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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2013, 12:56 pm 
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One thing I learned whilst studying psychology on about the most basic level, aged 16-18, was that psychologists always pick one branch of psychology (Freudian, physiological, cognitive etc.) and stick to it. No overlap. Ever. Back then (a frighteningly long time ago now) I worked out which kind of psychologist I thought Peter seemed to be, and I never mentioned it, up until now.

I'd say he's a behavioural psychologist (basically they believe that everything we do is learned), first and foremost because of the electric shock experiment he was doing when we first met him (questionable ethics aside). I remember my teacher telling us that anything like that - conditioning using electric shocks and such - is behavioural psychology, and clearly this was, the question being whether ESP ability can be learned (paraphrasing there, of course). At the time I was very happy to recognise the phrase "negative reinforcement" from what I was being taught at school about behavioural psychology. Sure, it's obvious what it means, but I guess I was just glad the scene matched up with my studies so neatly.

Also, in an RGB episode I watched several years ago (some encycolpaedic fan might know which), I remember Peter was getting some stick for telling Slimer off, and saying, "Well, he has to learn." Sure, a lot of people might do/say that, but it fits in with my theory anyway. I learned about that sort of thing too, in a module about growing up and parenting - negative reinforcement again. At that time (which was post-RGB, and even post-EGB), psychologists were saying we should use positive reinforcement on good behaviour and no reinforcement on bad behaviour, i.e. ignore it. But I guess Peter's from an older school of thought. I'm sure that really it was just a throwaway line, and the writer didn't think about it anywhere near as much as I apparently have - but again, I was very proud of my newly acquired knowledge and chuffed with how well it all fit together.

Plenty of people know more about psychology than I do, of course - and about RGB, in fact - so perhaps I'm wrong, but anyway, those are my thoughts.

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PostPosted: May 24th, 2013, 9:28 am 
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That's a fascinating insight. I don't really have anything to add right now, but I've got to keep this in mind going forward--it bears some thought if/when I start writing him again.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2015, 6:41 pm 
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I was thinking about this recently, and decided I might as well make an attempt at reviving the thread (with a change of title to something more appropriate).

Okay, so clearly I figured it out about Peter! It has since occurred to me that there is further evidence in GB2 of his belonging to the behavioural school of psychology, when he's having dinner with Dana and essentially saying that he needs positive reinforcement ('I need to hear this kind of stuff' etc.).

But what about Egon and Ray? I figure both of them would take the most scientific approach possible. I've been looking up cognitive psychology, because I couldn't remember a darn thing about it from school, and I can see why. All I remember now is that I didn't really get it (I was never made to write about it in an exam - we got to pick and choose). I still don't really get it, the reason being that it's supposedly quite scientific - despite being pretty much unprovable. But then so is all psychology. I've never had a scientific mind - but then perhaps it's perfect for Egon and/or Ray.

The information I found on cognitive psychology likens the human brain to a computer, which is where I start to not get it (i.e. the first basic principal). It's theories have been used to come up with explanations for things such as how memory works, with short- and long-term memory and the capacity of each and the process of rehearsal. I'm not going to attempt to explain anymore!

The more obviously scientific approach to psychology is the physiological approach, which I didn't like so much as the less scientific stuff, but at least I got it! It explains everything about behaviour with what's happening in the body: hormones, stress reactions etc. For instance, this school would explain an addiction to gambling - which is not in itself a physical thing - as an addiction to the hormones produced by the body during the process.

Every theory is drenched in criticisms, and one of the biggies for the physiological approach is that it's concerned with symptoms not causes, which is why I'm not sure if it's any good for Egon or Ray. Thinking about Egon's 'marriage counselling' and 'take away the puppy' experiments in GB2, he is looking at the physical aspects of the situation being a side-effect of his subjects' emotional responses, rather than the cause. Then again, he's gradually turning up the temperature on the stressed-out couple, so maybe he's for the physiological approach after all!

I've been counting off the approaches on my fingers to see if I think I can remember them all. I've come up with five, which seems about right.
1. Behavioural: makes a lot of logical sense, and I've made quite a case for this being Peter's approach.
2. Cognitive: explained as far as I can; apparently quite scientific.
3. Physiological: almost too scientific, with no real 'human' element.
4. Freudian: absolutely and completely unsubstantiated, and disliked by me for being so culture-centric; being more objective, though, nowhere near scientific enough for a Ghosbuster.
5. Humanist: totally personalised approach, not a bit scientific, which I could maybe imagine RGB Ray taking (not that I know him as well as others here, of course), but maybe not movie Ray.

So, that's me done spouting stuff that probably doesn't make sense - for now. I haven't settled on a position for Egon or Ray. Any thoughts, if you can make sense of what I've said? :P

Edit: ...Well, when I say all of them, I mean all the ones I learned at school. I daresay there are some more - perhaps not as mainstream as what they learn at A level. Of course, there's Jungian psychology which is quite well known, but I don't seem to remember learning about Jung. Just glancing at the information online, he was a contemporary of Freud and his theories aren't dissimilar. I'll shut up now.

