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psyc 100 class notes

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PSYC 100
Daniel J Levitin

September 2 2010Welcome to PSYC 100 Im Professor Levitin If youre not in PSYC 100 youre in the wrong room Wasnt that amazing how all I did was turn out the lights and you got quiet without any instruction at all I think thats pretty cool You just sort of figured out thats what I intended You must all be mindreaders of some sort I want to get down to work today and give you a few minutes introduction and then get down to some material which may be atypical for the first day of class but we have a lot to do and I know you all have a lot to do that this isnt the only class youre taking so I want to make an agreement with you from the getgo The agreement is that Ill try to give you a reasonable amount of time to do your assignments and readings taking into account that youve got other classes and Ill try not to waste your time during the lecture So for example Im not going to do the typical first day of school BS where I read the syllabus line by line and you sit there bored following along with me because frankly I cant speak as fast as you can read so its really just a waste of everybodys time So the syllabus is online on WebCT and Im going to cover some of the high points that youre probably interested in and want to know right awaylike whether there are going to be exams and how much theyll be worth and things like that But all of the material you need to know is on the syllabus and I wont insult your intelligence by reading to you what you can read on your own Before I start Id like to introduce two peoplewe have a special guest whos sitting in on the classProfessor Jelena Ristic whos here Shes a new professor in our department Most of you will have her next term for cognition psych 213 and shes going to be giving a guest lecture in a few weeks And also there are two teaching assistants for this coursetheyre both PHDs one of them is here todayJohanna Harrison right here Everybody have a good summer Anybody go away for the summer Where did you go Barbados Malaysia I have Malaysia as the farthest away can anyone beat that China I dont have my globe handy so I dont know which is further Australia anybody Just so we can get to know each other in this small intimate setting how many of you are firstyear students Okay How many of you are secondyear students Thirdyears Fourth How many of you are grad students High school students We all were high school students How many of you are from Quebec Look around How many in the Province of Quebec How many of you are from CanadaMost recently fromthank you for the clarification How many of you are from the United States How many from Europe Asia South America Africa Australia You probably dont know this if youre from Canada as much as the people who are not Again everybody whos not from Canada raise your hands So maybe a quarter of the class is not Canadian The rest of you may not know this but McGill is actually a destination university People come here not just because its in their country or in their city but because its one of the finest universities in the world and you are among the finest undergraduates in the world I mean that I really do Give yourselves a hand Im saying this because when I travel and I meet people from other universities theyre always very impressed with the McGill The name McGill carries a lot of weight and al ot of prestige and a McGill degree is worth a lot of money on the marketplace no matter what industry you go into and some people make great sacrifices to be here Being among the very best undergraduates in the world Ive selected for you a textbook that is not the typical textbook Its a little bit more difficult than the typical textbook but not more difficult than you can handle and I know that because weve been using it here at McGill for a while but it was written by one of the real pioneers of cognitive neuroscience and his name is Michael Gazzaniga he actually coined the term cognitive neuroscience and he started the journal cognitive neuroscience and hes very famous You can see videos of him on Youtube How many of you have heard at some point in your life that theres a left brain and right brain And what do you know about the left brain Raise your hand Yes The left part of the brain controls the right side of the brain Whats your name Joseph Joseph Id like to congratulate you for being the first person to talk in class today Im rewarding you with a chocolate bar A hand for Joseph please Im going to try to learn your names As long as you dont sit in different places every time I have a shot at it but alright Right The left brain controls the right side of the body What else do you know about right brainleft brain So the story And your name Charlotte Charlotte says the left is more logical and the right is more creative Gazzaniga is the one who discovered this in the 1960s We know this because of him and hes the author of your textbook along with some other people Were not going to use the whole textbook because weve got 13 weeks and its designed for a 15 week semester so Im omitting three chapters not just two to give you a chance to really know the material were covering but youre certainly welcome to read those chapters but theyre not assigned and you wont be tested on themBut the idea is that because McGill is the university that it is part of my job is to prepare you for any psych class you might take after this one or indeed other social science classes like econ poli sci anthropology things like that So courses that you take after this are going to assume youve got a solid background in intro to psych so the text is a little more difficult and a little more nuanced than what you might find at another Englishspeaking university in Montrealjust saying Or in other universities but its used in North America and around the world and I think its a great book and I dont think youll have any trouble with itIm going to be using WebCT Is there anyone here who has never used WebCT Well theres one of you Just go to mcgillcawebct and it will take you thereThis is the way the TAs and I will communicate with you and Im going to talk more about it in a minute This is where it is Please check it regularly If there are any administrative announcements or changes to the syllabus they will be posted on WebCT This class is being audiotaped including this lecture right now This class will meet from 405 to 525 sometimes I might let you go early
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