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Lecture 1

PSY270H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Behaviorism, Empiricism, Noam Chomsky


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY270H5
Professor
Strang Burton
Lecture
1

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IntroToCognitivePsych
Whatiscognitivepsychology
● studyofwhat'sgoingoninourbrainworks,howwethink
○ learning,remember(andforget),speak,read,makedecisionsetc
○ psychologyisthestudyofhumanbehaviour
○ wecanobserveonlybehaviorsnotthoughts(fromthesebehaviourwe
havetoinferwhat'sgoingoninbrain)
■ muchofwhatwedoisunconscious
■ itsmorecomplexthanitseems,youareunawareofitaswellas
mostofwhatwedoisunconscious
GreekPhilosophy:Epistemology
● itaskssamethingsthatweasktoday:“whatdoweknow,howdowelearnitand
howdoweuseit?”
● 2waystheythoughtwecangainknowledge
○ rationalism
■ wealreadyknoweverythingthereistoknow;onlyamatteror
reasoning
■ oursoulsareallknowing;soulsfloataroundandenterswhenwe
areborn,atthistimealltheinformationisforgotten
■ thewaywegainthisknowledgeisthroughreasoninganddeduction
● whichiswhenweknowthings,andwecomeupwiththeir
reasoning
● Thisisacellphoneanditwillstopworkingifyoudropitin
thepuddle(knowledgewithoutobservation)
● Creatingrulewithoutobservation;icanjustapplytherule,
withoutgoingthroughthesituationanditsobservation
○ Empiricism
■ welearnthroughobservingtheworld
■ induction:comeupwithafactbasedonobservation
● eg:dropcellinapuddle,itbroke.droppedcellinpuddle..it
broke….conclusion:whenyoudropacellphoneinpuddleit
stopsworking
● creatingruleafterobservation
● Inductionanddeductiondependsonknowledgeabouttheworld.

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WilhelmWundtandStructuralism
● Thefirstpsychology
○ firstpersontoadmithewasapsychologist
○ important:hisearlyresearchaskedthesamequestionsasweasknowin
cogpsych
○ hehadalonelychildhood…didbadlyinschool(failedhighschool)the
firsttime.
○ trainedasMD,interestedinphysiology
○ becameinterestedinstudyingthemindscientifically
■ Problem:youcan'tobservethemind
○ introspection:hiswayofstudyingthemind
■ controlledstudyofthough
■ studyofcontentsofmind
■ studybasicunitsofthought(sensation)
● observationshadtobereplicated
● firstpersontosuggestwecanusecontrolledmethodto
studythoughts
○ Developedfirstideasabout
■ AttentionWundtfirstexperiment
● weknowaboutwundt’sideasbecauseofkitchener
○ developedstructuralism(studyingstructuresofmind
andthoughts)
○ Problem:madehimselfthebossofpsychology(
credibilityprobsifonepersonisdeciding)
WilliamJAmes&Functionalism
● FatherofAmericanpsych
● MDdegreelosteyesight
● consciousnessandhowwethink
● consideredhimselfaphilosopher
● withlittleexperimentsheproposedmanytheories
● wrote“theprinciplesofpsychology”10yrstowrite
● Functionalis,:hedidn'tcarebytheendofcontentofthoughts;hewantedtoknwo
whydowethink,whydidwehavethough,whatcanitdo?whatcanwedowith
it?
HysteriaandHypnosisPsychoanalysis
● Humanbehaviourcontrolledbymagneticfieldandcanbealtered:controlpeople
bywavingmagnetsovertheirbody
● Neurologist:beinginthismesmerizedstatehelpedpeoplewithneurosis
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