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Lecture 3

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Gestalt Psychology, Behaviorism, Reconnaissance

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Steve Joordens

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Lecture 3: Science and Therapy- Psychology’s Recent Past
-Freud had a new approach that was very controversial
-Freud told some fascinating stories, was very involve in determining abnormal behaviour
-Freud wants to know how people have disordered thinking (e.g. when one feels like they are
blind when they are not)
-medical model: Freud will talk with people with mental illness and figure out what is wrong
with the symptoms they describe
-defense mechanisms (e.g. a man returns home unexpectedly where he discovers his wife
having a affair, the man may suddenly become blind)
-Freudian approach is to somehow make the person accept the reality or else their illness will
become worse
-scientists hate this approach because no one can prove it to be true (e.g. defense mechanisms)
-Freud is focused on sex and aggression (the drives), unconscious desires/needs that cannot be
satisfied in socially acceptable ways
-Freud started clinical psychology (e.g. therapy)
-it works due to patients saying it works
-Gestalt Psychology is looking at the whole whether the sum of the parts, looking at images
that can be perceived in other ways
-Humanistic psychology is the opposite of Freudian psychology, to look at humans in a more
positive light; e.g. empathy, kindness
-humanist approach is to help people overcome their struggles by offering strategies and
listening to their problems (much like a friend), and the patient most likely would come up with
solutions on their own
-Freudian approach is to talk about the background of the person to identify the source of the
mental problem, and tells the patient what to do
-behaviourism is focused on objective observations by looking at behaviour and how people
behave in certain environments
-experiments involve rats and manipulating their environment and link why certain behaviour
-does not focus on subjective things such as how someone thinks
-genetics/environment: what shapes a person/being? Psychology can also be bred, not only
physical features of animals
-how we learn as a result of experience
-1960s: how can we use science to build better warriors/military advantage?
-attention: how does people’s attention work (military scouting is boring and people starting
falling asleep on the job)
-computers started to exist, they started to become an analogy for psychologists; our brain
works like a computer?! (memory, etc.)
-the invisible animal, the theory that we can study things that we cannot see, based on
reactions of people around the invisible animal and we can infer based on the reactions we see
-social issues
-post-war times, more people started to live in cities; humanity became more compressed by
living in close quarters
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