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Dan Dolderman

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PSYCH Day one: JAN 10 FUNDAMENTAL INSIGHTS OF PSYCH -Reality is a story told to us by our brains -implications? -we don’t live in the real world but in a constructed representation -this construction process involved interpreting patterns if sensory info with ore-existing patterns stored in the brain -we regularly make errors in this construction process and there are systematic ways in which we do so, by understanding this we can improve -Our brains are artists not mirrors -our experiences do not reflect ‘reality itself’ but rather a construction or representation of reality 1) This construction process involves a lot of guesswork –‘filling in the gaps’ 2) This subjective representation occurs within the brain -Mess with someone’s brain and mess with their consciousness, i.e drugs, thus brain function is realy important for mind function -we only have access to a limited subset of reality: -the limitations of our sensory-perceptual system are due to: -the sensitivity of our sensory mechanisms ( other animals hear and smell things that we cant) -limited attentional capacity (we unconciousnly make guesses, perception = taking bits of info and constructing a meaningful reality, example of fred seeing the dog, we behave based on our perception, NOT based on reality) - perception is a process of creative story-telling and inference making we have to fill in a lot of gaps. - this is highly functional… most of the time, allowing our brains to function super efficiently, with a small cost of accuracy -much more profoundly though this means that we are not interacting with reality but rather with a fiction how does the mind perceive reality?-perception is a process of pattern-matching, our brains look for a correspondence b/w patterns that have been stored in it through our past experience the patterns of sensory stimuli its currently experiencing -for example the pattern of English, our brain has a set of patterns one which is English that it corresponds with -correspondence b/w the past and what we’re currently experiencing -the brain uses its pre-existing patterns (i.e knowledge) to decide incoming sensory signals -thus what the brain has learned to see in the past is largely what it sees in the present -what it cannot decode it either guesses about (if it has some reasonable info) o ignores entirely or just sees what it wants/likes to see -early experiences condition how we see subsequent experiences, example of 2 year old, secure vs insecure Fundamental insight number 2: -we rely upon ‘heuristics’ or rules of thumb when engaging in reasoning and decision making -stereotypes: our beliefs about different social groups, we use our stereotypes as a decoding key -eg. Torontonians are uptight, judgemental materialists who think they are the center of the unverse and who are little about the rich diversity of perspectives across Canada; VS -Torontonians are creative, open0minded remarkably peaceful and caring tapestry of ppl who reflect the rich cultural diversity of the world and who provide a shining example (couldn’t read the rest) BIASES -of course relying so heavily upon our beliefs makes us biased often so subtly that we are unaware of these biases and we can therefore be led astray by our own belief-driven expectations -b/c perception behaviour, our biases can actually create their own reality -eg. Self-fulfilling prophecies: -how do you interact with someone you expect to be ‘warm’ or ‘cold’? -imagine how a person treats a job applicant they expect to be sub-standard compared to one they expect to be highly competent. Now imagine how that affects the applicants performance in the job interview (Word, Z
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