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Lecture 4

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Epiphenomenon, Schadenfreude, Behavioralism

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Steve Joordens

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Lecture 4 (Chapter 1- Slide 11)
Slide 11: Freud made an impact on psychology by not focusing on the science models. He was a doctor
and used a medical model- they use symptoms to understand the cause of a medical problem, so that
the doctor can attack the core of the problem. The same goes for medical doctors. Freud says there are
internal drive that pushes you to do something, but they can be quickly satisfied (ex being cold, you put
on a jacket). There are some though that cannot be satisfied in the public (ex, when you want to hurt
someone, if you want to have sex), so you try to be the appropriate person who avoids sex and
aggression. We deny our primitive instincts and hide them in our mind to keep ourselves ‘pure’ and
come out in disguised ways to hide our side. (ex the man who turned blind when he saw his wife cheat-
he hid it deep inside his mind. He was unaware of the cause, or was even actively unaware by avoiding
and denying that he was aware. In order for him to accept that he realizes, the therapist has to slowly
dig into his mind, not immediately tell him that he knew)
Another example: a girl with a great father, but he comes home drunk once in a while and becomes
brutal and abusive. The girl is in a mental state- should she ignore these cases that occur 10% of the
time, or accept it as part of him? She would hide the dark side deep inside her mind as traumatic
But how do you test these though? You can’t test these theories; that’s why science frowns upon
Freud’s theories because you can’t put it on a test. That’s a general case for all topics that cannot follow
the scientific theory- like religion. However, Freud’s theories were accepted by the public, where these
dark themes are not as openly acceptable as in today’s society (as in, a child would willingly sleep with
their parent). People were fascinated with him talking about sex and aggression nonstop. He really
opened up the field of therapeutical psychology. He also pushed the theories on conscious and
unconscious. He emphasized the unconscious well and now psychology look into the unconscious
influences too (like you do something so often that the habit leads you to do something unconsciously)
Slide 12: These psychological studies are performed in North America, and some in Europe, so there
might be cultural differences for other groups.
Strong behaviouralists believed in science- measure and manipulate things and do not talk about
perception, memory and consciousness. Instead, they experiment on animals to observe things- the
stimuli and observe method. They do not ask why or wonder about their minds, they only focus on what
happens when something is stimulated. This took over in North American schools until the 1960s.
Thorndike built a 3D maze cage, and put a cat in it, and watched it realize how to exit. The first time it
would take about an hour, but the next time it took less and less- it learned. He emphasized on that the
cat would make vital decisions, and if it worked out well the first time, it would take that decision again.
That’s the same thing that happens with you- ex you help someone out and they reward you, you’re
most likely to repeat it. Thorndike termed it as a law to make the research more scientific.
Pavlov talks about how something is built on consequences.
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