James Rowland Angell’s opinion, in as far as the disappearance of the term ‘consciousness’ from psychology is concerned, was based on his studies in psychology as a critical part of mental activity towards different stimulus in the environment (Hergenhahn, 2009).
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His principles in psychology were inclined towards a biological understanding, which rarely tolerated elements that were not physically evidenced such as consciousness.
He identified that by evaluating mental operations as a part of evolutionary stimulus series, psychologists manipulated the different psychological positions of their patients or study subjects in a better way. This was mainly by altering the environmental stimulus that they were meant to adapt to.
He identified that consciousness or lack of it did not inhibit the normal functioning of the ordinary mental processes (Haines & Taggar, 2006). It, therefore, could not be used in psychological studies.
He also introduced the evolutionary subject in psychology, where he identified that mental process was prone to a number of changes as a person strived to adapt to the changing environment.
He also identified that the assumption that psychology was related to consciousness implied the lack of mental processes in the absence of consciousness (Jex & Britt, 2008).
He believed that in functional psychology, the mind could not be separated from the body, hence the relationship between the subject and the environment even in the absence of consciousness.
The trend that Angell predicted was shared by a number of psychologists at Columbia who later came up with elaborate studies on functional psychology. They were James McKeen Cattell, Robert Woodworth and Edward Thorndike.
There was a number of modern psychologists that perfected the psychological principles set out by Angell, with the most phenomenal being Egon Brunswik.
The fact that the zeitgeist assumed dominant trends of a particular time means that it was bound to apply functional psychology even though there was still a number of behavioural psychologists remaining (Barrick, Stewart, Neubert & Mount, 1998).
The development of Industrial Organizational Psychology was a part of the zeitgeist movement through its adoption of psychological studies in the management of groups of people who shared a common cause.
The application of psychological studies in the management of organizations has led to the development and adoption of a number of management models. These increased the production as well as the cooperation of individuals in the social and work settings (Haines & Taggar, 2006).
It identifies functional psychology as the basis of environmental stimulus on psychological tendencies exhibited by subjects, which means that it borrows a lot from the basic models developed by Angell (Hergenhahn, 2009).
While the emphasis on consciousness was quite important in explaining the motivation behind human action, it did not provide psychologist with adequate options that they would apply in their evaluation of human psychology (Jex & Britt, 2008).
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The emphasis on behaviour by psychologist has paved the way for the deeper evaluation of human psychology by identifying the root cause of particular human traits and actions. The emphasis on functional psychology has allowed psychologists to evaluate the effects of the environment and normal human evolution in defining human psychology.
This has allowed them to establish different psychological models that are specific to different demographic and regional limitations (Barrick, Stewart, Neubert & Mount, 1998).
The shift from consciousness to behaviour has introduced a notion of normality in psychology, unlike the previous assumption of abnormality where psychological differences were identified as a deviation from the norm.
Behavioural psychology identifies that some psychological issues should be expected when a person is subjected to certain environmental conditions.
Barrick, R, Stewart, L, Neubert, J, & Mount, K. (1998). Relating member ability and personality to Work-team processes and team effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol 83. Pp 377–391.
Haines, Y, & Taggar, S. (2006). Antecedents of team reward attitude. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice. Vol 10. Pp 194–205.
Hergenhahn, B., R. (2009). An Introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Jex, S., M, & Britt, T., W. (2008). Organizational Psychology. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.