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PSYA01H3 (205)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Chapter 1 Rene Decartes – body could be thought of as a highly complex machine – humans possess a soul and free will: dualism John Locke – advocated practice of empiricism (pursuit of truth through observation and experience) – even the mind could be thought of as a machine James Mill – materialism – humans are no different from animals Luigi Gulvani – “electric” machine Johannes Muller – systematically study human anatomy – wrote “Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies” - basic messages sent along all nerves was the same: an electrical impulse – led to implication of specialized brain regions Pierre Flourens – ablation studies Paul Broca – first to apply this logic to humans – claimed to find the speech centre of the brain Fritsch & Hitzig – using electrical stimulation mapped out the surface of the brain Helmholtz – speed of nerve impulses Weber – ability to discriminate between weights/lights (psychophysics) Wilhelm Wundt – first psychologist, first psychology textbook “principles of physiological psychology” – believed via introspection, we could understand ideas and sensations – structuralism psychology – approach died out because of reporting in low level sensations, unaffected by experience Functionalism – psychologists began to focus on process of conscious activity rather than on its structure – thinking performed as a function Differences from Structuralism 1) Focus on mental operations, not mental structures 2) Processes studied as part of biological activity of the organism 3) Studies the relations between the environment and its responses to it Ebbinghaus – study memory and forgetting – used nonsense syllabus Sigmund Freud – psychodynamic theory of personality – observation of patients not on experiments – pushed notion of unconscious influences on behavior Law of Effect – Throndike Classical Conditioning – Pavlov Establishment as a school – Watson Gestalt psychology – “whole” of a percept is more than a sum of its parts Chapter 2: Naturalistic observations, correlation studies, active manipulation Operational definitions of the same concept provide similar results - called converging evidence Counterbalancing techniques to avoid confounds Descriptive Statistics: frequency tables and histograms, measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode), measures of variability (mean absolute deviation, variance) Inferential statistics: include things such as t tests, z tests, analysis of variance and correlations so that we can make inferences about how some variable affect the behavior of our population interest Chapter 3: Darwin proposed idea of biological evolution, became interested in artificial selection, a procedure by which certain animals are mated to produce offsprings with desirable characteristics – “Origin of the Species” Ultimate causes – events and conditions which, over generations, have shaped the behavior of our species Proximate causes – immediate environmental variables that effect behavior Premise of evolution 1) The plant and animal communities of the world are dynamic and constantly changing the physical and behavioral characteristics 2) Evolution is gradual. Changes arise through slow and steady environmental changes. Sudden changes challenge a species’ ability to adapt 3) All organisms descended from a single common ancestor. Over time, different species evolved, each adapted to their own ecological surroundings 4) Natural selection not only causes changes during static environments, it also prevents changes during static environmental conditions. Two processes affect changes to a species 1) Variation – individuals vary in terms of their physical and behavioral characteristics. This variation is often discussed in terms of differences in genotypes and phenotypes 2) Competition – competition for food and mates is critical for insuring natural selection. If there were no variation, fitness would not matter Bipedialism – freeing up the hands for all sorts of mischief Encephalization of the brain – larger brain allowed more brain area to be expended on cognitive operations like thinking, reasoning, and decision making, planning, predict future events and language Need for two individuals to jointly create one greatly increases the genetic diversity of the organism, make it more able to evolve if evolution is necessary Altruism – Hamilton argued that evolution is not really focused on the reproductive success of the “individual” but rather focuses on the reproductive success of the “gene” Inclusive fitness –preserving the same genes in related individuals Reciprocal altruism – directed towards strangers – Trivers claims an individual considering performing an altruistic act towards a stranger will do so if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. If the benefits do outweigh the costs, then the individual can increase their reproductive success Menings – brain and spinal cord are sep
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