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University of British Columbia
PSYC 312
Andrea Perrino

DATA AND HISTORYHistory it is interpreted it isnt all about facts interpretive study of events of the past both empirical and explanatoryhistoriography the principles methods and philosophical issues of historical research how do we collect data and interpret it We want to understand what happened but not judge WHERE DOES THE DATA COME FROMself documented witnesses other academics familyfriends media photographs and articles written articles letters diaries photos newspapers auditory interiews equipmentapparatus personal effectsmaterials used to reconstruct lives events eras 1 Lost permanently burned tossed or temporarily stored written long after events falliabledegradedreconstructed memories2 suppressedEXAMPLES OF LOST OR SUPPRESSED DATA John B Watson systematically burned his letters manuscripts and research notes destroying the entire unpublished record of his life and careerin 1984 the papers of Hermann Ebbinghaus were found 75 years after his death10 large boxes were discovered that contained the handwritten diaries of Gustav Fechner who developed psychophysicsover 100 years after Darwins death large amounts of new material became availablean Italian mathematician stole letters from Rene DescartesFreuds 1st biographer minimized his use of cocainea scholar who catalogued the papers of Wolfgang kohler oversaw the selection of materials for publication and restricted selected info to enhance kohlers imagea collection of Freuds papers is held in the library of congress for the protection of his clients and their families along with his reputation along with his families and will not be released for many more years Descartes notebooks and manuscripts were shipped to Paris after his death but the boat sunk and it took 17 years to restore the documents and get them published200 years after Descartes death an Italian mathematician stole 72 of his letters and took them to England only 45 of these letters have been recovered 3 ignored studies and results not documented not published due to lack of findings or too controversialunusual for the time4 altered to protect kohlers papers he was writing antinazi letters to berlin Freuds cocaine use5 distortedEXAMPLES OF DISTORTED DATA Concepts in Freuds theory of personality are id ego and superego however these words Are the Latin equivalents of Freuds German words IdEs translates to it EgoIch for I and superegoUberIch for aboveI Freud wanted to describe something intimate and personal from his use of ich and to distinguish it from Es The translator used the words id and ego and turned these personal concepts into cold technical terms which arouse no personal associationsFreuds term free association association implies a connection between one idea and another which isnt what Freud proposed His term Einfall literally means an intrusion or an invasion Freuds idea was not to imply a single linking of ideas but to denote something from the unconscious mind that is uncontrollably intruding into or invading the conscious thought6 self serving skinner gave the impression that he was the best student ever reported as wholly nose to the grindstone freuds self depiction as a martyr to his cause7 readerpresentist bias discuss analyze interpret in terms of present personal and cultural knowledge and perspectives bias against womenreligionethnicity was cultural norm past individual reflects the milieu lots of jewish profs changed their names women reported not being married APPROACHES TO SCIENTIFIC HISTORY1 personalistic theory to the ideas of unique charismatic intelligent creative individualsThe view that progress and change in scientific history are attributable to the ideas of unique individualsEvents would never have occurred without the appearance of monumental figures ie the person makes the timesOften times the work of people was ignored during their lifetimes only to be recognized long afterwards this implies that the times can determine whether an idea will be accepted or rejectedPeople areor can be constrained by the zeitgeist 2 naturalistic theory to the ortgeist place and zeitgeist time which makes a culture receptive to some ideas but not others AKA the spirit of the times The view that progress and change in scientific history are attributable to the zeitgeist which makes a culture receptive to some ideas but not to othersThe times make the person or make possible the recognition and acceptance of what that person has to saySimultaneous discoveries emphasize the naturalistic theoryThe zeitgeist within science can have an inhibiting effect on methods of investigation theoretical formulations and the definition of the disciplines subject matter3 historical development to show how various events or individuals contributed to change in an idea or concept over several years ex how mental illness changed throughout history UNDRSTANDNG HISTORYUNDERSTANDING CONTEXTUAL FORCESThe Zeitgeist the intellectual and cultural climate or spirit of the timesEconomics job availability grants birthrates War testing fleeexile to different country aid efforts selection witness to destruction Freud thanatosdeath instinctwars provided jobs for psychologists in the form of applied psychology by extending its influence into such areas as personnel selection psychological testing and engineering psychologyworld war II also changed psychology in Europe especially in Germany where experimental psychology began and Austria where psychoanalysis beganafter seeing war in place many psychologist shaped theories on itFreud proposed aggression as a major motivating force for the human personalityErich Fromm attributed his interest in abnormal behaviour to his exposure to the fanaticism that swept through Germany during the warPrejudiceDISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
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