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Lecture 1

Course Code
Michael Inzlicht

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Psychology Students’ Association
Office: Sidney Smith Room 509
Volunteer Orientation: Sydney Smith Psych
Lounge (4th Floor)
Monday September 22 3pm -4pm
Side notes:
These are the lessons that a century of psychology has taught us, and they
can deeply change the way you understand yourself, others and the world
around you.
These are also useful heuristics to keeps in mind as you go through the
course, and psych more generally.
By understanding these insights, you can in fact infer for yourself quite a bit
of what you are going to learn in this and other psych courses.
We take in only a limited amount of what is going on around us and
through this we make our perception with that limited amount of
Reality doesnt change, a persons perception does.
The brain cannot remember something it will just fill it in with
something that fits, maybe something from the past
The brain has different neural patterns for different people and things.
People who are similar will have similar neural patterns.
If a brain doesnt recognize a neural pattern it could default to
something you like thinking about
Story #1:
A guy archeology, to study pigmy’s, making observation, experience has one,
says lets go end of the jungle to check out plans, people said no, its a bad
place, superstitions that it was a bad place, somehow he convinced one person
to take him, they go, see little black dots, both like hmm, whats that,
anthropologist, brains says its water buffalo on the horizon, perception, other
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guy laughs at him, saying the buffalo are really big not small , there ants,
anthro thinks its something big on the horizon, convinces guy to go to plans,
as the get closer they get bigger, his guide I freaking out saying these ants are
growing, experiencing ants neural ant pattern thats growing so his brain is
freaking out, so he thinks its black magic, anthro guys keeps doing this to the
other guys with mountains. The people have perception totally different,
because they have spent lives in dense jungle so their brains never learnt that
things get smaller as they get father away, they didnt know so their brains
never set down those neurological patterns, so they think it was black magic.
People who live in the city whose brains have laid out of city patterns with
not pick up the subtleties in a rain forest or jungle compared to someone who
lives there.
we have picked up shortcuts our whole life, with picking up different
perceptions, with different people in social reality, our beliefs about
social groups will lead to stereotypes, those serotypes will guide how
you think about people or groups, you wont even know
all these experiences have led to these stereotypes that have laid down
patterns in your mind
even if your very open minded, you can have these stereotyped
shortcuts in your mind, that you dont even know about
e.g. Rich snobby kids who are spoiled VS rich kids who are confident,
empowered, successful
ocould find examples for both
which one you believe in will affect how you act with a friend whose
e.g. Giving money to charity, if you believe in the first one you think it
was because they did it for themselves, to make themselves look good,
make connections, if you believe the second, you think wow what a
great thing there doing, very nice
e.g. If you have expectations that someone is warm and fuzzy before
meeting them, youll act more warm and fuzzy yourself, if you find out
someone is cold before you meeting them, you might act them back as
we extend our social biases to things that are familiar to us, liking our
things more then theres, people who are similar though, you can like
the things and people they have
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