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midterm summery lecture notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michelle Hilscher

1 PSYC85 NOTES LECTURE 1-6 FOR MIDTERM LECTURE 1 1. historiography -defined in a number of ways -studying the historical discipline -whats 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. Psychologys 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 well 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, doesnt 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 1 2 PSYC85 NOTES LECTURE 1-6 FOR MIDTERM -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 thats when the knowledge gets built up again 5. How anomalies lead to revolution Paul Feyerabend: when you have something that cant be explained by mainstream theory -if you are a mainstreamer and an anomaly pops up that you cant 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 Historians 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 youre studying 2. Secondary Sources: Articles, books, journals anything written by someone who studies the history of psychology Are Facts Factual? NOT ALWAYS! - Arent 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 2 3 PSYC85 NOTES LECTURE 1-6 FOR MIDTERM -doesnt 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 dont 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). 3 4 PSYC85 NOTES LECTURE 1-6 FOR MIDTERM LECTURE 2 Three Main Problems in Psychology 1. Mind-Body -consciousness? -do mind/body affect each other Materialism: everything is organic, including the mind, the mind is no different from the body the mind is the brain -everything has a bio/physiological basis Dualism: distinguishes the mind from the body -the body is one physiological thing and the mind is a soul that exists in a non proporial state; its something beyond the body -no part in physiological processes, mind is non organic Duncan McDougall: thought mind is part of the body did experiments weighing people pre and post mortem found that human soul is 3.5oz 2. Epistemology - What is the nature and origin of knowledge? - Is knowledge innate or acquired? - This is the nature-nurture problem. - A priori (innate) or a posteriori (nature)? 3. Meaning, Values and Behaviour - morality - how do we decide what is right or wrong? - do we decide it, or is a moral code something that comes to us automatically? Early Development of Psychology ANCIENT SMALL SCALE SOCIETIES How to explain/deal with psychological phenomena? - Psychological phenomena treated like natural phenomena - Folk logic and routine behaviors used to control incalculable events. 3 Ways to Handle Incalculable Events be they natural or psychological 1. Magical actions - result from fortuitous association between action & natural event. -come out of folk logic - Superstitious behavior - carry out an action because you believe that its going to help you deal with the situation or prevent something negative from happening - Principle of association - Any action that is basically taking advantage of a power that you think is possessed by an object that has been in contact with some large force in life - i.e. wearing a wisp of you grandmas hair in a locket - Principle of similarity - Based around the idea that in nature there are connections between important things 4
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