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PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Resting Potential, Moon Illusion, Retina

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Michael Inzlicht

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A method for observing the working brain: brain imaging- involves assessing changes
in the metabolic activity of the brain, such as noting where the blood flows as people
process info.
Changes in blood flow represent which parts of brain are associated with behaviours
Study: white student shown pictures of black students. Some white students detected
threat or fear, their amyglada was activated. Thos who were familiar with people, had
no response
People are understood by individual factors, such as how a person brain processes info
and also by how society shapes the way we behave with others and other things.
Ultimate ambition of psychologists: explain human behaviour!, and they do this by
studying people biologically, individually and socially.
First theme: research on mind, brain, and behaviour has accumulated over time to
produce the principals of psychological science.
Second theme: a new biological revolution is energizing research of the human mind
& behavior
Three developments in the revolution: brain chemistry (actions of chemicals in our
brain...), the human genome (influence of genetic processes...), and watching the
working brain.
There is some localization of function, but many different brain regions participate to
produce behaviour and mental activity!
Third theme- mind has been shaped by evolution (evolutionary approach is relevant to
social behaviour). We have built-in mechanism that solve reoccurring problems faced by
our ancestors
By-products of adaptive solutions: driving cars, reading books, using cell phones [very
Internet: a new form of culture
Fourth theme: mind and behaviour can be studied on many levels of analysis
Three broadly defined categories of analysis: Social, Individual, and biological

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Pleasant music increases brain chemical, serotonin, relevant to mood. [effect
Nature-Nurture debate: whether psychological characteristics are due to nature or
Schizophrenia- have unusual thoughts, and bipolar disorder-dramatic mood
It was assumed the causes for these diseases were nurture BUT drugs helped
discovered that these diseases are also heritable, and it is both nature (the way
their brain functions) and nurture
Many mental disorders result from events in life, posttraumatic stress disorder,
but this can also be caused by having a predisposition of getting the disorder
Mind-Body Problem: whether the minds are body are separate or intertwined?
Rene Descartes- promoted first theory that the mind and body were intertwined
reflex predictable action, and he concluded that the rational mind, was
separate from body
Charles Darwin natural selection, survival of the fittest. [finches on the galpagos
Wundt- products of the physiological actions of the brain take time to complete, studied
speeds at which tasks were completed. He developed method of introspection:
systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that require people to inspect
and report of things ( blueness of sky)
Tichener- used methods of introspection to develop structuralism: conscious
experience can be studied when it is broken down into its underlying component. His
approach was also functionalism: concerned with adaptive purpose or function of mind.
Jon Dewey= thought student properly rather than mind drilling
Critic of structuralism, James, noted that the mind consisted of a continuous
series of thoughts, stream of consciousness.
Gestalt theory- the whole is different from the sum of its parts, two people can look at
the same object and see two different things.

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Psychoanalysis: method by Freud that attempts to bring the contents of the
unconscious into conscious. Used a technique called free association, when people could
talk about whatever they wanted to for as long as they wanted to.
Behaviourism- environment forces our behaviour
Skinner- famous for taking up mantle of behaviourism. Denied the existence of mental
states, rather believed that mental states are nothing but an illusion. Was interested in
how repeated behaviours were shaped by previous events/consequences.
Miller- launched cognitive revolution- concerned with higher-order mental
functions, such as intelligence + thinking. Research showed that the way people think
influences their behaviour.
Information-Processing theory- viewed the brain (hardware) that ran behind the mind
( software), the brain takes in info.
Psychological scientist use methods of science to study the brain, the mind and
Psychological practitioners apply findings of psychological science in need to treat
and apply.
Personality psychologists- interested in individual preferences
Social psychologists- focus on the influences that things and other people have on us
Developmental psychologists- address changes in min and behaviour over a life time
Behavioural neuroscientist- study biological mechanisms responsible for behaviour
Experiment Psychopathologists- study abnormal or disorder behaviour, like music
Scientific inquiry- study of empirical questions, questions that van be answered by
Replication- repiriton of an experiment to confirm results!
Theory (model ) Hypothesis(prediction)Research (collection of data)
A theory is good when one can produce a variety of TESTABLE hypotheses.
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