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Psychology Lecture 2

By the 1950s a parallel change was occurring simultaneously in philosophy and psychology. Practitioners in both fields had begun to realise that insistence upon empirically-accessible sense data (behaviourism in psychology, and positivism and verificationism in philosophy) was too limited to explain all, especially pychological phenomena. Black box psychology would have to be abandoned.

Within behaviourism, mediation theory prepared the way for accepting mental events in explaining behaviour. The cognitivists went further and entirely rejected the s-r framework for conceptualising mental events. However cognitivism retained some aspects of the behaviourist legacy:

  1. The principle that behaviour provides psychology's objective evidence: cognitivists try to posit mental events only after predicting and confirming their effects on observable behaviours.

  2. Methods for data collection and analysis: methods from behavioural experiments as well as from psychophysics; statistical significance testing and mathematical modelling.