The word "brain-washing", translated from Chinese communist jargon, is a very strong metaphor, first popularized by Robert Jay Lifto n. It vividly describes one person interfering with the personality make-up of another, removing the other's ideology and replacing it, and similarly tampering with the other's tastes, pool of information to rely upon and whatever else goes into the make-up of the other's personality. Clearly, in some sense or another everyone interferes with the personality of people with whom they interact; yet (...) what is meant here is something much more drastic than friends influencing one another's tastes or opinions; it is something more dramatic and more large scale. (shrink)
The codes of ethics and conduct of a number of psychology bodies explicitly refer to human rights, and the American Psychological Association recently expanded the use of the construct when it amended standard 1.02 of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. What is unclear is how these references to human rights should be interpreted. In this article I examine the historical development of human rights and associated constructs and the contemporary meaning of human rights. As human rights (...) are generally associated with law, morality, or religion, I consider to which of forms of these references most likely refer. I conclude that these references in ethical codes are redundant and that it would be preferable not to refer to human rights in codes. Instead, the profession should acknowledge human rights as a separate and complimentary norm system that governs the behavior of psychologists and should ensure that they have adequate knowledge of human rights and encourage them to promote human rights. (shrink)
Social play is naturally characterized in intentional terms. An evolutionary account of social play could help scientists to understand the evolution of cognition and intentionality. Alexander Rosenberg (1990) has argued that if play is characterized intentionally or functionally, it is not a behavioral phenotype suitable for evolutionary explanation. If he is right, his arguments would threaten many projects in cognitive ethology. We argue that Rosenberg's arguments are unsound and that intentionally and functionally characterized phenotypes are a proper domain for ethological (...) investigation. (shrink)
Abstract: The place of the encounter group within the framework of humanistic psychology is examined and an assessment of the moral significance of the humanistic psychology movement and the encounter group technique is attempted. Some contemporary moral objections to the technique, and to its implied moral dangers, are outlined and answered.
In a recent study appearing in Neuroethics, I reported observing eleven significant correlations between the “Dark Triad” personality traits – Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy – and “conservative” judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey. Surprisingly, I observed no significant correlations between the Dark Triad and “liberal” judgments. In order to determine whether these results were an artifact of the particular issues I selected, I ran a follow-up study testing the Dark Triad against conservative and liberal judgments on fifteen additional moral (...) issues. The new issues examined include illegal immigration, abortion, the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools, the use of waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the war on terrorism, laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and environmentalism. 1154 participants (680 male, 472 female; median age 29), recruited online through Amazon Mechanical Turk, completed three surveys: a 15-item Moral Intuition Survey (MIS), the 28-item Short Dark Triad personality inventory, and a five-item demographic survey. The results strongly reinforce my earlier findings. Twenty-two significant correlations were observed between “conservative” judgments and the Dark Triad (all of which were significant past a Bonferonni-corrected significance threshold of p=.0008), compared to seven significant correlations between Dark Triad and “liberal” judgments (only one of which was significant past p=.0008). This article concludes by developing a novel research proposal for determining whether the results of my two studies are “bad news” for conservatives or liberals. (shrink)
Heidegger's notion of dasein, Understood as the pre-Conceptual togetherness of man and world, Is deepened by going back to the "beginnings" of this togetherness in the imaginal (archaic) psyche, Which archetypal psychology, Founded by james hillman, Envisions--In the wake of the platonic tradition--As part of the "anima mundi". As a result the phenomenological call "back to the things themselves" is redefined in the sense of "back to the images themselves." imagination in its fully creative import is seen as equivalent to (...) heidegger's "groundless ground" (or being) which he ultimately equates with dasein. (edited). (shrink)
It has been argued that attention and awareness might oppose each other given that attending to an adapting stimulus weakens its afterimage. We argue instead that the type of attention guided by the spread of attention and the level of processing is critical and might result in differences in awareness using afterimages. Participants performed a central task with small, large, local or global letters and a blue square as an adapting stimulus in two experiments and indicated the onset and offset (...) of the afterimage. We found that increases in the spatial spread of attention (modulated by the central task) resulted in the decrease of afterimage duration. In terms of levels of processing, global processing produced larger afterimage durations with stimuli controlled for spatial extent. The results suggest that focused or distributed attention produce different effects on awareness, possibly through their differential interactions with polarity dependent and independent processes involved in the formation of color afterimages. (shrink)
