The Catalyzing Mind

Beyond Models of Causality

  • Kenneth R. Cabell
  • Jaan Valsiner

Part of the Annals of Theoretical Psychology book series (AOTP, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Theoretical Considerations of Causality and Catalysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Historical and Conceptual Considerations of Causality and Catalysis

  4. Biosemiotic Considerations of Cause and Catalysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Kalevi Kull
      Pages 111-121
  5. Systemic and Contextual Considerations of Catalysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
  6. Developmental Considerations of Catalysis

  7. Applying the Concept of Catalysis to Everyday Life

  8. Conceptual Critiques of Cause and Catalysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 269-269
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 293-303

About this book


How do we understand and explain phenomena in psychology? What does the concept of “causality” mean when we discuss higher psychological functions and behavior? Is it possible to generate “laws” in a psychological and behavioral science—laws that go beyond statistical regularities, frequencies, and probabilities? An international group of authors compare and contrast the use of a causal model in psychology with a newer model—the catalytic model. The Catalyzing Mind: Beyond Models of Causality proposes an approach to the qualitative nature of psychological phenomena that focuses on the psychological significance and meaning of conditions, contexts, and situations as well as their sign-mediating processes. Contributors develop, apply, and criticize the notion of a catalyzing mind in hopes of achieving conceptual clarity and rigor. Disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, semiotics and biosemiotics are used for an interdisciplinary approach to the book. Research topics such as history and national identity, immigration, and transitions to adulthood are all brought into a dialogue with the concept of the catalyzing mind. With a variety of disciplines, theoretical concepts, and research topics this book is a collective effort at an approach to move beyond models of causality for explaining and understanding psychological phenomena.


Catalysis and psychology Catalytic conditions and behavior Catalytic conditions and environment Psychological functioning Semiotic catalysis Semiotic cultural psychology

Editors and affiliations

  • Kenneth R. Cabell
    • 1
  • Jaan Valsiner
    • 2
  1. 1.Clark University Department of PsychologyWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Niels Bohr Professorship Centre of Cultural PsychologyAalborg UniversitetAalborgDenmark

Bibliographic information