as food, shelter and mate), are inborn and common to all members of the species.
Hence they are called instinctive. Man also inherits certain propensities natural to the species, which are called instincts. McDougall calls them “psychophysical dispositions.” These are the primary motives of all his strivings. Intelligence is subservient to instincts. It supplies the means for the natural goals of instincts. Hormic psychology lays the greater stress on instincts. Therefore it is sometimes called a theory of instincts.
Purpose is the fundamental concept of Hormic psychology. Purpose implies two factors; it implies foresight of the result of a certain action, and desire for that result. Purposivism stresses the primacy of striving, rather than the primacy of foresight. Thus McDougall explains behaviour in terms of striving for goal or purpose. He explains experience also in terms of goal-seeking.
There are two types of Purposive Psychology:
(i) Hedonistic Psychology:
It asserts that the true goal of all striving is pleasure; that we always strive to attain a foreseen pleasure and avoid a foreseen pain; that we desire such things at food, shelter, repose, etc., not in and for themselves, but only for the sake of pleasure which we shall derive from them. This is pleasure—pain theory of action, generally called Psychological Hedonism.
(ii) Hormic Psychology:
It rejects Psychological Hedonism and maintains that the hedonistic theory is false; that what we desire and strive for is the object itself, such as food, shelter or mate; that these things are not, as Psychological Hedonism asserts, desired merely as means to the goal of pleasure.
We really desire and strive for these objects themselves regarding them as intrinsically good and desirable. We desire and seek this or that goal or objects, because we are constituted in that way. Man is so constituted that, like other animals, he desires and, under appropriate circumstances, strive to attain certain natural goals, such as food, shelter, mate and so forth.
The attainment of the goal or object is commonly suffused with a pleasure or satisfaction which outlives the activity. But pleasure is never the goal of striving or action.
Hormic Psychology is anti-behaviouristic. It is opposed to behaviourism which reduced behaviour to a mechanical response to stimulus. McDougall holds that behaviour cannot be explained with a purpose. All behaviour is purposive or teleological. It involves striving for a goal and foresight of a goal.
McDougall mentions the following characteristics of behaviour:
(i) Some degree of spontaneity and independence of the environment,
(ii) Persistence even after the stimulus has ceased,
(iii) Persistence with varied effort or variation in the motor behaviour,
(iv) The cessation of the varied activity when a certain result is attained,
(v) Adaptation of the different parts of the complex behaviour to one another as means and ends, and
(vi) Learning by the process of trial and error. Thus all behaviour shows goal-seeking. Goal- seeking requires motives or springs of action. Instincts are the primary motives.
McDougall makes too much of instincts. Instincts are the primary motives. Intelligence provides only the means for the realization of the ends set by instincts. Intelligence is subservient to instincts.
McDougall holds that in every instinctive act there are two elements, a fixed or stereotype element, and a plastic or variable element. The fixed element is the element of instinct; the variable element is the element of intelligence. Every instinctive act involves some degree of intelligence.
There is adaptability to special circumstances in every instinctive act. To this extent, an instinctive act is modifiable and intelligent. It always contains in addition to its fixed and unchanging elements a variable element adapted to the particular situation. Therefore every instinctive action may be said to be partly intelligent.
On the other hand, a large instinctive element enters into every form of intelligent action. Corresponding to instincts there are emotions which are their affective correlates. Thus instinct and’ intelligence are not exclusive of each other. McDougall’s theory of instincts and emotions has already been discussed. He regards instincts as the primary motives or springs of action in individual and social behaviour.
He regards sentiments as the secondary motives or springs of action. Sentiments are permanent emotional dispositions centred round certain objects. They are structural units due to the organization of instincts and emotions. They are organized in a hierarchy under the sentiment of self-regard, which is the master sentiment. Character is a system of sentiments with the sentiment of self-regard as its essential element.
McDougall agrees with the Gestaltists that higher animals learn by insight. But he adds that foresight is also necessary for learning.
Learning involves foresight as well as insight. The animal foresees the attainment of the goal and the steps necessary for the attainment of it. Therefore, he experiences something for the pleasure of success. The pleasure accompanies the making of the necessary movement, and it reinforces, sustains, and invigorates those movements. Thus foresight is necessary. But McDougall does not deny learning by trial and error.
