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Lecture 1

PSYC 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Individualism


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 1F90
Professor
John Mitterer
Lecture
1

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Lecture 1: Introduction to Term 2
January 4, 2016
(Original note outlines from lecture property of Kathy Belicki)
OVER-ARCHING THEME THIS TERM:
What kind of beings are we?
1. We are social beings
o Even individualistic acts slant towards being social
2. We are individualistic
o Ideally we would be cohesive with idividual support
o Collectivism vs Individualism
o Collectivism; concerning yourself with:
Who are you connected to?
Who is your family?
What group are you a part of ?
This is all about being group oriented (groups, class, status, etc)
Many people in collectivist societies such as India will consider the opinions of others
before making decisions or consider social consequences of their actions
! For example, What will my parents think of this, I must have their approval first
! Will my friends approve
! What will society think of this
! Does this fit my social class
o Individualism; Doing what you choose or approve as best
Who are you?
Self-reliant
Express personal opinions
Less likely to consider what others will think of them, or to seek out the approval of
others
Observed highly in North America and Europe
3. We are "embodied minds"
o We struggle in the western culture to see the mind and body as one, not two separate entities
4. We are beings shaped by language
o Affects of language and what people say to us and how they say it affect how we function
vastly
Three more debatable questions about our nature that we will consider:
1. Are we fundamentally good or fundamentally destructive
2. Are we capable of making (truly free) choices, or are we just pushed and pulled by forces of nature
and our environment?
o Many psychologists believe that choice is an illusion, and that every action is the result of
some factor influencing us to do so
3. How self aware are we? Do we/ can we know and understand ourselves?
PART I: PSYCHOLOGY AS A PROFESSION (this will be on the exam)
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