John F. Kihlstrom
University of California, Berkeley
As their last writing assignment, I sometimes asked students in my Introductory Psychology course to discuss something that they learned in the course that surprised them, or challenged their understanding of mind and behavior in some way, or was particularly interesting or useful to them. In 2017, 50 years after I took “Intro” myself as a college sophomore (at Colgate University in Fall 1967, taught by William E. Edmonston, Jr., who also introduced me to hypnosis research), I taught intro for the last time (after almost 40 years with the course). So I took the opportunity to set down my own reflections on how psychology, as represented by the introductory course, has changed in half a century.
The textbook for my intro psych course was by Clifford Morgan and Robert King, two physiological psychologists, and it was one of the best available at the time (Morgan & King, 1966, 3rd edition, henceforth known as M&K or 3e) At the time I wrote my own essay, in 2017, I did not have access to M&K. Nor was I able to access the course syllabus or my class notes, which were lost (along with the textbook) to a flooded basement while I was teaching at Harvard. So I had to reconstruct things from memory. Since then, I’ve obtained a copy of the text, and found that my memory was inaccurate in some respects – a good illustration of the “Reconstruction Principle” of memory (Kihlstrom, 1996). But it wasn’t bad – also an illustration of the Reconstruction Principle. This version of my essay has been revised to reflect my re-acquaintance with M&K. (Disclaimer: This essay is highly impressionistic, and the references in it are high selective, if not highly arbitrary as well.)
Looking at the book from the vantage point of 50 years later, pretty much everything about psychology has changed – beginning with Morgan and King’s specializations. What was then called “physiological” psychology is now usually called some form of neuroscience – systems, behavioral, cognitive, affective, etc. But there have been more than just changes in nomenclature. Lots more. What follows is not intended to be a comprehensive update of M&K, much less a synoptic view of the last 50 years of psychology. It’s more of an impressionistic look backward over the last half-century, with an emphasis on the trends, researchers, and theorists who have interested me the most.
In their introduction, M&K defined psychology as “the science of human and animal behavior” (p.4) – a definition commensurate with the behaviorism of John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner which dominated psychology at the time. William James, of course had defined psychology as the science of mental life, but Watson and Skinner changed all that. As R.S. Woodworth put it in his 1918 book, written in the aftermath of Watson’s behaviorist manifesto, "First psychology lost its soul, then it lost its mind, then it lost consciousness; it still has behavior, of a kind" (p. 2). M&K were not die-hard Skinnerian behaviorists, though. Rather, they were what you might call “methodological behaviorists”. As they wrote (p.4):
Behavior, rather than mind or thoughts or feelings, is the subject of psychology because it alone can be observed, recorded, and studied….. We do, indeed, infer that mental processes take place and that people think and feel, but for systematic knowledge of psychological events we are limited to the observation of behavior.
So, for M&K, behavior offers a window on the mind. Reading their definition, I was reminded that Noam Chomsky, somewhere, quipped that psychology is no more the science of behavior than physics is the science of meter-reading (J. S. Searle, 1972). But beginning in 1956 (George Miller gives the exact date as September 11; see) (Miller, 2003), and especially after 1967, following publication of Ulric Neisser’s (Neisser, 1967) Cognitive Psychology, the cognitive revolution legitimized talk about mental states and processes once again, and psychologists returned to defining their field as the science of the mind – or, perhaps more broadly, as the science of mind and behavior – with “mind” coming first, and with behavior of individuals construed as caused by their mental states.
Methods and Statistics
M&K also lacked a free-standing chapter on methods and statistics, usually the second chapter encountered in standard introductory texts. However, in their introductory chapter they did distinguish among “experimental” methods, investigating the effect of independent variables manipulated by the experimenter on dependent variables; “systematic observation” (we would now call them “correlational” methods) of variables that cannot be controlled by an experimenter; and the “clinical method” involving case studies intended to understand the behavior of a single individual. They briefly discussed the problem of experimenter bias (e.g.,) (Rosenthal, 1963), but there was no mention of demand characteristics and other problems of ecological validity (Orne, 1962) that would instigate one of social psychology’s earliest crises. Nor, aside from a brief discussion of graphing to represent the relationships between IVs and DVs, was there any substantive presentation in of statistical methods, not even the t test and correlation coefficient, probability levels, Type I and Type II errors, and the like – at least until the chapter on “Individual Differences”, where a couple of formulas are introduced.
Today, we still recognize the basic distinction between what Cronbach (Cronbach, 1957) called “the two disciplines of scientific psychology”, experimental and correlational. But our methods have gone far beyond the t test, ANOVA, and the correlation coefficient. Today even at the introductory level, there is likely to be a discussion of “The New Statistics” (Cumming, 2014), problems with null hypothesis significance tests, power analyses, and the like. There is also likely to be a discussion of the replication crisis. Sadly, the discussion of research ethics, which used to revolve around preventing harm to subjects, now must include injunctions not to fabricate data.
To begin with, I should also say something about the organization of M&K, which was a little unorthodox. Over the years, a canonical syllabus has developed for the introductory course, which begins, after an introductory chapter and a chapter on methods and statistics, with a chapter or two on the nervous system and other biological bases of mind and behavior. Personality and social psychology come near the end – chiefly because, as one wag (Daryl Bem?) once put it, we don’t want the intro students who serve in our experiments in order to meet their “Research Participation Requirement” to read about the Milgram (Milgram, 1963) experiment and find out about deception. And “abnormal” psychology always comes last, because – well, because it’s abnormal.
In large part, an early discussion of biology acknowledges that the brain is the physical basis of mind, and helps establish psychology as a “real” science, like biology itself, but there’s no reason to do it this way. For example, William James began his Principles of Psychology (1890) with a chapter on habit, before turning to the brain. I always liked the suggestion of Jeff Greenberg, my former colleague at Arizona, that the brain should come last: after we discuss how the mind works, then we talk about how the brain does it. Very few authors have tried this, though M&K did: their first substantive chapter was on development, and they saved their chapters on the “Nervous System and Internal Environment” and the “Physiological Basis of Behavior” for the very last.
Anyway, M&K’s chapters on the biological bases of behavior start out looking pretty much like a present-day text, with a discussion of neurons, nerves, the autonomic and central nervous system, and the like. But when it comes to the cerebral cortex, everything is different. M&K knew about the visual, auditory, somatosensory, and motor areas of the brain, but most of the rest of cerebral cortex was characterized as “association cortex” – as if the major portion the brain was an undifferentiated information-processing machine. They understood that Broca’s and Wernicke’s “speech” areas resided in the left hemisphere, but took no account of the emerging neuropsychological literature on hemispheric specialization (M.S. Gazzaniga, Bogen, & Sperry, 1962; Hecaen, 1962). There was no mention of Patient H.M., and what he and other amnesic patients could tell us about the role of the hippocampus in conscious recollection (Scoville & Milner, 1957; Warrington & Weiskrantz, 1968). But now, operating under the neuroscientific Doctrine of Modularity, and combining traditional neuropsychological analyses of brain-damaged patients with advanced brain-imaging technologies like fMRI, we know a great deal more about the functional specialization of various parts of the brain, and about the organization of various specialized brain modules into larger “circuits” and “networks”. Current “brain maps” outline literally dozens of areas which, alone and in combination perform such specific functions as motion perception, calculation, face recognition, shifting of attention, memory consolidation, the classification of things into living and nonliving, the labeling of emotional expressions, and moral judgment (M.S. Gazzaniga, Ivry, & Mangun, 2014). We are now even at the point where we can see how specific thoughts and images are represented in overall patterns of brain activity (Kay, Naselaris, Prenger, & Gallant, 2008).
