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Building Blocks of Psychology: on Remaking the Unkept Promises of Early Schools
Gozli,Davood G.; Deng,Wei (Sophia)
Source PublicationIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
ISSN19363567 19324502

The appeal and popularity of “building blocks”, i.e., simple and dissociable elements of behavior and experience, persists in psychological research. We begin our assessment of this research strategy with an historical review of structuralism (as espoused by E. B. Titchener) and behaviorism (espoused by J. B. Watson and B. F. Skinner), two movements that held the assumption in their attempts to provide a systematic and unified discipline. We point out the ways in which the elementism of the two schools selected, framed, and excluded topics of study. After the historical review, we turn to contemporary literature and highlight the persistence of research into building blocks and the associated framing and exclusions in psychological research. The assumption that complex categories of human psychology can be understood in terms of their elementary components and simplest forms seems indefensible. In specific cases, therefore, reliance on the assumption requires justification. Finally, we review alternative strategies that bypass the commitment to building blocks.

KeywordBehaviorism Complexity Consciousness Elementism History Of Psychology Ontology Schools Of Psychology Theoretical Psychology Titchener
URLView the original
Indexed BySSCI
WOS Research AreaPsychology ; Neurosciences & Neurology
WOS SubjectPsychology, Biological ; Neurosciences
WOS IDWOS:000423846700001
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Cited Times [WOS]:5   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
Corresponding AuthorGozli,Davood G.
AffiliationDepartment of PsychologyUniversity of Macau,Macau,Macao
First Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Corresponding Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Gozli,Davood G.,Deng,Wei . Building Blocks of Psychology: on Remaking the Unkept Promises of Early Schools[J]. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science,2018,52(1):1-24.
APA Gozli,Davood G.,&Deng,Wei .(2018).Building Blocks of Psychology: on Remaking the Unkept Promises of Early Schools.Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science,52(1),1-24.
MLA Gozli,Davood G.,et al."Building Blocks of Psychology: on Remaking the Unkept Promises of Early Schools".Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science 52.1(2018):1-24.
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