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Chapter 1.2

PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1.2: Behaviorism, Determinism, Patellar Reflex

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Steve Joordens

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Psychology Textbook Notes
Table of Contents
Chapter 1.2 ...................................................................................................................... 1
Chapter 1.2
Philosophical tenet that knowledge comes through experience
Believe what we see
Belief that all events are governed by lawful, cause and effect
Natural laws like gravity
The debate of Free will vs Determinism
Free will --> in control of our own behaviours
Free will vs Determinism Psychologists
Believe that both the concepts are in humans
But as a psychologist you dont have to believe that all the
thoughts, behaviour or experience is determined by natural laws
As a psychologist it is okay to believe that behaviour is
determined by both
o Internal
Genes, brain chemistry
o And, External influences
Free will
Societal expectation
Have the permission to believe human behaviour to be affected
in both the perspectives Nature vs Nurture
Apply both the concepts of Empiricism and Determinism
Psychological science is both EMPERICAL & DETERMINISM
Ways to test/ understand behaviour

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Testing a hypothesis
Also, with the knowledge that behaviour occurs at several
different levels ranging from cells to societies
o Free will vs determinism
Influences from the Ancients: philosophical insights into behavior
Greeks/Hippocrates believed in 4 different humors
Sanguine (Blood)
Impulsive, pleasure seeking and charismatic
Choleric (Yellow Bile)
Ambitious, energetic, and a bit aggressive
Melancholic (Black Bile)
Independent, perfectionist and a bit introverted
Phlegmatic (Phlegm)
Quiet, relaxed and content with life
Refers to a general set of beliefs of a particular culture at
a specific time in history
Had trouble understanding Materialism
Belief that humans and other living beings are
composed exclusively of physical matter
Nothing more than complex machines that lack a
self-concious, self-controlling soul
Opposite views of Dualism
There are properties of humans that are not material
Mind or soul separate from the body
Early influences on psychology came from the natural and physical
Major events in Psychology
Check out notebook notes
Influences from Physics: Experimenting with the Mind
Study of the relationship between the physical world and the mental
representation of that world
Fechner coined the term
The weight experiments
Demonstrated basics of how the physical and mental worlds

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Perceived change in weight on the lighter weight
Extended his findings to other aspects too like brightness,
loudness and other perceptual change
Foundation for modern study of Perception
Influences from Evolutionary Theory: The Adaptive Functions of Behaviour
Darwins Finches
Explains human and animals behaviour
Behaviour is shaped by natural selection just as physical traits are
Behaviour like phenotypes are subject to hereditary influences and
natural selection
Influences from Medicine: Diagnoses and Treatments
Clinical Psychology
Field of psychology of concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment
of psychological disorders
Research topic : Localization of Brain Function
o Idea that certain parts of the brain control specific mental
abilities and personality characteristics
Localization studied in 2 parts
o Phrenology
Bumps, contours and ridges distributed across the surface
of the skull can be used to measure the mental capacities
and personality
Believed that brain consisted of 27 organs each
corresponding to mental traits and dispositions that could
be detected by examining the surface of the skull
o Study of brain injuries and their effect on behaviour (Medical
Scientific grounding
Broca having problem speaking result of brain damage in
the left frontal damage near the left temple
now known as Brocas region
Karl Wernickle damage to another area in the left
hemisphere left to problems with speech comprehension
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