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Lecture 2

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Informed Consent, Reality Principle, Statistical Hypothesis Testing


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
Dan Dolderman
Lecture
2

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Lecture'1''
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ü The!ultimate!reason!for!learning!psychology:!to!understand!why!and!how!we!behave!the!way!we!do!
!
ü Textbook!definition!of!psychology:!the!scientific!study!of!behaviour,!thought,!and!experience,!and!
how!they!can!be!affected!by!physical,!mental!social,!and!environmental!factors!
!!
Purpose!of!learning!psychology!is!to:!
know!why!people!behave!the!way!they!do!
Know!how!they!think,!remember!and!make!decisions!
understand!yourself!better!(esp.!your!mind)!
help!people,!which!may!require!more!scientific!understanding!of!how!they!function!
understand!altered!states!of!consciousness!better!
Psychology!addresses:!behaviour,!subjective!experience,!how!people's!minds!function/malfunction,!
consciousness,!learning!and!development!
behaviour!can!occur!on!a!number!of!different!levels!including!the!activity!of!cells!in!different!parts!of!
the!brain,!thought!processes!(e.g.!language!and!memory)!and!sociocultural!processes!
!!
Biopsychosocial!model:!a!means!of!explaining!behaviour!as!a!product!of!biological,!psychological,!and!
sociocultural!factors!
psychologists!adopted!multiple!perspectives!to!understand!our!thoughts!and!behaviours!bc!they!
have!multiple!influences!
Biological!influences:!brain!structures,!chemicals,!hormones,!and!external!substances!(e.g.!drugs)!
Psychological!influences:!memories,!emotions,!personalities!and!how!they!shape!the!way!we!
think/respond!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Social!influences:!family,!peers,!ethnicity!and!culture!
!!
Scientific!literacy:!the!ability!to!understand,!analyze,!and!apply!scientific!info!
Critical!thinking:!exercising!curiosity!and!skepticism!when!evaluating!the!claims!of!others,!and!with!our!
own!assumptions!and!beliefs.!
critical!thinking!does!not!mean!being!negative!or!arbitrarily!critical,!it!means!that!you!intentionally!
examine!knowledge!and!beliefs.!
!!
Main!problems!facing!the!brain:!
Info!is!often!polluted!(overlap!between!infos!we!want!and!don't!want)!!
There!is!plethora!(too!much)!of!info!
Info!is!often!partial!(relative!to!personal!goals)!and!therefore!uncertain!!
The!brain!is!consistently!trying!to!solve!problems!-!but!the!world!doesn't!have!any!problem,!the!
world!just!is.!
Remember!how!much!of!what!you!think!is!in!the!world!is!actually!projected!onto!the!world!
!!
What!does!the!brain!do?!
Looks!for!patterns!
Tries!to!predict!the!world!!!!
Predictive!patterns!help!the!brain!to!address!the!issues!of!plethora,!pollution,!partiality!and!
projection!
!!

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!!
Correlation,!causation!&!construction!
Brains!have!to!interact!w/!the!world!-!they!have!to!experiment!w/!the!world!in!order!to!make!
causal!predictions!about!the!world.!
Brains!look!for!causal!patterns!by!making!causal!predictions,!and!then!testing!them!out!in!action!
Brains!also!try!to!predict!themselves!in!a!coordinated!fashion!
Brains!face!issues!of!confusing!correlation!&!causation!!!!!!!!!The!line!of!causation:!ABCDE!
!most!of!this!is!done!unconsciously!&!automatically!!!!!!!!The!line!of!explanation:!ABCDE!
Our!brains!are!always!construction!and!reconstructing!the!obvious!world!of!everyday!common!
sense!experience.!
In!order!to!make!good!predictions!about!the!world,!we!need!to!"categorize"!the!world.!
allows!us!the!generalize!our!predictions!which!makes!the!predictions!transferable!across!many!
situations!
category:!a!mental!grouping!of!things!that!we!sense!belong!together!(e.g.!all!dogs)!!!!
How!to!form!categories:!one!of!these!things!is!not!like!the!other,!three!of!these!things!are!kind'
of'the'same!(example!from!Sesame!Street)!!!!!
(kind!of!the!same=similar=partially!identical=share!properties)!
The!main!problem!is!that!similarity!is!not!a!property!of!the!world,!just!like!relevance!(Goodman!
1972)!
Any!2!objects!sharing!an!unlimited!#!of!properties!=!very!high!partial!identity!=!very!similar!
The!brain!projects!onto!the!world!when!it!selects!the!relevant'shared'properties!
The!process!of!constructing!&!reconstructing!involves!unconscious!and!automatic!decisions!about!
relevance,!similarity,!category!membership!
Projective!framing!of!reality!often!biases!us!and!causes!error!
brain!is!a!very!complex!network!of!neurons!for!detecting,!storing!and!projecting!patterns!in!
ongoing!process!of!constructing!everyday!experience!
every!psychological!process!is!just!a!pattern!in!the!neural!network!for!detecting,!storing!and!
projecting!patterns!so!as!to!predict!and!prepare!for!the!world!(best!we!can!do!is!learn!better!
methods!of!pattern!to!overcome!the!biases!of!common!sense!experience)!
!!
Scientific!Method:!a!way!of!learning!about!the!world!through!collecting!observations,!developing!
theories!to!explain!them,!and!using!the!theories!to!make!predictions.!
Involves!a!dynamic!interaction!between!hypothesis!testing!and!the!construction!of!theories!
Hypothesis:!a'testable'prediction!about!processes!that!can!be!observed!and!measured,!theory!
and!framework!(it's!possible!for!out!prediction!to!be!wrong,!which!is!an!important!safeguard!
against!projective!bias)!
a!hypothesis!can!be!supported!or!rejected,!but!a!scientific!hypothesis!must!be!testable!!
(theory!hypothesis)!
for!a!hypothesis!to!be!testable,!it!must!be!falsifiable,!meaning!that!the!hypothesis!is!precise!
enough!that!it!could!be!proven!false!
Theory:!is!an!explanation!for!a!broad!range!of!observations!that!also!generates!new!hypothesis!
and!integrates!new!finding!into!a!coherent!whole.!Theories!are!higher!order!arguments!that!link!
explanations!together!and!link!explanations!&!hypotheses!together!(explanations!are!not!just!
predictions;!they!are!arguments!that!logically!link!causal!predictions!together)!
Theories!help!to!categorize!hypothesis!&!explanations,!and!generalize!them.!
however,!even!theories!are!not!enough!-!bc!there!are!multiple!levels!to!explain!"the!mind,"!
such!as!biological!level,!info!processing!level,!socio-cultural!level!

