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New Ideas in Psychology

New Ideas in Psychology

  • Cognitive and movement measures reflect the transition to presence-at-hand
    Publication date: April 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 45

    Author(s): Dobromir Dotov, Lin Nie, Kevin Wojcik, Anastasia Jinks, Xiaoyu Yu, Anthony Chemero

    The phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger’s proposed transition from readiness-to-hand to presence-at-hand and the hypothesis of extended cognition were addressed empirically in an experiment on tool use. It involved a video game of steering erratically moving objects to a target while performing a secondary cognitive task. A strong perturbation of the hand-pointer linkage in the video game induced the transition from ready-to-hand to present-at-hand. In Experiment 1, this perturbation resulted in decreased motor performance and improved recall of task-irrelevant features. Experiment 2 replicated these results and addressed additional questions. Measures of movement variability based on the multifractal formalism confirmed the hypothesized decrease in functional integration of the tool during the perturbation. Dynamical interactions allow user and tool to act as a system. The tool is properly described as ready-to-hand during normal operation but as present-at-hand during perturbation. Physiological measures showed that the ready-to-hand to present-at-hand transition does not necessarily lead to a stress response.





  • Inviting affordances and agency
    Publication date: April 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 45

    Author(s): Rob Withagen, Duarte Araújo, Harjo J. de Poel

    Recently several authors have suggested that affordances are not mere possibilities for action but can also invite behavior. This reconceptualization of affordances asks for a reconsideration of the ecological approach to agency. After a portrayal of the role of agency in ecological psychology, we draw upon phenomenology to reveal what it means for an agent to be invited by affordances. We sketch a dynamical model of the animal-environment relationship that aims to do justice to this analysis. In the model, agency is conceptualized as the capacity to modulate the coupling strength with the environment—the agent can influence to what extent he or she is influenced by the different invitations. This account of agency keeps us far from the Cartesian idea that the agent imposes behavior. Indeed, by modulating the coupling strength, the agent simply alters the dynamics of the animal-environment interactions and thus the behavior that emerges.





  • Null hypothesis significance testing and Type I error: The domain problem
    Publication date: April 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 45

    Author(s): David Trafimow, Brian D. Earp

    Although many common uses of p-values for making statistical inferences in contemporary scientific research have been shown to be invalid, no one, to our knowledge, has adequately assessed the main original justification for their use, which is that they can help to control the Type I error rate (Neyman & Pearson, 1928, 1933). We address this issue head-on by asking a specific question: Across what domain, specifically, do we wish to control the Type I error rate? For example, do we wish to control it across all of science, across all of a specific discipline such as psychology, across a researcher’s active lifetime, across a substantive research area, across an experiment, or across a set of hypotheses? In attempting to answer these questions, we show that each one leads to troubling dilemmas wherein controlling the Type I error rate turns out to be inconsistent with other scientific desiderata. This inconsistency implies that we must make a choice. In our view, the other scientific desiderata are much more valuable than controlling the Type I error rate and so it is the latter, rather than the former, with which we must dispense. But by doing so—that is, by eliminating the Type I error justification for computing and using p-values—there is even less reason to believe that p is useful for validly rejecting null hypotheses than previous critics have suggested.





  • Editorial Board/Publication Information
    Publication date: January 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 44









  • Introduction to the special issue
    Publication date: January 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 44









  • How to operationalize a person
    Publication date: January 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 44

    Author(s): Mark H. Bickhard

    The notion of operationally defining a person is absurd, but no more so than other uses of “operationalization”. ‘Persons’ make that absurdity particularly clear because there is no sense in which persons can be directly observed, nor defined in terms of what might be observable, and thereby exposes the emptiness of the idea of operationalization more broadly. On the other hand, persons can be modeled, and their ontology investigated, within frameworks that can address the processes and organizations that actually constitute persons.





  • Going where the action is to conceptualize the person
    Publication date: January 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 44

    Author(s): Catherine Raeff

    Contemporary psychology is highly structured in terms of conventional and traditional methodological practices, including fragmenting, objectifying, and aggregating. Such practices sometimes impede understanding and investigating the person in terms of what he/she does as an integrated active individual who develops. The goal of this paper is to outline a systems conceptualization of the person as a developing individual who acts in relation to others in cultural practices. Such action is conceptualized as emerging through multiple and interrelated individual, social, and cultural processes, as well as in terms of multiple and interrelated domains of functioning that develop. This conceptualization is applicable to a wide range of issues in psychology as a whole. Moreover, starting with an overall conceptualization of action provides ways to overcome some limitations of conventional practices, and also provides a basis for conducting systematic and integrative research on the person.





  • The explanatory significance of wholes: How exclusive reliance on antecedent-consequent models of explanation undermines the study of persons
    Publication date: January 2017
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 44

    Author(s): David C. Witherington

    Psychology has long labored under a mechanistic view of persons as reducible to parts (i.e., traits) that dictate human functioning. Efforts to study persons holistically—as embodied wholes embedded in the world—have resuscitated the study of personhood and its development, overhauling linear cause-effect models of psychological functioning in favor of emergence-focused, dynamic process alternatives rooted in the concept of persons as necessarily constituted within interactive context. Focused on agency and self-determination, the study of personhood also calls for an appreciation of the explanatory significance of persons as persons, as unified wholes who preserve their own organization in the face of ceaseless exchange with the world. Fully adopting this important vantage point for understanding persons, however, is only possible by expanding notions of scientific explanation beyond the temporal framework of antecedent-consequent, parts-to-whole relations in order to embrace a person’s wholeness itself as a legitimate mode of explanation for understanding functioning.





http://rss.sciencedirect.com/publication/science/0732118X

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