Moving beyond the nervous system, M&K had little to say about behavior genetics except with respect to IQ. Now we have twin, adoption, and other methods which allow us to measure not just the genetic contributions to intelligence and other characteristics, but the environmental contributions as well – and, in particular, the important role played by the nonshared environment in the development of many aspects of personality and social interaction (Turkheimer, Pettersson, & Horn, 2014; Turkheimer & Waldron, 2000).
M&K also had little to say about hormones, aside from the role they play in emotion and in the development of secondary sex characteristics. Today, psychoneuroendocrinology is a vigorous field – e.g., research on the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in stress, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in dominance and aggression, pheromones in sexual attraction, and oxytocin in social bonding (Nemeroff & Loosen, 1987). And another new field, psychoneuroimmunology, underscores the role that psychological factors can play in cancer and other medical conditions (Segerstrom, 2012).
Evolution did not appear in the index to M&K, nor was there any mention of the work of Karl von Frisch, Konrad Lorenz, and Niko Tinbergen, who were to win the Nobel Prize in 1973. While recognizing that some behaviors, like nest-building in the pregnant rat, were genetically determined, M&K generally echoed the behaviorist critique of the concept of instinct. Today, however, evolutionary psychology is a thriving enterprise in both cognitive and social psychology, and providing a framework for understanding emotion (Buss, 2009; Confer et al., 2010; Lewis, Al-Shawaf, Conroy-Beam, Asao, & Buss, 2017). While debate continues over specific claims (e.g.,) (C. R. Harris, 2003; Jones et al., 2018) it now uncontroversial to assert that natural selection and other evolutionary processes shape mind and behavior as well as body morphology.
M&K had two chapters on learning, one for classical and instrumental conditioning in animals, and another for human learning. The latter material is now usually taught under the rubric of “Memory”, and is discussed below. The conditioning chapter focused mostly on descriptions of the various phenomena of classical and instrumental conditioning, such as acquisition, extinction, generalization, discrimination, and schedules of reinforcement. Their theoretical explanations of what was going on in conditioning were a little thin, but generally focused on the contiguous pairing of stimulus and response. Although they discussed Tolman’s famous work on latent learning, they focused on the role of reinforcement in strengthening stimulus-response associations. Bandura’s (Bandura, 1962) work on imitation and other forms of social learning, was not discussed at all. Appreciation of statistical (probabilistic) learning (Aslin & Newport, 2012), another form of observational learning which does not depend on reinforcement, was far in the future.
But soon, our whole understanding of even simple forms of learning changed. Learning theory became more biological with the discovery of preparedness and other biological constraints on learning (Garcia, Ervin, & Koelling, 1966; Rozin & Kalat, 1971; Seligman, 1970). And it became more cognitive, with the experiments of Robert Rescorla (1967) and Leon Kamin (1969), and the studies of learned helplessness by Martin Seligman and his colleagues (1971). Learning theory became more cognitive, with organisms acquiring expectations concerning the outcomes of events (predictability) and behaviors (controllability) rather than stimulus-response (Seligman, Maier, & Solomon, 1971).
The cognitive revolution in psychology was consolidated with the publication of Neisser’s (Neisser, 1967) Cognitive Psychology, just a year after the publication of M&K’s third edition. But true to its origins in British empiricism, scientific psychology had always emphasized knowledge and its acquisition through experience, and M&K were no exception. They had two chapters on sensation, one each on perception and memory, and another combining thinking and language. But as with learning theory, psychology was soon to take a more expressly cognitive view of these topics, one that was more focused on internal representation and processing.
The chapters on sensation (one on vision, the other on hearing and the other modalities) were organized mostly around sensory physiology, absolute and differential thresholds, and classical psychophysics (e.g., Weber’s and Fechner’s laws). Most of this material has stood the test of time, but still there have been shifts and advances in our understanding. M&K gave equal billing to the Young-Helmholtz trichromatic theory of color vision and Hering’s opponent-process theory; now we’ve accepted the latter as the better account (Hurvich & Jameson, 1957). The four traditional basic taste qualities discussed by M&K have been supplemented by a fifth, umami (Yamaguchi, 1998); the “tongue map” they described, in which receptors sensitive to each quality are concentrated in separate areas of the tongue, is wrong (Collings, 1974). We know that pheromones, a special category of olfactory stimuli, affect social (particularly sexual) behavior in humans as well as nonhuman animals (McClintock, 2000). We also know that “subliminal” perception, much debated, is a genuine phenomenon – though we also know that claims for the power of subliminal influence are exaggerated (Greenwald, Draine, & Abrams, 1996).
Most important, however, David Green and John Swets (Green & Swets, 1966) introduced signal-detection theory to the study of sensation. Classical psychophysics had viewed signal-detection as a simple matter of stimulus intensity: if a stimulus were strong enough to cross the modality’s “threshold” for sensation, it would be detected; if not, not. In this portrayal, the subjects are fairly passive – although they can guess, or lose interest, and thus contaminate the determination of thresholds. But Green and Swets (Green & Swets, 1966) portrayed the observer as an active decision-maker and developed techniques that, by varying the proportion of trials on which the stimulus was actually presented (against a background of noise, to make detection more of a challenge), and the rewards and penalties for hits and misses, revealed the role that expectations and motives played in even the most elementary psychological function: detecting the presence of a stimulus in the environment. In so doing, they blurred the conventional distinction between “lower” mental processes of sensation and perception, and “higher” mental processes of judgment and decision-making.
M&K’s chapter on perception was also organized along traditional lines, with a focus on vision: cues for the perception of motion and depth, and demonstrations of familiar phenomena such as reversible figures, perceptual constancies, and illusions. They acknowledged Hubel and Wiesel’s (Hubel & Wiesel, 1959) Nobel-winning research on feature-detection, but there was nothing on pattern recognition in reading or speech perception. In 1966, too late to make an appearance in M&K’s text, J.J. Gibson (Gibson, 1966) introduced his “ecological” view of perception, point, stimulating a vigorous debate with proponents of a more cognitive view of perception promoted by people such as Richard Gregory (Gregory, 1970), Irvin Rock (Rock, 1975), Julian Hochberg (Hochberg, 1978), and others on the role of “bottom-up” versus “top-down” processes. Although there has been resistance from some in the Gibsonian camp, altogether the study of perception has gotten more cognitive – and again, with brain imaging, we have a much better understanding of the neural underpinnings of perception.
But there have been other developments. Research on “embodied” perception, for example, has revealed how feedback from the sensory musculature influences visual perception (Proffitt, 2006, 2013). For example, wearing a heavy backpack makes hills look steeper than they really are, and grasping a baton makes objects which are within reach look closer than they are (so long as they are within reach to begin with). This perspective has now spilled over into other domains of cognition (Barlsalou, 2008), as well as the study of emotion – which can be defined as the perception of one’s own bodily responses to stimulus events (Niedenthal, Barsalou, Winkielman, KrauthGruber, & Ric, 2005).
Although most research continues to focus on vision (Palmer, 1999), there has been more attention given to perception in other modalities, especially audition. The new interest in language, stimulated in large part by Chomsky’s contribution to the cognitive revolution, gave rise to research on speech perception (Liberman, Cooper, Shankweiler, & Studdert-Kennedy, 1967) – where the debate between “Gibsonians” and constructivists played out on another field. And psychologists began to study music, often in collaboration with musicologists (Krumhansl, 1991, 2000, 2002). In the domain of the chemical senses, a new basic taste, umami, has been added to the traditional list of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter (and the conventional “taste map” of the tongue has been largely discredited. Research has also shown how taste, smell, and even touch (what is known as “crunch” or “mouth-feel” combine to affect the flavor of the foods we eat. Perception – it’s not just for vision scientists anymore.