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we!can!check!and!balance!theories!by!theoretical!debate,!argumentation!and!the!role!of!
plausibility!(Plausibility=reasonableness!of!an!argument!or!statement)!
A!learned!process!for!extending!the!brain's!ability!to!experiment!w/!the!world!in!order!to!predict!
causal!patterns!while!at!the!same!time!creating!checks!and!balances!against!the!brain's!projection!
of!bias!
Framework:!a!conceptual!structure!for!bridging!between!the!theories!that!are!at!different!levels!
and!explaining!how!processes!at!these!levels!causally!interact!
Biopsychosocial!framework:!explaining!behaviour!as!a!product!of!biological,!psychological!and!
sociocultural!factors!
!!
The!theory-experiment!cycle!
No!perfect!experiment!bc!of!precision-generalization!trade!off!
No!perfect!theory!bc!theories!are!based!on!inference!to!the!best!explanation!(IBE)!!
!!
EVERY!scientific!theory!before!our!current!ones!was!rejected!for!being!more!false!than!true!
Any!scientific!theory!must!be!falsifiable!
We!always!rely!on!plausibility!&!probability!bc!we!cannot!completely!leap!out!of!our!brains!
!!
Science!is!a!philosophy!of!knowledge!that!stems!from!2!fundamental!beliefs:!
Empiricism:!a!philosophical!tenet!that!knowledge!comes!through!experience!(knowledge!based!on!
careful!observation,!not!on!common!sense/speculation)!
Determinism:!the!belief!that!all!events!are!governed!by!lawful,!cause-and-effect!relationships!
(behaviour!is!determined!by!both!internal!&!external!influences)!
Psychological!science!is!both!empirical!and!deterministic,!and!behaviour!can!only!be!understood!by!
making!observations!and!testing!hypotheses!
!!
Psychology!became!scientific!in!the!late!1800s!!
One!of!the!main!reasons!was!"zeitgeist,"!referring!to!a!general!set!of!beliefs!of!a!particular!culture!
at!a!specific!time!in!history!(German!word!for!spirit!of!the!times)!
People!were!not!ready!to!accept!a!science!that!applied!to!human!behaviour!and!thought!!doing!
so!would!seem!to!go!against!materialism,!the!belief!that!humans!and!other!living!things!are!
composed!exclusively!of!physical!matter!
!!
Psychophysics:!the!study!of!the!relationship!between!the!physical!world!and!the!mental!representation!
of!that!world!
Fechner!demonstrated!basic!principles!of!how!the!physical!and!mental!worlds!interact.!
!!
Darwin!stated!that!behaviour!is!shaped!by!natural!selection,!and!over!the!years,!a!certain!range!of!
behaviours!helped!people!survive!and!reproduce!better!
!!!
Nature!&!nurture!relationship:!the!inquiry!into!how!heredity!(nature)!and!environment!(nurture)!
influence!behaviour!and!mental!processes!
!!
The!beginning!of!psychology!
Structuralism:!an!attempt!to!analyze!conscious!experience!by!breaking!it!down!into!basic!
elements,!and!to!understand!how!these!elements!work!together!
Functionalism:!the!study!of!the!purpose!and!function!of!behaviour!and!conscious!experience!
!!
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