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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Psychology Notes.docx

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Trent University
PSYC 1020H
Wolfgang Lehmann

Chapter 1 Psychology Notes October-23-13 4:25 PM What is Psychology  Empirical evidence; gathered from careful observation, experimentation and measurement  Psychology; discipline concerned with behaviour and mental processes and how they are affect by an organisms physical state, mental state, and external environment  Pseudoscience; ideas put forth as science that are not o Promises easy solutions to lifes challenges and problems o Many popular ideas about human behaviour actually wrong  Psychobabble; psychological and scientific sounding language used in pseudoscience "I'm depressed" "She must have ADD" etc  Psychobabble continues because of need for sense of control and predictability  Critical thinking; ability willingness to asses claims and make objective judgements on supported evidence rather than emotion or anecdote o Includes ability to think creatively and constructively, alternate explanations implications, knew knowledge o Fundamental to science How to Think Critically;  Ask questions and wonder o Questions lead to identification of problems and challenges o See questions as a challenge  Define your terms o Example; what makes people happy? - what do you define as happy? (define depression, language) o Definition means all the difference  Examine the evidence o Accepting a conclusion without evidence is not critical thinking o Don’t pressure people to agree o Share evidence openly o Ask - is it reliable?  Analyze assumptions and biases o Assumptions - beliefs taken for granted o Biases remain hidden until someone challenges it o Examine the evidence, look at validity, willing to analyze o Bias; when assumptions or beliefs keep us from considering evidence fairly  Avoid emotional reasoning o Passionate commitment to a view motivates people to think boldly, defend ideas with evidence and create new theories and back them up o Get defensice when cherished beliefes are threatnened o Think about why you are disagreeing, unpersuasive or feelign?  Don’t over simplify o Look beyond obvious o Sense of control has benefits but sometimes best to go with the flow o Argument by anecdote - generalzing to everyone from a past personal experience o Get more evidence than 1 or 2 stories  Consider other interpreations o Creativly gernerate as many reasonable explanations of the topic as possible o Then choose one that has the most/best evidence  Tolerate uncertainty o Willing to accept a state of uncertainty Psychology's Past  Wanted to describe, predict understand and modify behaviour  Hippocrates; brain is ultimate source of feeling  Stoic philosophers - emotional from explanations of events  John Locke - mind works by associating ideas from experience  Joseph Gall; different brain areas had different personal traits and could be read from bumps on skull o Phrenology  1879; first psychological lab in Germany by Wundt o Student Baldwin, helped modern psychology in Canada Structuralism
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