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-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
-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
-assume that we are becoming more and more specialised in how we can
-unlike well 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
3. The New history of psychology
- Scientists can be subjective.
-scientists are not always objective-not impervious to being biased
- 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
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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 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
-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
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
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-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
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
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
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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Three Main Problems in Psychology
-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
- 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
- how do we decide what is right or wrong?
- do we decide it, or is a moral code something that comes to us
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