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Lecture 4

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Sigmund Freud, Gestalt Psychology, Humanistic Psychology

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Steve Joordens

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PSYA01 Lecture 4 (Chapter 1)
Science and Therapy: Psychologies Recent Past
- internal vs. external world
- what are the contents of the mind?
- what are the processes that produce this functionalism
- Sigmund Freud
o clinical psychology
o interested in abnormal behaviour and helping people
o scientists find his work interesting but useless (they don’t hate it though)
he doesn’t produce predictions and can be tested and proved wrong
lack of testable theories not scientific
o his works sound right to people
o good therapy = if the client felt it was helpful
o redefined psychology
European Reaction:
- retreated to psychophysics
- Gestalt Psychology
o “the whole is more than the sum of it’s parts”
o trying to understand the laws underlying our amazing ability to acquire and
maintain stable percepts in a noisy world
o seeking to explain perceptions in terms of gestalts rather than by analyzing their
- “humanistic psychology
o born as a direct counter-response to Freud’s... focusing on the positive aspects
of humanity
o people didn’t like the way Freud painted humanity
Freud said we had these drives that we had to fulfill
but when it came to sexual and aggressive impulses...
North American Reaction:
- things went an extreme way
- nature nurture debate
o science became infatuated with genetics and the nature side
o if we controlled breeding (selective), we could make our species better
intelligence? how do you measure it?
Adolf Hitler heard of the idea and liked it
- Behaviourists
o Ivan Pavlov, John B Watson, B.F. Skinner
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