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CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY / Psychology / PSYC 305 / Who wrote an article on “perception: an introduction to gestalt-theory

Who wrote an article on “perception: an introduction to gestalt-theory

Who wrote an article on “perception: an introduction to gestalt-theory


School: Concordia University
Department: Psychology
Course: History and Systems
Professor: Sadia zafar
Term: Fall 2018
Cost: 50
Name: Final Study Guide for PSYC 305
Description: Study Guide for the final in PSYC 305 on December 18th.
Uploaded: 12/12/2018
28 Pages 151 Views 1 Unlocks


Who wrote an article on “perception: an introduction to gestalt-theory”?

PSYC 305 - EXAM #3 STUDY GUIDE Highlight = Important Concepts Highlight = Important Keywords

[Psychology in Europe Between the World Wars] ● In contrast to U.S, philosophy continued to influence European psychology in this period. Psychology that had been brought to America that was related to Wundt was diverging from philosophy and taking on its own form.

● Trying to use psychology in different fields of life.

● Similar to U.S., the application of psychology to various fields became a major preoccupation of psychologists.

Focus on Germany

● Wilhelm Wundt and others were important in the development of Psychology ● Psychology experienced steady growth, unlike in U.S.

Who is the most known for operant conditioning which is different from classical conditioning?

● German experimental psychology remained a subset of philosophy well into 20th century. Was not expanding as quickly as it did in the States.

● Only gained professional independence under the Nazis

● Looking at human behavior in a reductionist way while focusing on sensation and perception. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between conflict and integration?

● Psychology adds a discipline in Germany and will only gain independence during the Nazi preoccupation.

● A lot of people in society have a negative view about the mechanistic way of seeing different processes of the mind. One of these individuals is Christian von Ehrenfels. If you want to learn more check out Is charity a good thing because of god or because it really is a good thing?

[Christian von Ehrenfels]

● Humans can not be studied by observing the individual elements of the processes of the mind they need to be studied as a whole. This way of seeing, thinking and acting as a whole is gonna be Gestalt Psychology.

What is the defition of humanistic psychology?

- E.g.: Music perception, different notes playing at different times together. - Same as when there was a professional taster that can taste every part of food. An individual who doesn’t have a training would taste it as a whole and not the specific parts.

[Max Wertheimer]

● Started to think of alternatives of the Wundtian tradition

● They presented “Gestalt Psychology” (as a whole)


● Less focus on individual elements of mental structure and psychic processed more emphasis on the whole of the experience

● Considered the founder and leader of the Gestalt movement in psychology ● He published experimental results on apparent movement - phi phenomenon - Perceiving motion when their actually isn’t any movement. E.g. motion pictures ● Believed that consciousness should be investigated as people experience it. Not trying to divide it into the specific elements. His argument was that it is what individuals perceive. This is the experience they are living, it is not the individual elements you perceive (Wunditian way of seeing things). If you want to learn more check out How do witnesses decide whether to report or not report a crime?

[Kurt Koffka]

● One of the three colleagues involved in gestalt movement

● He wrote and article on “Perception: An introduction to Gestalt-Theory” - The downside is that when you read it you think it has to do with perception

[Wolfgang Kohler]

● Referred to as the most prolific promoter of the Gestalt movement

● Gestalt theory had not only to do with perception but is a general law used to understand everything; learning , thinking emotions

● Suggested that Gestalt theory was a general law of nature that should be extended to all the sciences.

After First World War, in 1919 the Weimar Republic is formed and lasted until the National Socialist came to power in 1933

- Economic - there’s hyperinflation of currency (value of money changes drastically) - Political instability 20 changes in government We also discuss several other topics like Do molecule react with substrate?

The elite blames technology and mechanistic science for Germany’s problems. So Gestalt research blossomed during this period.

● Instability during this period.

● Wertheimer believed objectivity resided in the phenomenon themselves, as presented ● So wanted to describe the laws of perceptual organization that underlie the phenomenon studied.

● The most general principle was the law of Pragnanz - People will perceive and interpret ambiguous or complex images as the simplest form(s) possible.

Perceptual organization Principles 

● Proximity: Parts that are close together are seen as belonging together in time/space ● Continuity: there is a tendency to follow a direction, to connect elements in a way that makes them flow in a particular direction.


● Similarity: similar parts tend to be seen together as forming a group

● Closure: tendency in our perception to fill in the blanks/gaps If you want to learn more check out What are the types of synapses?

● Simplicity: Tend to see figures as being as good as possible under the stimulus conditions. You perceive the simplest thing. We also discuss several other topics like What are the three states of water?

● Figure/ground: We tend to organize perceptions into object being looked at and the background against which it appears

- In example the figure and the ground are reversible. What you see depends on how your perceptions is organized

Gestalt Theory 

● Perceptual organization occurs instantly whenever we sense various shapes/patterns ● Perceptual organization is inevitable whenever we look or listen

● Typically no learning is involved in forming patterns, although some higher-level perceptions do depend on learning

● According to Gestalt, brain is dynamic. All elements active at a given time interact.

[Karl Duncker]

● Argued that the perceiver is part of the perceptual field, this changes the dynamics of perception

● Reported on phenomenon of “functional fixedness”

- The term gestalt is not restricted to the sensory field

- Gestalt broadly concerned with cognitive processes

- Gestalt may encompass learning thinking, emotions and behaviour

Gestalt studies of learning on chimps in cage and banana tied to a rope he pulls on the rope to eat the banana.

Animal is actually seeing what is present in the environment. Puts the boxes together and manages to get the fruit.

- These studies of insight supported Gestalt’s Psychology global conception of behaviour, as opposed to the atomistic view promoted by behaviorists

[Kurt Lewin]

● Strongly committed to practical issues

● What state the organism is at a particular point in time

● Interested in the whole of Personality (life space) and Behaviour (action whole)

[Bluma Zeigarnik]

● Examined memory for completed and uncompleted tasks

● Zeigarnik effect


- 164 participants to complete various mental tasks as fast as possible

- Interrupted for half the tasks, not the other half

- What happened when asked to recall the various tasks

- Argued that lack of completion fosters tension which facilitates memory for task until released when task completed

- Results: They recalled the tasks best when they were interrupted because they had to remember to complete it after.

● Waiter remembers a customer's order while it is necessary and then once it is completed the waiter won’t remember at all.

[Tamara Dembo]

● Argued that anger was not reducible to a simple stimulus-response analysis ● Rather one needs to take into account the entire situation that is taking place. ● Designed and experiment in which she directly elicited anger form the participants ● The experimenters job was to frustrate the participants as they completed a simple task.

The situation was fun until the experimenter frustrates the participant “It’s a really easy task and you can’t do it”. With increased frustration almost all the participants demonstrated anger and some went to be aggressive. She concluded that there wasn’t one particular thing that was frustrating it had to do with the whole relationship of the participant with the experimenter and the changes taking place that was responsible for the rise of frustration to a level that led to anger.

● The National Socialists came to power in 1933. This lead to changes in educational and professional institutions. Psychology as discipline eventually prospered during this period and psychologists offered practical assistance to the military.

● The number of psychologists employed in military increased during this period. ● Increase of psychologists in germany under the Nazis.

● In 1941, establishment of the diploma examination in psychology.

● An individual could finally be trained as a psychologist alone.

● Psychology is developing slower than it did in Germany. It remained tied to philosophical roots. Psychology underwent a process of indigenization in each country

In Europe, what is taking place is similar to what is happening in the United States. Rapid industrialization is also causing problems in society.

● The Bolshevik revolution in Russia created fear in European countries ● The Great War → labour shortage and need to reintegrate veterans into workforce ● Also, influence of Frederick Winslow Taylor on industrial efficiency

● The people who were fighting in the war need to be reintegrated into society



● Institutionalization of psychology occured as part of philosophy and physiology ● Strong links to the clinical settings - Use of patients suffering from mental disorder to understand normal function.

● Pierre Janet did psychological analyses and he wanted patients with hysteria to be aware of their emotional status which will help reduce hysterical symptoms. Studies by Pierre Janet and George Dumas indicated that psychopathology offers a “natural” experiment.

● Henri Wallon and Jean Piaget conducted studies on child psychological development. Piaget started his theories by observing his three children. He noticed that there thinking seem to develop similarly across different times in development.

● Psychotechnique was also created in France. Different types of tasks to try to do various things in society, improve personal selection and labor processes. By developing these tests to select personnel and labour processes, psychologists are trying to help match workers with work.

● There’s a specific interest in trying to make the worker fit with the work not just bottom line more money. Which will lead to increased productivity. Influenced by Taylor’s ideas of the need to improve industrial efficiency, psychotechnics focused on matching the worker with the work.

[Henri Pieron]

- Succeeded Binet (intelligence score)

- The intelligence test score was not one, but rather a general profile generated by scores on each section. By finding pattern help individual best select the job.

- With the use of different psychotechniques, psychologists can help in different aspects of society (e.g. public transit system) devised different screening on how to select drivers for railroad system. Goal was to reduce accidents on the job, improve efficiency and find the right person for the job. Saved the public a lot of money.

- Overall what is happening in France

- Psychology as it is in The US role is for psychology is to be used as different functions in society


● Experimental psychology was regarded in a skeptical view. There have been great public interest in psychology but they were interested in popular psychology (new sense of the self; phrenology, physiognomy and mesmerism).

● Slowly with what happened during the war, actual psychology would begin to be more known by the public.

● The center of British psychological science was Cambridge University


● Charles S. Myers coined the term shellshock during the first World War, he established psychology as a scientific discipline

● Shellshock tried to be treated with Freud's talk therapy, could be used for treating something concrete.

● Psychoanalysis began to have an important role in Britain at the time

● Also used to study the impacts of child separation from families

● Psychology during war time was also used to study the effects of child separation from families

● Susan Isaac studied this issue and made recommendations to government agencies in order to address the psychological impact of separation.

● Myers was interested in applying psychology to social problems

● So founded the National Institutes of Industrial Psychology (NIIP) in 1921 ● Focus on psychology of the worker and the work situation

● It made the adjustment of the worker central to efficient and productive work ● As in the U.S., Psychology was undergoing change in Europe during the interwar period. ● The specific changes observed have to do with the context.

● Psychologists are now prepared to lend their services to the world.

[The Golden Age American Psychology]

● Their role in the war at the beginning they are not really questioning the aim of the military and the ethics of the work. This is the case until the U.S retaliates on Japan's Bombing of Pearl Harbour.For some this changed after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

● In the US, personal selection and personal classification were again central to the functions of psychologists.

● Developed the Army General Classification Test (AGCT). After WWI there were some challenges brought to intelligence such as the fact that intelligence with those types of tests were said to be measuring purely innate capacity which wasn’t the case.

● With controversies surrounding intelligence testing during World War 1, AGCT presented a test of general learning ability which was suppose to measure inborn ability but also experience you gained through education.

- E.g. of AGCT below

● A more specialized and covert personnel selection test was developed by the Office for Strategic Services (OSS). Trying to find specific individuals for specific tasks. ● Test developed to select men suitable for intelligence work. Select individuals who would be suitable for intelligence work.


● Assessment mainly consisted of situational challenges conducted over a 3-day period. Consisted to give the individuals simulations.The subjects are taking place in stress induced tasks.Psychologists were involved in this.

● Psychologists were involved in helping train aircraft pilots.The goal was to select the most capable man to receive the training. Examined issues of performance under stress, measurement of successful learning

● Also used in the measurement of individual learning capacity. Also,development of human factors psychology conducting research on how to best design instruments to reduce human error.

● Also there was the development of human factors psychology conducting research on how to best design instruments to reduce human error. Looked at human factors in psychology that could affect their abilities

● Most influential professional advancement was in clinical treatment

● As the war progressed, the number of psychiatric casualties increased ● First, the army was just discharging these casualties instead what they did they treated them and sent them back and in order to do this they needed psychologists. ● Soon realized that needed the manpower

● So army reoriented its strategy - treatment and redeployment

● By 1945, 450 clinical psychologists were serving in the army

● After the war mental health services increased

● Federal funding from the government increased training programs for clinical psychologists

● So these programs were formalized established and proliferated

Impact of WWII

● Society is not the same as it was before because of the war but also the Great Depression. After years of economic depression and the rationing of consumer goods during the war. ● At the end of the war, consumerism rapidly increases

● New postwar prosperity and its baby boom which lead to increase in housing demands. ● The “good” life

● Better living through consumption

● Moving away from the city and into suburban homes filled with gadgets (e.g. television, toaster, vacuum cleaner)

● Despite these new found comforts there was a rise in anxiety for many in this era. This anxiety arises for many different reasons, the cold war Russia and U.S.The fact that there had been the bombing in Japan makes Americans worried there might be a bombing in the states. The threat of communism, racial oppression.

