Psychological Mechanisms

In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. pp. 4145-4154 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In the most inclusive sense, psychological mechanisms offer a type of causal explanation of mental states and behavior, often with reference to underlying processes, systems, activities, or entities. By postulating and investigating such mechanisms, researchers have sought explanations of a wide range of psychological phenomena. However, the concept has been deployed in dramatically different ways, with very different meanings, depending upon the particular school or tradition of psychology (and specific research program therein). In fact, usage has been so diverse as to defy easy categorization or definition. But a historical perspective, even if rather selective, can trace the broad outlines of the significance of psychological mechanisms for the study of the mind. Perhaps most notable is the role they have played in the psychoanalytic tradition; research efforts within behaviorism and cognitive science have also made liberal use of versions of the concept in their explanatory frameworks (for discussion of evolutionary psychology, see the entry “evolved psychological mechanisms”). Cutting across all of these traditions are several key themes relating to psychological mechanisms, including questions concerning the scope of the relevant causal claims, debates about causal determinism and regularity, and the unresolved relation between mind and body.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,349

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Psychology of Dilemmas and the Philosophy of Morality.Fiery Cushman & Liane Young - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):9-24.
Mechanisms and functional brain areas.Gregory Johnson - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (2):255-271.
The Emotional Coherence of Religion.Paul Thagard - 2005 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 5 (1-2):58-74.
What is psychological explanation?William Bechtel & Cory Wright - 2009 - In Sarah Robins, John Francis Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 113--130.
Psychology, Biology and Social Relations.Ian Moll - 2004 - Journal of Critical Realism 3 (1):49-76.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-09-01

Downloads
111 (#155,802)

6 months
20 (#126,042)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Kelso Cratsley
American University
Ulrich Koch
George Washington University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations