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Final

PSYB01 Final Lecture Notes Ch.1-6.docx.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB01H3
Professor
David Nussbaum
Semester
Fall

Description
Lec1 Why Psychology is Not a Natural Science But How it Could Be Implications for Forensic Psychology Four Requirements of a Science 1 Candidate science studies phenomena reflecting natural order in the universeNatural Law requirement 2 Candidate science has reductionistic language for defining and ultimately explaining phenomena Reductionistic Language Used for Definition 3 Candidate science meshes linguistically with those levels of science immediately above and belowInterScience Consistency requirement 4 Candidate science uses sound empirical methodology to validateinvalidate its theories thereby refining knowledgeEmpirical Test requirementCandidate Science studies phenomena reflecting natural order in the universe Illustration Thought Experiment HypothesisParticulararea is typical of US demographics wrt distribution of automobile types and years MethodFour separate teams film intersection between 2 and 3 pm on a Tuesday afternoon operated by central onoff switch to measure the exact distribution of cars passing through and compile lists ResultsInterrater reliability r100 QuestionIs this a scientific study Answer NoThere is no expectation of replicability because if a sick child has a Drs appointment this week and traverses the intersection in his mothers yellow Saturn this Tuesday there is no law of nature dictating that the owner of a yellow Saturn drive through that intersection between 2 and 3 Candidate science has reductionistic language for defining and ultimately explaining phenomena IllustrationNewtons Second Law of MotionFMxA Mass is a fundamental and measurable element fo the Newtonian worldAcceleration is defined asSpeed TimeSpeed is defined asDistance TimeDistance and Time are also fundamental and measurable elements of the Newtonian worldImplicationsHigher order constructs are defined in terms of precise relationships between lower order constructsWorkForce x DistancePowerWorkTime Candidate science meshes linguistically with those levels of science immediately above and belowIllustration Biology ChemistryPhysics Candidate science uses sound empirical methodology to validateinvalidate its theories thereby refining knowledgeEmpirical research literatures from allsciences Does Psychology Satisfy These Criteria for a ScienceMany areas of psychology empirically study behaviours that result from human convention without recourse to examining the underlying information processingI argue that despite the empirical rigor these studies are descriptive but the descriptions are not amenable to evaluating at more fundamental levels and consequently do not meet criteria for science Fundamental Problem with Psychologys Current Status as a ScienceWatson in his overfocus on empirical validation Requirement 4 neglected at least the second and third requirements of a reductionistic language to define constructs that is necessary to determine whether there is or is not consistency between adjacent levels of studyWatsons other principle error was his regarding the brain as an unknowable Black Box resulting in his seeking to seek stimulusresponse laws thereby defining behavior in the upward direction rather than inthe downward reductionistic fashion common across sciencesThis has had a number of unfortunate consequencesUnfortunate Consequences of Behavior Defined as Externally Observed Actions of the Organism I1 Linguistically severed Psychology fromNeurobiology its natural conduit into science2 Instead introduces Circularity problem3 Illustration 1 Schizophrenia 4 Illustration 2 Piaget explanation forinability of 6 year old to perform abstractreasoning problemConfuses abstract description with Explanation5 Has rendered reductionism as an evil to be avoided as opposed to a necessary tool inunderstanding6 Obscured the distinction between reductionistic explanation and thepredictionprocess that requires taking into account interacting phenomena at succeedingly higher levels8 Has turned psychology into a patchwork of unrelated descriptive domains each with its provincial terms narrowly applicable only to immediate phenomena under study9 Reductionism is misunderstood and has become a straw man10 Watsons definition necessitated the Unification movement as illustrated by Arthur Staats 1991 and others Proposed Solution A ReDefinition of BehaviorBehavior is better defined as Expressed InformationInformation is represented stored and processed in and between neurons and perhaps other CNS cellsNeuronal networks are segregated anatomically and physiologically affording specialized and optimal processing of distinct types of informationWhat does Expressed Information signify The CNS stores a very large array of information in its various networks and cellsIf activated at once behavior would be grossly chaoticMajor organizer of behavior is inhibition of irrelevant informationBehavior is the activity resulting from the disinhibited subset of the total information stored in the CNSExpressed Information
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