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PSYC 312 (4)

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PSYC 312
Andrea Perrino

Ch 4 The New Psychology Psych 312 No Multitasking Allowed:  Wilhelm Wundt  never heard of multitasking  Intrigued by Bessel’s “personal equation”  the errors of measurement among astronomers that had lead to the firing of Kinnebrook.  Wundt concluded that it was impossible for the observer to look at the star or at the grid line at the same time.  His interest led him to modify a pendulum clock o So that it represents both an auditory and visual stimulus o The instrument was called Gedankenmesser ( meaning thought meter”) o He used it to measure the mental process of perceiving two stimuli o He concluded that it was impossible to perceive two things at once  took 1/8 thof a second to register both stimuli sequentially ( casual observer thought it happened simultaneously)  Many research after that proved that it is hard for us to focus on more than one task!  Wundt  measured the mind o He used the experiment as a basis for a new science. The Founding Father of Modern Psychology:  Wundt founder of psychology as a formal academic discipline o Established the first library, edited the first journal, began experimental psychology as a science o Investigated  sensation, perception, attention, feeling , reaction and association  So why Wundt and not Fechner ? o Founding a school of thought is a deliberate and intentional act o Requires personal abilities and characteristics different than those for brilliant scientific contribution o Requires integration of prior knowledge and the publication and promotion of the newly organized material o Selling of the knowledge to the scientific community o Originator is Fechner but founder is Wundt  both essential for formation of a science o Wundt  promote psychology as a separate science Wilhelm Wundt (1832 – 1920): Wundt’s Life:  German  Lonely  Memory of father  unpleasant  2nd grade  education  father’s assistant  young vicar  his family’s background  intellectual  Wundt at first failed at school ( mostly day dreaming) but later became popular and then by age of 19 he developed his intellectual interest and abilities  Decided to become physician  undertook medical training  ddint like it  changed major to physiology  Got his doctorate in 1855  laboratory assistant to Helmholtz  resigned from the duty  Promoted to associate professor in 1864  Contributions to the theory of sensory perception o Described his own original experiments o Described the methods he considered appropriate for new psychology ( term experimental psychology)  Lectures on the minds of men and animals o Talks about reaction time and psychophysics o Was translated to English and had repeated printings for many years after his death  Principle of physiological psychology: o Came out of his physiological psychology course o His master piece o 6 editions o firmly establish psychology as an independent laboratory science with its own problems and methods of experimentations o term physiological = experimental The Leipzig Years:  He became a professor of philosophy at the university of Leipzig  Established a library there  Journal first called philosophical studies but then changed to psychological studies.  His lab and his reputation attracted many students whom went to become a pioneer of psychology and continue their research in different parts of the world and begin their own laboratories. o Labs in United states, Italy, Russia, and Japan.  Popular lecturer  once he had 600 students  Personal life  quiet and carefully regimented  Lived a comfortable life. Cultural Psychology:  Wundt turned his energy to philosophy  1880 -1891 he wrote on ethics, logic and systematic philosophy  another field he focused on was cultural psychology o creation of social psychology o dealt w various stages of human mental development such as language , art ,myths, social customs, laws and morals o the implication of its publication more important that the content o Wundt  divided psychology into two major parts   1)experimental psychology  sensation and perception can be studied through laboratory methods  2) Social psychology  higher mental processes such as learning and memory cant be studies through labs because they are conditioned by language and other aspects of our culture  can only approach using sociology, anthropology and social psychology methods (non experimental)  would later one be disapproved o spent a lot of time on cultural psych and really enjoyed it but it didn’t have much impact on American Psychology.  Because the time when Wundt made these publications was also the time that Americans felt confident in their methods and were not interested In the European development  He wrote 54,000 pages! The Study of Conscious Experiences:  His method was experimental ( same way that physical scientist study their subject matter)  His subject matter was consciousness o consciousness included many different parts and had to be investigated by reduction or method of analysis  influence of empiricist and associationists  but he didn’t agree that they the elements were static ( so called atoms)  he believe that consciousness was active in organizing its own content. Voluntarism:  The idea that the mind has the capacity to organize mental contents into higher level thought processes  Came from the word Volition ( act or power of willing)  Not the elements themselves but the PROCESS of organizing or synthesizing those elements ( the difference between empiricists and associationists with Wundt) o Wundt did recognize that the elements of consciousness were simple Mediate and immediate experience:  Mediate experience provides information about something other than the elements of the experience o We use experience to acquire knowledge about the world o Ex : the rose is red  Immediate experience is unbiased by interpretation o Not the object itself but the experience o ex: describing our feeling of discomfort from a toothache o this forms the state of consciousness that the mind actively organized  Wundt wanted to analyze the mind into its elements and make a periodic table of the mind The Method of Introspection:  The method of a scientific psychology must involved observation of conscious experience.  Introspection: o Examination of one’s own mind to inspect and report on personal thoughts and feelings  Socrates had also been in favor of this method.  Wundt’s innovation was the application of precise experimental control over the condition under which introspection was performed.  Rules: o Observer must be able to determine when the process is to be introduced o Observer must be in a state of readiness or strained attention o It must be possible to reappear the observation several times o It must be possible to vary the experimental conditions in terms of the controlled manipulation of the stimuli  Important to be able to replicate it because we want to make sure it is accurate. o Wundt made sure his observers were carefully and rigorously trained!  Complete 10,000 introspections before they were deemed ready.  They could then make observations mechanically and quickly attend to the conscious experience being observed ( didn’t need time to think)  Thus minimal interval between observing and reporting  Rarely accepted the qualitative introspection ( to talk about your feelings). He wanted conscious judgment about the size, intensity and the duration of various stimuli ( quantitative judgments) Elements of Conscious Experience:  His goals : o Analyze conscious processes into their basic elements o Discover how these elements are synthesized or organized o Determine the laws of connection governing the organization of the elements Sensations:  One of the two elementary forms of experiences  Aroused whenever a sense organ is stimulated and the impulses reach the brain  Classified by intensity, duration and sense modality  No differences between sensations and images o Because they both excited the cerebral cortex Feelings:  The other elementary form of experience  Sensation and feelings work together  Feelings are subjective complement of sensation but don’t arise directly from a sense organ.  Sensation  accompanied by certain feeling qualities o When sensations are combine to form a more complex state  feeling quality will result.  Tridimensional Theory of Feelings: o Wundt’s explanation for feeling states based on three dimensions: pleasure/ displeasure, tension/relaxation and excitement/depression o Ex : the metronome  some rhythmic patterns are more pleasant or agreeable than other o Feeling could be located on a continuum ranging from highly agreeable to highly disagreeable o Realized that tension also plays a role and so does the excitement when there is an increase and the depression when there is a decrease in the rate of clicks. o That is how he came up with this theory. o Every elementary feeling could be effectively described by determining its location within this three dimensional space ( its position on each dimension) Organizing the Elements of Conscious Experience:  He realized that we see things as a whole rather than individual sensations  Apperception: o The process by which mental elemental elements are organized o Also known as the law of psychic resultants o Active
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