Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Functions Theories, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 614

Essay

One key theory that has been developed to help express the principles behind human behavior, thought processes and cognition is the functionist theory. “Functionalism is the doctrine that what makes something a thought, desire, pain (or any other type of mental state) depends not on its internal constitution, but solely on its function, or the role it plays, in the cognitive system of which it is a part” (Levin, 2010). Based upon this definition, it is clear that there can be a number of different theories under the umbrella of functionalism that can describe the purpose of internal function on the behavior and cognition within a person. “More precisely, functionalist theories take the identity of a mental state to be determined by its causal relations to sensory stimulations, other mental states, and behavior” (Levin, 2010). Based upon these two unique definitions, there are several theorists that work to define the principles behind this theory and how the theory can be used to explain human behavior.

Early functionalist theories were designed to think of the brain and cognitive behavior as similar activities performed by machines. “According to Putnam’s machine state functionalism, any creature with a mind can be regarded as a Turing machine (an idealized finite state digital computer), whose operation can be fully specified by a set of instructions (a ‘machine table’ or program)” (Levin, 2010). Under this theory, the mind essentially has a strict order of rules that govern how the brain functions and how cognitive activity rationalizes specific behaviors and thoughts. Through the application of this theory, probabilistic automatons are described as considering events, thoughts and receptors to predict the probability that the “machine” will produce a particular output result (Levin, 2010). While this early functionist theory has been used to advance the field, other more modernized theories conflict with this restricted view of how the brain works with affecting cognitive behavior.

A unique addition to common functionalist theories is a hypothesis called the Extended Cognition Hypothesis. This hypothesis uses the Parity Principle as a key factor in defining its application in cognitive behavior. “The parity principle states that if there is functional equality with respect to governing behavior [due to], internal [causal] elements … then there is no good reason to deny equivalent status – that is, cognitive status – to the relevant external elements” (Wheeler, 2010). This theory then uses the parity principle to declare that cognitive behavior is not only influenced by internal factors as is the common believe in functionist theories, but that external factors such as environment and other individuals can have the same influential power on cognitive behavior.

Edward Lee Thorndike and John Dewey also worked together to develop a unique application of a type of functionalist theory as they worked to define the role and importance of the educator. “As Dewey explained, enlightenment, clarity and progress can come about only as we remember that [disciplines such as psychology and sociology] are sources to be used, through the medium of the minds of educators, to make educational functions more intelligent” (Tomlinson, 1997). Based upon this definition, Thorndike and Dewey adhere to the principles of functionalism in that the thoughts, actions and beliefs of the students are directly influenced by the actions of the educator. Through this theory, it can be surmised that the Extended Cognition Hypothesis, the parity principle and the Machine State Functionist theory all work together to influence students’ cognitive behavior.

Bibliography

Levin, J. (Summer 2010). Functionalism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, E.N. Zalta (ed.). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2010/entries/functionalism.

Tomlinson, S. (1997). Edward Lee Thorndike and John Dewey on the science of education. Oxford Review Of Education, 23(3), 365.

Wheeler, M. (2010). In defense of extended functionalism. The extended mind, Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.188.7989&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

How the 2010 Earthquake in Chile Changed My Life Forever, Essay Example

About five years ago, I lived through a devastating earthquake that wracked Chile just one month prior to my leaving Chile to go live in the United States. I [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 977

Essay

International Strategy and Cooperative Strategy, Essay Example

Part I: International Strategy Determine why, given the advantages of international diversification, some firms choose not to expand internationally. Provide specific examples to support your [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 600

Essay

Dr Eris Cosmetics From Poland, Essay Example

Overall, Dr. Irena Eris Cosmetic Laboratories has been growing consistently since 2000. While they originated as a local brand, it is now beneficial for them [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 283

Essay

The Vow, Essay Example

In “The Vow”, there are two different kinds of characters; those who search for the past and those who try to ignore it. In many [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 617

Essay

Cause and Effects of Smoking Cigarettes, Essay Example

Smoking cigarettes has historically been a leisurely and highly popular social activity that a litany of people turn to as a way to assuage daily stress, lose weight, and feel [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 913

Essay

Luxury Brands, Essay Example

How luxury brands can communicate their ethics face to an increasing number of consumers who request this information? Introduction It is important for luxury brands [...]

Pages: 12

Words: 3257

Essay

How the 2010 Earthquake in Chile Changed My Life Forever, Essay Example

About five years ago, I lived through a devastating earthquake that wracked Chile just one month prior to my leaving Chile to go live in the United States. I [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 977

Essay

International Strategy and Cooperative Strategy, Essay Example

Part I: International Strategy Determine why, given the advantages of international diversification, some firms choose not to expand internationally. Provide specific examples to support your [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 600

Essay

Dr Eris Cosmetics From Poland, Essay Example

Overall, Dr. Irena Eris Cosmetic Laboratories has been growing consistently since 2000. While they originated as a local brand, it is now beneficial for them [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 283

Essay

The Vow, Essay Example

In “The Vow”, there are two different kinds of characters; those who search for the past and those who try to ignore it. In many [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 617

Essay

Cause and Effects of Smoking Cigarettes, Essay Example

Smoking cigarettes has historically been a leisurely and highly popular social activity that a litany of people turn to as a way to assuage daily stress, lose weight, and feel [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 913

Essay

Luxury Brands, Essay Example

How luxury brands can communicate their ethics face to an increasing number of consumers who request this information? Introduction It is important for luxury brands [...]

Pages: 12

Words: 3257

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!