Countries On The Couch

Aug 13 2011 @ 5:09pm

Vaughan Bell summarizes a 2005 study about the rise of different styles of psychology in different nations:

In France, a clinical method and an interest in the exceptional, perhaps pathological, individual case (the hysteric, the prodigy of memory, the double personality) was characteristic of early work. In Germany, the dominant academic interest, supported by an experimental methodology adapted from physiology, was in the conscious content of the rational adult mind. This interest interacted with philosophical questions about the foundations of knowledge. … In Russia, stark opposition between a conservative politics of the soul expressed in Orthodox belief and radical materialism led, in the Soviet period, to support for psychology as a theory of ‘higher nervous activity’, in Pavlov’s phrase, which threatened to make psychology part of physiology.