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Self-Consciousness Lec 4 Notes.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Romin Tafarodi

Self-Consciousness Lecture 4 31/01/2013 21:01:00 ← Facebook group: contact ← [email protected] ← ← Development • [ex] Hollywood – addresses cultural anxiety o Our cultural anxiety: seeming breach between ourselves as infants and toddlers and ourselves as adulthood  failed memory recall before the age of 3  we live in this underlying discontinuity, but we still know that we were infants and toddlers once. We accept these facts o Hollywood creates talking babies – binds that breach, help us feel that babies are just like us o Disney also does this by bringing us talking animals with human-like emotions ← How do we go from infants to adults? What needs to happen to make this possible? • We can’t access this because they (infants) can’t talk to us • We understand younger kids mainly because of context • We want to understand these entities nonetheless o “I want to know what it is like for a bat to be a bat. Yet if I try to imagine this. I am restricted to the resources of my own mind, and those resources are inadequate to the task. I cannot perform it either by imagining additions to my present experience, or by imagining segments gradually subtracted from it, or by imagining some combination of additions, subtractions, and modifications.” – Nagel (1974) • Recognition that our identity depends on our bodies o Some spiritual identity – the horror is that if you take away my body, which is the vehicle of the thoughts and feelings, then I will no longer feel like myself ‘ o  why these art, literature, and Hollywood help, to help us understand o None of these creatures are supposed to talk to us ← Development of self-awareness • 28 weeks of developing in terms of neural circuits – a lot going on in terms accelerated maturation, but in terms of self-awareness: • there is a lot going on in terms of the wider locus in the environment • needs to take into account of relationships – not only developing with others, but also through others • infants can mimic tongue protrusion, but they can also imitate the direction of the tongue o not yet crawling (which happens between 7-11 months) o physical learning is accompanied by language acquisition ← Challenge for the researchers: • 2,3 year-old: use language as mirror of self-awareness, before that, can only use behavior as signals of self-awareness development • Parents will look at the child, and decide on what they perceive as what the child’s needs and wants are, and then make assumptive response – and the child learn to imitate back, but it’s not simply the case that learning to fitted emotions production because the child has what the parents do not – the child actually feels something o internal/external kind of congruence o the child would try to make sense of his/her internal state and the parent’s feedback o seeing emotions as reflective • Can rapture this interaction through [ex] space/time paradigm and not allow the child to read the parents’ response – an asynchronous response of the parents o Can sooth the child by videos o [method] Rapture this by having the parents image (dressing in the same clothes) from a day before  The child then becomes upset and cry   child has the need to achieve an emotional regulation. The infant can’t do this on his/her own. Thus, when the emotional balance assistance is not completely synchronized, the child becomes upset • Another example: depression in mothers o The parents not providing the emotional support because they can’t o Therefore the infant feels uncomfortable – and this is also why the infants of depressed mothers cry so much • Distinction between primary subjectivity and the allegedly one (secondary) o the big change, shift of dyad becoming triad with the introduction of objects  heuristic value of the mother holding for their infants – what sense is my mother making out of this, how do I respond to this   social referencing – the outside world is meaningful insofar as other people, especially the mother, in terms of the experiential aspects of new objects interaction o Joint attention – the child direct the parent’s attention to something that he/she is focusing on, or the other way around. This is why the parent would draw the child’s attention from towards them (the parent) to the object by using sounds and other stimuli ← Why is this significant for self-consciousness? • Some sort of communality to shape out reality – philosophically, this may be the closest we can get to reality
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