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PSYC85H3 (138)
Chapter 4

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Michelle Hilscher

Chapter 4 The NineteenthCentury Transformation of PsychologyImportant things during this time period1JF Herbarts attempt to cast a psychological theory in purely mathematical terms2GT Fechners psychophysics hypothesized a mathematically precise relation between stimulus values and sensation that could be tested by means of experimental data3Scientific work on the physiology of perception4Study of brain injuries5Galton and Spencercontroversial topics abouttheory of evolutionJF Herbart 17761841Differed from Kant because he believed that mathematics were applicable to psychological eventsInterested in what went on above and below the threshold of consciousness Events below the threshold were unconscious but with right circumstances could become consciousHerbarts psychology rests on the assumption that all mental life is the result of the action and interaction of elementary ideasWent beyond the simple laws of associationSuggested that ideas may be opposed to one another and act like forces upon one another This will tend to reduce the intensity with which each is experiencedSome ideas facilitate each other while others inhibit each otheroInhibition A is stronger than B so A will inhibit B more than B will inhibit A So A is experienced with greater intensity 2BABB1no matter how much B is inhibited by A it will never be less than zeroTo Herbart this meant that one idea could never push another completely out of awareness and ideas above the threshold of awareness never reach a state of complete balance or equilibrium Consciousness would tend to consist of those ideas that facilitate each other while inconsistent ideas would end up below the threshold
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