Class Notes (806,817)
Canada (492,453)
Psychology (3,452)
PSY100H1 (1,603)

PSY100.Lecture (2).docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

PSY100: History of Psychology -science has always been contextualized in a larger set of societal/historical/political/ideological/economic processes -ex. theological/religious barriers impeded the progress of physiological sciences (and therefore psychology):  direct study of human body was forbidden  doctrines regarding human exemptionalism (i.e., therefore, impossible to learn about human biology through animal studies) The Rise of Mechanism -Descartes: 1600s  an extremely intense, unbalanced, driven personality  proposed a systematic account of the body as a machine; physiological processes described in terms of mechanistic interactions, controlled by hydraulics (fluids) and mechanics (levers)  thus, human and animal bodies were complicated machines, consistent with the mechanistic zeitgeist of the time; ex. water statues, clocks Mind-Body Dualism -however, what set humans apart from animals was the mind, which was non- physical but able (somehow) to interact with the body -Descartes believed the mind-body nexus was the pineal gland -this splitting of the mind and body still plagues us, we either have to accept that the body (brain) is the mind, in which case humans are just (soulless) animals, i.e., biogunk; or we have to figure out how it is that a more-than-physical mind could exist, what its substrate is, and how it could interact with a physical body -much of the rest of the history of psychology can be described as a struggle to answer questions that emerge from this dualism  is the mind simply a complicated, but deterministic machine, or do we have free will? can we do anything creative, or are we merely stimulus-response machines?  how can we study the mind scientifically? how does it work? what are the connections between mind and body? can we learn to control the mind and use it more effectively?  how does the brain give rise to the mind? how does ‘objective’ biological matter produce subjective experience? How to Study an Immaterial Mind? -the turning point that lead to the scientific study of mind really came from studies of physiology, using reaction times to measure nerve conduction (Helmholtz, 1800s) -people started realizing you can study nervous system processes via objective measures such as time Wilhelm Wundt -carefully calculated the distance traveled by the pendulum, and the time as 1/10 th of a second -reasoned that it took humans 1/10 of a second to reorient their attention Darwin -possibly the biggest influence on subsequent psychology was Darwin’s theory of evolution -built on previous ideas of evolution (vs. creationism theories): Erasmus Darwin; Lamarck -Darwin’s ideas were influenced by the geological debate on “uniformitarianism” vs. “catastrophism” -Darwin was incredibly curious and observant -wondered, why do animals do the things they do? what was the function of their behaviours? Functionalism -William James -studied medicine -went through major personal crisis RE: determinism and free will -his resolution was to decide, by an act of faith, that there was free will -“my first act of free will, shall be to believe in free will” -to be a scientist, he would approach the human as though it were deterministic -but to be a human, he would assume that he had free will -coupled with emerging Darwinian thought, James’ pragmatism firmly cemented the functionalist approach in psychology -described thinking as a dynamic relationship between organism and environment, focused on problems of adaptation -this is the foundation upon which we are still building today:  functionalism: adaptation of organism to environment  consciousness as a mixture of deterministic processes, and free will (although we still don’t know how free will is possible)  the matrix in which consciousness exists is the physiology of the central nervous system th The 20 Century -psychology begins to fracture into many different paradigms and schools of thought, each battling it out for supremacy  ex. behaviourism (Watson, Skinner, Pavlov), gestalt, psychodynamic theories (Freud, Jung, neo-Freudians), existential/humanistic (Maslow, Rogers) -cognitive revolution: 1960s-80s -biological revolution: 1980s-present -neuroscience: 1990s-present Adopting a Scientific Perspective on People -in recent years, psychology has become a very integrated discipline, where phenomena are being understood at multiple levels of analysis -right now, you are participating in a new phase in science, moving towards multi- factor casual models that require people to think more holistically, systemically, integratively  ex. “multiple levels of analysis” discussed in text -multi-factor, multi-leveled thinking has many consequences for our understanding  how do you help someone with a troubled mind? ex. depression Fixing Families -a person’s well-being, and indeed, entire psyche, is shaped by social relationships, helping a person is usually dependent, to a large degree, on helping to improve the larger social relationships and contexts that influence the individual -Eating dinner together: The key to happy families. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (2005) Third Variable Explanations -you want to know whether A  B  smoking  cancer?  violent media  violent behaviour?  relationship conflict  physical illness? -but maybe: A C B spurious correlation Confounds -when running an experiment, you manipulate the IV and thereby gain the very important ability to test for causation -but what if another variable that you do not observe also varies with the IV, and it in turn causes the effects that you observe?  i.e. you want to test A  B  but what if A[C]  B? o i.e. C  B is the real c
More Less

Related notes for PSY100H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.