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1991 - Volume 12, Number 1, Winter

Consciousness and Commissurotomy: III. Toward the Improvement of Alternative Conceptions
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 1-32, ISSN 0271-0137
This is the third in a series of articles that address what is known or knowledgeably held about the consciousness of fully commissurotomized people. This installment discusses three alternative conceptions with which the present author does not agree. They are Eccles’s dualist-interactionist conception, Gillett’s linguistic conception, and Rey’s eliminative conception. With regard to the first two of these, issues are raised with the intention of helping the respective proponent to improve his conception. In the case of the third, it is urged that the view not be promoted, for moral reasons, unless very strong evidence sometimes becomes available in its favor.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Department of Pyschology, University of California, Davis California 95616.

Perception Without Awareness and Electodermal Responding: A Strong Test of Subliminal Psychodynamic Activation Effects
Joseph M. Masling, State University of New York at Buffalo, Robert F. Bornstein, Gettysburg College, Frederick G. Poynton, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, Sheila Reed, University of Wyoming, and Edward S. Katkin, State University of New York at Stony Brook
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 33-48, ISSN 0271-0137
Eighty-four undergraduate male subjects were tachistoscopically exposed either to an experimental message designed to arouse anxiety (NO ONE LOVES ME), or to a neutral control message (NO ONE LIFTS IT), at 4 ms or 200 ms durations. Electrodermal responses (EDRs) were recorded before, during and after exposure to the critical messages. Three measures of awareness of 4 ms stimuli were used; recall, recognition and discrimination. No evidence of stimulus awareness was found on any of these measures. Only subjects exposed to the experimental message at 4 ms durations showed a significant increase in EDR from pre-exposure to message exposure period. These results support Silverman’s (1983) hypothesis that drive-related stimuli must be presented subliminally in order to produce significant effects on behavior, and are consistent with Bornstein’s (1989b) hypothesis that stimulus awareness inhibits responding to drive- and affect-related stimuli.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph M. Masling, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Park Hall, SUNY-Buffalo, Amherst, New York 14260.

Inferring Formal Causation from Corresponding Regressions
William V. Chambers, University of South Florida
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 49-70, ISSN 0271-0137
A statistical method for inference of formal causes was introduced. The procedure, referred to as the method of corresponding regressions, was explained and illustrated using a variety of simulated causal models. The method reflects IV/DV relations among variables traditionally limited to correlational or structural equation analysis. The method was applied to additive, subtractive, multiplicative, recursive and reflected models, as well as models of unrelated and correlated dependent variables. Initial applications to data from physical science, biology, economics, marketing and psychology were developed, with generally supportive results.

Requests for reprints should be sent to William Chambers, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Fort Myers, Florida 33919.

Beware the Illusion of Technique
James T. Lamiell, Georgetown University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 71-76, ISSN, 0271-0137
Although the technique of corresponding regressions proposed and illustrated by Chambers might very well constitute an important and highly useful methodological development, this commentary draws attention to the fact that explanation is, finally, a theoretical endeavor. Thus, the absence (up to now) of the technique of corresponding regressions cannot properly be viewed as responsible for the heretofore prevailing bias among psychological researchers in favor of material- and efficient-cause explanations, nor can future applications of the technique be expected, in and of themselves, to dissolve that bias. Methodological advances do not – and should not – settle theoretical issues. To hold otherwise is to fall prey to that very theory-method confound Chambers himself – quite properly – deplores.

Requests for reprints should be sent to JamesT. Lamiell, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20057.

Untangling Cause, Necessity, Temporality, and Method: Response to Chambers’ Method of Corresponding Regressions
Richard N. Williams, Brigham Young University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter, 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 77-82, ISSN 0271-0137
This paper argues that while Chambers’ method of corresponding regressions offers an intriguing way of analyzing empirical data much remains to be done to make the mathematical, and thus, the statistical meaning of the procedure clear and intuitive. Chambers’ theoretical justification of the method of the claim that it can in some sense validate formal cause explanations as alternatives to efficient cause, mechanistic ones is rejected. Chambers has misattributed the mechanistic cast of most contemporary psychological explanations to linear temporality rather than to necessity, and has preserved such necessity in the quality of asymmetry. The paper seeks to distinguish and clarify temporality, causality, and necessity in order to be more clear about the central theoretical problem Chambers identifies. It is further argued that the current theoretical issues facing the discipline likely cannot be resolved by methodological advances.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Richard N. Williams, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84601.

Corresponding Regressions, Precedural Evidence, and the Dialetics of Substantive Theory, Metaphysics, and Methodology
William V. Chambers, University of South Florida
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 83-92, ISSN 0271-0137
A defense of the method of corresponding regressions was presented. The confounding of formal cause metaphysics with efficient cause methodology was discussed and a rationale for a formal cause methodology was presented. Time-series simulations were used to illustrate the primacy of structural tautologies over temporal transformations. Conclusions supported the use of corresponding regressions as a means of inferring formal causality.

Requests for reprints should be sent to William Chambers, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, 8111 College Parkway, Fort Myers, Florida 33919.

Behavioral Paradigm for a Psychological Resolution of the Free Will Issue
E. Rae Harcum, The College of William and Mary
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 93-114, ISSN 0271-0137
This study provides data for a behavioral paradigm to resolve the free will issue in psychological terms. As predicted, college students selecting among many alternative responses consistently selected according to experimental set, environmental conditions, past experiences and other unknown factors. These explained and unexplained causal factors supplement one another and make varying relative contributions to different behaviors – the Principle of Behavioral Supplementarity. The more psychologically remote the causal factors, the greater proportion of unexplained ones relative to explained ones – the Principle of Remote Antecedence. Both the causal categories can be conceptualized in the incompatible terms of reductionism or intentionality, depending upon the dissociated belief state of the observer – the Principle of Behavioral Complementarity. Ordinarily, on utilitarian grounds, behaviors with psychologically contiguous antecedents are best conceptualized in a reductionistic belief state, and behaviors with remote antecedents are best conceptualized in an intentional belief state.

