ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (3): 416-426.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00416

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The orientation of Bruner’s psychological research at his later age and its academic relevance

HUO Yongquan1,3; SONG Peipei1,2; CHEN Xiaopu3; ZHU Yi4; CHEN Yuanyuan1   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710061, China) (2 Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience Experiment Center of Shaanxi Province, Xi'an 710062, China) (3 Teacher’s College, Baoji University of Arts and Sciences, Baoji 721016, China) (4 Xi'an Far East No.1 Middle School, Xi'an 710077, China)
  • Received:2015-12-04 Published:2017-03-25 Online:2017-03-25
  • Contact: SONG Peipei, E-mail:


Bruner is one of the most creative and open-minded psychologists and educationists in the world. Moreover, he is also one of the leading figures in the first and the second cognitive revolution. Since 1990s, Bruner’s research showed a distinctive change in the academic orientation, which had made a significant contribution to cognitive psychology, cultural psychology, anthropology as well as theoretical psychology. His excellent achievements at his later years involved various fields including psychology, education, anthropology and law. Through plenty of researches and observations, Bruner finally realized that human behavior was always affected by the involved culture. His work helped to keep the field of psychology away from strict behaviorism, and made contribution to the development of cognitive and cultural psychology. Many scholars emphasized the orientation of Bruner’s thoughts at his later age. This article seeks to reflect the important value of Bruner’s academic achievements at his later age, and reveal his reflection on cognitive revolution and theoretical framework of cultural psychology. Bruner promoted the gain momentum of second cognitive revolution, which echoed the global development of psychology. He also reflected on the development of cognitive psychology, suggesting that cognition could be seen as individual’s activity in real life. Bruner established the foundation of cognitive psychology by applying a constructivist theory. Meanwhile, he developed a new framework for cultural psychology by emphasizing the importance of cultural transmission in the development of human mind and its general intelligence. In this framework, Bruner explained that human mind reflected the evolution of biological, cultural construction and exposure to the practice of interaction among biological, cultural and practical properties, which acted like an integrated complex process. Furthermore, Bruner made great effort in unravelling the plight of empirical approach and in exploring the way to psychology integration. His innovative understanding of problems in psychology and foresights for future studies also served as an important guide for the field of interest. Bruner attributed his success to the openness of the eyes. As a people who was born blind and restored sight later, these experiences made him sensitive to the new. The secret of people fascinating him throughout his life, his spirit always inspire future researchers continue to complete his unfinished work.

Key words: Bruner, cognitive revolution, meaning construction, cultural psychology, theoretical psychology