This book “Psychology a Study of Mental Life” was written by Robert S. Wood worth who was Ph.D. Professor of Psychology in Columbia University and published by “HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY” in April 1923. This book contains 21 chapters and 523 pages. Modern psychology is an attempt to bring the methods of scientific investigation, which have proved immensely fruitful in other fields, to bear upon mental life and its problems. Psychology a Study of Mental Life by Robert S. Wood worth download from here..
Following are the name s of chapters:
WHAT PSYCHOLOGY IS AND DOES
REACTIONS OF DIFFERENT LEVELS
TENDENCIES TO REACTION
NATIVE AND ACQUIRED TRAITS
INVENTORY OF HUMAN INSTINCTS AND PRIMARY EMOTIONS
LEARNING AND HABIT FORMATION
ASSOCIATION AND MENTAL IMAGERY
THE LAWS OF ASSOCIATION
THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF THE SCIENCE, ITS PROBLEMS AND ITS METHODS
The human individual, the main object of study,is so complex an object, that for a long time it seemed doubtful whether there ever could be real science here; but a beginning was made in the nineteenth century, following the lead of biology and physiology, and the work of the investigator has been so successful that to-day there is quite a respectable body of knowledge to assemble under the title of scientific psychology. Psychology, then, is a science. It is the science of— what shall we say? ” The science of the soul”—that is what the name means by derivation and ancient usage. ” The science of the mind” has a more modern sound.” The science of consciousness ” is more modern still. “. The science of behavior ” is the most recent attempt at a concise formula. None of these formulas is wholly satisfactory. Psychology does not like to call itself the science of the soul, for that has a theological tang and suggests problems that have so far not seemed accessible to scientific investigation. Psychology does not like very well to call itself the science
PSYCHOLOGY of the mind, as the mind seems to imply some thing or ma- chine, and there is no such thing to be observed (unless it be the brain and body generally), and, anyway, psychology is distinctly a study of actions rather than of things. Psychology does not like to limit itself to the study of consciousness but finds it necessary to study also unconscious actions. As to ” behavior “, it would be a very suitable term,
if only it had not become so closely identified with the” behaviorist movement ” in psychology, which urges that
consciousness should be entirely left out of psychology, or at least disregarded. ” Behavior psychology “, as the term
would be understood to-day, means a part of the subject and not the whole.
WHAT PSYCHOLOGY IS AND DOES:
But it would be equally difficult to mention any function that is exclusively bodily, and not mental at the same time, in some degree. Take digestion for example: the pleasant anticipation of food will start the digestive juices flowing, before any food is physically in the stomach; while in anger or fear digestion comes to a sudden halt. Therefore we find physiologists interested in these emotions, and psychologists interested in digestion. We do not find any clean separation between our science and physiology; but we find, on the whole, that psychology examines what are called ” mental ” activities, and that it studies them as the performances of the whole individual rather than as executed by the several organs.
THE SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS:
Typically, the activities that psychology studies are conscious performances, while many of those falling to physiology are unconscious. Thus digestion is mostly unconscious, the heart beat is unconscious except when disturbed, the action of the liver is entirely unconscious.
GENERAL LINES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION:
Either introspective or objective observation can be employed in the experimental attack on a problem, which consists, as just illustrated in the case of memory, in controlling the conditions under which a mental performance occurs, varying the conditions systematically, and noting the resulting change in the subject’s mental process or its outcome. Psychologists are inclined to regard this as the best line of attack, whenever the mental activity to be studied can be effectively subjected to control. Unfortunately, emotion and reasoning are not easily brought under control, and for this reason psychology has made slower progress in under- standing them than it has made in the fields of sensation and memory, where good experimental procedure has been developed.
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