Kausales Denken spielt sowohl im Alltag wie auch im wissenschaftlichen Forschungsprozess eine zentrale Rolle. Es erlaubt uns, Phänomene vorherzusagen, zu kontrollieren und zu verstehen. Kausales Denken geht über die Angabe der Ursachen eines Phänomens hinaus: Wollen wir verstehen, warum ein Fahrrad fährt, so versuchen wir, Schritt für Schritt nachzuvollziehen, wie die einzelnen Bestandteile des Fahrrads zusammenwirken, um miteinander die Bewegung zu produzieren. Wir sind an dem Mechanismus interessiert, durch den das Phänomen zustande kommt. Dieses Vorgehen wird in der Wissenschaftsphilosophie wie (...) auch in der Kognitionspsychologie mit Hilfe mechanistischer Theorien kausalen Denkens beschrieben. Der Sammelband bringt erstmals Vertreter beider Disziplinen in sechs aufeinander abgestimmten Beiträgen zusammen. Neben einer Diskussion der Kernmerkmale mechanistischen Denkens stehen insbesondere Fragen nach dem Erwerb mechanistischer Denkstrukturen und nach der Rolle von Handlungen und Handlungserfahrungen im Fokus. (shrink)
Paper presented at the Heidegger Circle 2011. Although Aristotle’s influence on young Heidegger’s thought has been studied at length, such studies have almost exclusively focused on his interpretation of Aristotle’s ethics, physics and metaphysics. I will rather address Heidegger’s appropriation of Aristotle’s ontology of life. Focusing on recently published or recently translated courses of the mid 20’s (mainly SS 1924, WS 1925-26 and SS 1926), I hope to uncover an important aspect of young Heidegger’s thought left unconsidered: namely, that Dasein’s (...) existential structures – Befindlichkeit, Understanding and being-with-one-another through language – arose from his close reading of Aristotle’s ontology of life, of animal life. (shrink)
Is it ethical to deceive the individuals who participate in psychological experiments for methodological reasons? We argue against an absolute ban on the use of deception in psychological research. The potential benefits of many psychological experiments involving deception consist in allowing individuals and society to gain morally significant self-knowledge that they could not otherwise gain. Research participants gain individual self-knowledge which can help them improve their autonomous decision-making. The community gains collective self-knowledge that, once shared, can play a role in (...) shaping education, informing policies and in general creating a more efficient and just society. (shrink)
In a broad-based study of experiences in psychological research, 65 undergraduates participating in a wide range of psychological experiments were interviewed in depth. Overall findings demonstrated that participants hold varying views, with only 32% of participants characterizing their experiences as completely positive. Participants' descriptions of their debriefing experiences suggest substantial variability in the content, format, and general quality of debriefing practices. Just over 40% of the debriefing experiences were viewed favorably. Positive debriefing experiences were described as including a thorough explanation (...) of the study and detailed information concerning the broader relevance of the experiment to the field of psychology. The most common complaint, characterizing 28.8% of the responses, was that the debriefing was unclear and that insufficient information was provided. Participants' views of psychological research and the discipline of psychology were also elicited. Results are discussed in terms of ethical and methodological implications. (shrink)
Research seeking a scientific foundation for the theory of art appreciation has raised controversies at the intersection of the social and cognitive sciences. Though equally relevant to a scientific inquiry into art appreciation, psychological and historical approaches to art developed independently and lack a common core of theoretical principles. Historicists argue that psychological and brain sciences ignore the fact that artworks are artifacts produced and appreciated in the context of unique historical situations and artistic intentions. After revealing flaws in the (...) psychological approach, we introduce a psycho-historical framework for the science of art appreciation. This framework demonstrates that a science of art appreciation must investigate how appreciators process causal and historical information to classify and explain their psychological responses to art. Expanding on research about the cognition of artifacts, we identify three modes of appreciation: basic exposure to an artwork, the artistic design stance, and artistic understanding. The artistic design stance, a requisite for artistic understanding, is an attitude whereby appreciators develop their sensitivity to art-historical contexts by means of inquiries into the making, authorship, and functions of artworks. We defend and illustrate the psycho-historical framework with an analysis of existing studies on art appreciation in empirical aesthetics. Finally, we argue that the fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure can be amended to meet the requirements of the framework. We conclude that scientists can tackle fundamental questions about the nature and appreciation of art within the psycho-historical framework. (shrink)
The publication of a new ethics code for the American Psychological Association (1992), new guidelines (Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists, 1991), and two new versions of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (the MMPI-2, Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989; and the MMPI-A, Butcher et al., 1992) provide an opportunity to review ethical aspects of forensic assessment. Seven major issues-appropriate graduate training, competence in the use of standardized tests, using tests that fit the task, using tests that fit (...) the individual, administering tests correctly, using computers appropriately in forensic assessment, and assessing and reporting factors that may affect the meaning of test findings - are discussed. The revision of the MMPI is used to illustrate some of these issues. (shrink)
