- Traditional (ancient) psychology is derivative of scriptures like the Upanishad, Vedas, Dharmashastras, Nitishastra, Smritis, Arthashastra, Mahabharat, Puranas and so on
- Two major ideas in ancient
- Dharma is translated not
correctly in English as ‘proper action’, or ‘moral duty’, or ‘law of
- Rigvedic concept and later elaborated in Gautam’s Dharmashastra (about 600 B.C.)
Dharma is dependent on four aspects:
- Guna- physiological and psychological attributes of an individual
- Desh- the individuals country and region of origin
- Kala- the historical context one is born in
- Shrama– The work and occupation one is engaged in
- Self is not only limited to
the individual but a larger, all pervasive cosmic reality
- The self is immensely interdependent and cannot exist as a sole reality
Western civilizations effect on Indian social psychology
- West formed the model for “modern” society
with British colonization
- Industrialization, market-capitalism, science and tech etc.
- Indians who were exposed to western ideas brought them to India during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries
out evil practices like sati, caste system, etc
- Tagore, Raja Ram Mohan Roy
- Some individuals like Gandhi and Tilak rejected western ideals and reasserted Indian spiritual ideas and claimed that these ideas are correct but implemented incorrectly
Pre-Independence psychology in India
in the first Psychology Department established at Calcutta University.
- N.N.Sengupta – First chairman of the department, had worked with Hugo Munsterberg (student of Wundt) at Harvard University.
with the Eminent Sociologist Radhakamal Mukherjee published “Social
Psychology” in 1928 four years after Allport’s (1924)
- Widely noticed by the academic community.
- Nehru considered the adoption of Western Science and Technology
- Academic exchange programmes: large number of Indian scholars went abroad for higher studies and many distinguished western scholars visited India.
- Gardner Murphy, part of UNESCO team, travelled to India and many Indian Psychologists worked with him to understand the social psychological consequences of communal hatred.
- Indian Social Psychologists primarily worked in the areas of Prejudice, Stereotypes, and social attitudes.
- Large scale surveys were conducted using various attitude measures.
- Adinarayanan (1953; 1957), Rath and Sircar (1960) and Anant (1970) others – Racial & communal attitudes; case attitudes.
- Attitude change became major themes of research with increasing importance on community awareness plans for health, family planning, agricultural innovations.
- Western psychological theories did not provide solutions to the complex problems of social change and development facing the country.
- Sinha (1966; 1977) called for an indigenous psychology
- Indian studies did not heavily rely on experimental methods or created their own theoretical basis, methods or ideology
- Concern of scholars struggling to recover, revive, and reconstruct indigenous Indian concepts.
- Indian psychology is gradually evolving to create an identify of its own.
- No effort, has been made by any Indian Psychologist to write a textbook on social psychology from an Indian Perspective.
- The hope is that by utilizing untapped cultural resources social psychology may find solutions of Indian problems from an Indian perspective.
- The hallmark of this perspective would be the interdependence of individual and society
- Western History
- Western Ideas began with
- Plato’s idea that the man was supposed to be rational
- Aristotle idea was that man’s behaviour changes with observation and analysis
& Roman ideas was that Man & society were secular and dependent
was important to constantly question aspects around us
- Rooted in academic skepticism
- It was important to constantly question aspects around us
- Christianity’s ideal was of supremacy of man on earth as decided by God
- Rene Descartes by 17th century developed scientific methods of analysis and rejected Christian doctrine
- Emergence of Sociology
- August Comte’s idea was to find a true final science in the highest order to understand society and the individual
- 1862: Proposed two branches
of Psychology: Physiological and social
- American view of identity as being individualistic
- Gestalt perspective: the environment is not only made up of individuals but also their interrelationships
- 1924: Floyd Allport introduced experimental methods in psychology
- World Wars and Great
Depression in America greatly shaped social psychology
1936 the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
was established. It began by creating ethics and values in research
- Kurt lewin was a founder
- “No research without action, and no action without research”
- By the world wars fascism was a major problem and its anti-intellectual stand led to immigration of social scientists to America
- Additionally, social behavior knowledge in wartime programs were included
- In 1936 the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) was established. It began by creating ethics and values in research
- After the wars ended social psychology grew in America and its theories began to be used world over
- Many prominent social
psychologists came out post war:
Festinger (1957): Cognitive dissonance
- Influence of group on individuals
Milgram (1963): Obedience
- Most people would follow any instruction given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being.
Allport: Contant hypothesis
- Desegregation and reduction of racial prejudice
- Elaine Hatfield and Ellen Berscheid (1969) – Interpersonal or Romantic Attractions
- Zimbardo – Social roles and its effects
- Bib Latane and John Darley (1968) – bystander intervention
- Leon Festinger (1957): Cognitive dissonance
- Important milestones:
- 1970s – European and Latin American SP association founded
- 1995 – Asian Association of SP was formed
- Western Ideas began with
- Wilhelm Wundt
- Edward Titchener (Wundt’s student)
- underlying structure that underlie all the things human do
- power of the will (voluntarism)
Theory of Consciousness
- break down the mind into categories and find relationships between these categories and final relationships between these categories
- William James
of consciousness and the mind
- to study the functions of consciousness rather than its structure
- Sigmund Freud
- John B. Watson
- Thorndike- Thorndike’s law
- Pavlov – classical conditioning
- Skinner- operant/instrumental conditioning
- Bandura- social cognitive theory/ observation learning
- Cognitive Revolution
- Aaron Beck – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Noam Chomsky,
- Albert Ellis- Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT)