Psychology Research


by AngelShare
Tags: psychology, research
AngelShare
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#1
May19-06, 08:39 PM
P: 205
I'm researching psychology for my graduation project and I need a bit of help. I'm trying to pinpoint exactly who the first psychologist was, if possible, and one site's timeline has Plato at the top.

"Plato suggested that the brain is the mechanism of mental processes." -- 387 BC

I'm not sure if that makes him the first though...what all did he do? Would it be safer to delve deeper into someone else's history? I'm trying to go as far back as possible but I don't want to go so far that I'm researching someone who did little to further a field that didn't really exist yet.

As I've been forced to switch topics at the last moment, I'd appreciate any sites/information people could give me. I find this topic to be rather interesting, thus my choosing it, but I have little experience with it.
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RVBuckeye
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#2
May19-06, 10:00 PM
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P: 174
Here's my brief input.....

You could touch on the beginnings of psychology stemming from greek philosophers, even before Plato.

You have the pluralists like Empedocles, [440 BC]who posited Love and Strife as forces to explain change and movement. (This was later adapted by Freud who called them Eros and Thanatos---or the life instinct or the death instinct.)

Anaxagoras [428-500 BC] who also combined the two previous forces to one force, called Nous, or Mind. (this influenced both Socrates and Aristotle)

Then you get to the Sophists, the one who comes to mind as who I would say started it all was Protagoras [490-422 BC] when he said "man is the measure" (homo mensura). Clearly then is when man becomes interested in himself.

Socrates then followed [469-399 BC] with "the unexamined life is not worth living."

Plato, then followed, as one of Socrates students. But he took on more of a metaphysical philosophy, imo.

I know you didn't want to go back that far, because true, psychology didn't exist as a concept yet. But it clearly has its roots in philosophy.
AngelShare
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#3
May19-06, 10:51 PM
P: 205
The farthest back I went was about 1550 BC just to get started (I skipped ahead to 387 BC then). I cited the Ebers papyrus and how it gave a description of what's known today as clinical depression. There's so much (which is good) that it's rather hard arranging it all. I don't want to spend too much time in the past but I still need to fill up eight pages. Arranging my info is where the challenge comes in-- so far, I plan to write about the past, the present, what it takes to become a psychologist and my interest in it. If I could only get the past and the present in line, I'd be in great shape.

AngelShare
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#4
May20-06, 02:17 AM
P: 205

Psychology Research


Does anyone know if the Stanford-Binet is used commonly today?
RVBuckeye
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#5
May20-06, 07:02 AM
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P: 174
I don't think you can get the past and present to line up because it wasn't a steady sequence of events that gave rise to modern psychology. Modern psychology is an offshoot of ancient philosophy and physiology. What is needed is to take a broad view of how it came about.
For example, just as there were several "schools of thought" in greek philosophy (ex. dualists, sophists), modern psychology also had its beginnings with differing "schools of thought" as well.

The first major of these "schools" is Structuralism, primarily a product of Wilhelm Wundt. This gave rise to three others: Functionalism, Behaviorism, and Gestalt psychology. Not to mention Freud's approach to apply science and medicine to the treatment of abnormal behavior, Psychoanalysis.

The Stanford-Binet tests are still used today. You also have two Wechsler tests, the WAIS and the WISC. Binet tests tend to emphasize verbal abilities more than the Wechsler tests.
AngelShare
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#6
May20-06, 10:16 PM
P: 205
Thus far, I've mentioned Psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Maybe I should focus on the "larger" events/accomplishments/people so as to keep everything straight... Have any suggestions?
RVBuckeye
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#7
May21-06, 12:17 PM
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P: 174
First, tell me the goal of your project. Is it just to list different notable names and do a quick biography? If so, pick some, they should be easy to find on an internet search. No one is more important, as they only contribute to a collective-whole, body of knowledge, on the human psyche.
If you're doing psychology from a historical perspective, then read up on the schools of thought I mentioned above.
What interests you about psychology? I might be able to point you to some people that "conditioned" you to think that way, ie Ivan Pavlov.

