Mind is hidden from direct observation; it can be studied only by observing behavior. Variables encode information about behaviors. There is no one-to-one correspondence between behaviors and mental events underlying the behaviors, however. In order to understand mind it would be necessary to understand exactly what information is represented in variables. This aim cannot be reached after variables are already encoded. Therefore, statistical data analysis can be very misleading in studies aimed at understanding mind that underlies behavior. In this article different kinds of information that can be represented in variables are described. It is shown how informational ambiguity of variables leads to problems of theoretically meaningful interpretation of the results of statistical data analysis procedures in terms of hidden mental processes. Reasons are provided why presence of dependence between variables does not imply causal relationship between events represented by variables and absence of dependence between variables cannot rule out the causal dependence of events represented by variables. It is concluded that variable-psychology has a very limited range of application for the development of a theory of mind-psychology.
To achieve effective rehabilitation and to enhance patients' well-being, it is important to improve the quality and amount of social support network, as well as to support patients' adequate coping efforts for promoting an active lifestyle.
In pre-World-War-II psychology, two directions in methodological thought-the German-Austrian and North American ways-could be differentiated. After the war, the German-Austrian methodological orientation has been largely abandoned. Compared to the pre-WWII German-Austrian psychology, modern mainstream psychology is more concerned with accumulation of facts than with general theory. Furthermore, the focus on qualitative data-in addition to quantitative data-is rarely visible. Only external-physical or statistical-rather than psychological controls are taken into account in empirical studies. Fragments--rather than wholes-and relationships are studied, and single cases that contradict group data are not analyzed. Instead of complex psychological types simple trait differences are studied, and prediction is not followed by thorough analysis of the whole situation. Last (but not least), data are not systematically related to complex theory. These limits have hindered the growth of knowledge in the behavioral sciences. A new return to an updated version of the German-Austrian methodological trajectory is suggested.
The present studies analysed drawing as a system rather than a unitary ability. The aim was to investigate whether and which language factors influence drawing performance and drawing development. In two studies of 2- to 11-year-old children drawing as a system of components was investigated. Tests were designed to measure motor output, imagery, memory, perception, and verbal abilities. The analysis of relationships between drawing measures and putative components of a drawing system revealed that all of the proposed components independently affected drawing development. Results of analyses of the data from younger and older children separately suggest that different components of a system are crucial for drawing development at different phases of development.
This prospective study revealed maladaptive changes in the profile of coping strategies and an increase in optimism. As social support, satisfaction with support and health-related quality of life did not improve, then rehabilitation, social and psychological support are continuously needed.
Native-born Estonian men (N=912), 17-68 years old, participated in a study on relationships between personality characteristics, dominant structure of word meaning ("everyday concepts" thinking or "scientific concepts" thinking), and level of cognitive ability. Individuals who primarily used everyday concepts thinking or who possessed relatively low levels of cognitive ability did not reveal a coherent Big Five personality structure, whereas individuals who primarily used scientific concepts thinking or possessed high levels of cognitive ability did. Thus, personality may be shaped by a cultural factor--word meaning structure. Earlier studies, which seem to support the idea that Big Five personality structure is a biologically determined human universal, suffer from serious sampling problems and insufficient data analyses.
In this article a new definition of internalization is proposed, according to which internalization is a process whereby two different mechanisms of information processing, non-verbal ('sensory') thinking and conventional language, that have been differentiated from the 'natural' processes in the course of development become united within a new mental structure. The result of internalization is the development of semiotically mediated, 'cultural' mental operations. Components of the definition, the concept of a structure, of dynamicity (development), of natural and cultural processes, and of semiotic mediation are discussed in relation to one another. The result allows the conceptualization of what makes human environments specific so that only that environment is sufficient for the development of human mind; and what makes human children specific so that only they take advantage of what the human environment affords in a manner not attainable by other animal species.
In this article modern qualitative and mixed methods approaches are criticized from the standpoint of structural-systemic epistemology. It is suggested that modern qualitative methodologies suffer from several fallacies: some of them are grounded on inherently contradictory epistemology, the others ask scientific questions after the methods have been chosen, conduct studies inductively so that not only answers but even questions are often supposed to be discovered, do not create artificial situations and constraints on study-situations, are adevelopmental by nature, study not the external things and phenomena but symbols and representations--often the object of studies turns out to be the researcher rather than researched, rely on ambiguous data interpretation methods based to a large degree on feelings and opinions, aim to understand unique which is theoretically impossible, or have theoretical problems with sampling. Any one of these fallacies would be sufficient to exclude any possibility to achieve structural-systemic understanding of the studied things and phenomena. It also turns out that modern qualitative methodologies share several fallacies with the quantitative methodology. Therefore mixed methods approaches are not able to overcome the fundamental difficulties that characterize mixed methods taken separately. It is proposed that structural-systemic methodology that dominated psychological thought in the pre-WWII continental Europe is philosophically and theoretically better grounded than the other methodologies that can be distinguished in psychology today. Future psychology should be based on structural-systemic methodology.
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