B eginning with the problem of integrating diverse disciplinary perspectives on moral cognition, we argue that the various disciplines have an interest in developing a common conceptual framework for moral cognition research. We discuss issues arising in the other chapters in this volume that might serve as focal points for future investigation and as the basis for the eventual development of such a framework. These include the role of theory in binding together diverse phenomena and the role of philosophy in (...) the construction of moral theory. We discuss the problem of distinguishing descriptive and normative issues and the importance of systematic normative analysis for empirical research. We argue that theories of cognitive architecture should play an important role as a backdrop for investigation into specific aspects of moral cognition, and we consider some of the taxonomic issues that will arise for moral cognition research, including types of moral agents, forms of moral cognition, and the nature of morality itself. Finally, we discuss some key issues in moral development, including the importance of.. (shrink)
We designed a new protocol requiring French adult participants to group a large number of Munsell colour chips into three or four groups. On one, relativist, view, participants would be expected to rely on their colour lexicon in such a task. In this [ramework, the resulting groups should be more similar to French colour categories than to other languages categories. On another, universalist, view, participants would be expected to rely on universal features of perception. In this second framework, the resulting (...) groups should match colour categories of three and four basic terms languages. In this work, we first collected data to build an accurate map of French colour terms categories (Experiment 1). We went on testing how native French speakers spontaneously sorted a set of randomly presented coloured chips and, in line with the relativist prediction, we found that the resulting colour groups were more similar to French colour categories than to three and four basic terms languages (Experiment 2). However, the same results were obtained in a verbal interference condition (Experiment 3), suggesting that participants rely on language specific and nevertheless perceptual, colour categories. Collectively, these results suggest that the universalist/relativist dichotomy is a too narrow one. (shrink)
The ethics of social responsibility is discussed in reference to six case vignettes drawn from forensic psychology. A definitional model of social responsibility is proposed, and two unequal components of the concept - respect for the individual and concern for social welfare - are identified. The sources of ethical conflict in regard to social responsibility are enumerated. Scholarly criticism of the value orientation of forensic psychology is reviewed, and forensic psychology is contrasted with social policy advocacy efforts made by organized (...) psychology. The social responsibility obligations of psychologists in the microethical sphere, where their actions affect individuals, are diffentiated from the obligations psychology has when operating in the macroethical sphere of social policy. The ethical problems inherent in policy advocacy brought about by individual psychologists working with individuals are underscored: the inevitable element of deception, the violation of role integrity, and the circumvention of social structures and institutions that safeguard the rights of individuals. (shrink)
A sample of 703 Spanish psychologists completed an online survey containing 114 behaviors related to professional practice in different areas. The aim of the study was to learn which professional behaviors create ethical dilemmas most often for psychologists and how they respond to these issues. Findings suggest that psychologists who have actually faced a particular dilemma are less strict on judging the inappropriateness of a possible ethical transgression than those psychologists who have not experienced it. Also, four clusters can be (...) identified according to the attitude of respondents toward the dilemmas, namely ?rejection,? ?aprioristic,? ?utilitarian,? and ?no conflict.? (shrink)
Brian Ribeiro argues that the pragmatic theory of truth massively misrepresents the actual use of the terms “true” and “truth.” Truths, he observes, can be distinguished from “illusions.” The latter misrepresent reality and the former do not. Psychologists, as they report on the way mentally healthy people commonly overestimate themselves, draw just this distinction. They tell us of many beliefs that are “adaptive” but illusory. Pragmatists cannot draw this distinction because their theory explains truth as adaptiveness. Therefore no sensible person (...) will be a pragmatist. In fact, however, Ribeiro paints a flawed picture of what both psychologists and pragmatists do. Psychologists provide us not with “reality-based accurate beliefs” but instead with beliefs that work, and pragmatists do not identify all beliefs that are adaptive or useful for individuals as true. Pragmatism turns out to be quite sensible, though often misunderstood. (shrink)
The relationship between language and conceptual thought is an unresolved problem in both philosophy and psychology. It remains unclear whether linguistic structure plays a role in our cognitive processes. This special issue brings together cognitive scientists and philosophers to focus on the role of language in numerical cognition: because of their universality and variability across languages, number words can serve as a fruitful test case to investigate claims of linguistic relativism.