edit: Ivan
AngelShare
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#8
May21-06, 05:17 PM
P: 205
Well, firstly, my project is to be on a job I may pursue. I probably won’t become a psychologist for several reasons but it has always intrigued me. Simply how the mind reacts to different things interests me… I checked out The Mystifying Mind and I plan to read the entire thing if I can find time (as it’s relatively small but still very interesting) so I’m not really focused on one area or person. I’ve bookmarked numerous sites that have good, usable information on them but, the thing is, so much has happened that it’s impossible to list everything which is why I’m trying to pinpoint things I should definitely put in. Here is what I have so far-- it’s still a work in progress so it’s probably a bit rough:



Psychology, or a form of it, first appeared in the Ebers papyrus written around 1550 BC. The oldest, most important preserved medical document, it contains a description of the condition today known as clinical depression. One thousand one-hundred and sixty three years later, Plato, in 387 BC, suggested that the brain is the mechanism of mental processes. His suggestion was followed by Aristotle's that the heart is the mechanism of mental processes. From there on out, psychology has only become more advanced with time as technology and medical practices continue to develop.

As the root of the word psychology, psyche, means “spirit” or “soul” in Greek, psychology was often thought to be a study of the soul itself. It wasn’t until 1672 that it emerged as a medical discipline in Thomas Willis’ reference to psychology, the “Doctrine of the Soul”, as a part of his anatomical treatise "De Anima Brutorum" ("Two Discourses on the Souls of Brutes") Even then, up until the end of the 19th century, psychology was still regarded as a branch of philosophy.

Other notable early accomplishments/events are Philippe Pinel's release of mental patients from confinement in the first massive movement for more humane treatment of the mentally ill (1793), Franz Gall's theory of phrenology, the idea that a person's skull shape and placement of bumps on the head can reveal personality traits (1808), Ernst Heinrich Weber's theory, now known as Weber's Law, being published (1834), and Carl Wernicke’s publishing his work on the frontal lobe, detailing his theory that damage to a specific area damages the ability to understand or produce language among many others.

Wilhelm Wundt, in 1879, founded a laboratory at the University in Germany in Leipzig specifically to focus on general and basic questions concerning behavior and mental states. A year later, William James published the book Principles of Psychology which laid many of the foundations for the sorts of questions that psychologists would focus on for years to come. Their angles, those that did not involve metaphysics or religious explanations, are what relabeled psychology as a modern science instead of a philosophy and/or theology.

At the same time, another big name was at work. Sigmund Freud developed and coined the term “psychoanalysis”, a method of uncovering repressed wishes. After that came behaviorism, a theory psychologists such as John B. Watson, Edward Thorndike, and B. F. Skinner championed. Behaviorism argued that psychology shouldn't be labeled as a science of the mind but of behavior. Watson, Thorndike, and Skinner rejected the idea of internal mental states such as desire, goals, or beliefs and chose to believe, instead, that all behavior and learning is a reaction to the environment. In Watson's paper Psychology As The Behaviourist Views It, written in 1914, he argued that psychology "is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science", "introspection forms no essential part of its methods..." and "The behaviourist... recognizes no dividing line between man and brute".

Psychology wasn’t restricted to foreign countries though as it made its way to America as well. G. Stanley Hall received the first American Ph.D. in psychology in 1878. Later, he’d found and head the American Psychological Association in 1892 with an initial membership of forty-two. In 1883, the first American laboratory of psychology was established at Johns Hopkins University. New York State, in 1890, passed the State Care Act which ordered indigent mentally ill patients out of poor-houses and into state hospitals for treatment. It also developed the first institution in the United States for psychiatric research. The first psychological clinic was developed at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, marking the birth of clinical psychology.

