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Lecture 1

History of Psychology (PSYC 4370) ALL Lectures notes


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 4370
Professor
Peter Hausdorf
Lecture
1

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History of Psychology Lecture Notes
Lecture 1: Introduction
Perspectives on the History of Psychology
Presenteeism by Stocking Jr.
oApplying views, values and concepts from the present into the past
oTo evaluate the past in relation to the present
oEx. criticizing past research from an ethical perspective using current
guidelines/criteria for ethical conduct of research
Historicism by Wilhelm
oUnderstanding the past for its own sake and in its own terms
oWe have to consider everything in the context of that time
oEx. understanding the ethical guidelines at the time the research was conducted
and how thee intersected with other issues at the time to contribute to changes in
ethical guidelines
Perspectivisim by Nietzsche
oThere are many conceptual schemes or perspectives in which judgement of
truth/value can be made
oThere is no “true” way of seeing the world, but not all perspectives are equally
valid
oWe need to put everything in perspective, there is no right or wrong
Great person versus Zietgeist
oGreat person:
Great person with strong belief system that created a new course of
development
Did the great ones create psychology?
Ex. Freud
oZeitgeist
The spirit of time
The place/area/time gave rise to the situation
For the situation to occur different people had to assume different roles
and great person just happened to be those people to fill the roles
Anyone else could have done the same
Progressive versus cyclical
oProgressive:
Everything builds on each other
Ex. what was done on the turn of the 18th century contributed to the 19th
century
oCyclical:
History is based on the repetition or recurrence of social processes

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We go through cycles in psychology and re-emergence of certain types of
ideas
Objective versus socially constructed
oObjective:
Can we objectively measure things and research them?
A person or their judgement is not influenced by personal feelings or
opinions in considering and representing facts
oSocially constructed:
It is the way that we choose to look at things that influences or affects
them
This theory assumes that understanding, significance, and meaning are
developed not separately within the individual, but in coordination with
other human beings
Incremental versus revolutionary
oIncremental is similar to progressive
oRevolutionary: focus on revolutions that have taken place, such as the cognitive
revolution
Paradigm versus schools of thoughts
oParadigm:
A typical example or pattern of something
The set of practices that define a scientific discipline
More substantial than school of thought
oSchools of thought:
Is a collection or group of people who share common characteristics of
opinion or outlook of psychology
Is more of an approach and considers different aspects of psychology
“Whig History”—written by the winners
oWhig is a reference to a political party in England (15-16th century) who promoted
the idea of democracy (instead of a monarchy)
oFocuses on the successful chain of theories and experiments that lead to present-
day science, while ignoring failed theories and dead ends
oIt refers to how we look at history from the winners perspective
Important Individuals: Thomas Kuhn
Kuhn wrote the book “Structure of Scientific Revolutions”
oHe wrote the modern idea was that science progressed and that knowledge is built
incrementally over time—a progressive approach
oHe didn’t agree with this approach
oHe believed normal science was occurred more often
Science actually revolved around what are the normal way of researching
it and what are normally accepted
In psychology, this would be the scientific method
oHe believed that paradigm shifts occurred and overthrew the normal science every
now and again

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These crises occurred due to problems in the problem and then
revolutionary groups changed the normal science
He was against the progressive/incremental view of science and promoted the
revolutionary view of science
Aristotle’s Causes
Material cause
oWhat is it made out of?
oEx. A silver bowl made of silver
Formal cause
oWhat was used to make it?
oEx. Parts of the recipe were used to make bread
Efficient cause
oWhat are the basic things you have to add to make it?
oEx. Father and mother are the cause of a child
oThis is the most relevant to research in psychology
Final cause
oWhy do behave in a certain way?
oEx. You engage in healthy behaviour to have better health, such as walking
Psychology in the past
Before Psychology: 1600-1850
Reflexive discourse took place prior to 1850
oRationalism (ex. Descartes and Kant)
All basic questions can be answered by thought alone, rather than through
our senses
All the problems in the world could be figured out with logical thinking
(not research)
oAssociationism (ex. Locke and Hume)
All psychological phenomena starts in with small, atom-like sensations
that through associations are combined into more complex experiences
oRealism (ex. Reid and Smith)
Also known as Scottish common sense
Accepted innate faculties but also non-reductionist empirical approach to
studying them
We have to look at things the way they are, we can’t break them down
Physiology: Different facial structures are attached to traits
Phrenology: (ex. Gall and Spurzheim)
oBumps on your head is attached to different traits and attributes
oGrew out of lack of neural evidence, since access to the brain was limited
Locational of function
oDifferent parts of the brain are specialized for certain functions—injury in these
parts and the function will suffer as well
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