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1993 - Volume 14, Number 2, Spring

Some Personal Reflections on the APA Centennial
Seymour B. Sarason, Yale University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 2, Pages 95-106, ISSN 0271-0137
In this the centennial year [1992] of the American Psychological Association one should expect that the celebration would emphasize psychology’s contributions to knowledge of the human psyche. This paper suggests that there are considerations tempering the view that in the future, as in the past, psychology’s onward and upward course will continue. One of these considerations is the fact that in the post World War II era those who have entered the field have little or no sense of intellectual identification with psychology’s past, especially in regard to some great psychologists whose work should have but still does not have a place in the so-called current mainstream. Another consideration is the inability of American psychology to confront the fact that it is just that: an American psychology. Not until that fact is directly confronted will we do justice to the relationships between the characteristics of any psychology and the cultural-national-societal context from which it emerged.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Seymour B. Sarason, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Yale University, P.O. Box 11A, Yale Station, New Haven, Connecticut 06520.

Consciousness: Varieties of Intrinsic Theory
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 2, Pages 107-132, ISSN 0271-0137
A mental-occurrence instance is conscious if (and when) it is an object of inner (second-order) consciousness; that is, if a mental-occurrence instance occurs and is conscious on that occasion, one is conscious of it on the spot without having to take notice first of something else. In contrast, Freud’s preconscious and unconscious psychical processes, whenever they occur, are examples of nonconscious mental-occurrence instances, which are not objects of inner (second-order) consciousness; that is, one has no consciousness of them unless one (a) takes notice of something else (e.g., a behavior, a bodily change, a conscious mental-occurrence instance, or a brain-process recording) and (b) infers, therefrom, their occurrence. Determining how inner (second-order) consciousness transpires will soon have high priority on the scientific agendas of psychologists of consciousness. To assist in their forthcoming explanatory search, I present a straightforward survey of a number of intrinsic theories of consciousness. Intrinsic theory holds that any conscious mental-occurrence instance has itself as (inner) object, plus whatever else it may give consciousness of; it is conscious due to its own structure, not due to what happens next or later. Intrinsic theory differs from appendage theory and mental-eye theory, which both hold that a mental-occurrence instance cannot be conscious on its own, cannot give any consciousness of itself, only of something else at most.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California 95616-8686.

Can Relating the Past Disclose the Future?
Salomon Rettig, Hunter College of CUNY
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 2, Pages 133-144, ISSN 0271-0137
Studies in social psychology inadvertently call for a subject’s reconstruction of past behaviors when using interviews, questionnaires, or personality inventories. Since subjects’ past behaviors are unobservables, subjects reconstruct their past retroductively. However, since the behaviors are not perceptually observed, such inquiry is decontextualized and probabilistic. Hence, reconstructions are frequently organized in terms of commonsense plausibility and personal accountability rather than causality. It is proposed that such inquiry may be improved by having subjects not only endorse preformatted material, but also by providing warrants for subjects’ endorsements. The provision of warrants has been shown to structure past reality perceptions of laypersons (Rettig, 1990). The provision of warrants not only recontextualizes recall of past behaviors but also discloses historical continuity which, in turn, suggests higher probabilities of future behaviors.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Salomon Rettig, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10021.

Quantum Mechanics is Probabilistic in Nature
Douglas M. Snyder, Los Angeles, California
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 2, Pages 145-154, ISSN 0271-0137
Elitzur (1991) maintained that my version of Schr`dinger’s cat gedankenexperiment does not provide the basis for demonstrating the effect of consciousness on the course of the physical world. The nature of the difference between Elitzur’s and my views concerning the gedankenexperiment is discussed, and the key to this difference concerns the fundamentally probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics. Elitzur has failed to see that in quantum mechanics consciousness fundamentally is that through which the physical world is known. Elitzur’s characterization of my thesis concerning consciousness and human observation as reflecting radical idealism is discussed. A second gedankenexperiment is noted in which the observer’s circumstance, other than the time of measurement, is also a variable and which tests whether or not mind, or consciousness, has an impact on the course of the physical world.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Douglas M. Snyder, Ph.D., 459 North Spaulding Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90036.

Depth of Processing Versus Oppositional Context in Word Recall: A New Look at the Findings of “Hyde and Jenkins” as Viewed by “Craik and Lockhart”
Joseph F. Rychlak and Suzanne Barnard, Loyola University of Chicago
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 2, Pages 155-178, ISSN 0271-0137
The interpretation given by Craik and Lockhart (1972) of the findings by Hyde and Jenkins (1969) involving supposed depth of incidental-task processing on subsequent word recall is brought into question by the tenets of logical learning theory. It is shown that Craik and Lockhart overlooked the possible role of oppositionality in this research. An alternative explanation relying on an oppositional context and predication is offered. Two experiments (combining 270 subjects) present evidence supporting the hypothesis that oppositionality in an incidental task facilitates subsequent word recall (p < .001). In both experiments, the importance of taking a subject’s meaningful understanding of the task instruction into consideration is highlighted. The discussion contrasts Boolean “binary” disjunction with the logic of oppositionality. It is shown how oppositionality allows us to conceptualize a testable theory of human agency.

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.

Consciousness and Commissurotomy: V. Concerning an Hypothesis of Normal Dual Consciousness
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 2, Pages 179-202, ISSN 0271-0137
Against the commissural-integrative hypothesis, Puccetti argues that all normal people have two streams of consciousness; the cerebral commissures cannot fuse into a single stream any processes proceeding in different hemispheres. Against Puccetti, it is argued that, since the same kind of connecting fibers must be responsible for our having unified cross-modal experiences, they must be able to do the job, as well, of integrating processes across hemispheres. In response to this argument and in a pluralistic effort to instigate further development of Puccetti’s hypothesis, I present a “Puccetti-compatible” account of cross-modal integration, which (a) does not assign this function to connecting fibers and (b) proposes two integrative conscious foci, one in each hemisphere of both normal and commissurotomized individuals. Also, I introduce a close alternative to the Puccetti-compatible account, which postulates a functioning integrative conscious focus in the dominant cerebral hemisphere of normal people, but only a potentially functioning integrative conscious focus in their nondominant hemisphere) which is disinhibited upon either full commissurotomy, dominant hemispherectomy, or drugging the dominant hemisphere. Thus, this article is preparation for the next article in this series, which will examine what evidence proposed or possible exists for an actually functioning integrative conscious focus in the fully connected, healthy nondominant hemisphere.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California 95616-8686.

Book Reviews

The Selling of DSM: The Rhetoric of Science in Psychiatry
Book Authors: Stuart A. Kirk and Herb Kutchins. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1992
Reviewed by Donald M. Hayes, Sam Houston State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 2, Pages 203-206, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Kirk and Kutchins begin with the fact that the primary justification for the development and adoption of DSM-III was that it would increase diagnostic reliability. In various contexts, they discuss the sources of diagnostic “error.” One isinformation variance, the consequence of different clinicians asking different questions, receiving slightly different responses to the same questions, interpreting responses differently, and eliciting different behavior from the client. Another is criterion variance, the consequence of different opinions among clinicians about what information is relevant, how information should be interpreted, and what diagnostic category, if any, is appropriate. Other sources of “error” are differences in clinicians’ past personal experiences, expectations, emotions, and illogical thinking, unfounded inferences, selective attention, and stereotypes.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Donald M. Hayes, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas 77341.


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