My papers about the ToK System...

Psychology Defined

A new form of knowledge technology is used to diagnose psychology’s epistemological woes and provide a solution to the difficulties. The argument presented is that psychology has traditionally spanned two separate but intimately related problems: (a) the problem of animal behavior and (b) the problem of human behavior. Accordingly, the solution offered divides the field into two broad, logically consistent domains. The first domain is psychological formalism, which is defined as the science of mind, corresponds to animal behavior, and consists of the basic psychological sciences. The second domain is human psychology, which is defined as the science of human behavior at the individual level and is proposed as a hybrid that exists between psychological formalism and the social sciences.
The Tree of Knowledge and
The Theoretical Unification of Knowledge

The outline for theoretically unified psychology is offered. A new epistemological system is used to provide a unique vantage point to examine how psychological science exists in relationship to the other sciences. This new view suggests that psychology can be thought of as existing between the central insights of B. F. Skinner and Sigmund Freud. Specifically, Skinner’s fundamental insight is merged with cognitive neuroscience to understand how mind emerges out of life. This conception is then joined with Freud’s fundamental insight to understand the evolutionary changes in mind that gave rise to human culture. By linking life to mind from the bottom and mind to culture from the top, psychology is effectively boxed in between biology and the social sciences.
Toward a Useful Mass Movement
Psychology has failed to reach its full potential as either a science or a profession. The inability of psychologists to generate a shared, general understanding of their subject matter and fundamental differences between scientific and nonscientific views of human behavior in society at large interact to render psychology’s contributions to the world’s most pressing problems much less potent than might otherwise be the case. The Tree of Knowledge (ToK) System affords new opportunities both to define the discipline of psychology and to examine the epistemological interrelations between the institution of science and other societal institutions, such as law, governance, health care, the arts, and religion. In this article I articulate how the foundation can be laid for the development of a useful mass movement that could transform the discipline of psychology in a manner that unleashes its constructive potential, while at the same time it attempts to address many of the concerns about the proposal raised by the contributors to these two special issues.
Unified Professional Psychology: Implications for the Combined-Integrated Model of Doctoral Training
The authors outline a new identity for the professional psychologist termed Unified Professional Psychology (UPP). UPP combines recent movements toward a unified psychological science, an independent professional psychology, and Combined-Integrated (C-I) doctoral training programs in psychology. The value in the synthesis of these ideas is that they (a) provide a comprehensive system of thought that defines the science and practice of psychology in a commensurable manner, (b) offer a clear identity for the professional psychologist, and (c) set the stage for a training model that develops competencies that will prepare graduates to serve as leaders and advocates in a wide array of health settings. Issues pertaining to why a new view is needed and how UPP specifies the science–practice relationship are addressed in detail.
Introduction to the Special Issues on the Unified Theory
A unified theory of psychology has recently been proposed (Henriques,2003), and the next two issues of the Journal of Clinical Psychology are devoted to its elaboration and evaluation. The current issue consists of a target article, “Psychology Defined,” which adds to the existing formulation and specifies how the theory can be used to effectively define the science of psychology. Distinguished experts in psychology contribute 13 commentaries offering a wide variety of perspectives on the proposed model. These are followed by two full-length articles in which one author articulates the need for the unified theory and the other offers a different but compatible approach at integrating psychotherapy and personality. In the next special issue, authors either elaborate on or critique elements of the unified theory. How the new theory lays the foundation for the development of a useful mass movement that could transform the discipline of psychology in a manner that unleashes its constructive potential is the subject of the concluding article. When viewed as a whole, the two issues show that the unified theory provides fertile ground for scientific and philosophical inquiry on multiple levels of analysis, and that it may play a central role in helping the discipline of psychology fulfill its constructive potential.
A New Vision for the Field:
Introduction to the Second Special Issue on the
Unified Theory

