Developing Human Capital: Success and Failure in Learning

Psychologists in the past have conceptualized talent as an IQ-like cognitive ability [1], and practice focused on the view of human achievements to be limited by innate characteristics [2]. Human cognitive processing is indeed universally depending on sensory abilities, often biased and unaware of its own mechanisms, and limited to a relatively bounded range of working memory capacity [3]. However, these innate factors are not directly encoding skills, but the … Continue reading

Beyond happiness

I was looking for happiness and found meaning. When I accepted meaning, happiness became meaningless.

History and Philosophy of Learning Theory

Behaviorism Introspection as the scientific method had to give place to behavioral psychology in the nineteenth century [1], which opposed mentalist approaches to the study of associative mechanisms in learned behavior [2] with rigorous observable laboratory experiments and animal behavior training as performed by B.F. Skinner [3] (Figure 1.). Associationists like E. Thorndike believed in biological processes which construe memory in the form of neuronal connections in the brain [1]. … Continue reading

Attachment and Moral Development Theory

Summary This essay evaluates whether “the fundamental problem of social psychology is the moralization of the individual by the society” (McDougall, 1908 as cited in [1], p.8). Also, how does attachment theory permeate aspects of human (and ecological) relationships [2], and how are emotional, moral, and identity development and personality theory aspects intertwined? Finally, implications are suggested regarding factors that have the potential to influence attachment style throughout the lifespan … Continue reading

Approaches to Lifespan Development and Cultural Considerations

Developmental Psychology and Lifespan Development Developmental psychology comprises the research of children’s cognitive, societal, and emotive development, and is especially interested in studying how children learn [1]. During the last decades, lifespan developmental psychology became an “independent, interdisciplinary specialization of life sciences” [2, p. 25] that is embracing the developmental stages over a whole lifespan [3]. Lifespan development research seeks insight into the determinants of individuals’ well-being, e.g., ‘successful aging,’ … Continue reading

The Frog in the Bottom of a Well

I have already argued that psychology should be taught instead of history, and that kind of un-learning and de-culturation would complement the strategy to reduce shared group hatred and separation in favor of more compassionate oneness with all and everything. It was always known that traveling and cross-cultural exchanges are mind-opening and enriching experiences that are often even dramatically changing one’s world view. As Third Culture Kids (TCK) show, it … Continue reading

Online/Internet Emotional Intelligence (EI)

  Summary. Online learning and team work are ever increasing. This poses new challenges on how to predict successful learning, teaching, and performance in general while being wary about problematic Internet/online usage too. Emotions may be seen as less relevant in an online environment, but studies show that Emotional Intelligence (EI) of online instructors and leaders of virtual teams does predict online success. As online participant want to bring in … Continue reading

Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI): Not Just the Sum of Individual EI

Summary. Collaborative learning and teamwork play a significant role in learning and work performance. Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) has positive effects on learning and performance dynamics in learning and collaborating teams, which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior. Therefore, the potential of CEI should be harnessed by further integrating it into work-relevant learning curriculums. Team Learning for Team Performance Despite or because of the controversy related … Continue reading

Psychological Predictors for Career Success Beyond Dispositional Personality

Summary. Both trait personality and intelligence aspects contribute to the predictive power of psychological measures related to job performance. The validity of predictors depends on specific context and content. To most effectively operationalize relevant performance assessments, combinations, adaptations, and even new tests should be carefully chosen to best map performance criterion and predicting variables as accurate as possible. 

The Oedipus Complex: Development of One’s Sexual Identity and the Risk for Neurosis

Summary. Sigmund Freud’s childhood development stages remain an influential idea. Out of the sequence of the oral, anal, phallic, and genital stages, the phallic phase between 3 and five years with its rise of the Oedipus complex seems to be a central psychic reference point. Freud’s Oedipus complex model suggests that overcoming the competition with one’s father or mother for the affection of the other parent (of opposite sex) is … Continue reading

Personality Factors as Predictors for Future Behavior, Outcomes, and Effective Interventions (At the Example of Criminality)

