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PSYCH 3M03 (10)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - September 6, 2013 - PSYCH 3M03
Chapter 1 - September 6, 2013 - PSYCH 3M03

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McMaster University
Aadil Merali Juma

PSYCH 3M03 Chapter 1: History and Science September 6, 2013 Prescientific Ideas – Subjective – Inadequate data – Mythological – Animistic – We now know that the “feelings” we have are physiological – Animism o When sensing an emotion, there are visceral changes (changed in the body); without physiology knowledge, people believed that spirits were moving in their body o Attribution of spirits to activity of people, other animals and agents of nature o Spirit leaves the body at death, may survive or be transformed o Abnormal behaviour = possession by evil spirits o Not scientifically proven – can explain same phenomenon through physiology o Terminology: animated, spirited, dispirited, in good spirit, in bad spirit; spirits = liquor; possessed by evil spirits  Other Misattributions o Heart and Soul  Heart as a locus of motivation and emotion  Reality: heart is activated by Sympathetic Nervous System, pumped by adrenaline, increases heart rate in intense emotion  Terminology: half-hearted, heartache, heavy heart, disheartened, hearty laugh, heartbroken, hard-hearted, in your heart you know he’s right, home is where the heart is, have a heart, your heart is in the right place, kind- hearted, heart-to-heart talk o Stomach and Gut  Autonomic reflexes, Sympathetic Nervous System, digestion is shut down, gut is wrenched during fear  Terminology: butterflies in my stomach, in the pit of my stomach, he’s got guts, gut feeling, gut-wrenching feeling o Skin  Terminology: skin crawls, warm and tingly feeling o Face  Emotion causes stereotyped facial expression and body language – it is communicative; can motivate others  Eg/ babies cry; can see grimaces – motivates mother and caretakers  Eg/ can tell when a friend is sad just by looking at them – motivates comfort  Terminology: written all over your face o Light and Dark  Light does have an effect on our emotions; light bears upon retina, pineal gland stimulated, hormones released into brain  Terminology: bright and cheerful, sunny disposition, dark mood, gloomy mood o Up and Down  Downcast eyes in sadness and depression (humans and other mammals), voice goes down in sadness; confident and cheerful have upright posture, voice goes up in elation,  Terminology: uplifted spirits, high, elevated spirits, low, downhearted, down, down and out  Various Philosophers (don’t need to know) – conflicting views o Thomas Hobbes – human nature is barbaric, inherent, warlike, ignorant o John Locke – tabula rasa; idea that we are all born without instinct and that experience alone shapes who we are o Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Dualism – epitomized in the philosophy of Rene Descartes (1596-1650) o Still widespread today, despite the total absence of scientific support o Dualism: mind + body o Attempt to integrate physiology and spiritualism o Mind and body separate, but interfacing o Soul inhabiting body o “Ghost in the machine”  Authority and Prophesy o Religious and philosophical systems have made many statements about human motivation and emotion o Authority figures are often unquestioned, and their statements are cited as if they were infallible evidence o Eg/ Darwin – little knowledge about genetics and neuroscience; strong empiricist; many things Darwin said was disproven o No impeachable authority – use scientific method
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