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PSYA01H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Action Potential, Response Bias, White Matter

Course Code
Steve Joordens
Study Guide

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10-11-07 10:29 PM
September 15, 2010
Chapter 1
The science of Psychology
Philosophical Roots of Psychology
Parents of psychology biology and philosophy
Intelligence loses its validity when it is explained. Like magic when it is explained it’s still
interesting but not as powerful.
People give souls to anything.
When we understand something better, the magical feeling or its soul disappears.
Dualistic Philosophy: Human behavior is distinct of two different behaviors. (Rene
Rene started to believe that we were a machine. A highly complex machine more like a
John Locke
Pushed the boundaries of Descartes, said we were a complex set of chemicals reacting
to do the things we do, not a soul.
If its just physical matter reacting then we can control it scientifically, but if it was soul it
cannot be controlled or researched.
In psychology, you need proof, meaning you need to make a prediction and prove it is
accurate. Investigate to prove you are right. Empiricism
Hard and soft sciences, psychology is considered to be softer, this is because of how to
get a answer, in harder sciences you can get a hard concrete answer where as in
psychology you cannot get that clear cut concrete answer.
Studying memory or the mind can never be clear-cut.
All sciences are sciences if they are predicting and testing their prediction.
Locke also suggested an emphasis on the process of learning, he strongly argued a lot of
who we are and who we become is a direct relation of experiences of life. He said when
we are born we are a blank slate and what happens molds us to who we are.
Tabula Rasa- blank slate
This was not true genetics have an influence.
Nature vs. Nurture
James Mill came up with the concept of materialism humans are material.
Materialism remains the dominant scientific assumption to date.
Biological roots of Psychology
Science used to be a hobby where men would meet together to show what they have
discovered; Luigi Galvani supported the notion that the body is an electric machine. He

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used a frog leg and put a battery to it, which made the leg, move, proved that it was
electricity not a soul making the body move.
He said that you dont need a soul to move you can use electricity.
Electricity makes inanimate animate.
Johannes Muller was the first to do open a body to study it. Discovered the electrical
impulse, studied the nerves and discovered the transmitting of basic messages through
Made connections from the body to wires, and batteries. Discovered the brain had sub
The body as a whole is composed of basic wiring, it is very important where signals
came from, where they began.
To figure something out we can remove it and see what happens and this is how they
tested what the different parts of the brain did. They would remove or otherwise destroy
parts of the animals brain and see what changes occurred.
If the top back part of the head, the animal would behave as if it was blind, if the top
centre was removed it would show motor issues or it couldnt feel certain things.
Discovered that the brain had localized functions.
Paul Broca was the first to extend these factors to a human; he connected the two of
them together.
To test on a human he would give directions but when asked to explain what they did
they could not explain in words.
All patients had the same problem of missing brain tissue in a spot just above the left
ear known as Broca’s area.
Fritsch and Hitzig added further evidence using electrical current. They dropped a small
wire into different spots of the brain, and stimulated and saw what happened to the
brain tissues.
Phrenology- people thought that the brain was like muscle tissue; people thought if you
work it regularly that the brain will get bigger and stronger. Like working out your
muscles. People used to go get their skulls read and see what was strong and what was
weak about them. NOT TRUE
In the mid 1800s Germany was the powerhouse in research and many other areas.
Germany started researching psychology.
Von Helmholtz researched the speed of nerve impulses. To do this he gathered a group
of people, everyone held hands and squeezed the persons hand next to them and as
they felt it they squeezed the next persons hand and this was timed and divided by the
number of people and the length of nerve tissues.

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Ernest Weber was a psycho physicist.
The Birth and Early Years of Psychology
Structuralism vs. Functionalism
Ebbinghaus started studying memory.
September 20, 2010
Ebbinghaus studied memorization and the different factors about it. How long it took to
memorize, how long he could remember, how long it took to relearn the material.
Freud was not a scientist, he was a medical doctor.
He tried to study things that had no answer to them
Freud used completely irrational explanations to explain why things happened.
Symptoms just reflect the prime cause- explains that people attribute things they didnt
want to believe happen to another problem
When it came to sex or aggression these needs cannot be filled right away.
Most of Freuds theories cannot be proved or tested.
He strongly pushed the notion of unconscious influences on behaviour
Freud redefined psychology of clinical psychology
Behaviour is a thing we can see, manipulate or measure.
Memory cannot be seen, cannot be measured or manipulated.
One stimulus predicts another and that changes behaviour.
Gestalt- the whole being more then the sum of its parts.
September 22, 2010
In the 60s people started to study things that were said that they couldnt be studied
Things have changed drastically from the past Paul Brokaw would have to wait until his
patients were dead to look at their brain now he could just give them an MRI
MRI is a 3D picture of your brain, shows structure.
FMRI does the same, but via a bunch of assumptions tells you which part of the brain is
working during certain activities.
The parts that work harder need oxygen, via blood.
Most of what we learn in psychology class is done in group studies- average human.
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