Thinking: An Experimental and Social Study

Thinking: An Experimental and Social Study

Thinking: An Experimental and Social Study

Thinking: An Experimental and Social Study

Excerpt

As I have indicated in Chapter 8 of this book, it was my purpose, as far back as in 1932, to develop an experimental study of the large variety of processes which people call "thinking." A beginning was made then, but it had not proceeded very far before the second Great War came, and for sufficient reasons my interests, and those of most of my colleagues, were diverted to experiments and reflexions about bodily skill, its basic characters, and the conditions of its acquisition and practice. All the time the possibility of developing experiments upon thinking which would differ from the traditional approaches remained more or less active at the back of my mind.

If I had attempted to write this book in the 1930's it must have included some detailed and critical account of earlier psychological work. Fortunately Professor George Humphrey published his splendid study of the classical experimental psychology of thinking in 1951, and there is now no need for me to try to repeat what he has already done with complete authority.

Recently a great revival of interest in problems of thinking has occurred and much has been published. But here also there is available plenty of readily accessible and reliable information. Extensive references, and much discussion, for example, may be found in the brilliant and original book by Professor Jerome Bruner and others entitled A Study of Thinking.

It will be noticed that the present volume contains comparatively few specific references to the work of other psychologists, earlier or contemporary, about thinking. In writing it, in fact, I was not concerned to produce anything . . .

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