PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Phineas Gage, Tabula Rasa, Zeitgeist

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15 Nov 2017
Back in the Day:
300s BCE- Philosophers started to theorize about things like emotion, personality,
thinking, motivation
Plato(Nature) vs. Aristotle
Aristotle- Born a blank slate: what we take in shapes us (Nurture)
Plato- We are born unchangeable (Nature)
1600s Renewed Debate: Innate Vs. Exposer
Descartes vs. Locke
Descartes- experiences = who we are More toward nature
Locke- Blank slate = surrounding influence us More toward nurture
1800s Variety of advances in the biological sciences
Gall- said based on the texture of a person’s scalp one could tell what kind of person an
individual is.
Broca- Certain parts of our mind that help us to figure out language. One part of the
brain responsible for language = maybe other parts of the brain relate to other learnings
Phineas Gage- Had his brain penetrated by a rod in a railroad accident. He lived but his
brain was damaged. He had personality changes: judgmental; his vocabulary changed
(vulgar language)
Scientists begin to think that a certain part of the brain is responsible for actions
and functions of the body/brain
Until the late 1800s, the “zeitgeist” was NOT conductive to supporting the growth of
As those approaches were open to debate, new ways of thinking were born… …and
multiple disciplines were able to contribute (Religion, science, etc.)
Wundt 1879- German Physiologist Psychology as independent science with rigorous
scientific practices (i.e. physics)
First Psyc lab sought to
Chief methodology: Introspection How sensations; images; & feelings are
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