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Lecture 3

PSYC 3125 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Noumenon, Wilhelm Wundt, Immanuel Kant

Course Code
PSYC 3125
Alexandra Rutherford

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Lecture 3
January 18th 2016
Subject Matter, Methods, and the Making of a New Science (Mid-Late 1800’s)
-New methods were being applied to study consciousness
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
-German philosopher
-Proposed a distinction between 2 domains of reality:
oPhenomenal World: Is the representation of the noumenal world. Our mind
organizes our experiences in time and space. The mind transforms the world
from the noumenal world to the phenomenal world
oNoumenal World: It consists of the world as it exists independent of our
experience of it. It is unmediated by us. It can never be known directly because
we can only perceive and experience it
-The mind transforms reality to terms in which we can perceive it
-The mind is an active part of ourselves
- Why he said psychology cannot be scientifically studied:
oMental phenomena have no physical existence
oThe processes of the mind are not open to observation
oThe mind cannot be experimentally manipulated
oThe mind cannot be understood mathematically
oSaid: “We cannot possibly objectively look at what is allowing us to “look” in the
first place” (you cant study the mind by using the mind!)
Gustav Fechner (1801-1997)
-Wanted to explain psychological phenomena mathematically
-He wanted to measure stimulus intensities mathematically (Ex: How bright is this room?)
-Worked on Psychophysics
-Weber’s just-noticeable-difference
-Weber measured peoples ability to discriminate different weights. He found there was a
constant ratio that people could just notice a different in weights
-S=K Log P (S stimulus intensity, P physical intensity)
-Fechner shown showed that mental phenomena can be measured mathematically
-Thought that mental phenomena can be studied scientifically and mathematically
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
-Thought that higher order thinking couldn’t be captured
-He developed “experimental introspection”: (they wanted to study memory, reaction
time, and wanted to study them systematically) He took an instrument that would present
a stimulus in standardized ways so subjectivity was taken out. Then the person would
introspect. The experimenters were often the subjects (they were interested in the
normal adult brain). They would ask the participant to give a report of the stimulus. Ex:
present 2 stimuli and the participant responds with a reaction time (pressing a button)
-He studied memory, attention, reaction time etc
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