M&K discussed memory in their chapter on human learning, which focused on verbal learning in the Ebbinghaus tradition. As with animal learning, human learning also got the stimulus-response treatment, with an emphasis on the strengthening of links between paired associates by repetition, and transfer of learning based on similarity of paired-associate stimuli and responses. Modern students of memory aren’t even taught this older literature as historical background (more’s the pity). In another nod toward stimulus-response behaviorism, they included a long discussion of programmed learning and the teaching machines promoted by B.F. Skinner. M&K did discuss the distinction between short- and long-term memory, which was one of the milestones of the cognitive revolution in psychology (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968), but our understanding of how memory works is completely different from theirs. We now know a lot more about the distinction between declarative (factual) and procedural (skill) knowledge (Winograd, 1975), and between episodic and semantic forms of declarative knowledge (Tulving, 1972), and about the mechanisms of encoding, storage, and retrieval (Kihlstrom, 1996); we know that remembering is less like taking a book off the library shelf and reading it, and more like writing a book from fragmentary notes (Roediger, 2000). And we know a lot more about the neural bases of memory in the hippocampus and other areas of the brain (Squire, Shimamura, & Amaral, 1989). Research on the amnesic Patient H.M. began in the late 1950s (Scoville & Milner, 1957), and instigated the revolution in cognitive neuroscience that I alluded to above, but he got no mention in M&K’s book, and the hippocampus – that structure in the medial temporal lobe which, to make a long story short, is central to long-term memory – barely got a mention (and then only in passing, as part of the limbic system of subcortical structures involved with emotion).
M&K’s chapter on thinking and language was dominated by research on problem-solving, including “vicarious trial-and-error” behavior (in which maze-running rats look back and forth at a choice point before moving left or right), functional fixedness, and Wallas’s analysis of creative thinking into five “stages” of preparation, incubation, illumination, evaluation, and revision. Categorization, to the extent that it was discussed at all, was viewed from the perspective of the classical view of categories as proper sets. Their focus was on Hull’s (Hull, 1920) pioneering research on concept learning through generalization and discrimination. About a decade after publication of 3e, Eleanor Rosch (Rosch, 1975) overthrew 2500 years of authoritative wisdom about concepts and categories (literally, since Aristotle!) and substitute the “fuzzy-set” view of concepts represented by prototypes, exemplars, and theories.
M&K did not discuss reasoning, judgment, and decision-making in any detail. They had a section on logical reasoning that owed more to Aristotle than to any experimental research – though they did cover Newell and Simon’s General Problem Solver (Newell, Shaw, & Simon, 1958), a computer simulation of human reasoning and problem-solving whose introduction was one of the milestones of the Cognitive Revolution in psychology. At the time, most discussions of reasoning, judgment, and decision-making revolved around the Doctrine of Rational Choice, according to which decision-makers sought to maximize the value of choices by applying the principles of logic and probability – with perhaps, as in M&K, a nod to the emotional, motivational, and personal factors that led people to engage in illogical thinking. Rational choice had already been challenged by Herbert Simon (Simon, 1956), who proposed satisficing as a substitute for maximizing, in work on organizational behavior that was to win him the Nobel Prize in 1976. Later, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974) mounted their “heuristics and biases” challenge to the Doctrine of Normative Rationality – work which was to win Kahneman the 2002 Nobel Prize (by the time the award was made, Tversky had died, making him ineligible). Along the way, Simon, Kahneman and Tversky, and others revolutionized economics, leading to the establishment of a new field, behavioral economics, and a whole new approach to public policy, an alternative to both libertarianism and government coercion, according to which individuals are “nudged” into making decisions that are in their best interests (Benartzi et al., 2017). Cognitive psychology began with a focus on perception and attention, and then shifted to memory. Now the study of judgment and decision-making – how to make rational choices under conditions of uncertainty (Christian & Griffiths, 2016; Hastie & Dawes, 2010) is a major field in both psychology departments and schools of business.
Actually, M&K had little to say about language. In their chapter on “Human Learning”, they had discussed the meaning of words in terms of Osgood’s tridimensional theory of meaning, according to which the meaning of any word can be represented in terms of its location in a space defined by three dimensions: good vs. bad, active vs. passive, and hard vs. strong. M&K also discussed language in their chapter on “Maturation and Development”, with a focus on how children learned words by associating sounds with objects. There was no mention of Noam Chomsky, whose arguments against Skinner’s analysis of “verbal behavior”, and for an innate “Universal Grammar” (UG) underlying all natural languages, were another hallmark of the cognitive revolution in psychology (Chomsky, 1957, 1959). Later, some theorists argued against Chomsky’s idea that language learning involved a specialized “Language Acquisition Device” (LAD), the name he gave to a hypothetical module in the brain that was dedicated to this task, and proposed instead that language acquisition was simply a product of a more general capacity for statistical or probability learning. This is an idea that you could view as an updated version of the argument by Skinner that Chomsky so vigorously and persuasively opposed – and you wouldn’t be far wrong. The debate goes on, but the general view is that while vocabulary might be acquired through something like associative learning (essentially the view presented in M&K), the acquisition of grammatical rules was something else entirely, and really did require something like a LAD built on an innate UG (S. M. Pinker, 1994).
Chomsky shifted the focus of linguistics, which he defined as a branch of psychology, from the study of semantics (words) to the study of syntax (grammar); from the differences between languages to the similarities among them; and from language as a tool for communication to language as a tool for thought – a window on the mind (S. Pinker, 2007). His ideas had a powerful impact on psychology, and not just in the study of language. Chomsky also became famous as a vehement opponent of the Vietnam War and other aspects of American foreign and domestic policy. These two aspects of his career were linked: in Chomsky’s view, the application of a finite set of grammatical rules to a finite vocabulary enables us to generate, and understand, an infinite number of meaningful propositions – allows us to speak, and think, things that have never been spoken or thought before. So far as we know, no other animal has this creative linguistic capacity. From this point of view, language is both the critical feature of human nature and the cognitive substrate of human freedom (Chomsky, 1972).
Motivation and Emotion
Scientific psychology emerged from British empiricism, which was primarily concerned with the acquisition of knowledge through experience (and reflection on experience). So it is natural that the 19th century psychologists emphasized problems of sensation and perception. Following the cognitive revolution of 1956, consolidated by Neisser’s (Neisser, 1967) textbook, scientific psychology focused on problems of memory, reasoning, judgment, decision-making, and language, and the cognitive viewpoint quickly spread to social and clinical psychology as well. At the same time, psychologists understood that there was more to mental life than cognition. While the label “cognitive” sometimes is employed to stand for all sorts of internal mental states and processes (the sort of things that the behaviorists abjured), cognition is really about the acquisition, representation, transformation, and utilization of knowledge, and doesn’t really extend to emotion and motivation – the other elements in what Hilgard (Hilgard, 1980), echoing Kant (and, for that matter, Plato) called the trilogy of mind. Accordingly, the cognitive revolution of 1956-1967 was quickly followed by what I have called the affective counterrevolution, in which some psychologists asserted that emotion deserved at least equal time.
M&K’s chapter on emotion began with an extensive discussion of emotional development, and then turned to a discussion of fear (the model system for studying emotion at the time) and other negative emotions, like anger, conflict, and frustration. After detailing the role of the autonomic nervous system in emotional arousal, they discussed the prevailing various theories of emotion, including the James-Lange theory (James, 1884, 1890/1980), Cannon’s (Cannon, 1927) hypothalamic theory, and Schachter and Singer’s (Schachter & Singer, 1962) cognitive theory, without taking sides among them.
