Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

  • Director: Laura E. Gómez Sánchez
  • Frequency:
         February | May | August | November
  • ISSN: 0214-9915
  • Digital Edition:: 1886-144X
  • Address: Ildelfonso Sánchez del Río, 4, 1º B
    33001 Oviedo (Spain)
  • Phone: 985 285 778
  • Fax: 985 281 374

Cognitive techniques and language: A return to behavioral origins

María Xesús Froján Parga, Miguel Núñez de Prado Gordillo and Ricardo de Pascual Verdú

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Background: the main purpose of this study is to offer an alternative explanatory account of the functioning of cognitive techniques that is based on the principles of associative learning and highlights their verbal nature. The traditional accounts are questioned and analyzed in the light of the situation of psychology in the 1970s. Method: conceptual analysis is employed to revise the concepts of language, cognition and behavior. Several operant- and Pavlovian-based approaches to these phenomena are presented, while particular emphasis is given to Mowrer’s (1954) approach and Ryle (1949) and Wittgenstein’s (1953) philosophical contributions to the field. Conclusions: several logical problems are found in regard to the theoretical foundations of cognitive techniques. A combination of both operant and Pavlovian paradigms based on the above-mentioned approaches is offered as an alternative explanatory account of cognitive techniques. This new approach could overcome the conceptual fragilities of the cognitive standpoint and its dependence upon constructs of dubious logical and scientific validity.

Técnicas cognitivas y lenguaje: un regreso a los orígenes conductuales. Antecedentes: el objetivo de este trabajo es proponer una alternativa explicativa al funcionamiento de las técnicas cognitivas basándonos en los procesos de aprendizaje asociativo y destacando su carácter verbal; se cuestionan las explicaciones tradicionales, que se analizan a la luz de la situación de la psicología en los años 70 del siglo pasado. Método: se emplea el análisis conceptual para revisar los conceptos de lenguaje, cognición y conducta y se presentan las propuestas desarrolladas para su estudio desde planteamientos operantes y pavlovianos, haciendo especial hincapié en las aportaciones de Mowrer (1954) y en los planteamientos filosóficos de Ryle (1949) y Wittgenstein (1953). Conclusiones: se detectan una serie de problemas lógicos en los fundamentos de las terapias cognitivas. La combinación de los paradigmas operante y pavloviano y su soporte filosófico en las propuestas señaladas suponen una superación de dichas flaquezas y permiten una explicación del funcionamiento de las técnicas cognitivas sin necesidad de recurrir a constructos de dudosa validez lógica y científica.


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