● New drugs (tranquilizers) were developed to help with the anxiety.

● Psychological help became an attractive option to also help with the anxiety


● In the first 20 years after WWII, psychoanalysis becomes effective and reached its peak in popularity and influence

● Discussions of psychoanalysis in books movies, TV shows and magazines, psychoanalytic ideas were everywhere.

● Psychoanalytical ideas weren’t the best fit with the middle class because they are not the most optimistic. Freud said “The best outcome of psychoanalytic therapy was to convert misery to common unhappiness”

● It created a cultural opening for psychological therapy.

[B.F. Skinner]

● He is most known for operant conditioning which is different from classical conditioning. Skinner Box - Rat presses on lever and gets a treat. Operant Conditioning is active unlike classical conditioning which is passive.

- Is one reinforcement schedule better than another in determining an organism’s responses?

- Fixed ratio schedule - Specific number of responses, amount of times the rat pressed the lever

- Fixed interval schedule - How long since last pressed on the lever. This is more difficult for the animal to respond because if the rat presses on the leer and doesn’t get a treat if a minute doesn’t elapse. Specific amount of time elapsed from when the rat last pressed on the lever.

- Is one reinforcement better than another, yes fixed ratio schedule

- How to move this away from animals and towards humans: After a specific number of things you do you get paid; salesman selling certain amount of shoes and you get paid.

Successive Approximation/ Shaping - used to shape behaviour (especially in animals) - Worked with pigeons, he wanted the pigeons to peck on a particular point in the cage. As soon as the pigeon would turn in the direction of the point he would get a treat, as well as when he would move to the point he would get a treat.

● Skinner believed behaviourism could be used to make a better world.

- Invented the air crib which is you put the bay in and the air ventilation and temperature is perfect and there are little things the child can pull.

- Everyone heard about the idea but it was controversial because it reminded people too much of the skinners box. There were only about 300 of these that were actually used. Didn’t catch on with public

● The teaching machine


- In 1950s there was a shortage of teachers and excess of students, It can help the education system. Used between the 50s and the 60s. Interesting cause there is a shortage of teachers and students and society turns towards machines.

● Public pressure to improve education in U.S. to compete with Soviet Union ● During World War II, developed a guidance system to steer bombs dropped from warplanes to specific targets on ground

● Skinner wanted to build better world through positive reinforcement

- Believed that our behaviour is shaped by contingencies in our environment that reward and punish us. This can be used to try and create the best society

● Extremely controversial position because if you can shape everyone's behaviour through behaviourism we are becoming a machine like thing. Machine like view of human nature. ● His principles were applied to a range of human behavior problems. Bond Behaviourism was applied to helped different aspects of human behaviour.

● Behavior Modification programs: Use of positive reinforcement to control or modify behaviour of individuals in different aspects of society. E.g. classrooms, restore schizophrenia patients, help incarcerated criminals also with children with serious developmental problems (e.g., autism) could be treated effectively with applied behavioral principles.

● Also behavioral therapies proved successful in treating attention deficit disorder and anxiety

- Also used to train animals for entertainment (e.g. marineland)

- Today pet owners use operant principles to train their pets

● In the 1950s and American popular culture was infused with psychoanalysis. ● But as we just saw Skinner’s behaviourism was also growing. Received many awards for his work.

● But some psychologists argued that both behaviorism and Psychoanalysis were based on deterministic model of human nature.

- They are deterministic because there is not a lot of emphasis and place for the free will. They are studying things that are and not things that can be changed by your own desire. Your fate is sealed and predetermined. In Behaviourism is

deterministic in the fact that we can actually control the way you behave and psychoanalysis sees it had your life is predetermined and it would take a very very long time to change.

During this period there is an enforced conforming at the time, everyone is the same and following the same pattern. The traditional Americans needed to embrace gender roles. Many men were fighting during the war and many of the women’s roles changed in society at the time. Once the war is over they are pushed back to their gender role and expected to follow that.


● In the 1950s American popular culture was infused with psychoanalysis ● But as we just saw Skinner’s behaviourism was also growing

● But some psychologists argues that both behaviorism and psychoanalysis were based on deterministic model of human nature

● Culturally, the 1950s have been described as an era of enforced conformity ● The true American had to embrace traditional gender roles, consume mostly American-made products, reduction of anxiety with tranquilizers (Valium). During the second World War women were able to enter the workforce and given the opportunity to play different roles in society. Once the war was finished they were asked to go back to the traditional gender roles.

● Beginning of 1950s, many psychologists reacted to pessimism and determinism of psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and society.

● All of this leads to an alternative theory of human nature gained popularity and it was called the third force, The first was psychoanalysis, second behaviourism and the third is humanistic.

● Humanistic psychology posited that adaptation and adjustment to “normalcy” had obscured our ability to know our true needs and live authentically as humans.We have to pause and adjust to normality to know our true needs and improve capacity to live as humans.

● Optimistic view of human nature in which all humans possess innate capacities for growth

● Humanistic individual has within them the capacity to grow.The human is not stuck in an unchangeable pattern that has to do with unconscious desires or the environment.

[Carl Rogers]

● Known for formulating client-centered psychotherapy. Also known as people-centered therapy. He believed as a therapist, they are there to listen to the client not to lead them in a particular direction but to listen what the client has to say. No advice offered because he believes individuals know themselves what they need to do in order to grow as an individual.

● Personality shaped by present and how we perceive it.

● Motivating force - drive to actualize the self. Self-actualization 

● He recorded and coded transcripts of unedited psychotherapy sessions and isolated the conditions most likely to lead to growth of the client.

● Research revealed that there are key characteristics the therapist needs to have: empathy, congruence,genuineness, and unconditional positive regard were best to help clients grow in therapy

● Why are these key


- In humanistic psychology, each individual has an innate capacity for growth, what happens at some point in their life is that they encounter conditions of worth. These conditions of worth obscure their capacity of inner growth.

- E.g.of conditions of worth is when you make someone feel that they are only loved or accepted in a certain way.