In 1916, the Stanford-Binet intelligence test, created by Alfred Binet (1857 - 1911), was published in the United States. Still commonly used today, its scores are as follows :
• 130+ --> Very Superior - 2.2% of the population
• 120 - 129 --> Superior - 6.7% of the population
• 110 - 119 --> High Average - 16.1% of the population
• 90 - 109 --> Average - 50% of the population
• 80 - 89 --> Low Average - 16.1% of the population
• 70 - 79 --> Borderline - 6.7% of the population
• Below 70 --> Extremely Low - 2.2% of the population



That's about four pages there so I'm only half way done which leaves plenty of room for improvement. Most of that came from a psychology timeline of sorts.
RVBuckeye
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#9
May21-06, 06:54 PM
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P: 174
Quote Quote by AngelShare
Well, firstly, my project is to be on a job I may pursue. I probably won’t become a psychologist for several reasons but it has always intrigued me. Simply how the mind reacts to different things interests me… I checked out The Mystifying Mind and I plan to read the entire thing if I can find time (as it’s relatively small but still very interesting) so I’m not really focused on one area or person. I’ve bookmarked numerous sites that have good, usable information on them but, the thing is, so much has happened that it’s impossible to list everything which is why I’m trying to pinpoint things I should definitely put in. Here is what I have so far-- it’s still a work in progress so it’s probably a bit rough:



Psychology, or a form of it, first appeared in the Ebers papyrus written around 1550 BC. The oldest, most important preserved medical document, it contains a description of the condition today known as clinical depression. One thousand one-hundred and sixty three years later, Plato, in 387 BC, suggested that the brain is the mechanism of mental processes. His suggestion was followed by Aristotle's that the heart is the mechanism of mental processes. From there on out, psychology has only become more advanced with time as technology and medical practices continue to develop.

As the root of the word psychology, psyche, means “spirit” or “soul” in Greek, psychology was often thought to be a study of the soul itself. It wasn’t until 1672 that it emerged as a medical discipline in Thomas Willis’ reference to psychology, the “Doctrine of the Soul”, as a part of his anatomical treatise "De Anima Brutorum" ("Two Discourses on the Souls of Brutes") Even then, up until the end of the 19th century, psychology was still regarded as a branch of philosophy.

Other notable early accomplishments/events are Philippe Pinel's release of mental patients from confinement in the first massive movement for more humane treatment of the mentally ill (1793), Franz Gall's theory of phrenology, the idea that a person's skull shape and placement of bumps on the head can reveal personality traits (1808), Ernst Heinrich Weber's theory, now known as Weber's Law, being published (1834), and Carl Wernicke’s publishing his work on the frontal lobe, detailing his theory that damage to a specific area damages the ability to understand or produce language among many others.

Wilhelm Wundt, in 1879, founded a laboratory at the University in Germany in Leipzig specifically to focus on general and basic questions concerning behavior and mental states. A year later, William James published the book Principles of Psychology which laid many of the foundations for the sorts of questions that psychologists would focus on for years to come. Their angles, those that did not involve metaphysics or religious explanations, are what relabeled psychology as a modern science instead of a philosophy and/or theology.

At the same time, another big name was at work. Sigmund Freud developed and coined the term “psychoanalysis”, a method of uncovering repressed wishes. After that came behaviorism, a theory psychologists such as John B. Watson, Edward Thorndike, and B. F. Skinner championed. Behaviorism argued that psychology shouldn't be labeled as a science of the mind but of behavior. Watson, Thorndike, and Skinner rejected the idea of internal mental states such as desire, goals, or beliefs and chose to believe, instead, that all behavior and learning is a reaction to the environment. In Watson's paper Psychology As The Behaviourist Views It, written in 1914, he argued that psychology "is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science", "introspection forms no essential part of its methods..." and "The behaviourist... recognizes no dividing line between man and brute".

Psychology wasn’t restricted to foreign countries though as it made its way to America as well. G. Stanley Hall received the first American Ph.D. in psychology in 1878. Later, he’d found and head the American Psychological Association in 1892 with an initial membership of forty-two. In 1883, the first American laboratory of psychology was established at Johns Hopkins University. New York State, in 1890, passed the State Care Act which ordered indigent mentally ill patients out of poor-houses and into state hospitals for treatment. It also developed the first institution in the United States for psychiatric research. The first psychological clinic was developed at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, marking the birth of clinical psychology.