Requests for reprints should be sent to E. Rae Harcum, Ph.D., Psychology Department, The College of Willam and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185.

Empirical and Philosophical Reactions to Harcum’s “Behavioral Paradigm for a Psychological Resolution of the Free Will Issue”
Howard R. Pollio and Tracy Henley, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 115-134, ISSN 0271-0137
This paper begins with a brief description and analysis of Harcum’s “Behavioral Paradigm for a Psychological Resolution of the Free Will Issue” focusing on issues concerning first-person and third-person perspectives in psychological research and theory. This consideration is expanded to cover a variety of related issues including “unconscious processes” and philosophical discussions of free will. Two studies, similar to Harcum’s original study, but analyzed from a first-person perspective, are reported and contrasted with Harcum’s work. Results of these studies reveal that different individuals provide different meanings for the same actions, e.g., sitting in one or another seat in a college classroom. The significance of these findings for psychological research concerning the experience and concept of free will are discussed in light of an alternative, existential-phenomenological approach to psychology.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Howard R. Pollio, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 307 Austin Peay Building, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-090.

Some Theoretical and Methodological Questions Concerning Harcum’s Proposed Resolution of the Free Will Issue
Joseph F. Rychlak, Loyola University of Chicago
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 135-150, ISSN 0271-0137
Questions of both a theoretical and methodological nature are raised concerning Harcum’s interesting paper on the resolution of the free will issue. The theoretical questions deal with the meaning of “free” as the supposed capricious disregard of environmental circumstances, the theoretical perspective from which agency is construed, the sort of causation that is involved, the choice of a predication model rather than a mediation model, and the role of opposition in framing alternatives. Methodological questions raised center on the role of the experimental instruction, manipulation of the independent variable, and the reliance on randomness or error variance in the validation of free will conceptions. It is concluded that Harcum’s findings are consistent with human agency, but that his theoretical account requires some rethinking.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph F. Rychlak, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60626.

Parity for the Theoretical Ghost and Gremlins: Response to Pollio/Henley and Rychlak
E. Rae Harcum, College of William and Mary
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 151-162, ISSN 0271-0137
Pollio and Henley and Rychlak support the author’s efforts to provide empirical evidence from different methodological perspectives for a role of agency in the science of human behavior. The hypothesized agent initates behaviors independently of heredity and environment, but it also is responsive to those causal factors. In addition to certain labelling problems, a major difference between our views is that the commentors attempt to use a monistic voluntaristic mode of thinking to conceptualize the causal mechanisms, whereas the author advocates in addition, on utilitarian grounds, a second incompatible, mechanistic mode of thinking. The microprocesses in the metaphysical views of voluntarism versus determinism are not empirically falsifiable, but hypotheses which propose different predictive values of the resultant theories under different conditions can be falsified. Neither theory is intrinsically more scientific, nor are methods associated with either theory intrinsically superior in the absence of context.

Requests for reprints should be sent to E. Rae Harcum, Ph.D., Psychology Department, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185.

Book Reviews

The Challenge of Art to Psychology
Book Author: Seymour B. Sarason. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990
Reviewed by Steven E. Connelly, Indiana State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 163-166, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Seymour B. Sarason argues convincingly in The Challenge of Art to Psychology that “the capacity for artistic expression and development is universal,” but for most people “artistic activity is extinguished relatively early in life.” Creative fires are doused for many reasons, reasons which Sarason examines, contemplates, and probes productively. The implications of Sarason’s explorations of the ubiquity of the creative impulse and its pervasive annihilation are sweeping: ultimately, in fact, he contemplates how “worldviews constrain our thinking about what people are and could be.”

Requests for reprints should be sent to Steven E. Connelly, Department of English, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809.

College Sports Inc.: The Athletic Department vs. the University.
Book Author: Murray Sperber. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1990
Reviewed by Steven E. Connelly, Indiana State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 167-170, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Turn-of-the-century thinkers expected that, thanks to Darwin, organized religion would be replaced eventually: perhaps by art, perhaps by literature, perhaps by the state. In fact, one could argue that to the extent it has been displaced, it has been supplanted by organized sport. Cities once strove to build remarkable cathedrals; now they want domed stadia. Pilgrimages are made to the big games and to tournaments and bowls. Ritual and ceremony abound. But above all it is the faith, the pure blind faith in some mystical higher good that links religion and sport. And the irrational faith in the unlikely – even the absurd.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Steven E. Connelly, Department of English, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809.

Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: A Critical Examination of the Evidence.
Book Author: Terence Hines. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books, 1988
Reviewed by Avshalom C. Elitzur, The Weizmann Institute of Science
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1991, Vol. 12, No. 1, Pages 171-174, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] The first reaction with which one is likely to greet such a book is “at last!” Psychology, is an inevitable side-product of its modern success, has become a major contributor to the growing pseudoscience literature. A careful examination of this nonesense industry, and of the motives behind it, is an undertaking worthy of a university psychologist. Terence Hines, known to readers of this journal from a lively debate following his harsh (and justified, in my opinion) criticism of a sloppy psychology book (Hines, 1983), has now undertaken this task.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Avshalom Elitzur, Department of Chemical Physics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, 76 100 Rehovot, Israel.


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