Volume 2, Number 4, Winter
An Epistemological Approach to Psychiatry: On the Psychology/Psychpathology of Knowledge
Olga Beattie Emery, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, The University of Chicago
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 375-396, ISSN 0271-0137
This paper represents an epistemological approach to psychiatry. The area of investigation is what we have termed the ‘psychology of knowledge’. The research questions explored are as follows: (1) what are the processes involved in the ontogenetic development of how one comes to know; (2) what accounts for individual differences in perception of what constitutes knowledge; (3) what is the function of cultural role models, specifically books, in the ontogenesis of how one comes to know; (4) what are the significant differences between the non-psychiatric and psychiatric samples in terms of perceptual sets. The total number of subjects interviewed was 75 with 30 constituting the psychiatric sample and 45 the non-psychiatric sample. Background variables of sex, age, socio-economic variation, and incidence of major stressors in home of origin were either held constant or controlled. In order to avoid making the value judgments as to what constitutes ‘mental health’, operational definitions were used. The non-psychiatric sample consisted of persons with less than two visits to a mental health professional while the psychiatric sample consisted of persons with more than fifteen visits and/or psychiatric hospitalization. We wanted to see if there were long-standing fundamental differences between the two groups in terms of perceptual sets. Research findings included the following: (1) both the non-psychiatric and psychiatric subjects showed evidence of having developed early in life, a characteristic perceptual set as a coping response to childhood stress; (2) the psychiatric sample tended to develop perceptual sets which revolved around some defect in the self or a parent, whereas the non-psychiatric group tended to develop trans-personal perceptual sets in which negative aspects of self or family were transformed perceptually from the personal, concrete, and specific to the trans-personal, abstract, and the general; (3) the fundamental differences in perceptual sets developed during childhood found continuity in significant differences in dominant role behavioros between the two groups during adulthood; (4) the two samples showed a differing balance in the integration between primary and secondary process thinking in the interpretation of stimuli; (5) cultural role models, with especial emphasis on books, are shown to be useful as projective indicators. The paper concludes with a delineation of areas for further research and the suggestion that psychiatric intervention include among its goals the resocialization of perceptual sets characteristic of the psychiatric population.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Olga Beattie Emery, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755.
Psychology’s Progress and the Psychologist’s Personal Experience
Elaine N. Aron and Arthur Aron, Maharishi International University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 397-406, ISSN 0271-0137
The research interests and prejudices of “objective” scientists appear to be determined by a variety of influences. But one for which it is especially difficult to compensate is the tendency to study and give credence only to personal and common experience. Thus an uncommon experience, even if the minority experiencing it reports it to be beneficial and easily achieved, tends to remain uncommon. It seems important that psychologists be especially open to the possibility of exceptional human experience. Yet responses to an exploratory survey of 96 psychologists attending a regional meeting suggest that, in the case of the “pure awareness” experience (reported and lauded by a few in nearly every generation and culture), lack of experience is associated with doubt about the value of even researching the phenomenon. Recommendations for correcting such blind spots are presented.
Requests for reprints should be sent to the authors at the Institute for Advanced Research in Social Development, Consciousness, and the Science of Creative Intelligence, 3615 N. Stratford Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30342.
Is Field Work Scientific?
Linn Mo, The University of Trondheim
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 407-418, ISSN 0271-0137
Only a deductive nomological explanation is scientific according the rules of formal logic. The procedure takes us down a ladder of logic, but includes subjective judgments at the point where we choose indicators. Inductive reasoning is an attempt to go up the ladder of logic and is widely used, particularly in natural sciences and in quantitative procedures such as factor analysis. A logical fallacy in requiring reliability in this type of analysis is pointed our. Both procedures are uncertain ways of gathering knowledge, as the number of theories that could explain the data are potentially endless. Social scientists’ disagreement about method reflects lack of a paradigm, but paradigms can also be wrong. The nature of the field sets the important limits as to how scientific we can be.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Linn Mo, Ph.D., The Norweigian Institute of Technology, Division of Organization and Work Science, Alfred Getz. Vei 1, N 7034 Trondheim-NTH, Norway.
Ego and I.Q.: What Can We Learn From the Frontal Lobes?
Pauline Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 419-434, ISSN 0271-0137
A re-vitalization of the ninetheenth century speculation that the frontal lobes are concerned with awareness of self is suggested by a comparative review of basic frontal lobe theory and Loevinger’s ego development theory. Cognitive processes of planning, motivation, judgment and personal construct formation can be linked to frontal lobe functions. Standard I.Q. tests appear to have been insensitive to cognitive deficits arising from frontal lobe lesions in out-dated procedures of lobotomy and leucotomy. Application of Loevinger’s theory (1970) ego development measurement to the study of frontal lobe patients is suggested as a step towards a clearer differentiation of ego and I.Q.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Pauline Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D., Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College, 300 Airdale Road, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010.
Black Stereotypes of Other Ethnic Groups
Linda A. Foley and Peter L. Kranz, University of North Florida
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 435-442, ISSN 0271-0137
This study reports on the current stereotypes of ten ethnic groups. Black college students, 38 males and 49 females enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses at a black religiously affiliated college in the southeast, indicated traits they felt were typical of each of ten ethnic groups. The traits were selected from a list of 84 adjectives originally used by Katz and Braly (1933) in a study of racial stereotypes. Clear stereotypes emerged for six ethnic groups; all were relatively positive except one, whites, which was extremely negative. The most favorable stereotypes were of Chinese and Jews. The stereotype of blacks ranked third in favorableness, followed by Italians and Germans. Interracial relations have focused primarily on decreasing white prejudice and stereotypes of blacks.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Linda A. Foley, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida 32216.