This is the second of two issues of the Journal of Clinical Psychology focused on the validity and usefulness of a new theoretical vision for the field (Henriques, 2003). The first two contributions from Rand and Ilardi and Geary both enrich the argument that psychology needs to be effectively connected with biology and physics and that the unified theory (via Behavioral Investment Theory) is highly successful in this way. The authors of the subsequent three articles—Shaffer, Quackenbush, and Shealy— show that the Tree of Knowledge System (through the Justification Hypothesis) is deeply commensurate with the dominant paradigms in the social sciences. Thus, the group of authors of these five articles demonstrates
the viability of the unified theory both from bottom-up and top-down viewpoints. In the sixth article, the author addresses some important problems that potentially arise with the development of a clearly defined discipline. In the concluding article I address the concerns about the proposal raised by the contributors to the two special issues and articulate how the unified theory lays the foundation for the development of a useful mass movement in psychology.
The Problem of Psychology and the Integration
 of Human Knowledge: Contrasting Wilson’s
Consilience with the Tree of Knowledge System

The central thesis of this essay is that the problem of psychology lies at the very heart of the difficulties associated with integrating human knowledge. The startling consequence of this insight is that it means the solution to psychology’s epistemological woes opens up a new pathway for achieving unified knowledge. A brief overview of the fragmentation of knowledge will be offered and special attention will be paid to Wilson’s (1998) proposal. The problem of psychology, Wilson’s failure to address it, and the reasons why it is integral to any proposal for unifying knowledge will then be specified. The article concludes with an articulation of how the Tree of Knowledge (ToK) System solves the problem of psychology, resolves many of the fundamental issues associated with integrating human knowledge, and is commensurate with the foremost concerns of natural scientists, social scientists and humanists, allowing for objectivity, coherence, and pluralism.
The Harmful Dysfunction
Analysis and the Differentiation
Between Mental Disorder and Disease

Wakefield’s Harmful Dysfunction Analysis (HDA) for distinguishing disorders from nondisorders has received much attention in the literature. Although the analysis has many strengths, Wakefield (1999a; 1999b) fails to appropriately capture the nature of the disorder construct thereby leading to much confusion. A solution is offered suggesting disorder can be thought of as a utilitarian construct. When viewed in this light, the HDA offers an excellent and useful definition of disease for medicine. However, the HDA fails as a useful definition for mental disorders because it contains a greedily reductionistic error that suggests all mental disorders are reducible to biological theory. An alternative way of conceptualizing mental disorders is offered and it is suggested that the HDA’s success in defining disease provides an important piece that allows mental health scientists begin to answer which mental disorders are akin to medical diseases and which mental disorders are not.
The Development of the Unified Theory
and the Future of Psychotherapy

Questions about the nature of psychotherapy and conflicts between competing paradigms awakened in me a deep intellectual curiosity that ultimately culminated in the development of the “unified theory” (see Henriques, 2003; 2004; in press). I was fortunate in that early in my graduate education I gained a rich exposure to the psychotherapy integration movement. This led me to many important realizations, including: a) many of the “single” schools were defined against one another both conceptually and politically; b) no single school had the depth and breadth in both the humanistic and scientific domains to offer a comprehensive solution; and c) much overlap between the schools becomes apparent as one becomes proficient in their language and concepts. However, despite these problems, there were significant difficulties in achieving a coherent integrative view. First, the competing schools clearly had different (although often implicit) moral emphases. Messer and Winokur’s (1980) critique of Wachtel’s (1977) work offered perhaps the most eloquent articulation of this point. Second, if one considers, as I do, psychotherapy to be the application of psychological principles in the service of promoting human well-being, then it follows that the disorganization of psychological science seriously hampers, if not completely prevents, the development of a coherent, general approach to psychotherapy (see Henriques & Sternberg, 2004).
Depression: Disease or Behavioral Shutdown Mechanism?
How depression is conceptualized is a major public health issue. The prevailing model in psychiatry is that Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a disease of the brain. However, recent developments in evolutionary theory suggest that negative emotions and depression are likely evolved strategies that facilitated behavioral solutions to problems in the ancestral environment. A Behavioral Shutdown Model (BSM) of depression is offered and explored. The model proposes that depressive reactions are passive, avoidant behavioral strategies that have been fashioned by evolution and are activated in response to situations that are chronically dangerous, humiliating, or repeatedly result in failure to achieve one’s goals. The BSM challenges the disease model because it suggests that many instances of MDD do not involve biological dysfunctions. Instead, this analysis suggests that Major Depression is conceptually more akin to pain than to a disease. The BSM concept and implications for health policy are discussed.