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Lectures for Prologue and Ch. 1 (Thinking Critically) Here are the notes from Brown's 2011 Psych lectures pertaining to the prologue and Ch.1 of the Psychology textbook, 9th edition. Itallics are added comments during the lectures, everything else is str

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Robert Brown

LECTURE 1 Friday January 7 2011Psychology is the science of behaviour SCIENCEDefinition of science Oxford a branch of study which is concerned either with a connected body of demonstratedtruths or with observed facts systematically classified and more or less colligated by being brought undergeneral laws and which includes trustworthy methods for the discovery of new truth within its owndomainWestern dictionary a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws as testedthroughscientific methodScience is a selfcontained domainIt is a system or a process that makes decisions of what is factIt is a way tofigure out what is most likely to be trueIt is limited to the fact that it must be true within the domain ofwhat science claims for itselfBEHAVIOURbehaviour the manner in which a thing acts under specified conditions or circumstances or in relation to otherthingsunder specified conditions for science means that behaviour is not defined by what it does but by surroundingsEx a monkey carrying around a coconutwhy is it doing thisThe monkey in the picture does not seem to be in its natural habitat in a cityThere may be aleash on the monkey in the picture it is hard to tell it may be a pet or put to work A monkey holding a kitten instead A monkey holding a snowball this kind of monkey snow monkeyactually makes snowballs the action is the same as the previous case pick up and carry it around and the muscles and neuralcells are all working in the same way to pickup and carry around but behaviours are different the monkey may eat the coconut not the kittenThe motivation is different therefore so is the behaviourbehaviour is both the internal state of the organism emotional state and the activity of the circumstances outside the organism which are influencing itMany times psychology is divided into three categories biological influencesnatural selection genetics brain and hormones mechanisms psychological influenceslearned fears emotional responses cognition perception socialcultural influencespeers culture etcIMMANUEL KANTGerman philosopher circa 1786argued against mental science since it could never be measured independently of human experienceERNEST WEBERsought to demonstrate that a mental science was possibledetermined if subjects could detect a difference between two stimuli that were known to be differentjust noticeable differencebecame the basis of psychophysics or what we now call pereceptioncirca 1840ex hand two cups to someone and asked Are these two cups the same still a strategy used in perception experiments even with MRIWILLIAM WUNDTUniversity of Leipzigfirst psychology laboratory in 1879 other psychologists prior to him like Weber werent actually psychologists initially philosophers etc He was interested in timing therefore people would have to report differences between intervals betweendropping of weightsLECTURE 2 Tuesday January1111Structuralism an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore structural elements of the human mind required intelligent verbal people unreliable highly variable subjects tend to confabulate Edward Titchener famous name associated with it they would sit there and thinkINTROSPECTION reductionismphysicists were developing ideas that matter wasnt what they seemed to look likemolecules and atoms etcStructuralists were trying to replicate that with cognition They started off with sensation asking for example a person to hold wood and ask What do you feel The New Psychologyexperiment based1882 forwardpeople came from different backgrounds to study questions about learning and behaviourth thrown around in the 19 century where people are moving away from structuralism and instead into anexperimental frameworkBehaviourism the view that psychology should be an objective science that studies behaviour without reference to mental processes BF Skinner a rejection of mental processes in psychologySkinner was an English major originally and he wasdetermined to turn psychology into a science like chemistryExample we present a stimulus and seewhat happens any inferring of mental state is outside the frame of interestWe ignore mental processesFunctionalism a theoretical approach that focuses on how our mental and behavioural processes function and how they enable us to adapt survive and flourish William James a reference to Darwinism and evolution behaviour is a functionally adaptive unit Modern ApproachesNeuroscience how brain encodes and processes emotions memory sensory experienceEvolutionary how natural selection promotes patterns of behaviour often look at crossspecies and changing environment
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