In the wake of the cognitive revolution, the dominant approach to emotion was, naturally, through cognition: your emotional state was determined by your perception of the conditions under which you felt physiologically aroused. Put bluntly, you don’t really feel angry, you just think you do. And if the circumstances were right, the same undifferentiated state of autonomic arousal, roughly analogous to what Cannon had in mind, would be experienced as anger or happiness. The milestone in the affective counterrevolution was a debate between Richard Lazarus and Robert Zajonc about the independence of emotion from cognition (Lazarus, 1981, 1982, 1984; Zajonc, 1980, 1984) in which Zajonc actually asserted the primacy of affect – that a reflex-like, generalized, positive or negative emotional reaction precedes cognitive analysis. Similarly, emotion researchers asserted the need for an interdisciplinary affective neuroscience, modeled on but independent of cognitive neuroscientists (Davidson, 2000; Panksepp, 1992).
While (sometimes grudgingly) acknowledging that cognitive restructuring can regulate emotion, the dominant theory now is that emotion is substantially independent of cognition, generated by a brain module, or better system, in a manner close to that envisioned by Cannon (LeDoux, 1995, 2000). And there is not just one brain system for emotion, but – in line with the neuroscientific doctrine of modularity – a large number of such modules, one for each emotion. The failure to find differential physiological correlates of the various emotions, which had been the thrust of Cannon’s critique of the James-Lange theory, occurred because researchers were looking in the wrong place. The correlates were not to be found in the autonomic nervous system, but rather in the skeletal musculature – and, in particular, the face. Paul Ekman proposed that evolution equipped us, and other mammals with brains like ours, with at least six “basic emotions” (fear, of course, plus joy, surprise, sadness, disgust, and anger), each associated with a universally recognizable, hard-wired signature facial expression (Ekman, Friesen, & Ancoli, 1980). While the term “facial expression” suggests that the emotion comes first, and causes the expression, current theory holds that perception of the facial expression creates the experience of emotion, or at least enhances it, thus reversing the direction of causality. So, in a sense, current views echo the James-Lange theory of the 19th century. As the French say, plus ca change – except now we know a lot more about the neural substrates of emotion. These neural details have been worked out most comprehensively for fear, but the framework is there for the other emotional states as well.
The list of emotional states has also gotten longer. At the end of the 19th century, Wilhelm Wundt had argued that there were just two kinds of emotion, pleasant and unpleasant, varying only in strength. For the first part of the 20th century, psychologists focused mostly on fear, conflict, and frustration, and studied mostly in animals. Ekman’s gave us a more differentiated list of qualitatively distinct “basic” emotions, but his list accentuated the negative and the biologically hard-wired. Most recently, researchers have argued that the positive emotions go beyond mere pleasure to include attachment-related emotions such as love, desire, and sympathy; self-conscious emotions such as embarrassment, shame, and pride; and epistemological and self-transcendent emotions such as awe, ecstasy, gratitude, interest, and confusion (Cowen & Keltner, 2017; Shiota et al., 2017). It’s not clear that these varieties of emotional experience are all hard-wired by evolution, as Ekman argues his basic emotions are, but the latest work certainly gives psychologists a richer palette of emotions to work with.
So far, there has been no conative counter-revolution similar to the affective counter-revolution, but there have been important developments in the study of motivation nonetheless – so much so that Higgins and others have claimed the status of a separate interdisciplinary motivational science, complementing cognitive and affective science (Higgins & Kruglanski, 2000). M&K’s chapter focused on homeostatic regulation – as represented by physiological drives like hunger, thirst, thermoregulation, and pain. They also discussed some “general” motives, such as drives for activity, curiosity, manipulation, and affection. Here they gave particular attention to the famous work of Harry Harlow on “motherless monkeys”, and the importance of “contact comfort” (Blum, 2002; Harlow, 1953), as well as less famous work that showed that rhesus monkeys (among other animals) liked to examine things, and play with them, even though the activity didn’t satisfy any primary physiological drive – they did it, as it were, for the sheer hell of it. In addition to innate physiological drives like hunger, they also discussed “secondary” drives which are learned through their association with primary d drives. Money is the classic example: we are motivated to earn money so that we can buy food to eat in order to relieve hunger, and M&K discussed some experiments in which monkeys were trained to work for tokens which they could exchange for food. Another example is fear conditioning, by which animals are motivated to escape or avoid stimuli which have been associated with shock or other painful stimuli.
Not surprisingly, since 1966 there were developments on all of these fronts. For example, the traditional account of hunger was that it was related to low levels of glucose in the bloodstream. That’s true over the short term, from meal to meal, but over longer terms eating is regulated by levels of body fat. It turns out that each of us has a “set point” – a level of body fat that the body tries to maintain. If your accumulation of body fat goes below your set point, you eat more; if it goes above, you don’t eat so much (Powley & Keesey, 1970). The theory offers a better understanding of obesity and weight regulation than we had before. We also understand more about the role of cognitive, social, and cultural factors in eating. For example, amnesic patients will eat several meals in a row, so long as it’s mealtime: even though their first meal satisfied their immediate caloric needs, it’s time to eat, and they’ve forgotten they’ve already eaten (Rozin, Dow, Moscovitch, & Rajaram, 1998).
There have also been new developments in secondary motivation. For example, the “opponent-process” theory of acquired motivation, originally inspired by a theory of color vision, holds that many emotional states automatically evoke their hedonic opposites (Solomon & Corbit, 1974). So, for example the pleasure that heroin and drugs is followed, when these drugs wear off, not by a return to some hedonic neutral point but rather the very unpleasant state of withdrawal. From this point of view, drug addiction is not so much a matter of getting and staying “high” as it is of avoiding the painful “crash” that follows. Opponent-process theory also offers a good account of nicotine addiction – as well as new insights into effective treatments for addictive disorders of all sorts.
At the same time, whole new domains of research and theory have emerged, particularly with regard to motivational aspects of personality and social interaction. M&K discussed Murray’s classic theory of needs in their chapter on “Personality”, but omitted empirical research in the Murray tradition on the achievement motive by David McClelland and his associates (McClelland, Atkinson, Clark, & Lowell, 1953). Later research by McClelland’s students on power (Winter, 1973) and affiliation/intimacy (McAdams, 1989) completed a trilogy of research on what McClelland considered the three great social motives. At the same time, there was an increase in interest in intrinsic motivation – the desire to engage in activities without promise or prospect of reward. Early indications that reward would actually undermine intrinsic motivation (Lepper, Greene, & Nisbett, 1973) led to a more subtle distinction between the controlling and informational properties of rewards (Harackiewicz, Manderlink, & Sansone, 1984), and a better appreciation about how extrinsic and intrinsic motives interact in goal-directed behavior (Deci & Ryan, 2000). This work has considerable practical importance, as insights from the laboratory, confirmed by carefully controlled field research, have shown us how to enhance student interest and performance in STEM fields and other topics, including in minority and first-generation students (Harackiewicz & Hulleman, 2010; Harackiewicz, Smith, & Priniski, 2016).
There wasn’t, of course, any chapter on consciousness in M&K: “consciousness” wasn’t even in the index. In 1966, it was hard enough to get psychologists talking about cognition, much less emotion and motivation, as opposed to behavior. The very term, never mind “the unconscious”, had been banished from psychological discourse by behaviorist doctrine. With the Cognitive Revolution, studies of attention, short-term memory, and mental imagery created a way for psychologists to talk about consciousness again – mostly without actually using the term. In 1969, Charles Tart (Tart, 1969) published a landmark anthology on Altered States of Consciousness, collecting reports on sleep, dreams, meditation, and psychedelic drugs.
