Monday, November 11

Dog Psychology: What's That?

Have you heard people (especially professional dog trainers) talk about dog psychology? I'm sure you have. Naturally, you might wonder, whether it's a real thing or just a speech phrase. Well, dog psychology, isn't a sub-field of psychology, however, comparative psychology does study the behavior of animals. Naturally, that includes dogs as well.

However, as dogs are far from simple creatures (dogs in Moscow, Russia have even learned to  use the subway system) there have been quite a few studies done on dogs.

Some Interesting Psychological Studies on Dogs 

1. Pavlov's Dog

When one thinks of psychology and dogs, most likely the first thing that comes to mind is the famous classic experiment conducted by Pavlov. However, I'm not gonna discuss this study in detail, if you are interested in psychology, I'm sure you already know how classical conditioning was discovered.

2. Can Dogs Understand Us? 

It's not uncommon for a dog owner to talk to his or her dog, but can the dog understand the owner? Well, it would be ignorant to believe that dogs can understand absolutely everything we tell them, however it is proven that dogs can learn up to 250 words and expressions. Also, a study conducted in Hungary suggests that dogs understand the basic commands very well.


Thursday, December 6

The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century

 In 2002, Steven J. Haggbloom from Western Kentucky University, along with leading figures from Arkansas State University's  Department of Psychology and Counseling, constructed a rank-ordered list of 99 of the 100 most eminent psychologist of the 20th century. To measure the eminence, they used 3 quantitative variables - journal citation frequency, introductory psychology textbook citation frequency, and survey response frequency - and 3 qualitative variables - National Academy of Sciences membership,
election as American Psychological Association (APA) president or receipt of the APA Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, and surname used as an eponym.

 The survey questions were sent to 1,725 members of the American Psychological Society (APS). The respondents were asked what is their specialization in psychology, who, in their opinion, are the 3 greatest psychologists of the 20th and century and who they think are the greatest psychologists of the 20th century in the overall field of psychology.

 However, only 5.6% of the APS members who were sent the survey questions responded. The results of the responses were then compiled into a ranked list of 117 names most frequently
mentioned. The list contained 117 names instead of 100 because of ties near the end of the list.

 Despite the low response rate, they didn't discount the survey results as a factor from constructing the list.

 The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century:

1. B.F. Skinner
2. Jean Piaget
3. Sigmund Freud
4. Albert Bandura
5. Leon Festinger
6. Carl R. Rogers
7. Stanley Schachter
8. Neal E. Miller
9. Edward Thorndike
10. A.H. Maslow
11. Gordon W. Allport
12. Erik H. Erikson
13. Hans J. Eysenck
14. William James
15. David C. McClelland
16. Raymond B. Cattell
17. John B. Watson
18. Kurt Lewin
19. Donald O. Hebb
20. George A. Miller
21. Clark L. Hull
22. Jerome Kagan
23. Carl G. Jung
24. Ivan P. Pavlov
25. Walter Mischel
26. Harry F. Harlow
27. J.P. Guilford
28. Jerome S. Bruner
29. Ernest R. Hilgard
30. Lawrence Kohlberg
31. Martin E.P. Seligman
32. Ulric Neisser
33. Donald T. Campbell
34. Roger Brown
35. R.B. Zajonc
36. Endel Tulving
37. Herbert A. Simon
38. Noam Chomsky
39. Edward E. Jones
40. Charles E. Osgood
41. Solomon E. Asch
42. Gordon H. Bower
43. Harold H. Kelley
44. Roger W. Sperry
45. Edward C. Tolman
46. Stanley Milgram
47. Arthur R. Jensen
48. Lee J. Cronbach
49. John Bowlby
50. Wolfgang Köhler
51. David Wechsler
52. S.S. Stevens
53. Joseph Wolpe
54. D.E. Broadbent
55. Roger N. Shepard
56. Michael I. Posner
57. Theodore M. Newcomb
58. Elizabeth F. Loftus
59. Paul Ekman
60. Robert J. Sternberg
61. Karl S. Lashley
62. Kenneth Spence
63. Morton Deutsch
64. Julian B. Rotter
65. Konrad Lorenz
66. Benton Underwood
67. Alfred Adler
68. Michael Rutter
69. Alexander R. Luria
70. Eleanor E. Maccoby
71. Robert Plomin
72.5.* G. Stanley Hall
72.5. Lewis M. Terman
74.5.* Eleanor J. Gibson
74.5. Paul E. Meehl
76. Leonard Berkowitz
77. William K. Estes
78. Eliot Aronson
79. Irving L. Janis
80. Richard S. Lazarus
81. W. Gary Cannon
82. Allen L. Edwards
83. Lev Semenovich Vygotsky
84. Robert Rosenthal
85. Milton Rokeach
88.5.* John Garcia
88.5. James J. Gibson
88.5. David Rumelhart
88.5. L.L. Thurston
88.5. Margaret Washburn
88.5. Robert Woodworth
93.5.* Edwin G. Boring
93.5. John Dewey
93.5. Amos Tversky
93.5. Wilhelm Wundt
96. Herman A. Witkin
97. Mary D. Ainsworth
98. Orval Hobart Mowrer
99. Anna Freud