He recognizes two forms of learning:
(i) Intelligent learning involving achievement through insight and foresight; and
(ii) A quasi-mechanical learning through trial and error. In the second kind of learning also there is striving towards a goal, and some satisfaction results from reaching the goal. If there were no striving and goal-seeking, mere repetition of a movement sequence would not result in facilitation.
Thus all kinds of learning—intelligent learning through insight and foresight and unintelligent learning through mere repetition—are purposive.
McDougall regards personality as moulded by disposition, temperament and character. Disposition is the sum total of the instinctive tendencies and determined by heredity. Temperament is the sum of the effects of the metabolic and chemical changes, in the body upon the mental life. Character is the sum of the acquired habits and sentiments.
Hormic psychology is opposed to Associationism or psychological atomism, which regards the mind as a mosaic of discrete elements, sensations and ideas connected with one another by the laws of Association.
Hormic Psychology emphasizes the unity and spontaneous activity of the mind which is the subject of experience and behaviour. Hormic Psychology is anti-intellectualistic. It is psychology of motivation. It emphasizes ‘the urge of action’ and regards cognitive activity as subordinate to it.
Criticism of Hormic Psychology:
(i) McDougall rightly regards the mind as the subject of experience and behaviour, and rejects the concept of mind as a mosaic of discrete sensations and ideas.
(ii) He rightly emphasizes the purposive nature of experience and behaviour.
(iii) But he makes too much of instincts and does not adequately recognize the part played by random and reflex actions.
(iv) He wrongly regards intelligence as subservient to instincts. Intelligence sometimes points out the means to the realization of ends or goals set by the instincts. But intelligence also guides, controls and regulates the instincts, and re-directs them into rational and social channels. Thus instincts are very often subordinated to intelligence. Instincts, as primary motives, remind us of the old ‘faculties’.
(v) McDougall revives the Faculty Psychology by regarding instincts as primary entities. Many so-called instincts, such as matting, parental care, self-assertion, acquisitiveness, constructiveness and the like, are complex systems of activities acquired by the individual through his contact with the social environment.
Instincts are elementary acts, which are native. Many complex actions, wrongly called instincts, are learned actions. Instincts do not always set the goals and provide the energy of human behaviour.
(vi) Instincts play an important part in social behaviour. But reason plays no less important part in social conduct. Social behaviour is largely determined by instincts and imitation; but it is also determined, to a certain extent, by thought and reflection. McDougall emphasizes the role of instincts too much in social behaviour. His theory of emotion has already been examined.
(vii) He lays too much stress on organization of sentiments under the master sentiments of self-regard in the formation of character. Character, in fact, contains as much habits of thought and habits of will as habits of emotion or sentiments.
(viii) McDougall’s theory of earning contains a pure element of truth. On the whole, experience and behaviour cannot be adequately explained by mechanistic concepts. Psychology must be purposive rather than mechanistic.
(ix) But purpose belongs to the self; it is a goal or end foreseen by the self; purpose is meaningless apart from the self. The organism is an instrument of the self; it is the vehicle of its experience and behaviour. Cognition is not necessarily subservient to conation. Instincts are controlled and regulated by the self’s reason or intelligence. Thus Hormic psychology leads to and implies self-psychology.
(x) Bernard, Kuo and others have launched a vigorous attack on McDougall’s theory of instincts and want to abolish the term ‘instinct’ from psychology, because it is a vague and mysterious entity incapable of experimental verification, and because different psychologists, define instinct in different ways.
Type # 8. Psychoanalysis:
Sigmund Freud formulated the theory and technique of Psychoanalysis which have already been discussed in connection with disintegration of personality. His theory of dreams also has been discussed. Here we shall refer to some details of his theory.
(i) Dynamic Conception of the Mind:
Freud conceives the mind as dynamic. The real function of the mind is not intellectual or cognitive, but impulsive or conative. The mind strives both in the conscious and in the unconscious levels. The older psychologists laid undue stress on the rational and conscious aspects of the human mind. Freud regards the unconscious and irrational part of it as more important.
(ii) Polarity of the Conscious and the Unconscious:
Freud believes in the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious. The mind follows, the social code of morality in the waking and conscious life and represses the natural desires, e.g., sex (libido), which come into conflict with it. The desires which are repressed become unconscious wishes.
There is an antagonism between the conscious and the unconscious. The preconscious is what can be readily recalled what has not been repressed. The repressed and unconscious desires cannot be directly brought back to consciousness.
