Contemporary Developments in Psychology and Counseling
Despite the important contributions of Gestalt psychology and psychoanalysis , psychology was dominated by behaviorism until World War II , particularly in the United States . With the end of the war interest in psychology increased and many people were attracted to careers in the field . Sophisticated instruments and electronic equipment became available , and a wider range of problems could be examined . This expanded program of research made it evident that earlier theoretical approaches were too restrictive
This viewpoint was strengthened by the development of computers in the 1950s . Properly programmed computers were able [banner_entry_middle]
to perform tasks such as playing chess and proving mathematical theorems that previously could be done only by human beings . It became apparent that the computer offered psychologists a powerful tool with which to theorize about psychological processes . A series of brilliant s , published in the late 1950s by Herbert Simon and his colleagues indicated how psychological phenomena could be simulated using the computer (French Colman , 1995 . Many old psychological issues were recast in terms of information processing systems . The human being could now be viewed as a processor of information . The sense provide an input channel for information mental operations are applied to the input the transformed input creates a mental structure that is stored in memory that structure interacts with others in memory to generate a response (French Colman , 1995 . The power of the computer permitted psychologists to theorize about complex mental processes and investigate the implications of the theory by simulating it on a computer . If the response stage of the computer simulation agreed with the observed behavior of actual people , the psychologists could have some confidence in the theory
The information processing approach provided a richer and more dynamic approach to psychology than S-R theory with its intervening variables Similarly , the information processing approach permitted some of the speculations of Gestalt psychology and psychoanalysis to be formulated in a precise fashion as programs in a computer in this way , earlier ideas about the nature of the mind could be made concrete and checked against actual data
Another factor that led to a changing viewpoint in psychology in the 1950s was the development of modern linguistics . Prior to that time linguists were primarily concerned with a of a language now they began to theorize about the mental structures required to comprehend and to speak a language . Work in this area was pioneered by Noam Chomsky , whose book Syntactic Structures (1957 ) provided the basis for an active collaboration between psychologists and linguists . A rapid development of the field of psycholinguistics followed , providing the first significant psychological analyses of language
At the same time , important advances were occurring in neuropsychology A number of discoveries about the brain and the nervous system established clear relationships between neurobiological events and mental processes . It became increasingly difficult to assert as some of the early behaviorists had that a science of psychology could be established without links to neurophysiology . In the last decade advances in biomedical technology have contributed to an… [banner_entry_footer]
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