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PostPosted: July 5th, 2015, 3:19 pm 
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In the UK at degree level, you learn about each branch of psychology as a base. It's like medical school - you have to start with the basics of everything, and then you branch off. Every psychologist/therapist will have the basic knowledge of each facet of psychiatry, and in some instances such as clinical psychology for example, there will be overlaps between the spheres. Using the example of addiction; an addiction counsellor will use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is a mix of cognitive psychology and behavioural psychology. There might also be an element of physiological psychology with anti-addiction drug intervention.

It's odd with the talk of ghostbusters and psychiatry to discount paranormal psychology. Although the electric shock treatment Peter used in GB1 was basically a reference to the famous Milgram experiment of the 1960s, the actual experiment he was conducting 'the effects of negative reinforcement on ESP ability', was pure parapsychology (something he holds a PhD in), even down to the use of Zener Cards. But that's assuming that his experiment in GB1 is a legitimate one and not just a way to secure a date with the lovely Jennifer (which is much more likely). :mrgreen:

Something else I'd say about Egon and his experiments in GB2. Psychological stress and body temperature changes relates to both physiological and behavioural psychology, but I think Egon tends towards physiological psychology, from his quote in GB1 about studying Louis's brain tissue, and his own thwarted attempts at trepanning. Though interestingly, in the IDW comics he seems to have taken part in a lot of behavioural analysis of Janine. :D

Ray I think is a parapsychologist from his general enthusiasm toward anything 'spooky', and from his quotes about the Tungusta Blast, being present at an unexplained mass sponge migration and owning his Occult bookstore in GB2. Parapsychology is also regarded as a pseudoscience and largely sneered at by the greater scientific community, which kind of helps add to the Ghostbusters versus the establishment theme going on in the first film. 

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PostPosted: July 9th, 2015, 8:41 am 
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I knew someone out there had to know more than I do. :P I was pretty dumb not to link Egon's environmental experiment with physiological psychology, though. The brain tissue thing too, I suppose, although I wouldn't like to guess what he'd hope to find knowing that the possession was an actual physiological event, rather than psychological.

I didn't mention parapsychology because I know even less about it than regular psychology, and I certainly don't know how the two go together. :roll: I've read a few theories as to why people see ghosts, most memorably 'stone tape' or 'energy trace' theory, which I happen to believe in; basically impressions of people are left in a place, especially at moments of high emotional intensity, and some people, sometimes, can see traces. The theory is consistent with feelings of uneasiness that come with some places, even if we know nothing about them when stepping inside, and if anyone tries to tell me that's psychosomatic I won't listen. For instance, my brother and I both used to babysit for the nicest family, whose mum cut our hair, and whose house we didn't know the history of; quite independently, we both got a creepy feeling in the living room. Neither of us saw what we termed 'the ghost' BUT years before that I knew I saw a ghost in my grandparents' creepy old house, and I should never have let idiotic grown-ups talk me out of believing it!

The only other theory I can remember right now was called 'levels of consciousness' in the place that I read it, and I can't remember it too well actually, but it does suggest that our minds summon ghosts from our past (the example was of a dog in a cousin's house not visited for over twenty years) when we're tired or our minds are wandering. That all sounds like parapsychology to me, working on the assumption that there are no departed spirits, just our perceptions (hence the 'psychology' part).

It strikes me that Egon and Ray seemed to believe all along in actual physical presences, but then it also strikes me that the term 'psychokinetic energy' goes in hand-in-glove with the energy trace theory. Of course, being scientists, they're keeping their minds open to all possibilities. Then there's Peter. Before he saw a ghost himself, I get the feeling he thought people who saw them were quite simply crazy - but then why bother to go to the trouble and expense of getting a PhD in the discipline? Would that we could ask him!

The ESP experiment actually seems like a pretty good idea to me, although there's got to be a way to do it without inflicting that much physical pain. (If memory serves me right, no one actually got a shock in the Milgram experiment; actual subjects only believed they were shocking fake subjects as a test of their obedience.) Experience has led me to believe that people possess a small amount of ESP ability, for instance no one knew my mother would go to bed and never wake up due to an extreme haematoma. But the cogs must have been in motion for a while, and I was quiet and sombre all day for no perceptible reason, while my brother woke up with an overwhelming feeling that she shouldn't waste that Saturday going into her office and persuaded her to stay home and relax instead.

So, if someone (maybe not Peter :lol: ) did that experiment right, I think it just might be worth doing - and a similar one with positive reinforcement would be in order as well. You know, you get it right, you get a chocolate bar or something. :D

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'Rosey Collins an XGB fan from the UK.'
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Yep, that about sums me up. 8-)


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