An extract on #vsangel
Study of the unconscious mind, a part of the psyche outside the awareness of the individual which nevertheless influenced thoughts and behavior was a hallmark of early psychology. In one of the first psychology experiments conducted in the United States, C. S. Peirce and Joseph Jastrow found in 1884 that subjects could choose the minutely heavier of two weights even if consciously uncertain of the difference. Freud popularized this concept, with terms like Freudian slip entering popular culture, to mean an uncensored intrusion of unconscious thought into one's speech and action. His 1901 text The Psychopathology of Everyday Life catalogues hundreds of everyday events which Freud explains in terms of unconscious influence. Pierre Janet advanced the idea of a subconscious mind, which could contain autonomous mental elements unavailable to the scrutiny of the subject.
Behaviorism notwithstanding, the unconscious mind has maintained its importance in psychology. Cognitive psychologists have used a "filter" model of attention, according to which much information processing takes place below the threshold of consciousness, and only certain processes, limited by nature and by simultaneous quantity, make their way through the filter. Copious research has shown that subconscious priming of certain ideas can covertly influence thoughts and behavior. A significant hurdle in this research is proving that a subject's conscious mind has not grasped a certain stimulus, due to the unreliability of self-reporting. For this reason, some psychologists prefer to distinguish between implicit and explicit memory. In another approach, one can also describe a subliminal stimulus as meeting an objective but not a subjective threshold.
The automaticity model, which became widespread following exposition by John Bargh and others in the 1980s, describes sophisticated processes for executing goals which can be selected and performed over an extended duration without conscious awareness. Some experimental data suggests that the brain begins to consider taking actions before the mind becomes aware of them. This influence of unconscious forces on people's choices naturally bears on philosophical questions free will. John Bargh, Daniel Wegner, and Ellen Langer are some prominent contemporary psychologists who describe free will as an illusion.
Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. The work of child psychologists such as Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, and Jerome Bruner has been influential in creating teaching methods and educational practices. Educational psychology is often included in teacher education programs in places such as North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
School psychology combines principles from educational psychology and clinical psychology to understand and treat students with learning disabilities; to foster the intellectual growth of gifted students; to facilitate prosocial behaviors in adolescents; and otherwise to promote safe, supportive, and effective learning environments. School psychologists are trained in educational and behavioral assessment, intervention, prevention, and consultation, and many have extensive training in research.