- Roger believed we all have the inner capacity for growth and what leads to our incapacity for inner growth is the encounters with conditions of worth. The job of therapist is to minimize or eliminate the conditions of worth by providing relationships. Active listening is very important in therapy set

● In 1956, Rogers and Skinner met for a public debate on their respective philosophies of human nature

● How do these philosophies differ?

- Behaviourism: Deterministic. Therapy is more intertwined the therapist is more involved in the change. The individual has no control of what is happening. You can set up the appropriate characteristics in the environment to increase or decrease a behaviours.

- Humanistic: More about human having capacity to change themselves and grow and be better.Therapy is active listening. The controls within the individual over the way they perceive the challenge.There will be obstacles but the individual will be lead back to the capacity of growth

[Abraham Maslow]

● Called the spiritual father of humanistic psychology

● Interested in animal behaviour, he became very critical of the laboratory. Psychology studied in the laboratory when you discuss things that have to do in the laboratory is perfect but when you go to real life laboratory psychology research loses interest

● Particularly interested in Gestalt psychology; A movement to look at behaviour as a whole and how everything affects the way people behave, think, learn and perceived. ● He believed a more all encompassing perspective was required in psychology. This how he came about his hierarchy of needs.We all have needs that we need to make sure are met.

● He stressed the importance of self-actualization. Not everyone gets here some people stay stuck on needs below the self-actualization need. If one stage is not fulfilled you can not go onto the next stage.


Self-actualizers shared the following tendencies: 

1. An objective perception of reality.

2. A full acceptance of their own nature. Accept themselves the way they are. 3. A commitment and dedication to some kind of work

4. Simplicity and naturalness of behaviour. What you see is what you get. 5. A need for autonomy, privacy, and independence.

6. Intense mystical or peak experiences. Peak experiences as not only

self-actualizers could have but also other individuals. Self-actualizers have these experiences have more often. E.g. Being outside and being at peace with

nature,feeling of tremendous happiness.

7. Empathy with an affection for all humanity. Not only loved ones and people around you, you can have empathy for everyone.

8. Resistance to conformity.Humanistic psychology was the result of people who want to stand up to conformity.

9. A democratic character structure. Everyone can have an opinion and say what they believe.

10. An attitude of creativeness

11. A high degree of social interest

● Humanistic psychology enjoyed great popularity in 1960s-70s

● It was consistent with values of the time, a decade sometimes referred to as the “Me decade”

● Within Social Psychology there was a need to understand and improve social problems.This played an important role at the time. They believed their science could help particular social problems.

● Many social psychologists in the postwar period believed that social institutions (education, housing) were structured in ways that damaged minorities. In particular negative effects for the children of minorities.

[Kenneth & Mamie Clark]

● Examined racial identity in particular in children and the problem of discrimination in regards to segregation by race in schools.

● Results: The barriers that were present at the time in society were extremely damaging to children.

● They wanted to look at the impact such as segregation had on the children ● In their study they used a colouring test and doll preference

- Colouring test they were given colours and they had to colour the child of the same sex as they were as they saw themselves. The child of the opposite sex to be coloured in the colour they would like them to be. Children were colouring the


child with a colour a bit lighter than there actual skin colour. 52% of the time they coloured them white.

- Doll experiment, two baby dolls(one white and one black). They were asked different questions and they ranged from which doll do you find the prettiest? African American children choice the white doll most of the time. Naughtiest One and they would point to the black doll? When they were asked which doll represents them they pointed to the black dolls

● Black people are seen as inferior and white are seen as superior, these results were particularly found in children that went to schools that were segregated by race ● Results were disturbing for the researchers and weren’t sure if they wanted to continue their study. At the time, the National Association for the advancement of Colored People was pursuing several cases to end segregation by race in public schools.

● They reported that the african American children are being affected by the segregation in the schools. This helped end segregation by race in public school because this segregation was unconstitutional.

There were also segregation in other aspects of society

- Public Transport

- Different fountains to drink from

After WWII

Increase in migration of African Americans from the SOuth and also from European countries and other places in the world

- This makes it that groups are more likely to stick to one another

- Increase in population and housing need. Sometimes buildings are mixed and others are segregated according to race. Kind of like a big experiment. This supported the Contact hypothesis, the more you are in contact with different people the more positive and open you are to different people. Increased friendships with members of other races. These white individuals had more favourable attitudes to integrated housings

- Theis impacted labor as well

[Leon Festinger]

● Most famous research cognitive dissonance 

● Arises when individual simultaneously holds 2 or more ideas or beliefs that actively conflict with each other.

● He became interested with something that happened in society in the 1950s. A group of individuals believed there would be a flood that will destroy the world and no one would survive besides the individuals who believed. Dorothea got the news that this was going to happen and gained followers. When the day and time came there was no flood and nothing happened. These people believed that thing was gonna happen and this didn’t


happen they felt crushed and lots of dissonance.Dorothea was then told that it was because of them the flood didn’t happen and they were responsible to save the world.they had to relive the crap feelings they had so they believed they saved the world.

● According to Festinger’s analysis, this situation created conflicting idea in group’s members

- Kind of like mesmerism and the contagion effect

● The believe that they’d actually saved the world by their beliefs resolved dissonance ● He also felt group dynamics played a role in the situation; as the dissonance-resolving idea gained increased credibility and was adopted by more members

● By mid-1960s, the focus of experimental social psychology shifted and was increasingly on manipulating intrapersonal variables in lab setting

[Stanley Milgram]

● Could anyone be induced to commit atrocities?

● Conceived a conformity study in which the subject behavior would be obedience to an instruction to inflict pain

● Subjects recruited for experiment described as a memory study.

● Upon arrival, met by experimenter and confederate posing as second subject. ● Virtually all subjects continued to administer shocks after the learner’s first cries of protest

● Nearly ⅔ of subjects continued all the way to the end of the scale

● Results indicated that subjects would obey instructions from a credible authority to inflict pain

The split between lab and real-life setting → crisis of social psychology in 1970s Many began to wonder about the social relevance of their research in the lab.What happens in the lab can you really use it to understand what happens in real life?

[Feminism & American Psychology: The Science & Politics of Gender] [Christine Ladd-Franklin]

● Challenged male-only membership policy to Experimentalists

● Emphasized the irrationality and sexism behind this decision

● Policy finally changed in 1927

● She looked at different parts of the eyes that may have evolved first because she was examining the difference in animals eyes. She had conducted all her experiments and finished them in order to get her PhD. However, she didn’t get her PhD.

