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1992 - Volume 13, Number 4, Autumn

Humanistic Psychology, Human Welfare and the Social Order Isaac Prilleltensky, Wilfrid Laurier University The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 315-328, ISSN 0271-0137  At a time when the ability of North American society to promote human welfare for the population at large is questioned on numerous accounts, it is morally incumbent upon psychologists of various orientations to examine the social and political repercussions of their theories and practices. The present article contends that in marked contrast to its declared values of justice, community and self-actualization, humanistic psychology has in effect supported a state of social affairs inimical to the promotion of human welfare for all sectors of society. This is primarily the consequence of the glorified view of the self held by much of contemporary psychology. It is argued that if humanistic psychology’s witting or unwitting endorsement of the societal status quo is to be avoided, its political sophistication will have to mature at an accelerated pace.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Isaac Prilleltensky, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3C5.

On Private Events and Theoretical Terms Jay Moore, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 329-346, ISSN 0271-0137

The conception of a private event as an inferred, theoretical construct is critically examined. The foundation of this conception in logical positivist epistemology is noted, and the basis of the radical behaviorist alternative is presented. Of particular importance is the radical behaviorist stance on the contributions of physiology and private behavioral events to psychological explanations. Two cases are then reviewed to illustrate radical behaviorist concerns about private events, theoretical terms, and the relation between them. The first is the position of cognitive psychology toward internal states and processing mechanisms. The second is the recent suggestion that even radical behaviorists regard the private event as an inferred, theoretical construct (Zuriff, 1985).

Requests for reprints should be sent to Jay Moore, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201.

A Teleologist’s Reactions to “On Private Events and Theoretical Terms” Joseph F. Rychlak, Loyola University of Chicago The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 347-358, ISSN 0271-0137

This paper examines the theoretical differences obtaining between a mechanist like Moore and a teleologist like Rychlak. It is shown that mechanistic formulations invariably reduce the account to material and efficient causation, whereas teleologists want to bring in formal-final cause descriptions as well. Mechanists frame their explanations in third-person (extraspective) terms whereas teleologists often seek a first-person (introspective) formulation of behavior. Moore’s references to “private events” are shown to be extraspectively understood. A major theme of this paper is that Skinner actually capitalized on the intentional nature of human behavior, and that it would be fairly easy to reconceptualize his theory and its empirical support in teleological terms. Careful examination of both the contingency and the discriminative-stimulus constructs are made in support of this contention.

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.

On Professor Rychlak’s Concerns Jay Moore, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 359-370, ISSN 0271-0137

Professor Rychlak has thoughtfully responded to my target article that addressed private events and theoretical terms in psychology. I agree with his objections to the mechanistic approaches that dominate contemporary psychology. However, I disagree that Skinner’s radical behaviorism is one of those mechanistic approaches. Moreover, the alternative he advocates is heavily influenced by mentalistic traditions. According to the perspective presented here, the value of his approach derives from the extent to which it may be reinterpreted within a comprehensive behavioral framework.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Jay Moore, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201.

Appendage Theory — Pro and Con Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 371-396, ISSN 0271-0137

Appendage theory seeks to identify the property of consciousness that makes conscious mental-occurrence instances conscious. For some years, Rosenthal has been proposing such a theory according to which “state consciousness” is due to a (“higher-order”) thought that accompanies, without apparent inference, each conscious mental state and affirms its occurrence. Every higher-order thought has reference to oneself as such, as well as to the target mental state. This is necessary, according to Rosenthal; otherwise, the higher-order thought would not find its target, would not be about the specific mental state it qualifies as conscious. The present article consists of arguments from Rosenthal’s writings in support of his theory, and arguments that I formulate against his theory or arguments. I am specifically concerned with whether Rosenthal’s account is, as he claims, superior to intrinsic theory, which holds that state consciousness is not an accompaniment, but is intrinsic to every conscious mental state. Rosenthal’s theory needs to be improved in the following respects among others: (a) explaining why we do not seem able to distinguish firsthand our state consciousness from the mental-occurrence instance that is its object; (b) explaining how higher-order thoughts find their target without any reference to themselves; and (c) explaining, not by means of a perceptionlike process, how higher-order thoughts give state consciousness of sensory qualities.

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

Freud on Dreams and Kosslyn on Mental Imagery Derek Drakoulis Nikolinakos, Temple University The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 397-412, ISSN 0271-0137

The author attempts to show the relevance of Kosslyn’s research on mental imagery to some aspects of Freud’s theory of dreams. Some of the findings of this research, such as the properties of visual images, the processes involved in image generation, etc., are discussed and it is shown how they contribute to the various Freudian hypotheses concerning the properties of dream images, the processes constituting the dream work, and the activity of dream interpretation.

Requests for reprints should be sent to D.D. Nikolinakos, Philosophy Department, Anderson Hall, 7th Floor, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122.

Book Reviews

Cognitive Therapy With Couples
Book Authors: Frank M. Dattilio and Christine A. Padesky. Sarasota, Florida: Professional Resource Exchange, 1990
Reviewed by Catherine C. Loomis and Geoffrey L. Thorpe, University of Maine The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 413-416, ISSN 0271-0137

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] “Cognitive therapy” describes a loosely grouped set of clinical postulates and procedures that have at least some connection with experimental psychology. The hope or promise of such a connection is appealing to those clinicians who prefer to anchor their work in psychological science, and a new book in the applied arena with “cognitive therapy” in the title therefore claims our critical attention.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Catherine C. Loomis, Psychology Department, University of Maine, 5742 Little Hall, Orono, Maine 04469-5742.

The Vanishing Mind: A Practical Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
Book Authors: Leonard L. Heston and June A. White. New York: W.H. Freeman, 1991 The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 417-418, ISSN 0271-0137
Reviewed by T.L. Brink, Crafton Hills College

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] This book is deceptively titled. Until I noticed the subtitle and senior author, I thought that this might be something about American education or philosophy. The subtitle accurately describes this book. Indeed, this book represents an update of a 1983 book, which had the more accurate title, Dementia.

Requests for reprints should be sent to T.L. Brink, 1103 North Church Street, Redlands, California 92374.

Cry of the Invisible
Book Editor: Michael A. Susko. Baltimore: Conservatory Press, 1991 The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1992, Volume 13, Number 4, Pages 419-420, ISSN 0271-0137
Reviewed by Fonya Lord Helm, Washington School of Psychiatry

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Michael Susko has edited a powerful and poignant book, written by people who are homeless or who have been homeless, or who have been in mental hospitals. In spite of the fact that some of the writers have died and that the others have faced terrible problems, there is hope in this book. There is vitality in the personal accounts of experience, and in the poetry and drawings. The book is particularly useful for helping people understand more about what it feels like to be a homeless person, or a person in a mental hospital. This understanding will help improve the chances of strong legislation and government funding for help for homeless people. It also will improve the mental health professional’s ability to be empathic with his or her patients.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Fonya Lord Helm, Ph.D., 8000 Riverside Drive, Cabin John, Maryland 20818.

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