First 4 lectures for psy100 - date not accurate

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1 Feb 2011
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FUNDAMENTAL
INSIGHTS
Reality is a story, told to us by our brains Our brains are artists, not
mirrors
Experiences subjectively represent an interpretation, a construction of reality
we have to fill in GAPS with guesswork
We have a limited capacity to process information we have access to a
limited subset of reality
-our sensors are limited
-we have a limited attentional capacity
-
but we dont mind
perception= sensing stimuli + info brain + comprehension/wonder +
inferences leads to ACTION
The brain searches for patternstries to match them with its own pre-
existing/already perceived patterns
hugely dependent on the past
ITS EASIER TO SEE THE EXPECTED
We use heuristics to avoid making conscious and effortful decisions at every
turn
stereotypes: necessary abstractions, generalizations, simplifications
that affect how you respond to situations
biases: partially construct their own reality (self-fulfilling
prophecies etc)
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ex: MARK ZANNA studied interviewers & interviewees, noting
differences in BOTH of their behaviours based on their race
ex: Teachers Expectations affect Kids’ IQs
We have control over reality because we construct our own
THE PRIMACY & IMPORTANCE OF ATTENTION:
What we pay attention to determine WHAT we experience and HOW
AND WE CAN CONTROL IT
ex: MIHALY interviewed people about their Peak Experiences
INTRO
THE HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY
PHILOSOPHY vs. PHYSIOLOGY
Debate - is consciousness seated in the brain? Heart? External spirits?
ANCIENT EGYPT: 1st known medical documents, showed head injuries
knowledge of lateralization speech centers etc in brain (but still thought
the heart was the center of everything)
RISE OF MECHANISM
DESCARTES: Philosopher
systematic account of BODY AS MACHINE
believed that animals were COMPLETE machines, but humans had
more: mind
the mind must be something else, but able to interact WITH the
machine
this references the Struggle of Dualism: how can we study the mind
scientifically if the mind and body are split as a way to explain our separation
form animals?
How do we study the immaterial (religious, mystical, magical) mind?
WUNDT: Physiologist, beginning of SCIENTIFIC study of MENTAL
processes
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Study to see whether 2 stimuli occurring at the same time are PERCEIVED
simultaneously
looks at pendulum of a clock and listens to it striking the bell
he doesnt notice the sound until 1/10 of a second later
concludes that it takes this long to reorient ones attention
DARWIN: Evolutionary Theorist
Uniformitarianism (small changes over a HUGE stretch of time,) not
Catastrophism (age of Earth, age of Floodchurch dogma)
Hereditary Instincts:
Beagle Voyage Galapagos: collected tons of species & notebook
observations, tried to understand the functions of animals behaviours
Induced that animals like iguanas had fixed hereditary instincts like running
out of the water to avoid sharks, even if Darwin was there to throw it back in
again and again
MALTHUS:
species are in constant competition for survival in their environment at
the expense of other species
Boom & Bust cycle (like sigmoid growth curve)
JAMES: Medicinal Scientist
Emotional Crisis & Scientific Conundrum: Determinism vs. Free
Will
2 selves: Approached the brain scientifically as though it were
deterministic but to LIVE he believed in free will (PRAGMATISM >
ULTIMATE TRUTH)
20th CENTURY
PSYCHOANALYSIS
Bringing the contents of the unconscious conscious awareness, to deal
constructively with conflicts
dream analysis
free association
FREUD notion of unconscious, idea that self-awareness heals, etc. focus on
MIND
BEHAVIOURISM
Belief that reward & punishment schedules as well as other stimuli were all
that constructed/molded humans
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Document Summary

Reality is a story, told to us by our brains our brains are artists, not mirrors. Experiences subjectively represent an interpretation, a construction of reality. we have to fill in gaps with guesswork. We have a limited capacity to process information we have access to a limited subset of reality our sensors are limited. We have a limited attentional capacity but we don"t mind perception= sensing stimuli + info brain + comprehension/wonder + inferences leads to action. The brain searches for patterns t ries to match them with its own pre- existing/already perceived patterns. We use heuristics to avoid making conscious and effortful decisions at every turn. stereotypes: necessary abstractions, generalizations, simplifications that affect how you respond to situations. biases: partially construct their own reality (self-fulfilling prophecies etc) www. notesolution. com: ex, ex: Mark zanna studied interviewers & interviewees, noting differences in both of their behaviours based on their race. We have control over reality because we construct our own.

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