September 15, 2010
The science of Psychology
Philosophical Roots of Psychology
Parents of psychology – biology and philosophy
Intelligence loses its validity when it is explained. Like magic when it is explained
it’s still interesting but not as powerful.
People give souls to anything.
When we understand something better, the magical feeling or its soul disappears.
Dualistic Philosophy: Human behavior is distinct of two different behaviors. (Rene
Rene started to believe that we were a machine. A highly complex machine more
like a puppet.
Pushed the boundaries of Descartes, said we were a complex set of chemicals
reacting to do the things we do, not a soul.
If its just physical matter reacting then we can control it scientifically, but if it
was soul it cannot be controlled or researched.
In psychology, you need proof, meaning you need to make a prediction and
prove it is accurate. Investigate to prove you are right. – Empiricism
Hard and soft sciences, psychology is considered to be softer, this is because of
how to get a answer, in harder sciences you can get a hard concrete answer
where as in psychology you cannot get that clear cut concrete answer.
Studying memory or the mind can never be clear-cut.
All sciences are sciences if they are predicting and testing their prediction.
Locke also suggested an emphasis on the process of learning, he strongly argued
a lot of who we are and who we become is a direct relation of experiences of life.
He said when we are born we are a blank slate and what happens molds us to
who we are.
Tabula Rasa- blank slate
This was not true genetics have an influence.
Nature vs. Nurture
James Mill came up with the concept of materialism humans are material.
Materialism remains the dominant scientific assumption to date.
Biological roots of Psychology
Science used to be a hobby where men would meet together to show what they
have discovered; Luigi Galvani supported the notion that the body is an electric
machine. He used a frog leg and put a battery to it, which made the leg, move,
proved that it was electricity not a soul making the body move.
He said that you don’t need a soul to move you can use electricity.
Electricity makes inanimate animate.
Johannes Muller was the first to do open a body to study it. Discovered the
electrical impulse, studied the nerves and discovered the transmitting of basic
messages through nerves.
Made connections from the body to wires, and batteries. Discovered the brain
had sub systems.
The body as a whole is composed of basic wiring, it is very important where
signals came from, where they began.
To figure something out we can remove it and see what happens and this is how
they tested what the different parts of the brain did. They would remove or
otherwise destroy parts of the animals brain and see what changes occurred.