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Psych Notes Sept 15.docx

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PSYC 1001
Chris Motz

Sept 15, 2011 Psych NOTES FROM LAST TIME Contemporary Research in Psychology  Many domains (sub-fields) of Psychology  Story – 3 blind men & elephant  Text – divides Psychology into over a dozen of these sub-fields Organizational Psychologist (business) What interventions will improve productivity/job satisfaction? Engineering Psychologist (tech) What features will facilitate the useablity of a computer or digital camera? Forensic Psychologist (legal system) Was the accused mentally competent at the time of the crime? Each one on their own understands a part of the whole. Like in psych. If we put them altogether, we see the whole picture So many fields of Psychology!  Psychology, as a science, is relatively new  In order to understand how we ended up where we are today, we need to look at where we have come from Our first psych lab in the 1880’s, so relatively new. Where did we come from? TODAY’S NOTES The Rise of Psychology as a Science  Initial theories of Psychology are rooted in Philosophy (i.e. animism, dualism, rationalism)  The rise of Empiricism (focus on observation & experience) and Materialism (the mind is part of the physical world) helped move Psychology in the direction of Science Always interested in people. Speculate in the cause of behaviour as supernatural, shift to more philosophical approach (dualism->rationalism. Then empiricism and materialism. Same approach to birth of psych as the other sciences. The Rise of Psychology as a Science  Early Psychological Theories • Tended to be “Grand Theories” (why we do the things we do, try to account for people’s activities) – they attempted to provide a universal account of the fundamental psychological processes and characteristics of the human species • E.g. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Didn’t really have any other theories, and had nothing to build off of, so therefore people like Freud made BIG theories to cover all behaviour for all people. Today, we no longer do that. Now we have enough data supporting enough theories to build off of. We have more specific theories that have a smaller scope The Rise of Psychology as a Science  The field of Psychology became fragmented and multi-faceted as it underwent successive shifts in perspective (i.e. structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis, behaviourism (Watson/skinner), humanism, cognitive psych, biological psych, etc.) Our shifts changed as it developed. As new waves of ideas came along, we left people behind to look at the older theories. The Rise of Psychology as a Science  Animism – the doctrine of spiritual beings. • The belief that animals, people, and inanimate objects are inhabited by spirits  Psychology, as a science, as well as the other sciences must be based on testable assumptions that behaviour is subject to natural laws (which can be studied objectively) The earliest approach to understanding people. Our first ideas to understanding the world were animism. Ex. Gods. This influenced our thinking of people/behaviour and physical world. Witches, spirits, etc. To explain things. Very tough to test! Can we test Animism? Theory: Paintings & photographs are magical representations of reality who have a life of their own. Figures and characters that are represented in paintings and photographs move around when no one is watching. As soon as someone looks, they quickly return to their original positions. Not testable. Moved towards a more rational approach. The Rise of Psychology as a Science  René Descartes – animals and humans are a part of the natural world – therefore their behaviours are controlled by natural causes (very interesting guy who was driven by coucou clocks. At the time, our medical science wasn’t very good)  Dualism – mind and body are two separate categories (two distinct entities) • Body – functions like a machine • Mind – not something made of “ordinary matter” -not part of the material world (still animistic, but starting to change) The Rise of Psychology as a Science  Rationalism – the pursuit of truth through reason(now hardcore philosophy. Rational thinking. Pursuit of truth through the use of reason. Can only use logical ability. We can sit and think about the world instead of asking people and talking to them)  Empiricism – pursuit of truth through observation and experience (no we have the pursuit of the same truth, but we have to go ask people. We have to test the world. We have to experience what they do, see it and listen to it. The ultimate source of concepts and knowledge.)  Materialism – reality can only be understood by examining the physical world (Everything in the universe is material matter. All things in the universe are composed of material. Therefore all events are the result of material interactions) (when combing with empiricism, you have the base of our science. Everything in the real world can be explained by a natural cause for it) The Rise of Psychology as a Science  Structuralism – examining the structure of the mind (i.e. ideas, sensations, etc.)  Wilhelm Wundt tried to experimentally confirm his hypothesis that conscious mental life can be broken down into fundamental elements which then form more complex mental structures First main fie
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