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PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Gestalt Psychology, Psychologies, Psych

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Dan Dolderman

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Intro to Psychology (PSYA01)
Lecture 1.1 There’s No Soul in Psychology
To follow something scientifically, an assumption has to be made that the
behavior of that said thing conforms to natural laws.
Souls” are a spiritual entity, which means they DO NOT conform to natural
Therefore trying to interpret them with a scientific process is pure
If human behavior was not partially, if not totally determined by natural
laws, then it should be possible to study it scientifically
Psychology is a very complex science, therefore you make progress at a
slower rate, Psych is also very young 1850-1900, less than 150 years old
Animism- suggesting that something has a soul (i.e. rocks)
Rene Descartes believes animals have no souls, they are just machines
-He believes animals don’t feel pain, they just react to the situations
-Rene believes humans are machines, however we are ultimately controlled
by a soul, which means humans are responsible for their actions
-Rene Descartes believes humans have a dualistic nature (part material, part
John Locke believes ALL body is a machine (body + mind) is materialism
-John Locke believes “humans are born at a blank slate”, ultimately
experiences determine who/what you are going to be
Materialism we don’t have a soul, everything is made up of basic materials
that follow physical laws (Anti-spiritualism)
Lecture 1.2 The Birth and Early Years
Mid-Late 1800’s Germany was a very prominent country because they were a
super power, they had the economic + military might to do what they pleased
Governments think Science, knowledge and understanding of knowledge
gave their country a strong advantage in the world
Germany therefore built their military and sciences during this time period
Lecture 1.3 Psychologies Recent Past
People believed that Sigmund Freud’s idea of psychology was not scientific
(i.e. sexual issues)
o They felt it was more philosophical
Gestalt Psychology: Trying to understand the laws underlying our amazing
ability to acquire and maintain stable percepts in a noisy world
o Example: If a person walks behind a counter, the person looks to be
just a torso, but our perceptual mind leads us to believe that the persons
legs are still there
Humanistic Psychology: A direct counter-response to Freuds (humans only
think about sex&fighting)… focusing on the positive aspects of humanity
Lecture 2.1 Theories
The scientific process begins with a theory… a person’s explanation used to
explain things they’ve seen
o “Good” theories lead to hypotheses… predictions that can be tested in
a way that could prove them to be “falsifiable
o Freud’s theories of human behavior, and religious theories of
existence, are often criticized to be un-falsifiable , therefore,
impossible to test
o Evolution Theory is a prime example
Variables anything that can take on multiple values
o Example: “Eye Color”, can have the value green, and it is a categorical
variable of “eye color”
o “Height” is another variable, it is a continuous variable because its
values lie on a continuum
o Whether a variable is categorical or continuous is determined on
how it is measured
Frequency is always about account, counting something
Mean The point that is the minimum possible distance from all the other
Median- The point that has half the data lie above, and half lie below
Mode- The most frequently occurring data point (or observation)
Lecture 6- Finding the Cause
An experiment usually involves comparing “behavior” between two (or
more) conditions that “differ” in some way
The Independent variable gets manipulated (under our control)
The Dependent variable gets measured
o In the shark tank example the electrical current is the independent, and
the aggression is the dependent
Lecture 7
Validity- The way you measure or manipulate something “Are you measuring
what you think your measuring”
Reliability- How well you measure something “If you measure something
twice, do you get the same answer” (IQ Test)
Random Assignment- assigning subjects to groups randomly (i.e. flip coin)
Replication- finding the same answer twice by using different operational