Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The True Origins of Psychology and the Influence of Euro-American Ethnocentrism
by Espiau, Robert, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013, 112; 1524864
Abstract (Summary)

This paper explores evidence that Euro-Western designs of psychology are founded on a model that is culturally biased, failing in historical references and textbooks to acknowledge and give credit to earlier teachings of psychology from Eastern religions. The history of Euro-Western cultural bias in the development of the field of psychology has led to the exploitive importation of Buddhist practices without recognition or adequate understanding of Buddhist psychological theory. The author spent 6 years as a monastic and over 23 years teaching and practicing samatha and vipassana forms of meditation. Using ethnographic and hermeneutic research methodologies, this thesis demonstrates that Buddhist theory constitutes the historical origins of psychology, containing teachings that predate, yet parallel, modern Western psychology. This research also contributes to a discussion of the value of decolonizing Western approaches to psychology and understanding Buddha’s psychological theory as it pertains to meditation and mindfulness practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Koehn, Allen
Commitee: Altman, Avrom, Panteleakos, Tina
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Buddhism and psychotherapy, Buddhist psychology, Ethnocentricism, Euro-Western cultural bias, History of psychology, Indigenous psychology
Publication Number: 1524864
ISBN: 9781303686191
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