Experimental psychology in the early 20th century was targeted by several authors who described a crisis— often expressed as a lack of theoretical and experimental progress. In the 21st century, the crisis of competing theories has been largely overcome but several current emphases hinder the development of a mature experimental science. Central among these are an ethnocentrism that focuses on Western standards and populations, neuroscientism which often treats neurological evidence independently of mental and behavioral events, and the tendency for demonstration (...) experiments to replace coordinated theoretical approaches. (shrink)
Wegner's refutation of the notion of a conscious free will is addressed to a general reader. Despite a wide ranging and instructive survey and a conclusion acceptable to current psychological thinking, it is flawed by terminological confusions and lack of attention to relevant evidence and previous psychological approaches. It is suggested that psychology best drop the term will altogether.
I start with a review of 20 years of proposals on the functions of consciousness. I then present a minimal number of functions that consciouness subserves, as well as as some remaining puzzles about its psychology. In the process I stress a psychologist's functional approach, asking what consciousness is for. The result is an attempt to place conscious processes within the usual flow of human information processing.