*Numbers with .5 indicate a tie in the ranking.

Haggbloom, S. J., Warnick, R., Warnick, J. E., Jones, V., Gary, Y., Russell, T., Borecky, C., McGahhey, R., Powell J., Beavers, J., & Monte, E. (2002). The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. Review of general psychology, 6(2), 139-152. doi: 10.1037//1089-2680.6.2.139

Tuesday, September 25

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

  In his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" Abraham Maslow attempted to formulate a needs-based framework of human motivation. Later on, he extended the idea, and the full theory, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, was expressed in his book Motivation and Personality in 1954.

Maslow studied only exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglas. He didn't study mentally ill and neurotic people, writing that "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy."
In spite of the perpetual cycle of human wars, murder, deceit, etc, Maslow believed that humans tend toward growth and love, and that violence is not natural for human nature. Humans only get violent when their needs are thwarted. He did not believe that humans use violence, lie, cheat or steal simply because they enjoy doing it.

 As you can see in the picture above, Maslow categorized human needs into five levels:
  1. Physiological needs - These are the basic survival needs such as food, water, air, shelter, constant body temperature, etc.
    They usually tend to be satisfied with most people, but when unmet they become predominant.
    This is the strongest level on the pyramid because if these needs go unmet, the individual can easily die.
  2. Safety needs -The second level, safety needs, is the need to feel secure at work, home, etc.
    These needs are also usually met except in times of emergency, natural disaster, rioting, or other immediate dangers.
    This does not only mean personal security, it also applies to job security, financial security, and general health.
  3. Love needs - This third level deals with feelings of love and belongingness.
    The individual seeks to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation and to become a part of the group. These feelings can be achieved through relationships, such as friends, family, and romance. The individual needs to love and be loved.
  4. Esteem needs - This is the need to be respected and to have respect for oneself. It is a desire to be accepted and valued by others.
    This establishes confidence in oneself and motivates the individual to succeed.
    The individual needs to be recognized for his or her accomplishments and deprivation of this need can lead to an inferiority complex and poor performance.
  5. Self-actualization -The fifth and top need on the pyramid is self-actualization-the need to realize and reach one’s fullest potential.
    This need, unlike the others, is not driven by a lack of the need but by the desire for personal growth.
    This is also the hardest need to meet, as it requires the most effort and the means of fulfilling it are not always known to the individual.
 The basis of Maslow's hierarchy of needs is that we are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be addressed. The hierarchy is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the most primary needs at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top. Although, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of the pyramid and even sometimes called Maslow's pyramid of needs, Maslow himself never used a pyramid to describe his theory.