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psyc 85 notes midterm-2.pdf

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Michelle Hilscher

PSYC85History of Psychology Chapter notesCHAPTER 1PSYCHOLOGY AND HISTORYDifferent areas of psychology are constantly being reframed in ways that allow us to see their past anewHistoriography is the study of the history of historyHistoriographers explore the ways historians have written historyby looking at their approaches to documenting history we see that there are many ways of looking at the history of psychologyEdwin G Boring wrote the most influential modern history of psychologythHis history was concerned with the growth of the scientific experimental side of psych 19 century onStated that it is impossible to understand such developments without placing them in historical contextOutlined two approaches to psychologyOneemphasizing the role of the creative individual in moving history alongTwoexamining the prevailing ideologies andor the socioeconomic situation of the period as they influenced the ways in which ideas were shapedThe cultural context in relation to a persons workcontribution is called the Zeitgeist Spirit of the timesPerson or ZeitgeistWhether an important idea is the result of one persons originality or the inevitable outcome of forces acting within the culture at that time is a question of debateEXwas the theory of evolution a product of Darwins genius or would someone else have thcome up with it given the ideas going around during the 19 century in EuropeFrank Manuel came up with another construct that represents historical processes called the progressive versus the cyclicalhistory seen either as a movement toward a fixed end or to an indefinite end that is continuously being progressedUsed Ixion and Jacob as examples of each sideIxionfigure from Greek mythology who was condemned to rotate forever on a wheel of fireJacobfigure from the Bible dreamed that there was a ladder set up on earth the top reaching heavenIs history like Ixion on a constantly perpetuating wheel or Jacob constantly reaching upPsychology is not constantly improving itselfoften times it is cyclicalDaniel BerlyneThere is continuous oscillation among the possible alternatives but there has to be some passage of time before what was once grotesquely frumpish can reappear as the refreshingly unconventionalIt is possible that psychology is both progressive and cyclicalideas that are rediscovered may be seen in a new lightConsider an upward spiralLaurel Furomoto determined that the new history of psychology emphasizes the notion that scientists often operate in a subjective fashion under the influence of a variety of extrascientific factors outlines a model that depicts scientific change as a shift from one world view to anotherShe drew attention to philosophers and historians of science whose work was responsible for a thoroughgoing reconsideration of the nature of these disciplines The New History of ScienceArguably the process of scientific inquiry contains a subjective aspectThomas Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutionsdetermined that scientific disciplines seem to develop discontinuously during long periods almost all workers in a discipline had the same beliefsmindsetParadigms are the set of fundamental beliefs that guide workers in a scientific disciplineWhen a new paradigm th is replacing an old one it is called a revolutionary period EXDarwins emerging theory of evolution 19CKuhn argued that paradigms shape the scientists view of the worldParadigm clashes occur when there are different opposing ways of interpreting the given datathis problem may be inevitableBunny or duck imageConsider different theoretical viewpoints in psychology 12no theory extends across the entire range of data different theories compete to explain various aspects of the dataFeminism and the Psychology of WomenNaomi Weissteinan important figure in the feminism as she identified disto rtions and biases in psychology herexperiences of sexism motivated her to become a founding member of the Chicago Womens Liberation MovementBernstein and Russo drew attention to the way women have been neglected by previous historiansmade changes so that we could study both the psychology of women and the women of psychologyIt had been acknowledged that feminism had operated in accordance with two different traditionsOne emphasized the similarities between the genders discounting differencesOne emphasized the positive human characteristics that were dismissed for their association with womenEvelyn Fox Kellera strong figure in the progression of feminismBelieved that traditional accounts of science ignore the aspects of intuition empathy and personal engagement traditionally viewed as feminineArgued that we need to become more aware of the sciencegender system by which our conception of gender and our conception of science mutually determine one anotherFeminist analysis of science shows that science is both a personal and social processPsychology as a Social Construction From the paradigm concept and feminism we can see that psychology is a driven by a social process not just an accumulation of knowledgeSocial constructionismthe view that psychological theories are at least partly determined by the social context in which they are constructedDialectical processthe process by which opposing tendencies shape one anotherTo social constructionists the opposing tendencies of interest areExogeniccoming from outsideexternal factors playing a role in overall human experienceEXBritish empiricism is the classic example of this perspectiveEndogeniccoming from insidebelief that humans have inherent tendencies thinking categorizing processing information that are of the most importance when accumulating knowledgeBoth viewpoints acknowledge the limitations to their theories and agree that overall psychological concepts are to be understood as the outcome of social processesSee Box 12 pg 11Some do not like the idea of psychology as a social construction because that means that it is not objectiveKurt DanzingerThe norms which regulate psychological research practice are of course social norms and as such are the product of specific historical conditionsReconciling the Old and New Histories of PsychologyEach have their own strengths and weaknesses Old history has the tendency to evaluate the past in terms of relevance to the present this is called presentismThis is a drawback because psychologists may not have understood earlier work in its own termsContrasting presentism there is historicismthe understanding of the past for its own sake StockingA balanced approach between these two would result in an understanding of the past in its own terms as well as make use of relevant contemporary knowledge to further our understanding of the pastCHAPTER 2TOUCHSTONES THE ORIGINS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL THOUGHTThis chapter examines the origins of psychological thoughtThe Greeks speculation about the nature of mathematicsability to represent reality has been important to Western scienceAlso mindbody relation experiencereality nature of memoryTouchstonesTouchstones originally referred to a stone that tested the quality of goldsilver based on a mark left upon them From this the word came to mean any criterion by which the value of something is measuredThe work of famous thinkers in the past are now touchstones for evaluating the theories that have followed themPythagoras 570495 BCEThought to have miraculous powers thought to be an incarnation of Apollo the Greek god of otherworldly wisdomThe myth of Pythagoras has greatly influenced the Western mindset on the worldHe founded a semisecret society in Italy of which the members were able to attune themselves to the harmony that ordered the universeharmony is similar to the notion that the structure of math is the structure of realityThe phenomena of our experience are united mathematicallyDetermined the relation between pitch and weight hammer pianopitch and length of stringsPythagoreans are concerned with the concept of unity implying wholeness and oneness the opposite of which is chaosWe can determine positive experiences by their counterpartslightdark goodevil etcPythagorean Cosmologymany similarities in ancient world views from Pythagorean cosmology to yinyang philosophy of Chinese Taoism seeing the universe as a unity that becomes differentiated into pairs of opposites which are then reunitedharmonized to generate the various forms of life that we witness ConsiderThe nature of opposites
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