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Canada (158,032)
Psychology (9,545)
PSYA01H3 (1,192)
Steve Joordens (1,048)
Chapter 1


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

PSYA01 PSYCHOLOGY CHAPTER 1PSYCHOLOGY THE EVOLUTION OF A SCIENCEWilliam James travelled around Europe to find himself but found psychology instead which he found interest in o The Principles of Psychology o Wondered how people acquired complex skills musiciansPsychology was taking a modern scientific approach to ageold question about the human nature o Questions previously answered by poets and philosophersPsychologists today are exploring perception memory creativity consciousness love anxiety addictions and morePsychology the scientific study of mind and behaviorMind Private inner experience the everflowing stream of consciousness that is made up of perceptions thoughts memories and feelingsBehaviour Observable actions of human beings and nonhuman animals the things we do in the world by ourselves or with othersPsychology is an attempt to use scientific methods to address fundamental questions about mind and behaviourTrying to understand how the objective physical world of the body was related to the subjective psychological world of the mindFunctional Magnetic Resonance Imaging fMRI Allows scientists to scan a brain and see which parts are active when a person does certain tasksResearch suggests that extensive practicing of tasks allows the brain to be more efficient at controlling itWhat are the bases of perceptions thoughts memories and feelings or our subjective sense of self o Previously believed that the pineal gland functions as the magic tunnel connecting physical and psychological o Electric and chemical activities of our brainHow does the mind usually allow us to function effectively in the world o Scientists sometimes say that form follows functionTo understand how something works we need to know what its working for o Psychological processes are adaptive meaning they promote the welfare and reproduction of organisms that engage in those processesPerception language memory Emotions etc o Losing parts of the brain will inhibit our abilities to function a certain wayWhy does the mind occasionally function so ineffectively in the world o Mind often trades accuracy for speed o We are all prone to a variety of errors and illusionsMental lapsesAutopilot relying on welllearned habitsAbsentmindedo How things work are not known as long as it remains unbroken story of Elliot cant experience emotionsPsychologys Roots The Path to a Science of Mind Different Schools of Thought PSYA01 PSYCHOLOGY Structuralists Analyze the mind by breaking it down into its basic components Functionalists How mental abilities allow people to adapt to their environmentsPsychologys Ancestors The Great PhilosophersPlato and Aristotle were among the first to think about how the mind works o Nature versus nurtureNativism Certain kinds of knowledge are innate or inborn o Plato o Ability to learn language without formal instructionPhilosophical Empiricism The philosophical view that all knowledge is acquired through experience o All knowledge in acquired through experience o Aristotle o A childs mind was tabula rasa a blank slate From the Brain to the Mind The French ConnectionRene Descartes 15961650 o Mind and body are fundamentally different things o Body is of material substance o Mind soul is immaterial or spiritual substance o Dualism How mental activity can be reconciled and coordinated with physical behaviour o Mind and body are connected by the pineal glandThomas Hobbes 15881679 o Mind and body are not different things o The mind is what thebrain does o Cant look for a place where the mind meets the bodyFranz Joseph Gall 17581828 o Brains and minds were linked but by size rather than by glands generally accepted o mental ability brain size o brain damage mental ability o Phrenology A now defunct theory that specific mental abilities and characteristics ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness are localized in specific regions of the brainSpecific mental abilities and characteristics ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness are localized in specific regions of the brainExtreme Size of bumps or indentations on the skill reflected the size of the brain regions beneath them and feelings those bumps would reveal how a person wasSkull and bumps on brain are not relatedDiscredited due to lack of evidencePierre Flourens 17941867 o Surgically removed specific parts of the brain from animals and found that their behaviour differed from those with intact brainsPaul Broca 18241880 o Worked with patient who damaged a small part of the left side of their brain Brocas areaUnable to speak but understood other people
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