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[PSYC85H3] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (128 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC85H3
Professor
Gerald Cupchik
Study Guide
Midterm

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UTSC
PSYC85H3
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Cha p te r 1: Ps yc h o lo g y a n d His to ry
In tro d u c tion
The re a s on a te xt like this re quire s re vis ion is that his tory is a re s ea rch dis cipline like a ny other
J us t a s othe r a rea s of ps ychology a re ra pidly cha nging fields tha t require new te xts re gularly, s o the
re s ults of his torica l re s e a rch ma y re quire not only s ubtle but e ve n profound cha nge s in the wa y we vie w
the history of ps ychology
Not only a re ne w fa cts dis covere d tha t cha nge our unde rs ta nding of ps ychology, but the differe nt a re a s
of ps ychology a re consta ntly be ing re framed in wa ys tha t a llows to to s ee their pa s t a ne w
Stud yin g th e His to ry o f P s yc h o lo g y
His to riog ra ph y: the s tudy of the va rie ty of wa ys in which his toria ns ha ve written his tory
Studying the his tory of his tory
The most influentia l mode rn his tory of ps ychology wa s written by Edwa rd G. Borin g (1886-1968)
In the view of some historians, Boring’s (1929, 1950b) history “continues to dominate the
historiography of psychology (with some revisions)”
Boring’s history concerned itself primarily with the growth of the s cie ntific, e xperimental s ide of
ps ychology s ince the nine te e nth ce ntury
However, he note d tha t it wa s impos s ible to unde rs ta nd these deve lopme nts without pla cing the m
in their own his torica l conte xt
He the re fore found it ne ce s s a ry to be gin his history before the ninete enth ce ntury
Person or Ze itge is t?
Boring re cognize d two approaches to his tory
One a pproach empha s ize d the role of the creative individua l in moving his tory a long
On this a ccount, the history of ps ychology is primarily the s torie s of those outsta nding pe ople
who ha ve contribute d to it a nd cha nged it by doing s o
However, it is impossible to neglect the role that “prevailing ideologies and/or the
socioeconomic situation of the period” play in shaping ideas
In a ddition to the contribution an original thinker makes, it is necessary to understand each person’s
work in re lation to the cultura l conte xt within which it ta ke s place
This cultural context is ca lle d the Zeitge is t, or “spirit of the times”, a concept that Boring
attribute d to the gre a t Ge rman poet, philos opher, a nd natura lis t, J oha nn Wolfga ng von Goe the
(1749-1832)
Whether an important idea is the result of one person’s originality or the inevitable outcome of forces
acting within the culture a t that time can be quite controvers ial
For example, was the theory of evolution the product of Darwin’s genius, or would someone else
have produce d it anywa y, give n the wa y ide a s we re de ve lope d in ninete e nth-ce ntury Europe ?
Ixion’s Wheel or Jacob’s Ladder?
In addition to Boring’s person-Zeitgeist dis tinction, the re a re other constructs that have be en use d to
re pres e nt his torica l proce s s e s
Frank Manuel’s progressive vers us the cyclical: “on the one hand the historical world seen as
movement e ithe r to a fixed end, or to a n inde finite e nd tha t de fines itse lf in the cours e of the
progre s s ion, history a s nove lty cre a ting a nd a lwa ys va ria nt; on the othe r ha nd circula rity, e te rnal
recurrence, return to the beginning of things, sheer reiteration or similar recapitulation”
Ma nue l s uggeste d the Ixion a nd J acob be take n a s pe rs onifications of this pola rity
Ixion wa s a figure in a ncient Gre ek mythology who wa s conde mne d to rota te fore ve r on a
whee l of fire
In the Bible, Jacob “dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it
re a ched to heaven”
Manuel asked us to consider whether history is “like Ixion in Hades tied to a perpetually revolving
wheel” or like “Jacob dreaming of the ladder that reaches up to the heavens?”