● In addition to be one of the first women in Psychology to have an actual mark in research. While she was studying she also went through the difficulties women encounter through


their studies. As she finished her studies she wanted to be apart of this elite group of men that met once a month to discuss their research findings. Most of the men in the group didn’t believe the experimentalist group was a place for women. She stated her disappointment in the fact that women weren’t accepted in the group and emphasized the irrationality and sexism in this decision. It took 15 years for women to be able to take place in this meeting.

When psychology was established in late 1800s, first-wave of feminism. Seneca Falls Convention (1848), the first woman's rights convention in America. Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted and read the Declaration of Sentiments (equal rights for women).

● In U.S. women won the right to vote in 1920.

● After, feminism as an organized political movement largely dissolved. Many led to this dissolvent such as: Great Depression and World War II. These other important issues need to be taken care of and advocating for other principles aren’t as important.

● During war time there had been the opening of employment for women and they began to leave their usual roles and work in the factories and play a part in public life. They gained other responsibilities in society.

● Post World War II period was characterized by return to traditional gender roles. Women were told to return back to their traditional responsibilities and roles. Despite the fact more women had been present in the workforce and were actually working.

- This made women frustrated because they are being forced back to their traditional role

● In 1963, beginning of second-wave feminism in U.S (fuelled from frustration) ● Betty Friedan published the Feminine Mystique. She states in this book the despair of white middle class women who are trapped in these expectations of society of being a good wife and mother and have women leave aside their personal growth. ● Her assessment of the problem resonated loudly with a select group of women who were in a similar situation as Friedan

- She also discusses her case in regards to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. She said society would not allow her to go beyond the base of the hierarchy and it’s impossible to achieve esteem needs and self-actualization.

August 26, 1970, Women’s strike for Equality march on Fifth Avenue in New York City ● This was 50 years after the right to vote came about

● Women from second wave feminism are following up on what women from the first wave of feminism had not finished. They wanted equal opportunities in workforce and education, safe legal abortion, affordable child care, equal share of political power


● By late 1960s, many feminists were becoming more dissatisfied with the way Psychology had theorized and treated women.

● The women’s liberation movement acted as a trigger, bringing feminist politics to psychology. Both men (few) and women within psychology were involved

Feminist psychologists demanded: 

● Androcentric theories be acknowledged and reformed. Most theories that have been presented up until know have been the result of studying men and are the opinions of men. This needs to be addresses and changed

● That women’s experience be taken into account to understand their lives. To understand their behaviour their experienced also need to be understood.

● Sexist institutional practices be eliminated.

- E.g. more opportunities for men than for women

[Naomi Weisstein]

● Experienced firsthand the sexism in postsecondary education

● At Harvard, women banned from one of the libraries because they would disturb the men who are trying to study

● Not allowed access to equipment. She might break the equipment

● Fuelling her feminist side

● In 1968, published article that was to become one of the founding documents of feminist psychology

○ Argued that psychology didn’t take into account social context, women act in a certain way because of the way they had been brought up and the society with which they live in

○ Reported evidence on the influence of situational and interpersonal factors in determining human behaviour

● In 1969, feminist psychologist met at the annual convention of APA to discuss sexist practices with the field. To discuss variety of sexist practices within the field of psychology.

○ Job advertisements only for men. Wasn’t even hidden it was straightforward ○ Lack of childcare at annual convention. Can’t bring children with them ○ Overt sexual harassment; in the practice of psychology.

● Lead to formation of the Association for Women in Psychology (AWP) ● At the 1970 convention, members of AWP presented their concerns to APA ● AWP members demanded $ 1 million in reparation to the APA for the damage against

women minds and bodies perpetrated by psychology. All the theories that had been developed throughout these years had a negative effect on women and their had to be repercussions. Of course no money was given to anyone at the time.


● No money, but Task Force on the Status of Women was formed. They took two years to study what was happening with women in Psychology.

Findings of Task Force: 

● Psychological research on women was deficient.

● Most research conducted with White, college-aged men. Therefore research was biased. ● No research on women’s experiences. Some individuals talked about sex differences but overall not much about women’s experiences.

Task Force made several recommendations: 

● Mechanism for reporting sexist and discriminatory treatment in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy setting might not be the safest place for a woman in a field where psychopathology has been defined by men.

● Accessible and open job recruitment for both men and women.

● Requested equity in remuneration and promotional opportunities for women. Men and women should earn the same for the same jobs provided.

● Task Force recommended to establish a division for psychology to study women. This was division 35. It was the fourth most popular division in the APA (there are 54).

[Phyllis Chesler]

● Published a critique of psychiatry and clinical psychology because this type of setting was not the safest for women at the time.

● Argued that traditional gender stereotypes were used to diagnose pathology. Psychopathology had been defined by man e.g. women who were too emotional were hysterical and those who weren’t emotional enough they weren’t normal. For women it was a lose lose situation.

● When experts asked to describe healthy adult, descriptions closely resembled description of healthy man. Wanted specific characteristics of how a woman and a man is. When they had to state the characteristics of a healthy individual, the characteristics were very similar between men and women (no sex involved).

● He did not believe that the therapy encounter was safe for women patients. This was not only in her head it was found that sexual abuse of female clients by male therapists was happening and it was happening on a regular basis (pattern was not occasional). The perpetrators of the sexual abuse considered it part of the therapy. Many perpetrators considered it beneficial and acceptable, others overlooked it.

● In 1977, Ethics Code of APA changed to prohibit sexual contact between therapist and client.


Sex differences 

● This has been on people’s minds forever. It was believed that women and men are different in various abilities.

[Helen Thompson Woolley]

● Examined the motor and sensory abilities, intellectual and affective processes of 50 undergraduates. Difference between men and women

● In most tasks, men and women were more similar than different. There were some differences but it could be due to the environment in which the person was brought up ● When found reliable differences, she cautioned against hereditarian explanations

[Leta Stetter Hollingworth]

● Debunked the variation hypothesis - men have more variability in their traits then men (e.g. intellectual) and the belief in functional periodicity which is the belief that when women are in their menstrual period they lose their physical and mental abilities. - Variation hypothesis: we are where we are today because of the variability in men

[Eleanor Maccoby & Carol Jacklin]

● found that 4 empirically supported sex differences were well established by reviewing hundreds of studies on sex differences :

● Girls better verbal ability

● Boys better visual-spatial ability

● In adolescence, boys better math ability

● Males are more aggressive than females (verbal and physical)

Eleanor Maccoby and Carol Jacklin summarized that tlearning of sex-typed behaviours resulted from biology and learning 

● They did not believe biology to be destiny. This is not the end result. Through the environment there are changes that arrive.