At about the same time, a number of research lines converged to give revive interest in unconscious mental life (Kihlstrom, 1987). Psychologists drew a distinction between some complex mental processes operated automatically, outside conscious awareness and control. Neuropsychological research discovered that the behavior of amnesic patients could influenced by events that they could not remember: such “implicit” memories were, in effect, unconscious. Other research gave new life to the concept of subliminal perception. And, finally, subjects experiencing hypnotic analgesia or amnesia appeared to divide consciousness, so that they were not aware of certain percepts and memories that would otherwise be accessible to them.
Some theorists claimed that all this research validated Freud’s notions concerning the roots of neurosis in unconscious memories and desires. But the view of unconscious mental life offered by studies of “the cognitive unconscious” was quite different from Freud’s view of seething, sexual and aggressive “Monsters from the Id” (to quote a phrase from Forbidden Planet, one of my favorite movies. To take a phrase from President George H.W. Bush, the unconscious revealed by modern scientific psychology was “kinder and gentler” – and more adaptive – than that.
Personality and Social Interaction
In 1966, however, Freudian psychoanalysis was still an important theory of personality and psychopathology. M&K devoted three big chapters, more than 100 pages, to various aspects of personality. Two of these chapters dealt with various aspects of psychological testing – the measurement of individual differences in intelligence (IQ), personality traits, and social attitudes. To be honest, this part of social psychology hasn’t changed very much. The statistical methods have gotten more sophisticated, and the advent of high-speed computers have made it easier to do more complex “multivariate” analyses that go beyond simple correlations, but the basic principles of psychological assessment -- reliability, validity, and the like -- remain unchanged.
The big developments have been in theory. One way or another, M&K focused on Freudian psychoanalysis – which, admittedly, was the most interesting theory of personality around at the time. The big thing in psychoanalysis is conflict, and M&K spent a lot of time on animal studies of the various kinds of conflict and its resolution – a line of research by Neal Miller and his associates at Yale (Dollard, Doob, Miller, Mowrer, & Sears, 1939), among others, that was inspired by psychoanalysis and intended to connect the laboratory and the clinic. There was also an extensive discussion of repression and other Freudian defense mechanisms, and “neo-Freudian” theories that tried to move beyond sex and aggression. We still teach Freud in the introductory course, as he is taught in mid-level courses on personality, but that is mostly as a contribution to cultural literacy. Freud got some things right in the abstract, but he got every detail wrong – worse performance, one of my colleagues (I forget who) remarked, than you’d expect by chance! Now, the dominant view of personality is focused on psychometrics, not psychoanalysis, and is centered on “The Big Five” personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience (Goldberg, 1981; John & Srivastava, 1999; Norman, 1963). There is a passing reference to The Big Five in M&K (though they don’t call it that), but it wasn’t until the late 60s that personality research really focused on the idea that pretty much everything we know about an individual’s personality can be summarized in the answers to five questions: Is s/he Crazy? Outgoing? Friendly? Trustworthy? Interesting? (I call them “The Five Blind Date Questions”).
Another big development has been in the assessment of personality. M&K devoted most of their discussion of psychological measurement to intelligence testing, and spent relatively little time on personality questionnaires like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and “projective” techniques such as the Rorschach (inkblot) test and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). Projective techniques have now fallen by the wayside, along with the rest of the Freudian-psychoanalytic apparatus, except in the assessment of human motivation, where variants on the TAT have been introduced with far more rigorous standards for administration and interpretation. The MMPI, too, has pretty much disappeared, replaced by a new generation of questionnaires, much improved psychometrically, that focus on The Big Five.
M&K devoted two chapters to social psychology, including a whole chapter on attitude assessment and change. Here, perhaps not surprisingly (they were physiological psychologists, after all) M&K were a little out of step with the field, because they described very little experimental work, focusing instead on observational studies that seem more like sociology than psychology. They did discuss the classic studies of conformity by Muzafer Sherif (Sherif, 1936) and Solomon Asch (Asch, 1956), but there was no mention of Milgram’s (Milgram, 1963) revolutionary study of obedience to authority, which launched a sort of “golden age” of experimental research on interpersonal and group processes. There was some treatment of Festinger’s (Festinger, 1957), but very little on persuasion and attitude change. All of that was to come in the future (Cialdini, 1984; McGuire, 1986).
Also in the future was the “cognitive revolution” in social psychology. Recall that this major paradigm shift in psychology in general began in 1956, and was consolidated in 1967 – the very year in which M&K’s third edition appeared. And that was also the year in which the cognitive revolution hit social psychology. Before that, experimental social psychology had been very much a psychology of the situation, examining the influence of the physical and social environment on the individual’s behavior. Situationism was exemplified by Milgram’s study of obedience to authority: if an authority figure was present in the environment, people obeyed in an almost reflex-like fashion. But in 1968, John Darley and Bibb Latane (Darley & Latane, 1968) published a study of bystander intervention which showed that helping behavior depended on the individual’s interpretation of the situation. Helping occurred if the individual construed the situation as an emergency, if he thought he could help, if he believed that there were others who were in a better position to help, and so on. It wasn’t the situation, defined objectively (as the behaviorists might have done) that controlled behavior; it was the individual’s subjective perception of the situation that mattered. And at this point social psychology got thoroughly cognitive, leading to a whole array of courses, textbooks, and journals devoted to social cognition: how people perceived, remember, and think about other people, themselves, and the social situations in which they met (Fiske & Taylor, 1991; Higgins, Zanna, & Herman, 1981).
For some psychologists, however, the cognitive approach to social interaction was too coldly rational and calculating. This led to what I have called the affective counterrevolution in social psychology, which took off from the study of attitudes – which, after all, are tendencies to like or dislike various things. Thoughts aren’t all that matters: feelings matter too. And just as the cognitive perspective filtered over from experimental to social psychology, the affective counterrevolution spilled over from social psychology to psychology in general, so that we now have something that we never had before: a full-fledged field encompassing the gamut of emotional life, including positive emotions, and social emotions – not just fear and other affective states deeply rooted in biology (Cowen & Keltner, 2017; Ric, Niedenthal, & Silvia Krauth-Gruber, 2012; Shiota et al., 2017).
M&K gave personality and social psychology separate chapters – and, indeed, for most of its history the field treated these topics as separate and independent (in one prominent university, the personality and social psychology faculty were even housed in separate buildings!). The psychology of personality was focused on personality traits and other internal dispositions, like The Big Five, and social psychology was focused on external situational influences. But beginning in the late 1960s, this separation began to be dissolved. First, Walter Mischel undertook a vigorous, and hard-hitting, critique of the traditional psychology of personality (Mischel, 1968). It turned out, for example, that social behavior isn’t nearly as stable across time, and as consistent across situations, as was implied by the traditional doctrine of personality traits; nor, for that matter was it easy to predict what an individual would do in a particular situation, given knowledge of his general traits as assessed by personality questionnaires. To the contrary, Mischel argued that situational influences were more powerful than personal ones, leading some social psychologists to articulate an opposing doctrine of situationism that was closely tied to the behaviorism of John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner (Zimbardo, 1999).
Mischel’s critique gave rise to what might be thought of as a quintessentially masculine “battle of the correlation coefficients” to see whose was bigger: the personality psychologist’s correlation between traits and behavior, or the social psychologist’s correlation between situational variables and behavior (Epstein, 1983; Kenrick & Funder, 1988; Ross & Nisbett, 1991). Like most such battles, this debate between “the person” and “the situation” was stupid and pointless. In the first place, Mischel meant the psychological situation, as it was construed by the individual, and the percepts, memories, and thoughts involved in that construal belonged inside the person, not in the outside situation. In the second place, empirically, nobody won: it turned out that the biggest influence on behavior came from the interaction of trait and situational variables. I still cringe when I remember the reaction of my first wife when I brought this insight home from the office: different people react differently to different situations. But actually this doctrine of interactionism was more profound than that: it said that people construct the situations to which they respond (Bowers, 1973). Just as the perceived situation is a part of the person, so the person is part of the situation to which he or she responds: you can’t separate them.
More recently, we have come to a better understanding of how this person-situation interaction takes place (Kihlstrom, 2013). People evoke changes in the situation by their mere presence in it: infants, fresh out of the womb, evoke different behavior from other people depending on they have been identified as boys or girls: just the knowledge of their gender changes the situation that is imposed on them. Later on, people choose to put themselves in one situation or another: choosing to go to one college, as opposed to another effectively puts you one situation as opposed to another. People who have been thrust into a situation not of their own choosing can still change it by their overt behavior: you can liven up a dull party by putting a lampshade on your head and dancing on top of the coffee table. And even if their public behavior is constrained, people can change how they think about the situation they’re in: root canals become a lot more tolerable if you think of them as “saving teeth” rather than “getting rid of rotting teeth”.
Traditionally, the person-situation debate was framed in terms of a unidirectional view of causation: which is the stronger cause of behavior, the person or the situation. even the doctrine of interactionism was unidirectional: whether through evocation, selection, behavioral manipulation, or cognitive transformation, the person was a cause of the situation. But then Albert Bandura announced yet another doctrine, of reciprocal determinism: causality goes in both directions. The person engages in some behavior, but then the behavior feeds back to change the person; the situation elicits some behavior, and that behavior alters, or reinforces, the situation; and so on. In other words, the person, the situation, and behavior together constitute a dynamic system in which each element is the cause, and the effect, of the other two. This is a much different view of causality than was depicted in M&K. It complicates the science of psychology, not least with respect to statistical analysis of experimental outcomes, but it is truer to what actually happens.
M&K began their chapter on group processes with a discussion of cultural influences on behavior, and in this they were highly prescient: a major trend in social psychology, especially over the (Nisbett, 2003). Partly this trend reflects the unique status of psychology as both a biological science, whose observer-independent principles apply to all individuals, always and everywhere, and a social science, whose observer-dependent phenomena exist only with respect to an individual’s (or group’s) attitudes and intentionality (J. R. Searle, 1995). Consider, for example, the nature of money: with fiat currency, a dollar bill is worth a dollar only because we say it is; and even if the dollar was tied to the gold standard, that standard is a human choice, and we could just as well have chosen silver, or platinum, or some other commodity, such as (to take examples from early American history) wampum or beaver pelts. Cultural psychology hypothesizes that even the basic principles of mental life and behavior may be different, depending on where you live.
A great deal of contemporary cultural psychology is focused on differences between Americans and Chinese and Japanese, on the other. For example, it has been argued that Western culture fosters individualism and independence, while Eastern culture fosters collectivism and interdependence. To be honest, some of this work seems more than a little opportunistic: if you’ve got a Japanese graduate student, injecting “culture” into your work is an easy way to score a trip or two to Japan. And some of it smacks of Orientalism (think of the Kipling’s “Ballad of East and West”). In the end, we’re probably more alike than we are different, and the variability within cultural groups is almost certainly greater than the variability between them. At the same time, immigration is making the United States and Western Europe increasingly diverse, and so it behooves us to understand whatever it is that might keep us apart.
Most of what’s covered in an introductory psychology course pertains to adults (that is, what doesn’t pertain to animal learning and physiology), raising the question of the origins of mind, behavior, and personality. In their chapter on development, M&K focused on maturation – the progressive unfolding, in the child, or adult characteristics. This approach has its merits, but it also tends to treat the child as a short, stupid adult. An alternative view of development was encouraged by Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist who emphasized qualitative, not merely quantitative, differences between childhood and adult cognition. Piaget argued that cognitive development progressed through a series of stages, each marked by a kind of milestone. For example, Piaget argued that very young children, in what he called the stage of sensory-motor operations, didn’t have a concept of object permanence: if an object were out of sight, or out of reach, it was also out of mind. Only later do children acquire the ability to represent objects and events mentally, in memory, and think about them even when they’re not physically present in the immediate environment. Piaget’s announced his theory in the 1930s, but it was only in the 1960s that it was widely appreciated in American psychology (Flavell, 1967). M&K took notice, but gave him only about two pages.
In the years hence, Piaget’s theory came to dominate developmental psychology, and stage theories proliferated wildly about almost everything – including, in Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s popular book On Death and Dying (1969), the five stages of grief; and in the work of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (remember him?), a stage of “cosmic consciousness” associated with the practice of Transcendental Meditation. More down to earth, Piaget’s appreciation of the child’s unique intellectual qualities appealed to educators, too, leading to the development of “child-centered” educational policies. But it turned out that Piaget overstated his case: for example, he argued that his stages were universal, obligatory, stereotyped, and irreversible: every child passed through each stage in exactly the same sequence, each early stage serving as the prerequisite for the next; the child moved wholesale from one stage to the next, and once the shift occurred there was no going back. When these propositions were tested by rigorously controlled research, it turned out that they weren’t true, and a kind of cottage industry developed in which psychologists tried to determine how far they could push back the onset of each of Piaget’s stages . Not to exaggerate too much, they eventually found hints of formal operations – Piaget’s final stage – in infants fresh out of the womb.
In the aftermath of all of this research, the pendulum has oscillated between Piaget-like theories that emphasize qualitative differences between child and adult thought, and theories that emphasize quantitative differences. For example, the earliest response to the critique of Piaget was the idea that, over the course of development, children acquire expertise in various domains – a proposal that seems to depict the child as a short, stupid adult. The dominant view at present is a “Theory Theory” which holds that, through experimentation and learning, children develop, refine, and reject theories of how the world operates in its physical, biological, psychological, social, and personal aspects (Gopnik, 2003; Gopnik, Meltzoff, & Kuhl, 1999). This might also look like a revival of the view of the child as a short, stupid adult, and in some respects it is. On the other hand, it portrays children as intrinsically smart and curious. The Theory Theory embraces Piaget’s view of the child as a naïve scientist, actively engaged in figuring out how the world works. Development isn’t something that just happens to the individual. There is a sort of developmental corollary to the doctrine of interactionism, and it is: the developing child is both a target and an instigator of his or her own development.
Piaget focused on cognitive development, or the development of intelligence broadly construed, but there have been big advances in our understanding of personality development as well. Many of these have come from behavior genetics, and in particular the twin-study method, which compares identical (monozygotic, MZ) and fraternal dizygotic, DZ) twins on various aspects of personality and social behavior. The standard argument is that, to the extent that a trait is inherited, MZ twins should be more alike than DZ twins. That’s true, but it’s also true that, to the extent that MZ twins are different, those differences must be due to differences in the environment. And, in fact, we can distinguish between two different types of environmental influence. There is the shared environment -- what siblings have in common by virtue of having the same parents, living in the same household in the same neighborhood, etc. And there is the nonshared environment -- what differentiates siblings form each other by virtue of ordinal position in the family (firstborn vs. latterborn), having different teachers, or running in different circles of friends. Behavior-genetic analyses of personality have yielded two surprises. First, there is a substantial genetic contribution to individual differences in personality, amounting to perhaps 40% of population variance. The rest is due to environmental influences, but here’s the second surprise: the vast proportion environmental contribution to individual differences in personality – amounting to more than half of the total variance -- comes from the nonshared environment. Family influence has remarkably little effect on personality development (J.R. Harris, 1995; Judith Rich Harris, 1999; J.R. Harris, 2006). The uniqueness of individual personality is due to the contingencies of his or her existence: the unique environment each of us lives in, and the unique experiences each of us have had. As I put it to my class: the doctrine of interactionism has a developmental correlate: in a very real sense, each and every child is born to different parents, raised in a different family, lives in a different neighborhood, attends a different school, and worships in a different church.
