Psychology Term Paper

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Please define or explain the meaning of the concepts or terms attached. Also please explain its relevance – why it’s important, with what thinker or position it is associated with, or if it is the name of a position, what thinker(s) or concepts are associated with it, what it should be compared or contrasted with, etc

  1. The autonomy of psychology
  2. Bridge Laws (or Bridge Principles)
  3. (Intertheoretic) Reductionism
  4. Co-evolution
  5. Conduction Aphasia
  6. Direct Localization
  7. Domain-Specific Reduction
  8. Antireductionist Functionalism
  9. Equipotentiality
  10. Chauvinism
  11. Multiple Realizability
  12. Holism vs. Equipotentiality
  13. Organology
  14. Entities and Activities
  15. Ventricular localization
  16. Radical Neuron Doctrine
  17. Trivial Neuron Doctrine
  18. Law of Mass Action
  19. Levels
  20. Exemplars
  21. Naturalism & Materialism/Physicalism
  22. Homuncular Functionalism
  23. Folk psychology (or Folk science)
  24. Axes of analysis of localization


Meaning of Concepts

The Autonomy of Psychology

Psychology is considered to be autonomous from other sciences, particularly physical sciences in terms of at least two dimensions: its subject-matter and its methodology. In reference to the former, psychology focuses on entities such as properties, relations, and states, all of which are not entirely explicable in physical sciences. This notion is contrasted with the fact that the method widely used in psychology is purely based on the explanation which totally differs from all other sciences.


Bridge Principles

            Bridge principles (also called bridge laws and coordinating definitions) arise from the sources evaluative practical reasoning and its diverse descriptive concepts. They are generally bi-conditional linking terms that attempt to connect two theories in terms of fact and material. All in all, they attempt to bridge the gap between evaluative and practical reasoning.  The concept behind bridgeprinciples is a fundamental one that outlines the identities of properties among predicates and relations.


            The inkling of intertheoretic reductionism clearly states that one theory is derived from another existing one and can, in fact, be reduced back to that original theory. In science, this phenomenon occurs when the reducing theory accurately makes extrapolations in a wide range of general conditions that align with those of the reduced theory. However, two criteria must be met for this to occur, that is, connectability and derivability. In essence, this implies that both theories must possess equal qualities and must also be plausibly derivable from one another.


            This is phenomenon that occurs in biological sciences whereby two or more species indirectly have an effect on the evolution of each other. However, empirical research reveals that human evolution has been greatly influenced by the interplay of cultural and generic inheritance systems. Culture-gene coevolution, to be specific, is a subset of this occurrence and has provided meaningful insight in understanding human social psychology and its influence on social norms.  

Conduction Aphasia

            This is a language disorder that is attained by people and is characterized by a pronounced impairment with speech repetition. Mainly, damage occurs in the left parietal region. As such, persons affected by this disorder are in a position to comprehend what they hear and express themselves fairy well with a few word-finding issues. However, they often have difficulties in replicating the phrases directed to them, especially when they increase in complexity and length. They tend to stumble over these words and try to transpose or substitute them as they attempt to pronounce them. This condition is a rare one.

Direct Localization

            This idea contradicts the equipotentiality theory. It acknowledges that the brain only functions in specific areas and that its ability to carry out different functions is only determined by the overall damage to that particular region. Therefore, any other damagesthat are unrelated to that area should not affect the carrying out of a task.

Domain-Specific Reduction

            This refers to narrowing of the scope to attain domain specificity. In science, most reductions are domain specific and are backed-up by the bridge principles. The linking predicates of the reduced and reducing theories are such that they account for this reduction to achieve domain specificity in research. This is an important aspect of psychological adaptations since it helps solve problems that are present in a particular domain.


Antireductionist Functionalism

            Functionalism is a theory that tries to explain the mental existences in terms of external input and foreseeable outcomes. This philosophy originated from the interest of computing and artificial intelligence. It tries to demystify the complex nature of the human mind. The antireductionist theorists, however, postulate that a greater percentage of minded organisms have a tendency of possessing naturalbiological states or non-physical states.


            This is a psychological theory developed by Karl Spencer (1890-1958) that the brain, in the case of an injury, has the ability to transfer functional memory from the damaged region to another area of the brain that is undamaged. He added that the efficiency levels of any multifaceted function performed by the brain are significantly reduced by the damage sustained by the brain as a whole and not on the damage incurred in specific parts of the brain. This is summed up as the law of mass action. As such, cognitive dysfunction is directly correlated to the total damage present in the brain tissues.


