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Looking for Explanations of Unfamiliar Words
Task 1. [Individually, then pairs]
Study the sentences below. Try to identify the meaning of each of the words in bold type. Underline the clues in the sentence/paragraph which help you to work out the meaning. When you have finished, compare your ideas with those of your partner.
Structuralists used a method called introspection: They asked people to describe what they thought and felt at specific times. (The colon here is used to introduce an explanation of ‘introspection’, so ‘introspection’ is a method in which observers ask people to describe what they thought and felt at specific times )
1. Psychology was predated and somewhat influenced by various pseudoscientific schools of thought—that is, theories that had no scientific foundation.
2. The techniques of reinforcement, or controlled reward and punishment, have become increasingly popular in education.
3. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Viennese physician Franz Joseph Gall developed phrenology, the theory that psychological traits and abilities reside in certain parts of the brain and can be measured by the bumps and indentations in the skull.
4. Structuralism was a system of psychology developed by Edward Bradford Titchener, an American psychologist who studied under Wilhelm Wundt. Structuralists believed that the task of psychology is to identify the basic elements of consciousness in much the same way that physicists break down the basic particles of matter. For example, Titchener identified four elements in the sensation of taste: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.
5. According to Allport (1937), since all science isnomothetic (i.e. concerned with establishing general laws or principles), and since psychology should be concerned with the study of unique individuals (theidiographic approach), psychology cannot be a science.
6. According to Freud, dreams are disguised expressions of deep, hidden impulses. Thus, as patients recount the conscious manifest content of dreams, the psychoanalyst tries to unmask the underlying latent content—what the dreams really mean.
7. This illusion inspired the Gestalt psychology movement, which was based on the notion that people tend to perceive a well-organized whole or pattern that is different from the sum of isolated sensations.
8. Hippocrates, usually credited as the "father of medicine," lived at roughly the same time as Socrates, and was much interested in physiology (the branch of biology that studies the normal functions of the living organism and its parts).
9. While there is no disagreement about what a watch is or isn't, this cannot be said of personality, which is a hypothetical construct, that is, an abstract term that has no independent existence beyond the mind which constructed it.
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