(iii) Polarity of the Reality Principle and the Pleasure Principle:
The mind or Ego, in the conscious level, follows the reality principle. It follows the code of morality prevalent in the social environment. The social code prevents it from following the pleasure principle and seeking for immediate gratification of its desires.
But the Ego, in the unconscious level, follows the pleasure principle. The repressed desires, which are unconscious, seek for their fulfillment and follow the pleasure principle.
By nature man seeks for direct and immediate satisfaction of the desires. But in his conscious life his natural desires for immediate gratification are repressed and not allowed direct satisfaction by the social code of morality.
They are repressed and become unconscious, and follow the pleasure principle. They are manifested in dreams, day-dreams, phantasies and the like. But in the conscious waking condition man follows the reality principle or the code of morality prevalent in the society. Thus there is an antagonism between the pleasure principle and the reality principle.
(iv) Polarity of the Ego-Instinct and Libido:
In his earlier works, Freud did not give a name to the pole opposed to sex or libido. But he spoke of repression, censorship, conflict and compromise which imply some opposing force that repressed the libido; sometimes he spoke of it as the ego or the ego tendency. Thus the original urges were brought under two heads—the ego-instinct and the libido.
(v) Libido and its Stage of Growth:
Freud has a strict-board conception of the libido. It means sexuality. It means also love─ parental love, filial love, sexual love, love for friends, love for animals, and love for inanimate objects. It means also all kinds of bodily pleasure. It includes the pleasure of thumb-sucking, biting, being rubbed and gently stroked, and the pleasure of urination or defecation.
Freud often uses the word ‘libido’ in the sense of love in the broadest sense. And yet he vehemently protests against any attempt to desexualize his libido. He insists that his conception of libido is strict as well as broad.
(vi) According to Freud, the infant is auto-sexual or auto-erotic; he loves his own body, and derives pleasure from the satisfaction of his hunger and thirst, urination and defecation. This stage is called narcissism. As he grows older, he becomes homosexual; a boy loves another boy with warmth and ardour: he transfers love from himself to another boy. A girl loves another girl fervently.
As the boy grows into an adult, he becomes hetero-sexual; a young man loves a young woman: he transfers love from his friend of the same sex to one of the opposite sex. As a girl grows into an adult, she becomes hetero-sexual; a young woman loves a young man; she transfers her love from her female friend to a male friend.
Thus, there are different stages of libido or sexuality—narcissism, or auto-sexuality, homosexuality, and hetero-sexuality.
(vii) But Freud speaks of another manifestation of the libido in the form of the Edipus Complex and the Electra complex. The former is the sexual attraction of a male child to his mother and his hatred for his father. The latter is the sexual attraction of a female child to her father and her hatred for her mother. T
hese complexes are formed long before puberty or adolescence, when the true genital sexuality appears with the advent of hetero-sexuality. As the child grows, his sexual longing for his mother is repressed by social pressure and becomes an unconscious wish. This repressed and unconscious wish which is called the Edipus Complex gives rise to many mental maladjustments. Freud makes much of the Edipus Complex.
(viii) Freud speaks of two other manifestations of the libido in the form of masochism and sadism. The former is a tendency to self-torture and self-persecution. The latter is a tendency to torment and persecute the object of love. Freud includes all other kinds of cruelty and destructiveness in sadism.
(ix) Polarity of Eros or Life Instinct and Death Instinct:
Freud widens the concept of the libido or sex urge by including the self-preserving instincts in it, and call it Eros or the life-instinct. This life urge is opposed by the ‘death instinct’. There is the suicidal tendency in some individuals. The longing for eternal rest or Nirvana is an expression of the death instinct.
Death is the goal of some urge within the individual. Even masochism and sadism, self-torture and torture of the loved person, are regarded by Freud as the joint effects of the sex instinct and the death instinct. Thus Freud recognizes the polarity or antagonism of the Eros or the life instinct and the death instinct.
(x) Id, Ego and Super-Ego:
Freud originally divided the mind into the Ego and the unconscious. He conceived the Ego as conscious which repressed desires (libido) that were unacceptable to it, and kept them unconscious by resistance. But resistances were found to be unconscious in many patients. Hence the original, repression also must have been unconscious.
In about 1920 Freud constructed a theory which recognized three layers of the mind, namely, the Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego. His revised theory makes the Ego partly conscious and partly unconscious. As conscious, it is in contact with the social environment and follows the reality principle.
