At the turn of the twentieth century the progressive, scientific, position in psychological thought was associationism. This doctrine set itself against the out-dated fallacies of faculty psychology and seemed set to sweep all before it. Few psychologists in the climate of these times, and none with any pretensions to be in touch with modern thought, would have willingly embraced the tenets of faculty psychology. Chapter 2 demonstrated how the fundamental contradictions of Binet’s position arose precisely because he developed a covert faculty psychology while remaining formally committed to associationism and Chapter 3 explored the insecure philosophical positioning of Spearman’s two factor theory. There is a little irony in the fact that what deserves to be recognised as a particularly successful branch of faculty psychology should have had such unwilling founders. Binet was always reluctant to confront the theoretical implications of his ‘metric scale of intelligence’, but Spearman (1927a, p. 25) eventually decided to confess his real allegiance. It is still possible to sympathise with his somewhat brazen challenge:
Despite all protests to the contrary, this ancient doctrine has in good truth not even yet been abandoned. Modern authors seem, rather, to have been incapable of abandoning it; for they have discovered nothing more acceptable to take its place.
- Mental Rotation
- General Intelligence
- True Faculty
- Mental Entity
- Mental Organ
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