Psychopathology and Psychotherapy
M&K provided two chapters devoted to what was then often called “abnormal psychology”. Their first chapter defined various syndromes of neurosis, psychosis, personality disorders, and the like along with case vignettes, and here a great deal has changed (Kihlstrom, 2002). For one thing, psychiatric diagnosis has become much more objective. The first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952, listed the various syndromes, but gave psychiatrists and clinical psychologists very little guidance as to how diagnoses were actually to be made. The same was true for the second edition, published in 1968, the year after M&K’s 3e. But beginning in 1980, the third and subsequent editions of DSM were accompanied by rules that were intended to make diagnosis more reliable. For example, according to the fifth and latest edition of DSM, in order to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia, a patient must present at least two characteristic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. There has also been a marked proliferation of psychiatric syndromes. By one count, there were 128 separate diagnoses listed in DSM-I, and 541 in DSM-5, with more syndromes being proposed every day, it seems, such as pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder and internet addiction disorder. On a more serious note, autism (now autism spectrum disorder) entered the diagnostic nosology with DSM-III (1980), as did attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Manic-depressive illness is now called “bipolar disorder”. One important category has dropped out of the manual, however: homosexuality, listed as a “sexual deviation” in DSM-I (and M&K), was removed from DSM-II in 1973 after cultural change, and intense political campaign by the gay community and its professional supporters, prompted serious reconsideration by psychiatric authorities.
More changes are in the works. Whereas the current diagnostic system is based on more or less discrete categories, there is a movement to employ continuous dimensions instead. More critical, however, is a likely shift in the way diagnoses are made. Up to now, diagnosis has been based mostly on presenting symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or hallucinations. But reflecting trends toward the biologization of psychiatry (a topic to which I’ll return shortly), there is now a movement to base classification on biological signs. Instead of being diagnosed on the basis of debilitating, high levels of unwarranted fear, anxiety disorder would be based, in large part, on the presence of certain genes, or high levels of cortisol, abnormal activity of the pituitary gland, or malfunctioning in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the brain. This puts the diagnosis of mental illness on the same physical basis as other kinds of medical diagnosis by redefining mental illnesses as brain diseases. While it’s true that the brain is the biological basis of mental life, such a move effectively leaves out the mental, which just… seems…wrong – like (to use a phrase I got from Noam Chomsky) throwing out the baby but keeping the bathwater. We’ll see how this turns out.
M&K had little to say about experimental psychopathology – that is, the use of concepts and methods from the psychological laboratory to understand mental illness. Experimental psychopathology has a long history, going back almost to the origins of scientific psychology itself (Hunt & Cofer, 1944; Kihlstrom, 2002; Kihlstrom & McGlynn, 1991; Zvolensky, Lejuez, Stuart, & Curtin, 2001), but it really began to pick up steam in the late 1960s (Chapman & Chapman, 1973; Kimmel, 1971) – too late to be included in M&K.
M&K’s discussion of the treatment of mental illness covered both psychiatric drugs, chiefly tranquilizers, and various forms of psychotherapy, including psychoanalysis (still au courant) and behavior therapy – a set of techniques based on classical and instrumental conditioning, first introduced by Joseph Wolpe in 1958. Again, much has changed since then. M&K’s discussion of psychotherapy focused mostly on psychoanalysis, which was (and perhaps still is) the most popular and culturally visible form of therapy at the time. They also briefly discussed a provocative 1952 study by Hans Eysenck, a British psychologist, which seemed to show that psychotherapy – meaning mostly psychoanalysis – just didn’t work better than leaving patients to recover on their own. Beginning in the late 1950s, however, Joseph Wolpe (Wolpe, 1958)and others introduced new forms of treatment, collectively known as behavior therapy, which employed classical and instrumental conditioning techniques to change the behavior (phobic avoidance, obsessive thinking) of neurotic patients. Some forms of behavior therapy, such as the token economies which reinforced behavior change (Ayllon & Azrin, 1968), proved useful in the management of chronic schizophrenia. As their name implies, the first generation of behavior therapists were behaviorists, who generally abjured talk of mental states, mental illness, and the like. Symptoms were behaviors, and behaviors could be change by learning. But the cognitive revolution came to psychotherapy, as well, and in 1967 Aaron “Tim” Beck introduced cognitive therapy for depression (Beck, 1967). Beck, a psychiatrist who had initially trained as a psychoanalyst, but who found the Freudian conception of depression completely wrong-headed, argued that the negative emotions characteristic of depression were caused by “depressogenic” thoughts – ideas about oneself, other, and the world that, if you harbored them, would make you depressed, too. And Beck showed that depression could be treated effectively by changing these patterns of thought. Now we have a whole host of new treatments, collectively known as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focus patients on the here and now, rather than the there and then of Freudian theory. And these treatments work: updates of Eysenck’s study, using vastly superior methodology modeled on the randomized designs employed in drug trials, repeatedly show that patients treated with various forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy do better than waitlisted controls. Psychoanalysis and other forms of psychodynamic therapy “work” too, in that sense, but by any standard cognitive-behavioral treatments work better, more quickly, and last longer. They have become the gold standard of psychotherapy.
As anyone who has left the television on during dinner hour can attest, a vast panoply of drugs is now available for the treatment of mental illness – constituting what has become known as a “pharmaceutical revolution” in psychiatry. Many of these, such as the “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” prescribed for depression, appear to go beyond the mere tranquilizers, such as Valium, Librium, and Thorazine, that were available in the 1950s and 1960s, and hold themselves out to be specific treatments for biochemical abnormalities. On the other hand, some critics have argued, based on pretty good data, that even these new drugs are heavily contaminated by placebo effects (Kirsch & Sapirstein, 1999). The fact is, we still don’t know much about how these drugs work. Nevertheless, the search for new psychiatric drugs continues apace. But whatever the next generation of psychiatric drugs brings us, the best evidence indicates that the combination of drugs and psychotherapy is better than either one alone – drugs for immediate relief, therapy for long-lasting effects. As the old adage says: if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach a man to fish, he eats for life. Active cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy teaches patients to fish.
The treatments for mental illness bring us naturally to the question of other applications of the basic science of psychology. M&K offered a chapter on “Psychology in Industry”, showing how psychological principles, mostly derived from social psychology, could be employed in improving employee selection, job satisfaction, and management. This is now such a big business that industrial and organizational psychology comprises a large component in business school (where the professors earn a lot more money than their counterparts in psychology departments). And psychology has made important contributions to public policy as well. To take a salient example, the “heuristics and biases” movement in the psychology of judgment and decision-making led to the proposal that governments and other organizations “nudge” their members into making decisions that are in their own best interests (Benartzi et al., 2017). Left on their own to “opt in”, people might not save sufficiently for retirement; but if retirement savings are made automatic, allowing workers to “opt out”, many more people participate, at higher levels, than would otherwise be the case. Similar findings have been obtained in other domains, such as health insurance and organ donation.
