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Lecture 2

PSYC 2030 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Determinism, Saul, Nomothetic


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2030
Professor
Krista A Phillips
Lecture
2

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CHAPTER 2 – Paradigms, Theories and Data
LECTURE 2
Psychology as a Discipline
Lack of Unity in:
-Subject Matter: e.g., perception, development, personality, motivation, social behavior
oDiverse topical areas of investigation
-Methods: e.g. Questionnaires (Self Report Data) – C. Lay, G. Flett
Qualitative – D. Rennie, A. Shaul
Observation – A. Russon
Experimentation – H. Ono, A. Mapp
o“Methodological Pluralism”: multiple methods to investigate same phenomena
-Interpretation***: depends on theoretical orientation
o“Theoretical Ecumenism”: multiple theories to explain same phenomena
oImplications; comparison with natural sciences and clinical medicine
-D. Buss: Sex Differences in Mating Strategies (reproductive potential: males higher than females)
-Influence of Theoretical Orientation on Adjustment Rating (Langer & Abelson, 1974)
oBehaviourists: Job Applicant = 8; Patient = 7.5//Freudian: Job Applicant = 5.2; Patient = 2.5
The Scientific Method
* Empiricism and Empirical Reasoning
* Goals - Description, Explanation, Prediction and Controlguided by Empirical Reasoning
* Assumptions - (a) Determinism, (b) Objectivity, Critical Analysis
* Characteristics - (a) Data-driven, (b) Tentative
-Charles Purse: most reliable way to develop a belief is through scientific method
ASSUMPTIONS OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
EMPIRICAL REASONING: logical refection on systematic observations
vs.
EMPIRICISM: (philosophy) doctrine that knowledge is derived though experience
Empirical Reasoning: reasoning through combination of logic, observation and measurement; learning
through direct observation and logical reflection; not disorganized/guided by faith or un-systematic
-(a) DETERMINISM: assumption that all events have cause (biological vs. psychic vs. environmental
determinism)
oAll Events Pre-destined; behavior in its broadest sense follows certain rules, all behavioural
events have causes (can be predictive within a certain probability
ex/ Freud’s Psychic Determinism: everything we do (overt/covert) is determined by a
preceding mental event even when we are not aware of them (guiding principle in
Freudian Psychology)
ex/ Behavioural Models: Learning Theories (environmental determinants of behavior)
-(b) OBJECTIVITY: without bias, can be verified by more than one observer
oNot influenced by human factors: biases, expectations; can be verified by more than one
observer
CHARACTERISTICS:
-(A) DATA DRIVEN: conclusions are based on evidence, from systematically objective information
-(B) TENTATIVE: scientific theories are tentative model, best abstraction that we have of what the world
is like
oSubject to revision, that comes from data
Evolution of Scientific Disciplines
Natural History - describing, naming/labelling, categorizing
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