The performance of the Mundurucu on the number-space task may exemplify a general competence for drawing analogies between space and other linear dimensions, but Mundurucu participants spontaneously chose number when other dimensions were available. Response placement may not reflect the subjective scale for numbers, but Cantlon et al.'s proposal of a linear scale with scalar variability requires additional hypotheses that are problematic.
Does geometry constitues a core set of intuitions present in all humans, regarless of their language or schooling ? We used two non verbal tests to probe the conceptual primitives of geometry in the Munduruku, an isolated Amazonian indigene group. Our results provide evidence for geometrical intuitions in the absence of schooling, experience with graphic symbols or maps, or a rich language of geometrical terms.
A survey of the 37 psychology departments offering courses accredited by the Australian Psychological Society yielded a 92% response rate. Sixty-eight percent of departments employed students as research subjects, with larger departments being more likely to do so. Most of these departments drew their student subject pools from introductory courses. Student research participation was strictly voluntary in 57% of these departments, whereas 43% of the departments have failed to comply with normally accepted ethical standards. It is of great concern that (...) institutional ethics committees apparently continue to condone, or fail to act against, unethical research practices. Although these committees have a duty of care to all subjects, the final responsibility for conducting research in an ethical manner lies with the individual researcher. (shrink)
Sometimes analogy researchers talk as if the freshness of an experience of analogy resides solely in seeing that something is like something else -- seeing that the atom is like a solar system, that heat is like flowing water, that paint brushes work like pumps, or that electricity is like a teeming crowd. But analogy is more than this. Analogy isn't just seeing that the atom is like a solar system; rather, it is seeing something new about the atom, an (...) observation enabled by 'looking' at atoms from the perspective of one's understanding of solar systems. The question for analogy researchers then is this: Where does this new knowledge about atoms come from? How can an analogy provide new knowledge and new understanding? (shrink)
An argument that there is a common pattern in conflict between desires and the dialectical integration of those conflicts, at both individual and socio-political levels. Philosophical, psychological, poltical and Buddhist approaches to integration are brought together here to show how the integration of desire contributes to moral objectivity.