The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of the Study of Personality
Silvan S. Tomkins, Rutgers – The State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 443-452, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Any science may have a brief period of accelerated growth whenever it is blessed with the generation of a theory, the invention of a new method, or the discovery of a new phenomenon. But it flourishes most when there is that rarity, a conjunction of these three essential ingredients: first, the generation of a theory of sufficient economy, scope, and power to engage the energies of a generation of investigators; second, the invention of a set of methods sufficiently precise to enable the test of such theory; and third, examination of data of scope and depth sufficient to validate the theory, to enable continuing discovery, and at the same time to critically illuminate the original theory and thereby raise new problems radical enough to both require and suggest a theory of greater power and generality.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Silvan A. Tomkins, 5 Seaview Road, Strathmore, New Jersey 08248.
The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value
Book Authors: Karl Binding and Alfred Roche. Santa Ana, CA: Robert L. Sassone, 1975
Reviewed by Robert F. Gripp, Ph.D., Bangor Mental Health Institute, Bangor, Maine 04401
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 453-456, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Most people are not aware of the fact that thousands of mentally ill, mentally retarded and crippled men, women and children were exterminated during World War II in Germany. These were Germans exterminated by Germans — not Poles, Russians and Jews who were later exterminated by the millions before the Holocause was over. Unver Hitler’s direct authorization to elements of his personal Chancellery, a comprehensive and secret government network was devised to facilitate the extermination of these hapless people, all of whom had only one thing in common; they were of no economic value to the State.
Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love
Book Author: Dorothy Tennov. New York: Stein and Day, 1980
Reviewed by Linda A. Foley, Ph.D., University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida 32216
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 457-458, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Often when a new concept is introduced by a psychologist, readers have a tendency to question its originality. Psychologists have a propensity for coining new multisyllabic words for concepts which already are identified by simpler lay terms. But, although “limerence” is a new word, its coining does not result from this propensity; the concept, as well as the word, is new. In the book Love and Limerence, Dorothy Tennov defines the new concept of limerence and differentiates it from love. She uses limerence as a term for the very intense feeling of romantic love which is expressed most often in poetry and song.
The Eagle’s Gift
Book Author: Carlos Castaneda. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981
Reviewed by Daniel Merkur, Interdisciplinary Studies, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Downsview, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 459-464, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Mountebanks were named because they mounted up onto benches in public marketplaces, where they delivered a spiel, told jokes, and performed feats of juggling and leger-de-main in order to attract a crowd and peddle their wares. Charlatan, from the Italian ciarlatano, “babbler,” was another term for mountebank and was favoured for those whose merchandise was mystic, occult, or alchemical. The elixirs, waters of life, and gold waters of seventeenth century charlatans were the direct forerunners of the snake-oil cure-all medicines of more recent times. True charlatanism is a rare thing these days; but Carlos Castaneda is a charlatan so very able at his trade that he markets his spiel and never even bothers about peddling an elixir.
Handbook of Ethological Methods
Book Author: Philip N. Lehner. New York: Garland STPM Press, 1979
Reviewed by J. David Henry, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 465-466, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] This handbook covers such topics as: definition of ethology, observational techniques, description and classification of behavior, sampling methods, research design, manipulative experimental techniques, data collecting equipment, statistical analysis, and the presentation and interpretation of results. With minor exceptions, the author treats these topics competently. His treatment of the premises of this behavioral science explains the logic of the science but also conveys the spirit and intent of ethology.
Society and Freedom: An Introduction to Humanistic Sociology
Book Author: Joseph A. Scimecca. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981
Reviewed by Gerry Postiglione, Ph.D., School of Education, LOK YEW Hall, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 467-470, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] In reviewing past issues of The Journal of Mind and Behavior it quickly becomes apparent that the issue of human freedom and humanistic thought has not been excluded from the pages and that study and research into the frontiers of the mind and behaviour has not left humanistic science behind. (See articles in past issues by Wayne K. Andrew, Joseph Rychlak, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan). And although this is an inter-disciplinary journal, these contributions have come strictly from psychologists. Until recently, sociology has remained in the shadows of humanistic thought, at least compared to psychology. However, Society and Freedom is a clear indication of the growing maturity of humanistic thought in sociology. Here is a total view of the discipline which has become a comprehensive statement on the part of this recently-emerged subfield of sociology, working on the premise that humans are free to create their social world — and that whatever impinges upon that freedom is ultimately negative and destructive.
Informed Consent in Medical Therapy and Research
Book Author: Bernard Barber. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1980
Reviewed by Leslie H. Krieger, Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida 32216
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter 1981, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pages 471-474, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Informed Consent in Medical Therapy and Research appears to be one of a series of books from Rutgers University which explores the nature of the relationship between human service providers and the consumers of their service. A 1978 work from Rutgers, Client Participation in Human Services, was a broad exploration of consumer rights and professional responsibilities which introduced the “Prometheus Principle: Knowledge, power, and responsibility should be shared by all parties engaged in offering human services with those receiving such services.”