As unconscious, it is emerged in the unconscious interior, or the Id, and follows the pleasure principle. The Id remains ever unconscious and unorganized.
It contains all the instinctive driving forces of the individual’s life, both the life-instincts and the death instincts. It is the most primitive part to the psyche. The Id is dominated by the pleasure principle, while the Ego is dominated by the reality principle.
The Ego develops out of the Id, and serves as a connecting link between the Id and the outside world. It is an intermediate principle between the Id and the Super-Ego. It unconsciously executes the commands of the Id, and consciously acts as a controlling force over the Id.
The conflict between the Id and the Ego is further complicated by a third principle, the Super-Ego. It is the ego-ideal, corresponding to what is called conscience. The Super-Ego corresponds to conscience. The Ego corresponds to prudence.
The Id is the primitive rebellious instincts. The Super-Ego is peculiar to man, and is said to originate in the thwarted sex urge or libido of the little child. It is said to owe its origin to the Edipus Complex.
The Super-Ego is the interjected parent who restricts and regulates the expression of the basic needs. It is the representative of the parental authority within the individual who identifies himself with parent.
The Super-Ego punishes the Ego for the transgressions of the basic needs and is the source of injunctions and prohibitions, which it imposes upon the Ego. These are categorical imperatives derived from the internal conflicts of the Id. These are not percepts of expedience derived from social environment.
(11) Repressed Infantile Sexuality:
Freud’s theory of Psycho-analysis is based upon three pillars: libido (sexuality), repression, and the infantile period. The libido of a child cannot often be fulfilled owing to the ban of the society during the period of infancy. So it is repressed and becomes an unconscious wish. It forms persistent complexes.
They are groups of ideas tinged with a feeling of pain. These emotionally toned groups of ideas or unconscious complexes are manifested in consciousness as dreams, day-dreams, worry, slips of the pen, slip of the tongue, art and religion, which are not accidental but motivated.
They are sometimes manifested. Freud believes in universal psychical causation. He holds that all mental processes are causes. Sometimes their causes lie deep in the conscious wishes (libido). Hence Freud’s psychology is called depth psychology.
Criticism of Psychoanalysis:
(i) It is true that the unconscious plays an important part in mental life. It is also true that repressed desires become unconscious; but they may remain in the margin of consciousness and colour the focus of consciousness. Sometimes fulfilled desires. Freud makes for much of the unconscious.
(ii) It is true that repressed libido or sexuality is manifested in dreams, day-dreams, slips, wit, art, and religion, and also in mental disorders. But Freud makes too much of libido or sexuality. His theory is accused of pansexuality. The sex instinct is a very dominant urge of human life.
But it is not the only instinct that motivates human conduct. Adler rightly points out that the instinct of self-assertion or the will-to-power is more dominant and more thwarted by the society at every step than sex instinct. Inferiority complex is at the root of many mental disorders.
The instinct of self-assertion also is manifested in dreams, day-dreams and the like. Jung rightly points out that the sex urge and the urge for power are most differentiated from the urge-to-live in an infant. The will-to-live is more fundamental than the sex urge and the urge for power, which emerge out of it later m the life of a child at appropriate times.
In fact, human nature is too complex to be explained by one instinct, viz., sex instinct. Freud investigated many abnormal persons who suffered from sexual maladjustments. Therefore, he hastily formulated his theory that repressed libido or sex was the cause of dreams and mental disorders. We should proceed from the normal to the abnormal. We are not justified in proceeding from the abnormal to the normal.
(iii) Freud is not quite sure of the nature of libido. His strict broad, interpretation of libido shows it clearly. Libido is genital sex gratification. In this sense, it is not possible in an infant. Libido is bodily pleasure, e.g., pleasure of thumb-sucking, of urination, of defecation, etc.
This is a curious extension of the meaning of libido. Again, libido is parental love, filial love, for love for friends, and love for inanimate things. Freud regards all these kinds of love as expressions of libido or sex.
Though they may be remotely connected with sex instinct, they are not found by normal persons to be expressions of sexuality. Freud here shows lack of psychological insight. Maternal instinct and sex instinct are two quite different instincts; and tender emotion or maternal affection and sexual love or lust are two quite different emotions.
It is muddleheadedness to lump them together under the heading sex. There is a great deal of confusion in Freud’s theory.