Progres s cannot be take n for granted
Ps ychology ma y not a lwa ys ge t be tte r a nd bette r; s ometime s it is cyclica l
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An idea may go out of fashion for a while, then be forgotten, and finally come back again as a “new”
ide a
Danie l Be rlyne —“There is continuous oscillation among the possible alternatives, but there has to be
s ome pas s a ge of time before wha t was once grote s que ly frumpish can re a ppea r as the re freshingly
unconventional”
A knowle dge of the history of ps ychology s hould put us in the position of being a ble to de te ct thos e
parts of the current ps ychological s cene that a re genuinely novel and thos e parts that a re
re ca pitula tions of previous ideas (Boring 1950b, ix)
It is e ntire ly poss ible tha t ps ychology both progres s e s and is cyclica l
Ideas may keep being “rediscovered,” but at the same time those ideas may be understood in
progre s s ively more s ophis ticate d wa ys
A spiral ma y be a use ful s ymbol of s uch a proces s in which ide as re cur, but a t highe r a nd higher
le ve ls
The Ne w History of P s ychology
Histories such as Boring’s were superseded somewhat by the emergence of what La u rel Fu ro m o to
calle d the n e w h is tory o f p s yc ho lo g y: the vie w tha t the s cie nce of ps ychology ha s bee n influe nce d by
s ubje ctive a s we ll a s obje ctive factors
Whe re as tra ditiona l history portra ye d the s cie ntis t a s a n obje ctive fa ct finde r a nd ne utra l obs e rve r,
the ne w his tory e mphasize d the notion that s cientis ts often ope ra te in a s ubje ctive fa s hion, unde r
the influe nce of a va rie ty of e xtra -s cientific fa ctors . Als o... the new his tory re je cte d the tra ditional
vie w of s cie ntific a ctivity a s a continuous progre s s ion from e rror to truth, a nd opte d ins te a d for a
mode l tha t de picts s cientific change as a s hift from one world view to a notherworld vie ws that a re
linked to theoretical commitments involving esthetic as well as metaphysical considerations”
Th e Ne w His to ry o f S c ien c e
Dis cus s ions of ps ychological re s e a rch methods towa rd the e nd of the 20th ce ntury te nde d to e mphas ize
the comple xity of the re s ea rch proces s more than had be en the ca s e in earlie r dis cus s ions
There wa s a n a cknowledge me nt tha t the fa cts ma y not “speak for themselves” but may need to be
unders tood from within a pa rticula r the ore tical fra me work
For e xa mple, Pe dha zur pointed out tha t it is e ntire ly pos s ible for differe nt theorie s a ll to be
cons iste nt with the same da ta
Being consis te nt with the data is no gua ra nte e of the validity of a theory
In fact, an investigator’s theory may, at least partially, determine how the data will be
interpre te d
Ma ny his toria ns a nd philos ophe rs of s cie nce ha ve a rgue d tha t the proce s s of s cie ntific inquiry conta ins
a s ubje ctive aspect
Among the mos t influe ntia l of the s e s cholars wa s Th o m as Ku h n (1924-1996)
In the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a fte r re vie wing the his torica l deve lopme nt of
es ta blis he d s cie nce s s uch as physics , Kuhn conclude d that the de ve lopme nt of these
dis ciplines ha d not be e n s mooth
It was not tha t the y ha d s imply grown a nd de ve lope d by a ccumula ting da ta that guide d the
developme nt of a n adequate the ory
On the contrary, s cie ntific dis ciplines a ppeare d to de ve lop dis continuous lyduring long
periods a lmost a ll worke rs in a dis cipline ha d the s a me beliefs a bout the methods , data ,
and the ory that we re a ppropria te for their dis cipline
However, at ce rta in critica l juncture s , ra dical uphea vals occurred a nd entire s cie ntific
communitie s changes the ir minds a bout wha t the proper me thods, data , a nd the ory
were in the ir dis cipline
The s e t of funda mental be lie fs tha t guide worke rs in a s cie ntific discipline is ca lle d a pa ra d ig m
Revolutionary periods occur in which a ne w para digm is e merging a nd a n old para digm is being
overthrown
One such revolution was the controversy surrounding the emergence of Darwin’s theory of
evolution
Kuhn argued that paradigms shape the scientist’s view of the world
There ca n be paradigm clashes in which fundame ntally differe nt wa ys of inte rpre ting the da ta e xis t
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