Date of Award

6-1959

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Gerald R. Pascal

Committee Members

William O. Jenkins, Raymond R. Shrader, Harold Holloway, Virgil E. Long

Abstract

When psychology was closely allied to philosophy, it was defined as the study of "consciousness" or "mind." Its' methodology was investigating introspection, and by necessity, this limited any experimentation to the human species. In Europe, the initial research emphasis was on sensation and perception.

Although this philosophical orientation was questioned by a few investigators, this prevailing theoretical climate was irreversibly changes in America with the arrival and wide acceptance of Watson and his Behaviorism. Behavior then became the proper object of interest, and since all organisms behave, the object of study of psychology increased a thousand-fold.

In America, psychology's interest turned to the field of learning. Prior to Watson's main publication in 1913, some experimenters were engaged in animal research. In the 1890's Thorndike had used cats in his puzzle-boxes. In 1901, W. S. Small started a lasting friendship when he introduced the laboratory white rat to a small scale reproduction of the Hampton Court Maze. This was the era of the creation of new techniques and apparatus for studying behavior.

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