Summary. Developmental psychology aims to predict future behavior and outcomes. Many factors contribute to personality and the manifestation of behavior. These may be of biological, psychological, and social nature. While psychoanalysis sees our moral development as a rather automatic process determined mainly during childhood, Eysenck’s personality traits in interaction with the environment provide for an approach that involves more the possibility of learning. According to his Antisocial Behavior Hypothesis (ASB), … Continue reading

Lifetime Stability & Changeability of Personality (Developmental Psychology)

Summary. Research from developmental psychology is suggesting that personality traits are inherently stable across a lifetime. Some characteristics may explain actual behavior or predict future development. This post, however, examines the question related to how much of our underlying personality is “nature or nurture.” In summary, genetic factors are independent of age and sex influencing character stability during childhood, while environmental factors are largely contributing to changes during adolescence and … Continue reading

Sigmund Freud versus Hans J. Eysenck – The Development of Personality

Freud and Eysenck are two of the greatest psychologists of the 20th century. Indeed, both are living on in contemporary views and research, although, according to Eysenck (1996), Freud’s genius lied mainly in convincingly telling fairy tells. Indeed, the unconscious sexual desires that are making up entirely an individual’s psychic motivation are hardly testable and may degenerate into adventurous explanations of human behavior. It is the scientific scrutiny and broad … Continue reading

Psychic Blindness: The Object Recognition Problem

mathias-sager-psychic-blindness-visual-agnosia

Abstract. Do you know “blindsight,” when we recognize something without conscious effort? “Psychic blindness” is the opposite. Besides perfect eyesight, a person suffering from visual ‘object agnosia,’ cannot recognize an object due to the inability to associate the optical signals with the memorized concept of the object in sight. The same object could, however, be identified by the means of other senses such as hearing or touch. The article discusses … Continue reading

Psychological Interactions between Personality and Culture

Individual differences that determine one’s attitudes and behavior may not all be the same across cultures. Although culture is shaping an individual, e.g., through social learning, individual emotional processes remain, which lead people to adapt to and influence their respective cultures differently. For specific and holistic psychological approaches to personality, Western and Eastern (Buddhist) contrasting concepts of the self could be further integrated: Why not argue that “the self needs … Continue reading

Spirituality is required to understand human motivation and personality

Summary. More and more people in many parts of the world are becoming increasingly spiritual but not necessarily religious (Willard & Norenzayan, 2017). As a force urging us to quest for meaning in life, spirituality is considered to be a natural human condition (Kim & Esquivel, 2011) with individual preferences according to personality type (Hall, 2012). Contemporary psychology has to further account for the difference between religiosity and spirituality, as … Continue reading

The importance of intuition

mathias-sager-intuition

What are the “hidden” aspects, the unconscious parts of personalities’ mental functioning that is determining human behavior? While Freud is using the term ‘drive,’ ‘instinct’ and ‘intuition’ (more casually also ‘gut feeling’) are rather popular expressions too, while ‘instinct’ may be seen as a more inherent, and ‘intuition’ as a more experience based type of unconscious mental activity (Sun & Wilson, 2014). Intuition may be substantial for the humanist approach … Continue reading

Being driven or thriving? Sigmund Freud versus Carl Rogers on human motivation

Sigmund Freud suggests inborn mental processes, the id, which represents an unconscious and irrational force along the sexual development from childhood to grown-up personality (Ziegler, 2002). Freud used the term ‘drive’ to explain the unconscious triggers causing the variety of human behavior (Gillespie, 2014). It is the superego’s function to consciously guide socially compatible actions in a person’s hedonistic pursuit of pleasure (Cooper, 2010). If drive appetite is not satisfied … Continue reading

Why Psychology Should Be Taught in Every School

Humanist psychologists strikingly identify globalization, health, ecology, and spirituality as areas of contemporary and future human problematic behavior, and point to a large population of depressiveness worldwide. Do you also think humanity hasn’t yet found a good recipe for peace, justice, and happiness? In fact, it is our all aspiration to make the best possible contribution to the well-being of all. Just, how to do even better as there is obviously … Continue reading

Cultural effect on persuasion

Does the culture we are living in shape the way we get persuaded? I think the mindset may be determining proneness to messages. Indeed, for example Paek, Lee, and Hove (n.d.) found the possibility that East Asians are more receptive to norm messages for reasons of their habit to seek social conformity.