In 1916, the Stanford-Binet intelligence test, created by Alfred Binet (1857 - 1911), was published in the United States. Still commonly used today, its scores are as follows :
• 130+ --> Very Superior - 2.2% of the population
• 120 - 129 --> Superior - 6.7% of the population
• 110 - 119 --> High Average - 16.1% of the population
• 90 - 109 --> Average - 50% of the population
• 80 - 89 --> Low Average - 16.1% of the population
• 70 - 79 --> Borderline - 6.7% of the population
• Below 70 --> Extremely Low - 2.2% of the population



That's about four pages there so I'm only half way done which leaves plenty of room for improvement. Most of that came from a psychology timeline of sorts.
<yawn>
Well, that's a timeline alright. Just lacks some substance. For example, why is Webers Law significant? You name Wilhelm Wundt, but don't mention structuralism. William James (who was an American, btw), was a founder of functionalism. Functionalism was primarily a product of American psychologists, as was behaviorism. (omit the sentence about psychology not being restricted toforeign contries, as you had already mentioned a few Americans previously) My overall point is, you could go a little more in depth by comparing and contrasting what each of those ideas are trying to study. You could tell why those ideas are still the foundations of modern psychology. One or two sentence blurbs don't demonstrate your knowledge adequately, and that's what you're trying to convey, right?
Also, you had one sentence on Freud? He could be a report all by himself.
You haven't mentioned Gestalt Psychology at all. Try looking up Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler, or Kurt Koffka.
Maybe you could describe some psychological disorders and how a psychologist today might use his knowledge to treat someone. What school of thought influenced the treatment?

Don't take that too critically. I'm trying to be constructive.
AngelShare
AngelShare is offline
#10
May21-06, 07:14 PM
P: 205
Quote Quote by RVBuckeye
Don't take that too critically. I'm trying to be constructive.
Oh no, I appreciate the help! I'm lagging behind a bit thus the little "blurbs" so I'm happy that you pointed out things I could delve into deeper as I'm sure I could say more about a lot of things-- I'd just have well over eight pages. That and the timeline I took this from had just little bits and pieces of info... I planned on putting more about particular people in but I wasn't sure where or how to put it all.

At the same time, another big name was at work. Sigmund Freud developed and coined the term “psychoanalysis”, a method of uncovering repressed wishes.

I suppose I could cut this off and turn it into (at least) a paragraph all its own by adding in info about Freud... Then...do the same thing here:

Wilhelm Wundt, in 1879, founded a laboratory at the University in Germany in Leipzig specifically to focus on general and basic questions concerning behavior and mental states.

...and here:

A year later, William James published the book Principles of Psychology which laid many of the foundations for the sorts of questions that psychologists would focus on for years to come.

omit the sentence about psychology not being restricted toforeign contries, as you had already mentioned a few Americans previously
Aye, I was trying to find a way to change gears...didn't work.

Back to the drawing board.
AngelShare
AngelShare is offline
#11
May21-06, 07:30 PM
P: 205
In psychophysics, a historically important law quantifying the perception of change in a given stimulus.

Originated by the German physiologist Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795–1878) in 1834 and elaborated by his student Gustav Theodor Fechner, the law states that the change in a stimulus that will be just noticeable is a constant ratio of the original stimulus. It was later shown not to hold for extremes of stimulation.


[source]

I don't understand...
RVBuckeye
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#12
May21-06, 08:23 PM
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P: 174
It's significant insofar as it describes a mathematical ratio between a physical stimulus and our bodies ability to percieve that stimulus.