The principles of scientific psychology, derived from basic laboratory research have found wide application in other domains of everyday life. The psychology of learning is of obvious importance to education, at all levels: we know how people can learn most efficiently, and remember more effectively what they have learned (Bjork, Dunlosky, & Kornell, 2013; Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, & Willingham, 2013; Lee & Anderson, 2013). Advances in psycholinguistics have, finally, taught us the best way to teach children to read (hint: it involves phonics) (Castles, Rastle, & Nation, 2018; Treiman, 2018). And beyond cognitive psychology, social psychologists have helped us to better understand how to motivate students to undertake difficult subjects – understanding that is already helping address the underrepresentation of minorities in STEM fields (Harackiewicz, 2018; Reber, Canning, & Harackiewicz, 2018; Sansone & Harackiewicz, 2000).
The same sorts of principles find applications in healthcare. An important key to health is health behavior. How people behave with respect to health and illness will depend, in large part, on how they think about health and illness (Armitage & Conner, 2000; Lau & Hartman, 1983; Leventhal & Diefenbach, 1990; Leventhal, Meyer, & Nerenz, 1980): prevention: prevention regimes can be arduous, and people must be motivated to engage in them – this is the problem of compliance or, less pejoratively, adherence (Christensen & Johnson, 2002; Gochman, 1997; Myers & Midence, 1998). (For that matter, physicians must adhere to treatment guidelines.) Overweight people need to diet and exercise. Women must be motivated to perform breast self-examinations, get regular mammograms and pap tests. Both men and women need to be checked for colon cancer – even if it involves the occasional colonoscopy. In an age of HIV/AIDS, populations at risk must be motivated to refrain from risky sexual behaviors, or at least wear condoms or other protection during them. If illness strikes, the treatment regimes can also be onerous. Diabetics must take multiple blood-sugar readings every day, and then inject themselves with insulin. People who have had a heart attack must faithfully attend appointments for rehabilitation. Pharmacologists can concoct pills for lots of illnesses: not to demean it, but that is strictly a matter of biology. But then you’ve got to get people to take the pills: and that’s a matter for psychology.
Fifty Years is a Long Time
I want to be clear that, in outlining the differences between what we knew then and what we know now, I intend no criticism of Morgan and King, expressed or implied. Edmonston chose their textbook was chosen precisely because it was up-to-date, representing our best understanding of mind and behavior at the time. The point is that, beginning in the late 1960s, pretty much everything about that understanding changed. In the space of 50 years, psychological research and theory have changed completely. And that’s one of the things that has made psychology such a great science – there is so much to be learned, and in the space of a single professional lifetime – mine, for instance – one can witness not one, or two, but three or maybe more revolutions in our understanding of mind and behavior: the cognitive revolution, overthrowing behaviorism and returning mind to the center of psychology; the affective counterrevolution, reminding psychologists of the importance of emotion and motivation, and acting as a “wet, warm” corrective to “cold, dry” rationality; and the neuroscientific revolution, in which biological psychologists made use of psychological methods and theories to unravel the biological bases of mental life. And have the opportunity to share some of these insights with a new generation of students, like you. Because there’s still so much left to learn about how the mind works, and the role mind and brain play in behavior.
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 Institutional psychology was so besotted with behaviorism, and so hostile to any mention of internal mental states, that some early cognitivists had to assert their independence by establishing programs in “cognitive science” (Gardner, 1985). In some respects, cognitive science is broader than psychology, because it is interested in the acquisition, representation, transformation, and utilization of knowledge by brains, machines, and societies as well as individual human minds. But in other respects, cognitive science is narrower than psychology, because psychology is concerned with emotion, motivation, and action as well as cognition. A famous cognitive neuroscientist has declared that “psychology is dead” (M.S Gazzaniga, 1998) (, p. xi), and some psychologists prefer to call themselves “cognitive scientists” or “cognitive neuroscientists” instead. Psychology departments have also sometimes re-labeled themselves – as, for example, departments of brain and cognitive science (e.g., MIT and Rochester). But to the extent that these individuals and institutions are interested in mental life, they’re still operating as psychologists. Psychology is still where it all comes together: where cognitive, emotional, and motivational states processes generate the behavior of the individual person.
 I made use of Wallas’s analysis in my own research on implicit or unconscious thought (Kihlstrom, Shames, & Dorfman, 1996) In our view, intuition reflects the unconscious influence of an idea on behavior, while insight reflects the emergence of that idea into full phenomenal awareness. I first learned about Wallas in Intro, and I was reminded of his theory when Kenneth S. Bowers revived research interest in intuition by showing that subjects could identify which of two problems was soluble, even though they did not know what the solutions were (Bowers, Regehr, Balthazard, & Parker, 1990).
 I used this scheme in my senior honors thesis, in an attempt to quantify alterations in consciousness during hypnosis (Kihlstrom & Edmonston, 1971). The idea was that an altered state of consciousness would result in the meaning ascribed to various concepts, as represented in shifts in Osgood’s three-dimensional semantic space. And so it did. So that’s at least two things of lasting importance that I carried out of Intro and into my later career.
 Another tale from 50 years ago: The requirements for the psychology major at Colgate included a two-semester “methods” sequence – a rarity in psychology majors nowadays. One of the units was animal learning, taught by Nicholas Longo, a comparative psychologist who studied conditioning in fish and invertebrates, including octopus. In another university, psychology majors might have gotten a rat or a pigeon to train: I got a goldfish, and an apparatus in which the fish could press a submerged paddle with its snout to deliver a food reward in the form of a mealworm. Paddle-pressing also turned on a light in the fish tank. We also ran a control condition in which the food, but not the light, was disconnected from the paddle. Nevertheless, the fish kept pressing. Having read about Harlow’s studies in M&K, I thought that this might be an instance of what they called a generalized drive to manipulate the environment. The fish didn’t have anything else to do, so it amused themselves by turning the light on. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow up on the hypothesis (and neither did Longo). Later, though, as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, my interest in animal learning was revived by research showing the importance of predictability and controllability in classical and instrumental conditioning. Susan Mineka, a fellow graduate student who later was to become a colleague at Wisconsin and I applied these concepts to understanding the phenomenon of “experimental neurosis” in animals (Mineka & Kihlstrom, 1978) – still one of my all-time favorite papers.
Unfortunately, never in print. But I taught with McClelland at Harvard, and anyone who ever worked with him was familiar with this formulation.
 Tart’s edited volume was one of the first psychology books I purchased that was not expressly for a course. It reprinted two studies which had found interesting changes in EEG activity during yoga and Zen meditation. As it happened, that same year, Colgate hosted Shibayama Roshi, chief abbot of the Nanzen-ji monastery in Kyoto, who gave a seminar on Zen Buddhism. Here was this Zen master; Edmonston had a polygraph, and I was determined to put electrodes on him while he meditated. Shibayama was staying at Chapel House on campus, and I was invited to a group dinner with him through Polly Adler, the resident manager, whom I knew through church. During the dinner I brought up the articles, and Shibayama expressed interest. Yes! In a later interview, I described the findings further: Zen meditators didn’t show habituation of the “alpha blocking” orienting response to novel stimuli. They treated each repetition as if the stimulus had never occurred before. This seemed to be in line with the Zen goal of treating every object and experience as if it were novel thing in and of itself, not a member of a familiar category. Shibayama’s response was "It's very interesting, but what does it mean?" “It provides scientific validation of what the meditators are doing,” I replied. “But we already know that!” I asked if he would allow me to record his EEG while he meditated. "If the Pope were here, would you ask to record his brainwaves while he prayed?". “No.” “Why not?” I had no answer, and the interview ended. In The Laughing Buddha of Tofukuji, Ishwar Harris reports that, at one point, Shibayama told his student Fukushima (Gensho) that he should return to his university, "implying that Gensho thought like a scholar not like a koan student". Perhaps Shibayama was offering me similar advice. But in retrospect, I think that his questions were my own little Zen koan -- and that when I solved it, I would be at least a little bit closer to enlightenment.