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Functionalism

  • Date Submitted: 07/02/2011 03:39 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.8 
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Functionalism and Spectrum Inversion

 

What is functionalism?

. Before considering David Cole’s article that deals with functionalism and inverted spectrum; we should define for the reader what functionalism is.   Functionalism was first defined by James Roland Angell in 1907 and was seen merely as a point of view that dealt with “purpose, adaptation, process, and activity”. (Malone pp.367-368).It was William James, however, who was considered the father of the functionalist theory. Through his book, “The Principles of Psychology” James spoke of how consciousness and mental activity can adapt to the environment around us.. He told of the mind’s activities and the impact of the environment on a person’s behavior.
Functionalists consider what role our behavior has in adapting to the environment. Functionalists believe that the scientific method can be applied to both the physical and social world; and that by modifying our behavior and the environment around us we can keep a peaceful harmony between the two: the world outside (the environment) and the world inside (the psyche and consciousness).   They, the functionalists, saw   a network that existed between the environment, one’s behavior and one’s consciousness.
Two theorists who championed the functionalist theory were   B.F.Skinner and Clark Leonard Hall. Skinner looked at actions being done to one as worthy of being evaluated and one of his most notable contributions was the famous “Skinner Box” which enabled scientists to conduct studies in a very controlled environment. Hull stressed the importance of one’s inner drives/passions and how reducing them brought peaceful solutions to the environment. Hull’s most important contribution to the world was his Theory of Learning which is considered one of the most important theories of the 20th Century.(Hergenhahn, pp. 123 – 128)

David Cole: Inverted Spectrum and Functionalism

In his article, “Inverted Spectrum”, David Cole presents functionalism...

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