If you were carrying a weight, say 50 pounds, and someone added more weight, Weber found that any additional weight added less than a pound would not be noticed. So you wouldn't even notice a difference between 50 pounds and 50.5 pounds. But could detect a difference when the weight increased to 51 pounds. He wrote this as a ratio. In this case it would be 1/50 or 2%.
To take it further, if you had 25 pounds, you would be able to detect a 2% increase in weight and would notice the change after adding .5 pounds.
Basically, it establishes the limits of our senses and provides different ratios for different perceptions. Like pitch, brightness, loudness, smell, and taste.
Why is that important thing to know in psychology? Try answering that from a behaviorists point of view. What's the link between learning and stimulus response, as it results in behavior?
Edit: why it breaks down at the extremes has to do with if you had a 1 pound weight, his ratio would say that you would be able to detect a difference between 1 pound and 1.02 pounds. (which isn't neccesarily true)
AngelShare
AngelShare is offline
#13
May21-06, 09:51 PM
P: 205
What about Psychology today? Is there anything worth noting?

EDIT: Another thing-- pragmatism-- I can't seem to find anything good on it. Any help?
AngelShare
AngelShare is offline
#14
May22-06, 03:06 AM
P: 205
Alright, I've been working all night and this is what I've got (Phew...tired... ):



Psychology, or a form of it, first appeared in the Ebers papyrus written around 1550 BC. The oldest, most important preserved medical document, it contains a description of the condition today known as clinical depression. One thousand one-hundred and sixty three years later, Plato, in 387 BC, suggested that the brain is the mechanism of mental processes. His suggestion was followed by Aristotle's that the heart is the mechanism of mental processes. From there on out, psychology has only become more advanced with time as technology and medical practices continue to develop.

As the root of the word psychology, psyche, means “spirit” or “soul” in Greek, psychology was often thought to be a study of the soul itself. It wasn’t until 1672 that it emerged as a medical discipline in Thomas Willis’ reference to psychology, the “Doctrine of the Soul”, as a part of his anatomical treatise "De Anima Brutorum" ("Two Discourses on the Souls of Brutes") Even then, up until the end of the 19th century, psychology was still regarded as a branch of philosophy.

Other notable early accomplishments/events are Philippe Pinel's release of mental patients from confinement in the first massive movement for more humane treatment of the mentally ill (1793), Franz Gall's theory of phrenology, the idea that a person's skull shape and placement of bumps on the head can reveal personality traits (1808), Ernst Heinrich Weber's theory, now known as Weber's Law, being published (1834), and Carl Wernicke’s publishing his work on the frontal lobe, detailing his theory that damage to a specific area damages the ability to understand or produce language among many others.

Wilhelm Wundt, born on August 16, 1832 in Neckarau, Germany, is thought of as one of the founding fathers, if not the founding father of psychology. He’s also credited with being the first person to be called a “psychologist”. According to Wundt, no one could observe an experience better than the person having the experience therefore introspection was key in the study of psychology. In 1879, he founded a laboratory at the University in Germany in Leipzig specifically to focus on general and basic questions concerning behavior and mental states.

Eleven years later, in 1890, William James, born in New York City on January 11, 1842, published the book Principles of Psychology, a rich blend of physiology, psychology, philosophy, and personal reflection, which laid many of the foundations for the sorts of questions that psychologists would focus on for years to come. It contained "seeds of pragmatism and phenomenology, and influenced generations of thinkers in Europe and America, including Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, and Ludwig Wittgenstein." Both Wundt’s and James’s angles, those that did not involve metaphysics or religious explanations, are what relabeled psychology as a modern science instead of a philosophy and/or theology.

At the same time, another big name was at work. Sigmund Freud was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1856. In 1900, Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams, the book that started the whole psychoanalytical rage that still exists today. A year later he published The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, the book in which he first introduced his belief that there were no accidents in life. The term "Freudian Slip", as it's known today, referring to an unconscious slip of the tongue, was also discussed in this book.

He made one of his most shocking and controversial theories, that of psychosexual development, in 1905. He argued that sexuality is the strongest of all drives and that even infants experience a sense of sexual attraction and neediness. Two well known components of his theory include the Oedipal Complex in which he stated his belief that boys become attracted to their mothers and end up identifying with their father to gain her approval and the concept of the id, the ego, and the superego as the driving structure of the personality.

