Archives for May 2009
Best known for his philosophy of pragmatism, William James helped redirect psychology into greater concern with higher mental functioning. [Read more…] about William James
At nearly the same time as Pythagoras, Confucius was teaching his practical approach to life. He emphasized ethics, morality, and the importance of the family. Confucius was born in the province of Lu (what is now Shantung, China). The exact day of his birth is unknown but Sept 28 (Teachers Day) is celebrated in his honor. Apparently poor but related to the royal family, Confucius was large, strong, and a hard worker. He was 3 when his father died; his mother raised and taught him. When he was 19, he found a job as the land manager for a rich nobleman, got married and began a family (a son and two daughters). [Read more…] about Confucius
As a pioneer of experimental psychophysics, Ernest H. Weber noted that the skin registers changes in temperature, not constant readings. Similarly, he showed that if 2 pin points are placed close enough together, they are perceived as one pin prick. Weber had subjects hold weights in each hand and report whether they were identical or different. He found that people could not detect a change in weight until there was a 1:40 ratio. Weber’s jnd (just noticeable difference) was the first reliable law of psychophysics.
Coming from a long line of college presidents, James Rowland Angell studied with Dewey (at Michigan) and James (at Harvard). After chairing the psychology department at the University of Chicago for 25 years, Angell became the president of Yale (1921).