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Psych 201 Week 1 notes

by: Quinn Legg

Psych 201 Week 1 notes Psych 201

Marketplace > University of Oregon > Psychlogy > Psych 201 > Psych 201 Week 1 notes
Quinn Legg
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These notes cover what was gone over during week 1.
Mind and Brain
Dasa Demircan
Class Notes
psych, Psychology, Mind and Brain
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Quinn Legg on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 201 at University of Oregon taught by Dasa Demircan in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Mind and Brain in Psychlogy at University of Oregon.


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Date Created: 04/03/16
3/29/16 SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY Psychological Science  The scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior   Mind = private inner experience for perception, thought, memories, and feelings   Behavior = observable actions of human beings and nonhuman animals   Scientific = systematic, empirical research  o Are we attracted by similarity or opposites? o Does smoking cause lung cancer? Before Psychology There was Philosophy (Roots)  Nature vs. Nurture  o Nativism: the view that certain kinds of knowledge are innate or inborn  o Empiricism: the view that all knowledge is acquired through experience  Children are born as “tabula rasa” (blank slate) How Do We Learn Things (As Scientists)?  Rationalism  o Knowledge is based on the use of reason or logic   Empiricism o Knowledge is based on experience and experimentation  Collecting data  The Mind/Body Problem   Is the mind separate from the brain? Or is the mind a product of brain activity?  Dualism: o Plato: body is from the material world, soul is from the world of ideas and is  therefore immortal   Monism: o The world can be explained by only 1 category of substance  Materialism vs. idealism  o Hippocrates: brain = seat of thoughts and emotions  o Aristotle: heart = seat of emotions, brain just as a “cooling organ” Philosophical Debate in the 1600’s  Descartes (dualism): the external soul controlled the body through an interface with the  pineal gland   Hobbes (a type of monism called materialism): only matter and energy exist o All human thought and behavior can be explained in terms of physical process in  the body—specifically the brain  o Modern psychological science is based on a materialistic view of the mind   Specific changes in the brain result specific changes of the mind  Phrenology  Phrenology: the study of the structure of the skull to determine a person’s character and  mental capacity   A failed attempt to localize cognitive functions in the brain  o Modularity of mental function o Localization of mental function First Scientific Evidence of Mental Process  Broca’s Aphasia: some of the first good evidence for localization of a complex cognitive progress came from Paul Broca in 1861: o Damage to a particular area on the left half of a patient’s brain (left inferior  frontal gyrus) prevented human from saying anything other than the word “Tan”  (although language comprehension was normal) o People with damage to Brocas’s area have difficulty with speech production, but  have relatively spared comprehension of language  o Suggests that this specific part of the brain is responsible for the production of  speech   Wernicke’s Aphasia is sometimes called “Jargon Aphasia”, because patients can  relatively produce speech fluently, but content of the speech is relatively meaningless o This result suggests that a specific part of the brain is responsible for language  comprehension o Wernicke’s Aphasia associated with damage to a more posterior brain region  (superior temporal gyrus) Summary of Philosophical Roots  Empiricism vs. Nativism  o On going interactions   Empiricism vs. Rationalism as a source of knowledge  o What is the criteria for accepting the truth?  Mind/body problem: dualism vs. Monism  o Mental activity results from brain activity  3/31/16 BABYHOOD OF PSYCHOLOGY  Psychology began as a formal field of scientific study in 1879, in the lab of Wilhelm  Wundt o Reasoned that mental events take time, and these can be measured   Mental reaction time  o Introspection: observing and recording one’s own thoughts and experiences  Edward Titchener: Structuralism o Used introspection to break apart and examine the individual components of  conscious experience  Quality, duration, intensity, clarity o Cataloged over 50,000 elemental sensations  o Problems:   No 2 people will have the same perceptions/responses   Variability between people   Lack of vocabulary to describe the emotions  Bias, lack of objectivity   Problems with introspection and structuralism: o The whole is different than the sum of its parts o What is it for?   Studying individual elements didn’t really go anymore (what does it all  mean) o Stream of consciousness cannot be frozen  o Our consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg  o Lack of verification: lack of public access to introspections  Misperceptions can never be detected, disagreements cannot be resolved   Apparent Motion: an optical illusion that makes a still object appear to move o Max Wertheimer  o works by flashing pictures of a still image in different locations so quickly that the image seems to move from one location to the other  Gestalt Psychology: what are the laws of our ability to have meaningful perceptions in  an apparent chaotic world? o Assumes that the whole of the experience is more than the sum of its parts  (Wolfgang Kohler)  William James  o Author of the first psychology textbook, Principles of Psychology (1890) o What is in your mind is not just sitting there waiting for you to describe it  o Stream of consciousness cannot be frozen  o The mind is more complex than its elements  o Functionalism: need to examine what functions mind serves   Inspired by Darwinism   Sigmund Freud o Established talk therapy/psychoanalysis  o Behavior is influenced by mental processes operation outside awareness  (unconscious)  Behaviorism: the study of observable environmental effects on behavior  o Was a backlash to the introspectionist/structuralist idea of studying unobservable  mental effects  o Environmental cues (stimulus)  MIND  Behavior (response) o The mind, behaviorists argue is like a black box   The contents cannot be observed scientifically  Thus, we should concentrate our efforts on understanding the relationships between stimulus and response  o Founded by John Watson (1913) as a way of establishing the credibility of  Psychology as a scientific discipline   Popularized by B.F. Skinner and his “Skinner Box” (operant chamber) o Lasting contribution: careful experimental approach  o Problems with behaviorism:  Insufficiency: cannot full account for things like Creativity (thinking  outside the box) or language   Narrow scope: focus on learning (easy to study using behaviorist  approach)  Limiting science to only 1 observable thing is a bad idea  o An internal spatial map seems like a better explanatory construct  Putting the mind back into psychology  Cognitive Psychology  o Based on Edward Tolman’s idea of cognitive maps  o Uses behavior to infer what is going on inside the black box  o Considers mental processing as the software of the mind (computer metaphor) o Cognitive neuroscience: considers the brain as the hardware of the mind   Current approaches o Evolution/adaptation framework  o Interactions across levels of analysis  Biological, psychological, social, cultural o (Ex.) Cultural neuroscience  Cognitive consequences of individualism vs. collectivism 


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