Block (Trends Cogn Sci 7:285–286, 2003) and Prinz (PSYCHE 12:1–19, 2006) have defended the idea that SSD perception remains in the substituting modality (auditory or tactile). Hurley and Noë (Biol Philos 18:131–168, 2003) instead argued that after substantial training with the device, the perceptual experience that the SSD user enjoys undergoes a change, switching from tactile/auditory to visual. This debate has unfolded in something like a stalemate where, I will argue, it has become difficult to determine whether the perception acquired (...) through the coupling with an SSD remains in the substituting or the substituted modality. Within this puzzling deadlock two new approaches have been recently suggested. Ward and Meijer (Conscious Cogn 19:492–500, 2010) describe SSD perception as visual-like but characterize it as a kind of artificially induced synaesthesia. Auvray et al. (Perception 36:416–430, 2007) and Auvray and Myin (Cogn Sci 33:1036–1058, 2009) suggest that SSDs let their users experience a new kind of perception. Deroy and Auvray (forthcoming) refine this position, and argue that this new kind of perception depends on pre-existing senses without entirely aligning with any of them. So, they have talked about perceptual experience in SSDs as going "beyond vision". In a similar vein, MacPherson (Oxford University Press, New York, 2011a) claims that “if the subjects (SSD users) have experiences with both vision-like and touch-like representational characteristics then perhaps they have a sense that ordinary humans do not” (MacPherson in Oxford University Press, New York, 2011a, p. 139). (shrink)
La ricerca empirica nelle scienze cognitive può essere di supporto all’indagine filosofica sullo statuto ontologico e epistemologico dei concetti mentali, ed in particolare del concetto di credenza. Da oltre trent’anni gli psicologi utilizzano il test della falsa credenza per valutare la capacità dei bambini di attribuire stati mentali a se stessi e a agli altri. Tuttavia non è stato ancora pienamente compreso né quali requisiti cognitivi siano necessari per passare il test né quale sia il loro sviluppo. In questo articolo (...) analizzo l’impatto della funzione esecutiva e delle abilità linguistiche per la capacità di passare il test della falsa credenza. Suggerisco che tale abilità dipende dall’acquisizione di un nuovo formato rappresentazionale per codificare la falsità degli stati mentali altrui. I dati in nostro possesso non permettono tuttavia di precisare la natura di tale formato. (shrink)
Embodiment and embeddedness define an attractive framework to the study of cognition. I discuss whether theory of mind, i.e. the ability to attribute mental states to others to predict and explain their behaviour, fits these two principles. In agreement with available evidence, embodied cognitive processes may underlie the earliest manifestations of social cognitive abilities such as infants’ selective behaviour in spontaneous-response false belief tasks. Instead, late theory-of-mind abilities, such as the capacity to pass the (elicited-response) false belief test at age (...) four, depend on children’s ability to explain people’s reasons to act in conversation with adults. Accordingly, rather than embodied, late theory-of-mind abilities are embedded in an external linguistic practice. (shrink)
Conscious perception and attention are difficult to study, partly because their relation to each other is not fully understood. Rather than conceiving and studying them in isolation from each other it may be useful to locate them in an independently motivated, general framework, from which a principled account of how they relate can then transpire. Accordingly, these mental phenomena are here reviewed through the prism of the increasingly influential predictive coding framework. On this framework, conscious perception can be seen as (...) the upshot of prediction error minimisation and attention as the optimisation of precision expectations during such perceptual inference. This approach maps on well to a range of standard characteristics of conscious perception and attention, and can be used to explain a range of empirical findings on their relation to each other. (shrink)
Recent work in neuroscience accords with research in attachment and developmental psychology in enabling us to understand both consciousness and the Freudian unconscious in the context of the Bayesian brain.
In order to understand both consciousness and the Freudian unconscious we need to understand the notion of innerness that we apply to the mind. We can partly do so via the use of the theory of conceptual metaphor, and this casts light on a number of related topics.
Infants apparently start to understand their experience via the linked concepts of numerical identity and spatio-temporally continuous objects during the forth month of life. As described by Piaget and Klein, this development requires them to synthesise their experience in a new ways: in particular they must start to acknowledge that the main target of their anger at frustration and the main target of their gratitude and love are the same person, who is unique and irreplaceable. This seems to have an (...) immediate consequence in the onset of separation distress and stranger anxiety, and apparently has far-reaching psychological consequences later. (shrink)
Recent psychological research on the connection between culture and thought could have dire consequences for the idea that there are objective standards of reasoning and that meaningful cross-cultural discussion is possible. The problems are particularly acute if research shows that the Law of Noncontradiction (LNC) is not a universal of folk epistemology. It is extremely difficult to provide a non-circular justification for the LNC, and yet the LNC seems to act as a basic standard for reasoning in the West. If (...) non-Western cultures do not believe the LNC holds, then meaningful cross-cultural discussion and debate will be very difficult, to say the least. In this paper it is argued that the distinction between belief and acceptance is important in analyzing cross-cultural studies on the way people reason. Studies conducted by Richard Nisbett and Kaiping Peng concerning differences between East Asians and Westerners are analyzed. The distinction between belief and acceptance is used to demonstrate that the empirical data currently available fail to show that the LNC is not a universal of folk epistemology. A brief proposal for further research is presented. (shrink)
We agree with Nuñez that the Mundurucu do not master the formal propreties of number lines and logarithms, but as the term "intuition" implies, they spontaneously experience a logarithmic mapping of number to space as natural and "feeling right.".
