PSY230H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Fusiform Face Area, Autonomous Agent, Nomothetic

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11 May 2016
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Elizabeth Ho
LECTURE 1
PSY230
Human diversity: the variation in an infinite number of attributes
Problems with Studying Human Universality
Many areas of psych give impression that humans are more alike than they are bc
studies are usually conducted on the same kind of people (W.E.I.R.D)
Western, Educated, Individualistic, Rich, Democratic
o Information not applicable to ppl who don't live in these kind of societies
Misleading impression that all ppls w/in a culture are the same
GOAL OF PERSONALITY PSYCH: classify and examine the causes and consequences of individual
difference
Can dvp theories that apply to subgroups of inds who share a common feature
Personality Psych vs Other Disciplines
Personality vs Social
Science of social influences on psych processes (group processes, social influence, etc)
Are interested in similar topics (Ex// emotions, motivation and social behaviour)
Social implies results of experiments can be applied to all human beings
Focus on situational factors ignores fact that people respond differently to same sit'n
o Ex// Germans in Nazi Germany (many followed orders but some risked their lives
to fight Nazi regime)
Neuropsychology vs Personality
Neuropsych links brain areas and psychological processes (brain and mind)
Imp to recog universal mechs underlying behaviour, but must realize human brains
differ from each other as well
o Ex// "fusiform face area"-- helps ppl recog human faces. But some ppl are
horrible at it even when area of brain is functioning fine
Developmental vs Personality
Science of changes in psych processes over a life span
Share an appreciation of human diversity
Developmental focuses on diversity at different stages in life
o Implies a universal process of dvmt that is the same across all inds
In western theories, end stage is to become an autonomous agent who strives for self-
actualization
o Problem w/ this is bc different cultures have different adult ideals
Cognitive vs Personality
Cognitive focuses on understanding how humans process information
Personality interested in variations of these processes across inds
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