● Suggested that societies can work to minimize sex differences

[Jean Baker Miller]

● Suggested that characteristics ascribed to women by men should be redescribed and reevaluated as strengths. E.g. vulnerability, emotional these can be viewed as a strength ● These ideas developed into relational-cultural theory, this theory states the ability to be in relationship with others as central to human growth.

● She’s trying to suggest that the characteristics that have been given to women don’t have to be looked at through a negative lens.


The debate on sex differences continue up too today

[Rhoda Unger]

● First to make the distinction between sex differences and gender differences. Sex is determined but gender can be modulated by your experiences.

● So possible to examine how people become gendered

[Sandra Bem]

● Suggested that each person had both feminine and masculine traits. This is a good thing ● An equal representation of each = psychologically healthy personality.

American feminist psychology had been imbued with the values of liberal feminism - Concentrated in studying white middle class heterosexual women.

● Major goal: Ensure quality between women and men under the law

- Prioritize gender and create a “global sisterhood”

Liberal Feminism has been criticized by feminist of color for: 

- Adopting false universalism. Experiences are no the same for women of different race, SES and religion.

- Ignoring the complex intersections of gender with other identity categories. Doesn’t help us understand women better.

- Failing to theorize intersectionality. We need to take into account all women’s experiences and the different factors that affect one another.

[Inclusiveness, Identity, and Conflict in late 20th-Century American Psychology] ● 1960s a time for social upheaval; This is a time of change because a lot of things are happening in the United States and around the World.

○ Material prosperity

○ Cold War (Between Soviet Union and United States different countries began to go on one side or the other)

○ Vietnam War (Some believe this is part of the cold war, This was a war between North and South for various reasons.) Soviet Unions and Allies helped the North and the United States and allies helped the South.

○ Counterculture and revolution in social norms; Change in the United States, change in drugs, clothing

● Liberalization of immigration laws → increase in people from Central and South America + Asia. This results in a whole spectrum of individuals coming from many different places around the world


● Conditions of inequality across various spheres. Conflict between whites and blacks persisted.

● Civil rights become central issue because at this point in time although segregation was pretty much towards the end still white and black individuals were not treated equally. ● Problems lived by African Americans Kenneth and Mary Clarke had noticed that schools segregated white and black children. They did the experiments with the dolls. There was segregation throughout society as well, buses.

● “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King

○ What does this have to do with psychology? How can psychology include people of colour. Basically the main point is that you actually see what is happening in society at a particular time and how that affects society for good or not and how psychology evolves and how it helps or doesn’t help particular problems.

○ Debate on if psychologists should be more objective and not get involved ○ In psychology, up until now the ones that had been making the theories and had been involved in the studies per say had been middle-aged white men.

○ The aspects that had been characterized as pathological had been presented by these white middle aged men and did not take into account social context, culture, class condition.

● Psychology at the time had been involved in categorization. Results of these intelligence tests Racial Differences in intelligence

○ Intelligence testing

○ Results from World War I testing of army recruits

○ Such findings were criticized, these tests were being criticized because the results were used to promote differentiation between individuals and racism.Psychology, historically played a role in this division between individuals.

○ Increase in racial diversity pushing Psychology to be more receptive to people of ● In 1960s critical cultural moment of Psychology. Increased racial diversity has an effect of pushing psychology to be more receptive and accepting of people of different colour. ● This was not easy. Psychology had been working with these truths for years and it’s not easy to change.

● Psychology committed to the practice of asserting “universal” truths. People who wanted change encountered a hostile discipline that didn't want change.

● A group of young Black psychologists formed association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) at annual APA convention in 1968.

● Black Psychology was a reaction to the mischaracterizations of Black communities and Black individuals they demanded that they should be acknowledged.

● This association although it has been from the result how african american individuals in society and psychology had been treated the formation of this association was also to bring light the strengths and resilience of Black people and Black communities.


[Joseph L. White]

● Founder of ABPsi

● Believed creation of Black Psychology to be necessary not just important. He believed this to be a necessity because with the traditional psychology the african american reality is not being taken into account.

● Psychology focused on weakness-oriented deficit finding. Being different doesn’t make things to be abd.

● Served as mentor and guide for other psychologist, new psychologists in the field (psychologists of different ethnicities). He wanted them to become mentors to future psychologists as well. “Getting on Freedom Train”

Leaders of ABPis confronted APA’s leaders”

● Needed acknowledgment from APA that racism was a major cause of racial unrest in U.S.

● Needed agreement by APA that policies that affected Black communities would actually include Black Psychologists. Trying to bring about change in discipline you need to incorporate the individuals from the community you want to bring about change.

At 1969 convention, the Black student Psychology Association (BSPA) and ABPsi persuaded APA to address (they crashed a meeting to have their demands heard):

● Concerns of culturally biased practices

● Lack of employment opportunities for African American Psychologists ● Inadequate recruitment and support of Black graduate students. There were not many only a few. Both of these associations wanted this to change. More people in the program, more that finish and more jobs in the end

● APA seen as insensitive to needs/interests of psychologists of color. Changed were not moving quickly because they didn’t want to change their truths.

● So new organizations formed to represent psychologists who had been ignored. (Hispanic associations).

● Consequently, the APA created internal offices dedicated to increase the number and role of psychologists of Color. Did not see the creation of these associations in a good way.

● There’s an increase in the number of graduate students in psychology which is good. A common complaint by ethnic minority psychology graduate students was that training had little relevance to minority experience. Training does not take into account the reality of minorities so this needs to be changed.


● This change was met with resistance by established graduate programs in U.S. and Canada. This resistance continued into the 21st century.

● In U.S. ethnic minorities barely used mental health services if they did the dropout rate was high because psychologists were not trained to deal with minorities and they didn’t believe psychologists could actually help them.

