Psychology [addendum] - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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The Cognitive Revolution

The roots of cognitive psychology lie partly in the limitations of previous theoretical approaches to psychology, particularly behaviorism. Behaviorism attempted to make psychology scientific by avoiding reference to hypothetical mental entities such as thoughts and concepts. It tried to restrict psychology to the use of observed stimuli to predict observed behavioral responses. Behaviorism was fueled in part by a positivist philosophy of science that failed to recognize that explanation in natural science abounds with hypothetical entities such as atoms and genes. By the 1950s it was becoming apparent that stimulus-response relations were inadequate to account for human verbal behavior and even for learning in rats.

The emergence of an alternative explanatory framework came from several sources. One was information theory, developed by Claude Shannon in the 1940s, which inspired psychologists such as George Miller to try to characterize the capacities of the human mind to...

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This section contains 4,978 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Psychology [addendum] Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Psychology [addendum] from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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