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Lecture 2

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Stopwatch, Wilhelm Wundt, Forgetting Curve


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA01H3
Professor
Steve Joordens
Lecture
2

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Lecture 2: The Birth and Early Years
-many of the early psychologists are Germans, because it is a strong country in the 1800s who
believed in research and science for benefits in society
-money for science, but want to see something new- to study ourselves (psychology)
-von Helmholtz did an experiment where he tested how fast information is passing through
biological tissue, by using a stopwatch and having participants hold hands with the people next
to them, and the person with the stopwatch (1st person in line) squeezes the hand of the person
beside them, eventually the person with the stopwatch will go to the end of the line to stop the
clock
-results are that signals pass through biological tissue slower than when signals pass through
wires, not efficient conductors of information
-this experiment showed that psychological experiments were possible
-Weber would do experiments in which the participant will hold a weight in their hands while
blindfolded and ask them which one is heavier
-results in smaller weights make people unable to figure out a different and the larger the
difference, the more likely for it to be noticed
-JND (just noticeable difference) is the difference that people begin to notice a difference,
where their brains register a difference
-need a significant difference for people to feel the difference, this applies to all senses
-people can notice a fraction of a difference if the initial perception is low
-Wundt adopted the method called introspection, where he got a group of students and had
them notice what is happening in their brain, look in their mind
-example, a small house that you know well, how many windows did that house have? Pay
attention to how your brain thinks…
Some ways: Visually picture the house, questions raised by the situation, what is happening in
your mind?
-what is consciousness like?
-subjective method
-cannot study prejudicial thoughts and unacceptable thoughts in society, since it is too personal
and would require trust
-Darwin collected specimen from faraway lands, and purposed that all specimen types look the
way they do for a purpose
-useful features on specimen is able to be passed on to other generations and helps them
survive to reproduce
- “survival of the fittest”
-features that give advantages would be passed on and as long as the features don’t hinder
survival it will be passed on
-Darwin helped move psychology from structuralism to functionalism as his theory is moved to
psychology
-James focused on memory, consciousness (functionalism) and how it functions
-philosopher and first American psychologist
-men do not need nipples but is a feature that does not harm survival, so it is passed on
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find more resources at oneclass.com
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