● Ethnic Minority psychological organizations believed that to address the issue they needed to increase number of ethnic minority enrolment. It has increased but it is still not enough. It went from 5% in 1970s of all clinical psychologists of non white to 10.6% in 1980s.

● Also, creation of Minority Fellowship Program and encouragement of enrollment from minorities this is important because it will promote equality and encourage ethnic minorities to pursue studies in psychology.

● Proved to be a very successful program for increased number of ethnic minority psychologists. Good to increase ethnic minorities in program, but training needed to be more reflective of populations served. The more minority groups that are within the system they can lead to change.

By 1977, enough ethnic minority psychologists to effectively lobby for increased sensitivity to cultural differences

● This lead to the formation of lobbying group within the APA, pressuring the organization to become more inclusive of other ethnicities.

● Psychologists attempted to address many other social issues however not all psychologists think this is the role of psychology.

● Attempts to directly address social problems were sometimes divisive for psychologists ● Development of community psychology, in contrast to the individual one on one therapy psychologists go out into the community to try and change things, prevention or actual treatment not one on one but looking at strengths and weaknesses.

● Oriented toward research and practice of community settings But. also cooperation and participation of community members. This means the psychologist needs the cooperation of the community or else this type of psychology is very hard. This was an alternative to individuals private practice treatment (one on one).

● Federal support for community mental health centers. Because the centers could help mentally ill and help communities improve mental health of citizens. But also, seen as cost-saving measure. Although this mental health services within the community were working well problems began to arise within a few years because people from the community (black community) felt they were being exploited by psychologists. Because they were helping but also acquiring data from the community but the community didn't feel they were actually being taken care of. Also, centers staffed by White professionals


led to increased tension. This was combined with racial tension and conflicts of the period- difficult context for centers.

○ An example of this discontent was the takeover of the Lincoln Hospital Mental Health Services in the Bronx in March 1969. The non-professional staff decided to takeover the hospital for several months because they were dissatisfied with those who made the decisions and did not have a clue of the reality of minorities.

● Due to control of White Psychologists who did not understand black culture.The Meharry CMHC, Nashville, Tennessee. Henry Thomas, the director, had recruited young psychologists and mental health workers of color. This way people of minorities feel listened too and understood.Enlisted members of the community in development of center and its services by taking into account members of the community you have a better idea of what is needed in the community and the fact of feeling that you are putting heart into the development to alleviate the members that the center is actually there to help them. Great success and model of this was recreated in different projects

Science and society start working together and it’s for everyone to decide what the impact they want science to have on society.

[Brain, Behaviour, and Cognition Since 1945]

● Behaviorism - no interest in the mind as a cause of behavior or as object of study. Particularly interested in behaviour. They are not interested in everything that underlies the behaviour. They want to study what is observable and the actual output of the behaviour not the cause or the mind. This school is particularly influential at the time.

● Psychology had “lost consciousness” or “lost its mind”. Psychology behaviourist was put aside for a while.

● Given that some individuals were less outspoken and were interested in behaviourism. Growth of cognitive psychology science since 1945.

● Began to doubt to reflex arc - learning is the result of pure input and motor output ● As well as cortical localization - learning from specific cortical regions

[Karl Lashley]

● Student of Watson (father of behaviourism)

● Interested in neural basis of behaviourism, what happens in the brain and makes us act in a particular way and makes us learn.

● Starts to doubt processes that had been presented, reflex arc and cortical localization. It was with research in rats he began to doubt both of these ideas. His research found that by lesioning specific brain regions within the rats those rats who had previously learnt to roam around in the maze after the lesion forgot but could relearn. Meaning there is not


one cortical region responsible for learning or the memory of that. Something else had to be involved.

● He suggested the concept of equipotentiality (when one particular brain region is damaged other regions might take over) and the principle of mass action (He did believe that the more you damage the brain the less the possibility for equipotentiality so at some point there’s a limit to how much the brain can compensate).

● In 1948, rejected the idea that complex behaviours (language, playing instrument) can be explained as chain of sensory-motor reactions. It could be that but he believes something else is happening.

● Given his findings from his research he was an outspokenly critiqued behaviorist position.

● He argued for top-down structural organization (brain organizes everything instead of behaviour) of the nervous system. The brain is responsible for everything we do. The input stimuli from the environment into the brain. Mind is active it is not passive, there is an organization this reminds us of Kant’s ideas. Behaviourists look at the mind as a blank box, not interested in what the mind is doing not the underlying processes. Inputs into brain always encounter an active and organized system, not static one (not a black box)

● At the same time computers were being created. People started looking at the brain as a computer.

● He did not believe that electronic circuitry operated the same way as brain. Computers and the brain are not that similar.

● Only similarity is that the neuron, like a switch, either does or does not fire. ● Argued that the brain was far too complex.

[Donald Hebb]

● Looked at different layers in the brain;neurons

● Proposed “cells that fire together wire together”. This means that learning and memory have to do with this when you are learning something specific presynaptic cells fire and postsynaptic cells listen. The fact that this communication happens and the more it happens the results is that these synapses become more sensitive and that is what is involved.

● Cell assemblies with synchronized activity could thus act together to store memories. Memory is extremely complicated

[Mark Rosenzweig & David Krech]

● examined the effects of learning on brain tissue growth. How the brain changes through learning this illustrates the concept we know as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity can change from environmental changes. Everything that makes up the brain can also change.


● Investigated the effects of enriched environments on neurological development in rats. This idea came about from observations that Hebb had made while he had brought to his house little rats from the lab he let them roam around the house for weeks. When he brought the rats back to the lab and gave them specific tasks these rats performed better than those who had never left the lab. This led them to their experiment, they had rats lived in enriched environments and compared it to rats that were housed individually with only food and water. Autopsy of their brains that the neural network in the animals that were housed in enriched environments was much richer compared to the control group. There were more dendrites and dendritic spines. Through experience the communication can change and more branches to communicate with more neurons.

● This type of idea, enriched environment can change learning, and that it actually changes the brain (neuroplasticity) gave them the idea of a program for early childhood education.

[Martin & Cynthia Deutsch]

● Early 1950s, responsible for pilot study

● Had 4 year olds come for a few hours each week to attend the enriched class. The increase attention to internal, cognitive activity within psychology and social stimulation ● These children were 4 year old at the time once they went to school they showed better performance at school in comparison to those who did not have the enriched experience ● Increase in interest to what is happening in the brain as well as the increased interest in children’s thinking and development.

