PSYC85H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: New Essays On Human Understanding, Tabula Rasa, Stoicism

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Published on 25 Jun 2012
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC85H3
PSYC85 NOTES LECTURE 1-6 FOR MIDTERM
1
1
LECTURE 1
1. historiography
-defined in a number of ways
-studying the historical discipline
-what’s going on within the historical institution
-study how historians are studying their topic over time
-studying the actions of historians
-focus on individuals in history, compared to focusing on broader social
conditions
-narrow to broad
compare and contrast the person focus (E.G Boring) with a different
focus Zeitgeist: the spirit of the age; spirit of the times social context
and how it changes thing within a discipline because if that
2. Psychology’s history is
Progressive: implies that change is progress
-constant growth in knowledge over time
-the line does not plateau
-we will always learn more
OR
-assume that we are becoming more and more specialised in how we can
amass information
-unlike we’ll never know it all, we will eventually know it all
VS
Cyclical: denies that progress is implied by change
-idea is that something can be true NOW, but things can change in the future
and then they are FALSE
-over time the knowledge about a topic is accurate so far as we know, but in
the future things could change
3. The New history of psychology
- Scientists can be subjective.
-scientists are not always objective-not impervious to being biased
people
- Scientific activity is not always progressive.
-science, the act of doing it, doesn’t always tell us better things
- Society plays a role in shaping science.
-need to fit with what the government cares about at that time- social
institutions of power
4. How change happens is Psychology
Kuhn: theory of paradigm shift
-there is a building of knowledge under a paradigm knowledge becomes more and
more precise, there is more knowledge acquired (mainstream)
-until the point when the anomaly pops up
-then the knowledge and theory of the mainstream group has a plummet in value,
and radical scientists have the answer
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PSYC85 NOTES LECTURE 1-6 FOR MIDTERM
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-you have a period of shift trying to figure out what's going on and how do you
shift the paradigm once the shift occurs, the radical methodology takes over and
becomes a new paradigm, then that’s when the knowledge gets built up again
5. How anomalies lead to revolution
Paul Feyerabend: when you have something that can’t be explained by
mainstream theory
-if you are a mainstreamer and an anomaly pops up that you can’t explain, if
radicals just happen to study that topic, chances are the radicals may be able to
offer an answer
-suggests that this may be the case because radicals have a different place that
they are getting insights from (different types of research)
6. Psychology is a dialectical process
dialectical: takes internal factors and external factors and says that they are
both important and both shape psychology research
Endogenic/Internal: training, methods used in labs, skills that they have in
designing/analyzing data, activities that are part of scientific method
-activities of the psychologist
Exogenic/External factors: zeitgeist, social conditions
What is A Historian’s Job
Gather facts story to connect facts look for other facts (primary sources
from eras they re interested in and find information to prove/reject their
hypothesis)
Sources of Facts
1. Primary Sources: objects, documents from time periods you’re studying
2. Secondary Sources: Articles, books, journals anything written by someone
who studies the history of psychology
Are Facts Factual? NOT ALWAYS!
- Aren’t recorded: things that happen leave no trace
- Get Discarded: things that happen, the traces get lost; active destruction
of documents to lose paper trail
- Misinterpreted: historians perspective or interpretation of an event is
coloured by the belief system and ways of thinking that are predominant
in the society they live in at the moment
- Lost in Translation/Misremembered: actively changed
facts/misremembered/leaving out detail omission
Are Historians Unbiased? NOT ALWAYS
Presentism: interpretation of past takes place from present position
-hand in hand with progressive view
- now is better, Whig History
Historicism: people adapt to circumstances they are in; social conditions change
over time
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PSYC85 NOTES LECTURE 1-6 FOR MIDTERM
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-doesn’t assume we are better off now
- contextualist history
Internal Histories of Psychology - presentist
- “house histories”
- hand in hand with presentist
- timeline of who did what when and where; how theories change and how
methods change and only looks at psych factors
Problems: psychologists are telling the stories winners tend to write it down
External histories of Psychology contextualist
- aim to account for the development of psychological science in terms of
social, economic, political and cultural conditions.
- usually told by the ‘outsiders’… historians
- answers the question “Why?”
- hand in hand with contextualist history
Problems: not told by psychologists, so don’t know the “rules of psych”
History of Psych: Not very popular… “A neglected area”
1. Only two major journals for HPS; few HPS articles in non-history journals.
2. One small, marginal APA division (26)
3. York University is one of only about two or three places in all of North America
where you can get a PhD in the History of Psychology.
4. Few psychologists are making a living teaching/studying the History of
Psychology.
5. Absence of psychologists among members of the History of Science Society.
Why was history seen as a waste of time?
1. Assumption that all major discoveries have been made and we need only fill in the
details.
2. Feeling that the study of history is associated with philosophy and metaphysics.
We now stress method and the objective exploration of a phenomenon: isolating
factors and observing them from our detached base.
3. Tendency to stress technique and impatience with searches for the foundations of
techniques. Methodolatry the unreflective and uncritical worship of method.
4. We have a frontier history all about action and the applied, less interest in the
theoretical.
Why We SHOULD Study?
1. Un- or under-represented individuals get recognized.
- e.g., Kenneth B. Clark, Magda Arnold
2. Avoid jumping on the bandwagon.
3. Psychology is a human science.
- Human nature is NOT unchanging (Danziger, 2006).
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Document Summary

Study how historians are studying their topic over time. Focus on individuals in history, compared to focusing on broader social conditions. Assume that we are becoming more and more specialised in how we can amass information. Unlike we"ll never know it all, we will eventually know it all. Cyclical: denies that progress is implied by change. Idea is that something can be true now, but things can change in the future and then they are false. Over time the knowledge about a topic is accurate so far as we know, but in the future things could change: the new history of psychology. Scientists are not always objective-not impervious to being biased people. Society plays a role in shaping science. Science, the act of doing it, doesn"t always tell us better things. Need to fit with what the government cares about at that time- social institutions of power: how change happens is psychology.

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