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PSYC 2330 (89)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Introduction.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2330
Stephen Lewis

Chapter 1 Introduction Principles of Learning Learning is one of the biological processes that facilitate adaptation to ones environmento Ie reproduction which is central to the survival of species is significantly improved by learning Learning to withhold responses is just a important as learning to make responseso Ie a child learns to not cross the street when the light is red Historical Antecedents Prior to Descartes most people thought of human behaviour as entirely determined by conscious intent and free willo Not by external stimuli Descartes formulated the idea of Cartesian Dualism a dualistic view of behaviour which classified human behaviour into two categorieso Involuntary Behaviour reflexive consists of automatic reactions to external stimuli and is mediated by a special mechanism called a reflexo Voluntary Behaviour does not have to be triggered by external stimuli and occurs bc of the persons conscious intent to act in that particular manner Descartes assumed that the same nerves transmitted information from the sense organs to the brain and from the brain down to the muscles provided rapid reactionsquick withdrawal of ones finger from a hot stoveo He also believed that animals only had involuntary behaviouro Assumed that free will and voluntary behaviour to be uniquely human attributes The mind bc of the connection to the physical body by the way of the pineal gland could be aware of and keep track of involuntary behaviour o Through this mechanism the mind could also initiate voluntary actions and could occur independently of external stimulation From Descartes mindbody dualism spawned two intellectual traditionso Mentalism concerned with the contents and workings of the mindo Reflexology concerned with the mechanisms of reflexive behaviour Historical Developments in the Study of the Mind Descartes also believed that the mind contained ideas that were innate and existed in all human beings independent of personal experienceo Ie he believed that all humans were born with a concept of God the concept of self and geometry principles Nativism The philosophical approach that assumes we are born with innate ideas about certain thingsJohn Locke believed that all the ideas people had were acquired directly or indirectly through experiences after birth
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