Upon locating two articles from the CSU Online Library that discuss structuralism and functionalism, I realized major similarities and differences between what we learned from the textbook and the information I found in the chosen articles. From the functionalism article, its origin usually is traced to a paper on the reflex arc by John Dewey of Chicago. Just like the textbook, he reasoned against the analytic approach of lessening reflex to its components and claimed instead that reflex required to be perceived in its more comprehensive framework as a synchronized system that functioned to acclimate the organism to its setting. The article asserts that Dewey was recognized mainly for his broadminded outlooks on education, having faith that learners ought to be active students and his philosophical works of literature on democracy. The article’s main difference is that functionality states that every aspect of society serves a function and is essential for society’s survival. According to both the textbook and the article, structuralism is broadly considered the first school of thought in psychology. This point of view centers on breaking down psychological processes into essential elements. The article demonstrates that major philosophers associated with structuralism include Edward Titchener and Wilhelm Wundt.
From the information I choose in the article and what I learned in class, structuralism was the initial school of psychology centered on breaking down mental processes into the most elementary elements. Functionalism was established as a reaction to structuralism and was influenced by the evolutionary philosophy of Charles Darwin and the work of William James (Benjamin, 2018). Functionalists pursued to elucidate the psychological processes more accurately and systematically. The article of functionality gives the same elucidation of functionality whereby it asserts that it is the doctrine that what makes something a thought, pain, desire relies not on its internal makeup, but exclusively on its functions, or the part it plays, in the mental structure of which it is a part. Specifically, functionalist philosophies take the individuality of a psychological state in determining its causal relationships to behavior, sensory stimulations, and other mental states.
The finding of an analysis from a functional perspective makes the concept clear for me. According to the article, the initial clear assertion of the functionalist theory originated from the 1906 APA executive discourse of James Angell, who clearly compared functionalism and structuralism, pointing out that structuralists were more likely to inquire about the question “What is consciousness?” while functionalists were more focused with the query “What is consciousness for?” This made them research subjects ranging from growing to abnormal psychology and making them concerned about single differences and how everyday problems can be solved using psychology.
Reading about Titchener’s background convinces me that structuralism is a more solid methodology. Edward Titchener was Wilhelm Wundt’s student who first came up with the term ‘structuralism’ and popularized the school of thought. Titchener, whose notions were not the same as those of his educator, felt that psychology ought to center on learning both the mind and the consciousness (Li, 2020). Titchener regarded consciousness as the amalgamation of all of our psychological experiences at any particular point in time. The mind, at that time, was the buildup of all of our involvements all through our lives. Titchener and his associated structuralists supposed that we could realize how psychological processes are organized and learn about higher thinking by dividing the mind into its basic parts (Huffman et al., 2017). The textbook and the article on structuralism and functionalism have similarities in a way that according to Titchener, the cognizant minds made up of three structure or modules: images, which are mental pictures of ideas, feelings, which are produced by sensory information, and affections, or the components that make up emotions.
Behaviorism denotes a theory of learning that asserts that all behaviors are learned through interaction with the environment by a process known as conditioning. As a result, the behavior is just a response to environmental stimuli. I have used the principles of behaviorism on several occasions. The principles of behaviorism learning comprise of the role of consequences, schedules of reinforcement, the immediacy of consequences, the role of antecedents, reinforcers, punishers, and maintenance. I have ever tried the principles of behaviorism on my younger sister, who studies in a high school. My sister had a tendency of behaving poorly each time. I had to develop a behavior management system in hopes of motivating her to behave better. At the end of each day, if she conducted herself well at an acceptable level, I buy her chocolate. At the end of the week, if she behaved extremely well, I promise her a nice shoe. Once she behaves well for an additional one week, she then gets a new shoe. My hope was that a new shoe’s incentive would motivate her to behave extremely well and work hard in class. The hope is that she will continue to exhibit the desired behavior because of the shoe reward until it eventually turns into a habit.
Benjamin Jr, L. T. (2018). A brief history of modern psychology. John Wiley & Sons.
Huffman, K., Dowdell, K., & Sanderson, C. A. (2017). Psychology in action. John Wiley & Sons.
Li, R. (2020). Young Dewey and Zeitgeist in Psychology. In Rediscovering John Dewey (pp. 49-73). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.