            This is described as the prejudiced support for one’s group, affiliations or gender. In psychology personality tests, it is perceived as an influential factor that determines the degree of stimuli possessed by those being assessed in regards to the responses they give to chauvinistic questions.

Multiple Realizability

            This is a philosophy of the mind that generally advances the idea that a single mental state can be achieved through different physical events. For instance, pain is a state that can be realized by different physical properties and events that share no common features at all. This thesis has served as a primary tool for formulation of other psychoneural theories that identify the mental states with those of the brain.

Holism vs. Equipotentiality

            Holism is the notion that all systems such as economic, biological, physical and mental together with their corresponding properties should be viewed and treated as a whole unit and not as specific components. Equipotentiality concurs with this assertion in the sense that it looks at the overall efficiency as a function of collective and not localized damage to the brain. However, to some extent, it contends with this assertion by compiling the individual damages to specify parts of the brain and cumulatively using them to determine the level of efficiency of complex brain functions.


            In psychology, this involves looking at the cortex as a fully-functional organ that facilitates the processes of the mind. However, it is difficult and quite impossible to look further into the cortex in this perspective. This is why organology serves as gateway of understanding the function of the hemispheres that arise from the central surface of the cortex as an entity of the brain.

Entities and Activities

            Both of these components attribute their origin from the transaction theory on knowledge transference. Generally, knowledge is represented by objects known as frames which have both internal and external structures.  A coherent integration of these frames containing knowledge constitute an elaborated frame network (EFN) which is made up of a further three key frames, namely, processes, entities and activities.  Entities basically represent symbols, persons, places or devices whereas activities refer to the set containing all possible actions done by a person.

Ventricular localization

            This concepttraces its origins in the Middle Ages, where scholars strongly believed that the different mental aptitudes, cognition and memory components were each located at a specific part of the three ventricles of the brain.

Radical Neuron Doctrine

            This is one of the versions of the neuron doctrine, and it promotes the view that that any successful theory of the mind must include expressing it in terms of the functional properties of neurons as well as the basic structural of the brain. This ideology thwarts the arguments presented by the trivial neuron doctrine which only focuses on a defining a successful theory as a brain philosophy only, hence it is unconventional. Unlike the trivial doctrine, the radical approach has been deemed substantive in having its distinct features being used as grounds of conducting vital research projects.

Trivial Neuron Doctrine

            This concept advances the view that a fruitful theory that comes from the mind is exclusively a cognitive approach based on neuroscience. As such, it explains all psychological phenomena by applying the dynamics of neuroscience. The unique feature of this principle is that it does not entail any radical consequences in the field of linguistics and other psychological sciences. It only expresses effective theories in terms of neuroscientific terminologies. This constitutesthe weakness of this doctrine.

Law of Mass Action

            This principle states that the collective damage to the brain is directly proportional to the decrease in the efficiency levels of the brain to perform memory functions. Therefore, memory cannot be confined to a specific area but is distributed all over the cortex.


            This model proposes that the human memory has a tendency to assign objects and ideas into vast categories, especially when faced with foreign entities. It further argues that individual make categorical conclusions by comparing new sensations with memory instances. This helps to streamline a person’s thought process in the long run.



            In psychology, levels serve as a coherent model for understanding the scope of processing involved in memory and cognitive assignment. It asserts that the trace of a memorylargely depends on how essential information is processed. This is primarily because memory is simply a product of processed information.

Naturalism and Materialism/Physicalism

            As a philosophy, naturalism, advances the idea that natural laws are in control of the world. The existence of these rules influences the behavior and patterns of the universe. Materialism on the other hand, holds more or less of the same view in that all matter is an important part of nature. This view extends to all the phenomena, including mental aspects which are arise out of the interaction of these matter.

Homuncular Functionalism

            This refers to an intelligent system such as the mind that results from miniature systems and components that work together in harmony. The coherence achieved by these sub-systems allows for the easy performance of both simple and complex tasks.

Folk psychology (or Folk science)

            This is a theory that attempts to explain the different types of behavior presented in the brain. It depends on the human capacity to accurately or partly predict the behavior and mental states of other people as well. It is well-defined in a domain that centers reflective states of the beliefs and desires of people.

Axes of analysis of localization

            These refer to the four distinct categories of localization which are physical scope, physical kind, functional scope and functional kind. These categories are not mutually exclusive and exhaustive, meaning they can be combined to express the different views on localization. Physical scope is a quantitative measure of the size of a brain that performs a certain corresponding action. Contrary to this, physical kind is a qualitative measure that looks at the structural characteristics of samples of brain tissues.

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