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April 3 - PSYC473.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 473
Mark Baldwin

PSYC 473 – 03/04/2013 Paper Guidelines (Online) - Deadline: last day of class (16 ) th rd - If you miss the deadline, you lose 10% but you have up to an extra week (the 23 ) - The last lecture (15 ) is cancelled - The idea is to find some interesting articles to read - - Find articles and read them - Make a list of questions (approx. 15) and then decide which ones are the main ones - Distinguish okay (applying lab idea to the real world) vs. good vs. very good ideas (why is this happening? Which processes are at play? Take what you’ve learned from the course – i.e.: cognitive dissonance and apply fluency. When will it work and when won’t it work?) - Hand-in paper into the prof’s hands (office), if not, give it to secretary, if not, mailbox or slide it under door (but email to make sure he gets it). - Find an idea that is NOT so obvious – advantage of using new articles because chances are, people have already done the things you’d think of when reading older articles. - Cite what you can – but you’re not expected to do a literature review on your subject. Cite the article you took an idea from. Interesting to look at the way we plan and regulate our behaviour. Tote units used to eat a bowl of cereal. But we are more interesting than that – our patterns of social interactions, etc. That is why we orient towards more complex things that are farther from our basic existence (self- esteem, social norms – these kinds of cultural and symbolic things become very important and we become very preoccupied by them). Why are we so influenced by culture, and norms, and things? - Because we’re wired that way. We are social animals. - We need structure – we grasp for explanations to make sense of the world (ie: make judgements, stereotypes) Slide 1 – EXISTENTIAL APPROACH - Numbers of who to talk to at school because it is stressful to be a student. Slide 2 - Relatively new approach: existentialism - Why are we influenced by our culture? - Motivated cognition? - Existentialism o Philosophical movement (1800s, but became popular in 1950-60s) o Derived from a loss of faith in the institutions of one’s culture  i.e.: belief in God  can we believe what our religious officials tell us  new ideas (more personal) about reality  Media had a big role  Post-modernism Slide 3 – 1) HUMAN BEING HAS CERTAIN OGNITIVE ABILITIES - Self-awareness o Only humans o Aware of our own existence o Behavioral cooperation (going to class) - Imagination o Counterfactual thinking (what might have happened had I made a different choice) o We can think about virtually anything o Thinking of new technologies Slide 4 – 2) THESE RAISE INTERESTING CONCERNS - Absurdity - Death Slide 5 – ABSURDITY - Stars o How small you are in the universe o How long it’s been here o How insignificant your life-span is o You start to think about how odd it is to get attached to our little cultural activities  i.e.: wathing “Dancing with the Stars”  i.e.: getting married (putting a white fluffy thingy or a black uncomfortanble thingy, walking in a certain way...) o These thoughts occur mostly when you’re attempting to make major decisions - Sense of meaninglessness and arbitrariness - Life is absurd. Why do we do things? Are these things strange? Slide 6 – ABSURDITY - Images - Zen Buddhism: who were you before you were born? o Then you spend an entire day cross-legged thinking about the absurdity of your own identity and existence - This brings anxiety; nothing to hold on to - Camus: in a universe suddenly divested of illusions... - Do you dwell on it or do you go have a beer and deal with it, move on? - DOES THIS INFLUENCE US? Slide 7 – DEATH - We are aware of our existence and we can thing f any possible outcome = eventually you figure out you’re going to die. - Unsettling thought. - We are the only ones able to be aware of our deaths constantly o A duck can’t. It will know about death a
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