Humans possess two nonverbal systems capable of representing numbers, both limited in their representational power: the first one represents numbers in an approximate fashion, and the second one conveys information about small numbers only. Conception of exact large numbers has therefore been thought to arise from the manipulation of exact numerical symbols. Here, we focus on two fundamental properties of the exact numbers as prerequisites to the concept of EXACT NUMBERS : the fact that all numbers can be generated by (...) a successor function and the fact that equality between numbers can be defined in an exact fashion. We discuss some recent findings assessing how speakers of Munduruc (an Amazonian language), and young Western children (3-4 years old) understand these fundamental properties of numbers. (shrink)
This article addresses two questions related to colour categorization, to wit, the question what a colour category is, and the question how we identify colour categories. We reject both the relativist and universalist answers to these questions. Instead, we suggest that colour categories can be identified with the help of the criterion of psychological saliency, which can be operationalized by means of consistency and consensus measures. We further argue that colour categories can be defined as well-structured entities that optimally partition (...) colour space. We provide some empirical support for this claim by presenting experimental results, which indicate that internal structure is a better predictor of colour categories than perceptual saliency. (shrink)
In this thesis I argue that the psychological study of concepts and categorisation, and the philosophical study of reference are deeply intertwined. I propose that semantic intuitions are a variety of categorisation judgements, determined by concepts, and that because of this, concepts determine reference. I defend a dual theory of natural kind concepts, according to which natural kind concepts have distinct semantic cores and non-semantic identification procedures. Drawing on psychological essentialism, I suggest that the cores consist of externalistic placeholder essence (...) beliefs. The identification procedures, in turn, consist of prototypes, sets of exemplars, or possibly also theory-structured beliefs. I argue that the dual theory is motivated both by experimental data and theoretical considerations. The thesis consists of three interrelated articles. Article I examines philosophical causal and description theories of natural kind term reference, and argues that they involve, or need to involve, certain psychological elements. I propose a unified theory of natural kind term reference, built on the psychology of concepts. Article II presents two semantic adaptations of psychological essentialism, one of which is a strict externalistic Kripkean-Putnamian theory, while the other is a hybrid account, according to which natural kind terms are ambiguous between internalistic and externalistic senses. We present two experiments, the results of which support the strict externalistic theory. Article III examines Fodor’s influential atomistic theory of concepts, according to which no psychological capacities associated with concepts constitute them, or are necessary for reference. I argue, contra Fodor, that the psychological mechanisms are necessary for reference. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the causal and description theories of natural kind term reference involve certain psychological elements. My main goal is to refine these theories with the help of empirical psychology of concepts, and to argue that the refinement process ultimately leads to the dissolution of boundaries between the two kinds of theories. However, neither the refined theories nor any other existing theories provide an adequate answer to the question of what makes natural kind terms rigid. To (...) provide an answer to this question I conclude my paper by introducing a framework of a unified theory of natural kind term reference that is built on the empirical psychology of concepts. (shrink)
Some experimental studies have recently claimed to undermine semantic externalism about natural kind terms. However, it is unclear how philosophical accounts of reference can be experimentally tested. We present two externalistic adaptations of psychological placeholder essentialism, a strict externalist and a hybrid externalist view, which are experimentally testable. We examine Braisby's et al. (1996) study which claims to undermine externalism, and argue that the study fails in its aims. We conducted two experiments, the results of which undermine internalism and the (...) hybrid theory, and support strict externalism. Our conclusion is that lay speakers' natural kind concepts involve a belief in an external category essence, which determines reference. (shrink)