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Textbook Notes


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA01H3
Professor
Steve Joordens

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Chapter One: The Science of Psychology
The Growth of Psychology as a Science
Psychology is a young science, started in late 19th century in Germany
Philosophical Roots of Psychology
oAnimism the belief that all animals and all moving objects possess
spirits providing their motive force
Early people believed that anything that seemed to move or grow
had some sort of spirit in them
Latin animare meaning to quicken, enliven, endow with breath
or soul
oRene Descartes
Seventeenth century French philosopher and mathematician
Has been called the father of modern philosophy and of a
biological tradition that led to modern physiological psychology
Assumed that the world was purely mechanical entity that
having once been set in motion by God, ran its course without
divine interference
To him, animals were creatures of the natural world only,
behaviours controlled by natural causes
To him, humans are machines affected by natural causes and
producing natural effects (ex: reflexes)
Reflex an automatic response to a stimulus (such as the blink
reflex to the sudden unexpected approach of an object towards
the eye)
Believed that the mind is what set us humans apart from the
rest of the world because it was not part of the natural world, it
obeyed different laws
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Dualism the philosophical belief that reality consists of mind
and matter
He suggested that a causal link existed between the mind and
its physical housing
Mind controlled movements of body, while the body supplied
mind with information about what was happening in the
environment
Hypothesized that interaction between mind and body took place
in the pineal body, a small organ situated on top of the brain
stem
When mind decides to perform action, it tilted pineal body
in certain direction causing fluid to flow from brain into
proper set of nerves. This flow of fluid caused the
appropriate muscle to move.
Model a relatively simple system that works on known
principles and is able to do at least some of the things that a
more complex system can do
Moving statues were his model about how body works
Muscles become inflated when fluid passed through
nerves that connected them to brain, just like water
flowed through pipes to activate the statues
He was one of the first to use technological device as a model of
the nervous system
Believed that mind had free will
oJohn Locke
English philosopher
Empiricism the philosophical view that all knowledge is
obtained through the senses
Pursuit of truth through observation and experience
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