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PSY270 Lec Summary.docx

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Kristie Dukewich

PSY270 Lec Summary Lec1: Ch 1 Historical Context of Cognitive Psychology - Nativist vs Empiricists Cognitive psychology is the study of the mind and all its related mental processes such as learning, memory, attention, reasoning and mental representation. There are 3 historical periods before the birth of cognitive psych as a former discipline in psychology: 1. Classical period/ Age of Enlightment (350 B.C.E.) - Plato - nativist, knowledge is innate and 'learning' is the act of recalling knowledge - Aristotle - student of Plato, empiricist, believed that knowledge is NOT innate but acquired by forming associations between stimulus and response. Associations formed by one, two or all 3 methods of association formation: a) contiguity - associations between 2 things will most likely form if they are closely linked in time and space (aka. if they occur together) (ie. bell ringing, followed by food coming will more likely form an association between the stimulus: bell ringing and the response: food coming, for a dog) b) frequency - associations between 2 things will most likely form if they occur often c) similarity and contrast - associations between 2 things will most likely form if they are similar in nature OR are in direct contrast to each other (ie. peanut butter & jelly OR short & tall) 2. Early Beginnings (1600-1879) - Rene Descartes - introduced dualism; mind & body dualism, mind is separate, is superior and has control over the body, which belongs to the material world. Everything is an illusion, human movement and reflexes are controlled by the animal spirit from our body in response to the fluid travelling in a tube from our extremities that flows up to the pineal gland (where our mind is) after being triggered by stimuli in the external environment - John Lockes - extreme empiricist; introduced "tabula rasa" (babies as blank slates) - William James - functionalist (interested in how things are related rather than how they are formed/ structured) great pontificator; expanded Aristotles' idea of associationism --> mind in brain, associations are formed and are mixed in a complicated, interconnected web of thoughts - Erasmus Darwin - Charles Darwin's grandfather; proponent of evolution - Jean-Baptiste Lamarck - Lamarckism, traits CAN be acquired; evolutionary changes thus CAN occur within an organism's lifetime (ie. a short-necked giraffe will eventually grow a long neck within his one lifetime out of necessity to reach food) - Charles Darwin - father of biology, voyage of the beagle, proposed the theory of natural selection. Had 3 assumptions for Natural selection theory (ie. natural selection is only possible if): a) traits are heritable, NOT acquired (ie. neck length) b) traits are variable (there are many variations of the same trait) (ie. short vs long necks) c) competition for resources exist, making some variations of a trait advantageous to have while making other variations disadvantageous to have (ie. long-neck allow giraffes to reach for food, making it advantageous to have this long neck variation compared to short-neck giraffes) - Francis Galton - cousin of Charles Darwin; introduced normal distribution in statisitcs; advocated the study of eugenics (the breeding of "superhumans"); positive eugenics - encouraging the breeding of desirable human traits negative eugenics - discouraging the breeding of undesirable human traits - Donders - introduced the Donderian method/ mental chronometry (measuring reaction time) to infer mental processes; experimented with the time it took for people to press a 1) button or 2) R or L button in a 1) simple or 2) choice trail after seeing light from a computer appear in 1) the centre or 2) in either R or L of the screen 3. Emergence of Cognitive Psych as former discipline (1879-1950s-present) -Wilhelm Wundt - opened first psych lab; was a structuralist (our overall experience is the accumulation of smaller individual experiences called sensations); introduced "analytical introspection" to psy (asking people detailed description about their experiences) - Hermann Ebbinghaus - studied memory by testing himself on memorizing a bunch of nonsense syllables and seeing how much he still retained after variable periods of delay. Drew the saving curves (curve plotting the duration of delay vs the % of nonsense sy
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