Share
Explore BrainMass

Leaders of Functionalism in American Psychology

Who are some of the leaders of functionalism in American psychology? Which one do you feel has had the largest impact in furthering functionalism in American psychology? Why?

Solution Preview

Interesting questions! Let's take a closer look.

1. Who are some of the leaders of functionalism in American psychology? Which one do you feel has had the largest impact in furthering functionalism in American psychology? Why?

The second paradigm of psychology was 'functionalism', the first being structuralism. As its name implies, the primary interest in this approach is in the function of mental processes, including consciousness. While not the creation of any single scholar, William James was clearly its most famous advocate (1). In fact, the great diversity of modern psychology reflects common vision that of this naturalistic "paradigm" inspired by William James and then nurtured by John Dewey, James Rowland Angell, Harvey Carr, and many others. These pioneers initiated an approach to the "science of Mental Life" that was to be labeled as Functionalism (Owens & Wagner, 1992). (2)

Functionalism is thoroughly American psychology that was elaborated by:

? J. Mark Baldwin,
? James McKeen Cattell,
? E. B. Holt, and
? Edward L. Thorndike, (Owens & Wagner, 1992). (2)

And, it was carried into contemporary psychology by such leaders as:

? Robert S. Woodworth,
? B. F. Skinner,
? Frank Beach,
? Paul Fitts,
? Edward C. Tolman, and
? James J. Gibson (Owens & Wagner, 1992). (2)

Owen and Wagner (1992) proposed that early functionalism is the parent of modern scientific psychology and that the spirit of functionalism still guides present-day research and that contemporary psychology is fulfilling the early functionalists' agenda quite admirably. (2)

2. Which one do you feel has had ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses some of the leaders of functionalism in American psychology, and also explores which leader has had the largest impact in furthering functionalism in American psychology and why.

$2.19