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Dan Dolderman

PSY100 LECTURE 2 Jessica Robin – [email protected] Tues. 1-2pm TA OH - register _______________________________________________________________________ History of Psyche: • progressed over previous, few thousand years • E.g. for most human history, people pondered the residing area of the “mind” or “consciousness” • 20 century  seat of human consciousness • central nervous system = human consciousness • **Field of psychology assumes the “mind” is founded in the brain (in text) • Remember, science has always been contextualized in a larger set of processes (e.g. societal, historical, political, ideological, economic, etc.) o The way we think is driven by the context of the “times” (the mind’s environment) o E.g. Theological/religious barriers impeded the progress of physiological sciences; therefore, problems result such as direct study of human body being forbidden o Missing point* • Post “enlightenment”—rise of supposed rational, self-interested human; deep divide b/w cognition and emotion; emphasis on the individual as the unit of analysis  i.e. your “rational” mind and “emotional” mind are separate, and the thinking mind acts as a “restraining force” on the feeling mind. • Post biological and neuroscience revolution—re-emergence of cognition & emotion; emphasis on interdependence b/w individual and group Human Psychology as Mechanistic Processes: Descartes: 1600s - extremely intense, unbalanced, driven personality - “scribbled away in obscurity for decades, trying to overthrow Aristotelian philosophy (predominant in the last few decades)” - proposed systematic account of body as maching; physiological processes described in terms of mechanistic interactions, controlled by hydraulics (fluids) and mechanics (levers) o missing point* thus,... • revolutionary characters have unusual lines of thinking – therefore do not fit social norms of behaviour and thinking  bringing about revolutionary thought PSY100 LECTURE 2 Mind-body Dualism: Descartes proposed: what set humans apart from animals was mind, which was non-physical but (somehow) able to interact with body—was point of difficulty for him • splitting of mind & body still plagues us. We must accept either that the body (brain) =mind, in which case humans are simply soulless animals, or we have to figure out how it s that a more-than-physical mind could exist, its substrate, and its means of interaction with physical body • much of rest of history struggles to answer questions emerging from such dualism o E.g. Is the Mind a complicated, deterministic machine/is there free will? Can we do anything creative/are we emerely stimulus response machines? o How can we study the mind scientifically? how does it work? what are the connections b/w mind and body? can we learn to control the mind and use it more effectively? o How does the brain give rise to the mind? How to Study an Immaterial Mind? Emmanuel Kant – you can’t study the mind in an immaterial way • The turning point leading to scientific study of mind – studies of physiology, using reaction times to measure nerve conduction (Hemholtz, 1800s) o measuring redirections of mental tensions – e.g. brain imagination changing from one image to another • Wilhelm Wundt: o another weird personality o physiologist; extremely curous and careful experimentalist o wondered whether 2 stimuli that struck senses at the same time—would be perceived simultaneously o Modifies a clock—adds a bell on the end of a pendulum – observes when he hears the sound, the pendulum is not in contact with the bell (already starts its down swing after hitting the bell) o carefully calculated distance traveled by the pendulum is within time of 1/10 of a second, therefore reasoned that it took humans 1/10 of a second to complete the same process o Significance: established that mental processes can be studied scient
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