Lecture 8.docx

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Published on 22 Apr 2012
Lecture 8 - Friday, November 11, 2011
Classes change a bit after today before it’s a story of psychology (historical factors
involved in a larger context); but now we look beneath the surface of the same
topics, using critical perspective (implications of how psychology is changing, within
psychology and society within and outside psychology).
2 Quotes from John Ralston Saul
o Critical perspective effective critical thinker, in the sense of ‘what’s really
happening’; what’s truly beneath the surface
o “The Faith” – doing missionary work and spreading Catholicism
o Bx’ism: doesn’t encompass all of what we do and are thinking – what
psychology to encompass but bx’ism WORKS, like in classroom settings
o We have to be willing to look at what’s really there; because up until now,
we have been rewarded for doing things a certain way; looking at things
critical requires you to tear yourself away from habit (‘to kill the hero, or the
part of you that has been rewarded for certain things’)
o Make an effort to try to look underneath
o How do these make you feel?
o How does it make you feel now, as a U of T student OR as a man OR as
a smoker
Your perspective changes; limiting how can speak in this place;
and what kind of voice that is required to answer the question
(labels that can be applied to you)
o Respect for a certain type of person he will respect you, if you are a
tax payer
Otherwise, if you don’t pay tax, then your voice does not
Anyone that pays taxes, is a tax payer in ONE sense, but these
can be different individuals (divided on occupation or other
factors have a disabled child, have 4 children, have none)
Disrespect is allotted to solely a different voice
o The type of language one uses, especially someone with power (to
define a set of communication etc … who they should be addressing),
fundamentally changes their subjectivity
Subjectivity Their experiences and their psychology
Ex: sensitivity training courses that you don’t say autistic, but
person with autism
Redefines the situation and the actors in it
What do psychologists study?
o It depends:
What metaphors available for us to think with …
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What historical situations, did they find themselves in, and
how did this affect the way the did their work
How imagination drives what we see, as psychologists
o This is what we say we study what do we actually STUDY though?
o Is it subjectivity?
Illustrates idea of subjectivity their gaze is changing your
subjectivity (coming to this painting with your own thoughts
and opinions and experiences)
In the picture, what are they looking at? YOU
They are affecting who we are. We an idea of our self
and our subjectivity, in our terms, and we shape our
subjectivity in accordance to the other however.
Feel like you are a part of the painting but the painting
doesn’t expect it to be YOU but you are standing in the
place of the king and queen and you are getting the
perspective of what they would see
This changes our subjectivity; and changes others
expectations and how do you behave accordingly?
How do you act in front of a group of people a large
number of people to look at you?
This negotiation becomes difficult its now up to you,
your subjectivity, because you match your subjectivity
to the other
o Do we study subjectivity? OR do we CREATE it
To what extent and HOW do psychologists create subjectivity
A way for the people in our studies to express and experience
their psychology, in the first place
METHOD: Looking at Individual People
o Personhood”: What makes a person, an individual person?
A person has a sense of self to express yourself as a person, to
others consistent steady idea of who you are, over time
2 parts self as known vs. self as knower
In the middle of doing something in these situations,
fully invested, this is the self as known
Stopped writing, looking back at essay, and looking at
what you wrote being conscious of your self,
conscious of a past self (the “I” knowing the “me” –
objective vs. subjective perspective of your self)
o Object to self makes myself an object, to think
about freeze myself in this past time, for this
higher level self o think about two levels of self
= reflexive processes
o Vs. subject to self
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Nature vs. reason:
We act by certain mechanisms OR we act in line with
nature we behave mechanistically (less predictable);
explain them, predict and model them in an orderly
OR reason ability to adapt, to reason to change our
psychology, to understand it, and affect our
surroundings, not just respond to it
Fundamental divide in psychology (this theme) for
“Physics envy” – psychologists being recognized more
like natural sciences
o But we’d have to study things that are more
o But we study people and this has both parts
and noise (element of reason, intentionality)
o But to be a science, we’d have to cut out the noise
and remove it so that what is left, is the nature
side of things, the natural side
o Individual People
Who are you when you enter an experiment as a participant?
Defining subjectivity what you can and can’t do (implicit or
In an unfamiliar setting, not aware of what’s going on and why
its happening but you know that you don’t need to know
You are the type of person, in an experiment: “what do you
want me to do? How do you want me to do it” the less the
creative stuff, remove it, the more its better (the nature side of
your psychology)
SUBJECTIVITY IS DEFINED (in experiments as participants)
Individual people aren’t necessarily individual people –
people, self-concepts, exist in relation to others
In communicating, we have a self-concept in day to
day interactions
But self concept breaks down into a dualism; because
these are a series of dialogues we have with our selves,
the things we do to relate to others in conversation
Back and forth dialogue
Self-concept, personhood, individuality in relation
to one’s surroundings important concept
We don’t study individual people, in psychology, we are
actually shaping who those people are, what they do etc
What constitutes data?
o Depends on natural kinds and human kinds
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