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Lecture 1- 9th September, 2013.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

Psychology of Law PSYC39 Lecture 1 9 September, 2013 If we look at established sciences they are really applied physicists. The three prototypical sciences, physics, biology and chemistry, has these four things in common. The purpose of the scientists is to figure out relationship of laws that actually run the universe. Technology allows people to make more detailed observation, we have the natural laws that are occurring and then we have the scientists trying to find a rule that makes this happen. They formulate these rules by using symbols. They take a complex term and break it down into a precise relationship of lower constructs; this is referred to as reduction. One of the benefits is that at every level of science you can tell if at one level chemistry is consistent with biology or whether chemistry is consistent with chemistry and physics. Really we don’t have each of these sciences individuals but they are all part of this construct that helps us understand the universe. What differentiates science from philosophy is that philosophers didn’t have to do any empirical evaluations, for the most part it is because they questions that philosophers have are very valuate and don’t require an empirical test. Philosophy however requires logic. Therefore the four requirements of science. Four Requirements of a Science 1. Candidate science studies phenomena reflecting natural order in the universe ( Natural Law Requirement) 2. Candidate science has reductionist language for defining and ultimately explaining phenomena (Reductionist Language used for Definition) 3. Candidate science meshes linguistically with those levels of science immediately above and below (inter Science Consistency requirement) 4. Candidate science used sound empirical methodology to validate /invalidate its theories thereby refining knowledge (Empirical Test Requirement) What we have been exposed to is the last requirement of science that has to do mostly with empirical testings and observations. 1. Candidate Science studies phenomena reflecting natural order in the universe: There was a professor that had a hypothesis of how much cars should be sold in North America, and he wanted to test this empirically. North America is a very large place and it costs a lot of money. So what he did was he found a sample population that represents the North America population, and had a lot of traffic. He then set up an empirical study, and had students in four points of this town and they were all equipped with video cameras, and these cameras came on at 2 pm and came off at 3 pm. These cameras were positioned to record all amount of traffic that came through this intersection. Then they would look at the amount of cars and which models went through the intersection during that hoiur. The Inter rater reliability was 1.00, and they all agreed on the type of cars that went through the intersection. Is this a scientific study though? The answer is no, there is no expectation of reliability because if a sick child has a Dr.’s appointment this week and traverses the intersection in his mothers yellow Saturn this Tuesday, there is no law of nature dictating that the owner of a yellow Saturn drive through that intersection between 2-3. When studies are tend to be replicated there has to be some basis, or some law that states that a replication will occur. 2. Candidate science has reductionist language for defining and ultimately explaining phenomena. Newton’s Second Law, what he was trying to understand is why objects move the way they do. Until he came along people thought of this before, and the big name prior to Newton was Aristotle. Aristotle’s answer to this was that there are four spheres of the universe, there is the Sun (FIRE) then there is the sphere of AIR, then there is the sphere of WATER and under the water is EARTH. He states that what makes object move is that the objects move to see their own spheres. At a very superficial level this seems to work, because fire rises, so does air, water falls to the ground and earth sinks to the bottom. Newton came along and states that there are forces. He realizes that there is a force called gravity, he states that any two object attract each other but their attraction is based on the size of the object. On the moon, you would weigh a fifth of what you weigh on the earth. What he realized is if you threw a ball there is a gravitational force that keeps pulling it down to the ground until it stops moving. Then there is acceleration, it is the change in speed divide by the change in time, and speed is the change in distance divide by the change in time. Distance is a fundamental property as it is measurable. Work is the fo
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