(iv) Freud makes too much of the Edipus Complex. But most normal persons do not find a trace of it in their minds. Freud would say that it is due to the fact that sexual longing for the mother has been repressed successfully. Freud often takes mere hypothesis for psychological facts. Super-Ego or conscience, with its injunctions and prohibitions, is said to originate in the Edipus Complex. This is an absurd hypothesis.
(v) Freud’s theory of polarity of the reality principle and the pleasure principle is based upon his theory of repression of libido, and stands or falls along with it. He is inclined towards the theory of psychological hedonism which is false and has been criticized. McDougall rightly urges that we seek food, shelter, mate, and other objects for their own sake, rather than pleasure derived from them.
Freud is right, when he urges that we have to follow the social code of morality in the conscious level, and repress the instincts which are banned by the society.
(vi) Freud’s theories of polarity of Ego and libido, of the life instinct and the death instinct, are mere unproved assumptions. His theory of Id, Ego and Super-Ego is also a mere hypothesis. But the fact remains, that Freud and his followers have cured many patients of their mental disorders by the psychoanalytic technique. Hence there must be a core of truth in Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis.
(vii) The effect of psychoanalysis on morality is disastrous. Psychoanalysis is responsible for a positive creed of self-expression. To thwart an instinctive drive is to injure the personality at its root. Freud has shown that neuroses are due to the repression of natural desires (libido).
Therefore, his theory has led to the belief that self-expression of fulfilment of a natural desire is a primary duty, and that repression of it is a sin. Thus Psychoanalysis leads to hedonism.
(viii) Freud regards reason as a mere tool of instincts employed to achieve the ends which are not its own. Reason is the hand maid of instincts. This view is wrong. Reason controls and regulates instincts and transforms them into the vehicle of the life of reason. Psychoanalysis leads to irrationalism.
(ix) Freud hold that our conscious thoughts and desires are the reflections of unconscious wishes, which are not known and therefore cannot be controlled. The conscious is determined by the unconscious which is beyond our control. Thus Psychoanalysis leads to determinism which says the very foundations of morality. Morality depends on human freedom.
(x) Freud holds that conscience or Super-Ego originates in the Edipus Complex. Hence the injunctions and prohibitions of conscience are traceable to the thwarted sex instinct or libido. They do not owe their origin to reason. But Conscience is rational. The moral ideal is of the nature of ought, which cannot be evolved from the is of the instinctive nature. Moral values cannot be derived from, psychological facts.
(xi) Freud’s doctrine is subversive of morality. He holds that morality is a barrier invented by man to hold in check the instincts which society feels most dangerous to it. Our beliefs about right and wrong are determined by the nature of these instincts. We are not responsible for our actions.
Freud had great insight into the workings of the mind and made a new approach to its problems. He opened a new vista in psychology. But he was careless of consistency and did not give a harmonious system. He was the most original of all psychologists.
Type # 9. Parapsychology:
Another branch of psychology called parapsychology has recently appeared in the field. It goes beyond (para-beyond) normal psychology. It may be called supernormal psychology as compared with abnormal psychology.
It deals with super-normal mental phenomena such as:
(i) Extra-sensory-perception (ESP) or perception without the aid of the sense-organs;
(ii) Telepathy, e.g., thought-reading or knowing the mental processes of other minds directly, and thought-transference or transferring one’s thoughts to other minds;
(iii) Clairvoyance or perception of material objects at a distance beyond the reach of the visual organ;
(iv) Clairaudience or perception of sounds at a distance beyond the reach of the auditory organ;
(v) Precognition or premonition of future events;
(vi) Telekinesis or psychokinesis (PK) or moving op changing material objects without physical contact by mere exertion of the will;
(vii) Ectoplasm or a semi-material substance issuing from the body of a materialising medium and taking various shapes such as hands, bodies, objects and the like;
(viii) Psychology or the power of telling the past history of an object by merely handling it;
(ix) Trance-personality or a second personality appearing and taking possession of the sensory and motor mechanisms of the medium when his or her normal consciousness disappear, and giving messages through speech or writing, or possession of a medium by the spirit of a deceased person and communicating messages through him or her.
Parapsychology transcends the limits of ordinary psychology and investigates supernormal mental phenomenon under controlled conditions. It may deal with mystic experiences attained by the practice of yoga. Parapsychology is a recent branch of study which is a reaction against all modern branches of psychology.