Sadly, he was diagnosed with cancer in 1923 due to frequent cigar smoking and underwent over thirty surgeries over the next sixteen years. In a revolt against his theories, the Nazi party in Germany burned his books in 1933 and, when they invaded Austria in 1938, his passport was cancelled and he was forced to flee to England with his family. The emotional, physical, and financial stress resulted in his death only a year later. Freud's name and theories are still alive today however as thousands study his work every day in undergraduate and graduate Psychology classes. Some argue that his theories remain in place today simply because of their inability to be proven wrong while others consider him to be a modern day genius and scholar of the human mind. Either way, clearly, his views and beliefs will be around for many years to come.

After Psychoanalysis came Behaviorism, a theory psychologists such as John B. Watson, Edward Thorndike, and B. F. Skinner championed. Behaviorism argued that psychology shouldn't be labeled as a science of the mind but of behavior. Watson, Thorndike, and Skinner rejected the idea of internal mental states such as desire, goals, or beliefs and chose to believe, instead, that all behavior and learning is a reaction to the environment. In Watson's paper Psychology As The Behaviourist Views It, written in 1914, he argued that psychology "is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science", "introspection forms no essential part of its methods..." and "The behaviourist... recognizes no dividing line between man and brute".

G. Stanley Hall received the first American Ph.D. in Psychology in 1878. Later, he’d found and head the American Psychological Association in 1892 with an initial membership of forty-two. In 1883, the first American laboratory of psychology was established at Johns Hopkins University. New York State, in 1890, passed the State Care Act which ordered indigent mentally ill patients out of poor-houses and into state hospitals for treatment. It also developed the first institution in the United States for psychiatric research. The first psychological clinic was developed at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, marking the birth of clinical psychology.

Alfred Binet's greatest accomplishment in the field of psychology lead to what we now call the Intelligence Quotient or IQ. Binet developed a test to measure the 'mental age' (MA) of children entering school, MA referring to the child's current ability compared to that of other children of different ages. His test is considered to be the first intelligence test, although the concept of mental age was revised twice before the foundation of IQ testing was established. Three years after Binet's death, in 1914, William Stern, a German Psychologist, proposed that by dividing the MA of a child by his or her chronological age (CA), one could provide an easy to understand "Intelligence Quotient". It was, however, revised yet again, this time by Lewis Terman. Terman expanded the test for American subjects and multiplied Stern's formula by 100. Still used today, the formula is IQ = MA/CA * 100 and the scores are as follows :

• 130+ --> Very Superior - 2.2% of the population
• 120 - 129 --> Superior - 6.7% of the population
• 110 - 119 --> High Average - 16.1% of the population
• 90 - 109 --> Average - 50% of the population
• 80 - 89 --> Low Average - 16.1% of the population
• 70 - 79 --> Borderline - 6.7% of the population
• Below 70 --> Extremely Low - 2.2% of the population



More follows that but it's about the job outlook and such so, altogether, I've got almost a full eight pages.
RVBuckeye
RVBuckeye is offline
#15
May22-06, 08:40 PM
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P: 174
Quote Quote by AngelShare
What about Psychology today? Is there anything worth noting?

EDIT: Another thing-- pragmatism-- I can't seem to find anything good on it. Any help?
I might not be the best one to ask on psychology today. My interest in its' roots is more due to my interest in philosphy. (as you can probably tell). Pragmatism is more a philosphical term so if you're looking at sites on psychology, it doesn't surprise me if there's not much info.

Your report looks fine to me, good luck
AngelShare
AngelShare is offline
#16
May22-06, 08:58 PM
P: 205
Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
RVBuckeye
RVBuckeye is offline
#17
May22-06, 09:06 PM
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P: 174
You're welcome. Oh yeah, it's Oedipus Complex. He argued the same thing for girls too, know as the Electra Complex.
ah87
ah87 is offline
#18
Jan9-09, 01:15 PM
P: 4
The things that stand out most today in the field are the revolutions in cognitive and behavioural neuroscience.


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