[PSY100H1] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 1120 pages long Study Guide!

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Published on 27 Mar 2017
School
UTSG
Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
UTSG
PSY100H1
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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PSY100
Lecture 1- Introduction
The reasons why people do things is very important; they are important for predicting
their likely success and the outcomes they are likely to run into. This illustrates a bunch of
things. In psychology it is quite clear that nothing is certain, explanations virtually never
break down to single factor explanation. Everything is probabilistic, everything is an
estimate estimate of the truth whether its a finding, result, research etc.. Our reasoning is
most of the time probabilistic. There is always uncertainty, there is always error. The
reasons why people do something matter because it predicts their future outcomes. There
must be a correspondence between the quality of reasoning and future outcomes. If you
help people make their reasons more explicit for themselves, you increase their probability
for future outcomes to be more successful (this way you gain a little control over your
outcomes). We will always be thinking/reasoning probabilistically.
Studying psychology also illustrates the importance of our inner world. Our inner world,
our subjective construction of meaning is important for determining how well we are going
to do things for example how well I am going to do in this course. Psychology tries to get
into consciousness, into the subjective construction of experience. If we have some control
over the subjective construction of our experience, then we have some control over our
outcomes. The more control we have and the stronger that relationship is, the more control
we have over our outcomes. We want to understand how we come to experience what we
experience.
It is often easy to motivate ourselves but hard to put it in action. A professor at Uoft did an
intervention study to help people turn their motivation into reality and to help them
achieve their goals. )t wasnt something super intense, but it was 2-3 hours online
reflection kind of exercise. People were asked to talk about their goals and for couple of
hours they were writing their goals down, and the plans to achieve them. What the study
found was that even a year later people who were part of this exercise had a higher GPA.
Studying psychology helps us understand people. Psychology provides important insights
into people, and is used in counseling, teaching, research, consulting, management, activism
etc.
Psychology is a very broad discipline overlapping with many other areas of study, and
involving many different types of subject material, from attitudes to amygdala, depression
to dementia, babies to brains, and culture to consciousness, and statistics to stereotype.
Psychologists study things at micro-chemical level. Part of learning about psychology is
learning about methods, ethics, and the whole process of research from the other side
that of participants in actual psychology studies.
Sometimes we are bombarded with a lot of information. We begin to think, why we need to
know certain things, for example why do we need to know the definition of psychology or
different aspects of it. Eventually things start to fall in place, and everything starts to make
sense, everything starts to integrate.
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Fundamental Insights of Psychology
These are insights, or lessons that a century + of psychology research has taught us, and
a lot of useful information can be learned from them. You will start to see a framework that
will help shape your understanding of the disconnected bits of information.
1) Reality is a story, told to us by our brains. Much of time we spend believing explicitly
that we live in the real world. Reality looks different from different perspectives- we
usually tend to forget that.
2) Attention- is really important. For example, a monk walks up to Zen master and asks a
question like what is the secret to happiness? the Zen master says attention. The monk
was left confused and asked if Zen master could clarify his reply. Again Zen master replies
with attention attention. From this story, we conclude that attention is very important.
Understanding attention, what our attention does is the secret to happiness. Attention is
the power we have to change our consciousness.
3) Everything is the same-
1) Reality is a story told to us by our brains
It often feels like we live in a real world. In the movie Matrix, the lead actor Neo learns that
we live in a dream world, that there is no reality. Psychologists have come to a similar
conclusion. Theres a gap between reality and my ability to directly know it. We tend to live
inside our eternal subjective representation of reality. When we think we are perceiving
reality, we are actually just perceiving what we have constructed to be reality. Our brains
dont reflect reality into our consciousness. They are not mirrors, they are not reflecting
reality into our consciousness. Our brains are more like artists or storytellers, they take
pieces of information and they weave them into a story. Our experiences do not reflect
reality itself but rather when are experiencing something, what we are experience is our
interpretation of reality (construction or representation of reality). We make
assumptions/decisions really fast. This construction process involves a lot of guesswork-
filling in the gaps. The challenge we are confronted with all the time is that we dont have
access to everything- we have access to limited subset of things. We have to take this
limited subset of reality and from that reality we have to tell ourselves a story without
loopholes, errors, flaws etc. We are making guesses all the time. This subjective
representation occurs within the brain. The brain is important for generating our
experiences and consciousness. We only have access to a limited subset of reality. There
are two key limitations to our sensory-perceptual system: 1) our sensory mechanisms are
limited in their sensitivity. 2) We also have a limited attentional capacity. Eventually we
come to some sort of conclusion. When we sort of have an idea about something, when we
finally understand something, psychologists refer to this as perception. This perception
should drive our behavior. Sometimes reality turns out the way we perceive (or believe it
to be but sometimes its not what we expect for example, Fred thought that the small,
furry looking animal was a dog but instead it was a wolverine). The problem is it is hard to
figure that out ahead of time.
Perception is a process of creative story-telling and inference making. We have to fill in a
lot of gaps. This is highly functional…most of the time, allowing our brains to function
super-efficiently, with a small cost of accuracy. We have evolved in such a way that our
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