[Jean Piaget]

● Had already written a book that was popular in Europe but not in the states because it was a book on behaviorism. The ideas of the mind and consciousness where not suited for the perspective in the United Stated at that point in time.

● Interested in acquisition of knowledge particularly in children.

● Examined how and when children acquire particular perceptual and conceptual abilities. Interested in these issues because he made particular observations looking at his own children, nieces and nephews and how the way they think changes at different stages of their life.

● Found that children’s reasoning progresses with age, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

● Enumerated a series of fixed stages of child development (These are approximations): ○ Sensorimotor stage (0-2). The way they are discovering the environment through touch and vision. Through their senses they discover their world. Motor skills start to develop slowly. They don’t understand that things still exist even though they are not there anymore


○ Preoperational stage (2-7). They understand that things continue to exist even though they are not still there but they haven’t developed what he calls

conservation of quantity. E.g. take two small glasses and fill them at exactly the same height with water and poor one into another glass that is more elongated at that stage. A child in this stage would think the small glass has more water because it fills the glass whereas it’s the same amount of water in each glass.

○ Stage of concrete operations (7). They understand the conservation of quantity but are not at the stage of formal operations

○ Stage of formal operations (11/12). Has to do with the children having an experimental mind. They can think and predict what might happen if I do this or do that. They can think in an abstract manner.

● Believed that changes reflected interaction between child’s biology and his experiences in the world (epigenesis). Experiences with the environment.

● Wanted to study the biologically based and qualitatively different stages of development in children’s ways of thinking and learning (genetic epistemology). Genetic in this does not mean hereditary it means development this is important because he does not think biology is the only factor important for development he thinks the environment is also important.

● Wanted to determine how knowledge developed within the individual ● Piaget’s work leads to a reorientation of psychology toward cognitivism ● In 1950s, also emergence of studies that would be the basis for the development of cognitive neuroscience.

[Brenda Miller]

● Case of H.M. Worked with this patient for approximately 30 years.

● As a young boy he was playing outside and he crossed the street and a bicycle hit him. Years later on his 17th birthday he had a severe seizure. Him and his family met a doctor who believed that part of the brain that was creating the seizures was the medial temporal lobe(Hippocampus). Underwent bilateral medial temporal resection to reduce seizures.

● After the operation he seemed normal except for the fact that it resulted in anterograde amnesia. His short term memory/working memory was fine it was the long term memory that had been impaired with the operation.

● H.M. helped us understand memory like no other case study

● Interesting case study because:

○ Particular memory losses could be directly related to brain region damage. ○ Memory affected, but no other major deficits. You can have a conversation with him but you can’t leave him alone because he doesn’t remember what he did 10 minutes before.

1- The mirror-tracing task


Performance of H.M on mirror-tracing task got better. He was presented with this task after the operation. Task involves a mirror, a sheet of paper and a star. The patient can not see the piece of paper but can see the image of the star in the mirror. Followed instructions given by the mirror to trace the star. At the beginning like everyone else he made a lot of errors. The more he did it the better he got. His performance improved. On the first trial many errors on subsequent significantly less errors. When HM came to the lab the next day a new day he didn’t remember anything but he did significantly well. He doesn’t remember the task but something in his brain does remember and given that from the get go on day two he makes almost no errors.

● There are different kinds of memory declarative memory (do you remember person or doing this or that; conscious memory) procedural memory (has to do with doing things unconscious). H.M had problems with declarative memory.

● Revealing difference between declarative and nondeclarative (procedural) ● Revealed distinction between short and long term memory

[Roger Sperry]

● When Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine (1981) for split-brain work ● Studying the effects of severing the corpus callosum(It separates the two hemispheres and aligns the right and the left to communicate). Studied group of patients who suffered from epilepsy.

● This remedy for seizures did not cause apparent changes in brain function. ● Subsequent research confirmed that hemispheric disconnection actually has significant consequences. Severing Corpus Callosum was producing two brains that didn’t talk with one another. Many studies were conducted this one of them:

○ A) Control participant

Right visual field send input to the left hemisphere and vice versa. In a normal individual when you present a key in the right visual field it send that info to the left verbal field (language field). If the brain is split when you show the key the info goes to the rights hemisphere and cant go to the left hemisphere where language is important and can not say it is key. Interestingly if you show it on the other side they can process it is a key. These studies help understand the two hemispheres that are responsible for different functions and they also work together.

● These studies contributed to our understanding of distinctive function of each hemisphere ● But also revealed collaboration between the two hemispheres in any complex task ● Finally, work also revealed brain plasticity. Damage will not be as great when you are younger.


● In 1976, in annual meeting the APA president stated that psychology was changing and that new conception included a refocus on consciousness. In textbooks in schools there wasn’t much information in regards to the mind and consciousness. Things start to change at this point in time.

● In retrospect, history identifies a vehicle for the reintroduction of the mind → it is technology. Technology at another point in time also had a huge effect when psychology wasn’t a discipline yet the mirror, the diaries the novels.

● And 2 psychologists who contributed groundbreaking work and played a key role in the development of cognitive psychology

[George Miller]

● Was impressed by the similarities between operations of computers and of the human mind. He used to psychology through the lens of cognition.

● So view of psychology became more cognitively oriented

● In 1956, published an article “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Same Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information”. This became extremely influential. This was the idea that we can approximately only remember 7 of something at the same time.

● The impact of these findings is that it deals with conscious, or cognitive, experience. It didn’t have much to do with behaviour.

● Used the term “processing information”. These terms come from computers in cognitive psychology there is a real parallel and interest in which the way computers work. ● Founder and did research at the Center of Cognitive Science investigated a wide range of topics (memory, language, learning, thinking).

● He saw the movement as evolutionary more than revolutionary. He sees this as term as evolution that is where we are now. Evolution has to do with the environment and whatever survives.

[Ulric Neisser]

● Wrote a book on cognition

● Seen as the father of psychology by some

● Just 9 years later, he became disillusioned.

● Insisted that the results of psychological research should have ecological validity should be generalized.

● He concluded that cognitive psychology had little to contribute to understand how people cope in real world because everything was being done in labs.

This is the result of different fields working together to have different ideas arise. Today when we talk about processes of the brain it is very similar to what computers do as an example: output, storage, etc..

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