PSYC 100 Midterm

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To analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how they are related

Method of analysis: introspection, systematic self observation

Problem of introspection: no objective, independent evaluation, reproducibility is low.

Normall worked in labs

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Investigate the function or purpose of consciousness

Inspired by Darwin’s work on natural selection

Successful heritable characteristics are more likely to be passed on

Typical characteristics of species most serve some purpose

Structuralists overlook that there is a stream of consciousness

Works in the real world, field studies, looking at people’s behavior

Introduced: mental tests, developmental patterns in children, education, behavioral differences between sexes

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the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes.

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psychology is a purely objective natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods,

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Gestalt Psychology

Central dogma: the whole is more than the sum of its parts

We perceive whole forms

Perception depends on the context

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The Gestalt Principles

Built-in processes that organize our perception ( a priori - Kant )

We cannot get out of these processes

Emergence → out of “emerges”, dots, spontaneous organization of elements that give rise to a form thats actually not there

Multistability → the stimulus can have several stable states, vase & 2 faces example

Reification → Illusory contours, automatic way of looking at the world

Invariance → we know its the same thing even when its oriented differently

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out of “emerges”, dots, spontaneous organization of elements that give rise to a form thats actually not there

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the stimulus can have several stable states, vase & 2 faces example

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Illusory contours, automatic way of looking at the world

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we know its the same thing even when its oriented differently

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Figure-Ground Laws

Law of closure → even when distrupted/dotted lines we perceive the object

Law of similarity → our minds group the similar objects to a single object

Law of proximity → automatic grouping phenomenon, objects that are closer to each other belong to each other

Law of continuity

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Law of closure

even when distrupted/dotted lines we perceive the object

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Law of similarity

our minds group the similar objects to a single object

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Law of proximity

automatic grouping phenomenon, objects that are closer to each other belong to each other

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Psychophysiological Model

Tries to explain human behaviours by recourse to its biological basis, reductionism, Relates behaviours to the structures of the central nervous system

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Eric Kandel used the sea slug to explain the neurobiology of memory by applying the reductionist principle

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Reductionism applicable to human behaviour

complex phenomena can be explained by reducing them to more elemental phenomena

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Psychodynamic Model

All behavior can be explained in terms of drives or other intra-psychological forces, behavior results from tension and conflict — Freud Id - ego - superego

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Follows the pleasure principle, the wild side in us, avoid pain and increase pleasure

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Reason, self control, tries to mediate superego and id

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Morality, ideals, aspirations, our perfect self, conscience

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aims to make the unconscious conscious, so that its influence on behaviour can be controlled

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Behaviourist Model

The overt and observable behaviour is the proper level of analysis

Tries to determine what factors in the environment control behaviour.

relation between stimulus and response

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The ABC of pscyholocgy (for behaviorist model)

Antecedent conditions that precede behavior

Behavioral response

Consequences that follow

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Cognitive Model

Cognitions are the principal subject matter of psychology

Cognitions are all processes that used to be labelled “mental” such as perception, thinking, decision making etc.

Behavior can be explained by analysis of information processing

Humans create their subjective reality

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McGurk Effect

what we see affects what we hear, sooo what we hear might not always be the truth, our senses conflict

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Humanistic Model

Assumes that humans are neither motivated by strong deterministic biological drives nor environmental factors. Rather, they are active beings, naturally good and equipped with free will

Concentrates on the phenomenological world, not the objective world of external observer

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Movement Illusion

disconnection of inner and outer reality

We often believe what we see – how do we know this room is not an illusion

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The Mind Body Problem

How is brain and mind/conciousness related

our own experience is private and its quality cannot be shared with anybody

qualia is the heart of this problem

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Cartesian Dualism

Mind and body are of different quality

Mind: non-physical // Body: physical

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interaction problem

Most philosophers/scientists believe that there is one kind of reality? Which is ?But how can mind and body interact?

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mind is fundamental, everything is mind, mind creates matter

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Neutral monists

mental and physical are two different ways to represent the same reality

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matter is fundamental (most popular among scientists)

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The Hard Problem

explain how physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience → explanation are no causative, they are correlative

Explanatory gap between the material brain and the subjective world experience

If it makes sense to ask the question “What is like to be X?” then X is conscious

But even if we understand how the pain is generated scientifically, it’s impossible to actually fully understand that pain

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Assumption of psycho-physical reductionism

the careful study of the bat’s brain/anaotmy/cellular processes would make it possible to understand and describe what the experience of a bat is like

But even if we understand how the pain is generated scientifically, it’s impossible to actually fully understand that pain

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Methodological Reductionism

explaining a phenomenon at a more fundamental level

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how the electrical firing ot millions of neurons produces private/subjective, conscious experience

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content of conscious experience

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imitating nature / mimicry

Ultimate form of understanding

If qualia arise from mental activity, one way to understand what other experiencing is generating similar activity

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consciousness is potentially everywhere

No such thing as a philosophical zombie — Related to sentience(duyarlılık)

Wherever there is life, there is consciousness (attached quality)

Gaia theory (Lovelock) → our planet is a life from thus endowed with consciousness

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The Integrated information theory

all systems that integrate information have some level of consciousness

These systems have some form of qualia

I.e DNA is conscious according to this

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Phi score

the level of integration of information

The more info integrated, higher the score, higher the system’s level of consciousness

Humans have a high score

AI systems are consciousness according to this too

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Freud introduced it → ______ processes affect persons experience and behaviour, even though person cannot report these

Dreams — Slips of the tongue — Rohrscahch inkblot test

Seeing different things isn’t random, it demonstrates sth abt our _______

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Free will

Top level of consciousness


Our unconsciousness controls us

A cultural and religious artifact

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Elusive concept – an intuitive idea , so there is no simple and agreed upon definition

Made-up cognitive concept

William James: can be separated into

I (the __ that experiences) – inner experience

Me (the __ that extends outwards in space and time) – what others perceive of us

A human quantity ? no. — doesn’t necessarily require consciousness

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the capacity to become the object of one’s own attention

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Consciousness is somehow linked to the brain

Levels of consciousness: level of alertness or responsiveness are correlated with patterns of electrical activity in the brain (EEG)

Wide-awake: irregular low amplitude waves

Sleep: slower greater amplitude waves

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Sleep Stages

we cycle through five stages of sleep in 90 minute cycles

Stage 1-4: (non-REM) → no rapid eye movements, fewer dreams

Stage 5 (REM) sleep → vivid dreams, REM, activity pattern resembles an awake brain

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Sleep functions

amount of sleep we need varies across the life span

Serves a restorative function → sleep deficits often linked to cognitive deficits

Functions of REM sleep is unclear —> Possibly memory consolidation/forgetting/both

Animals that cannot fully sleep sleep with one hemisphere at a time

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The Circadian Rhythm

Our sleep behaviour is controlled by the blue-light perceived by the retina

Regulated by neurons in hypothalamus, triggers our sense of fatigue via increasing melatonin

Most critical nucleus → Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)

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Braitenberg Vehicles – Synthetic psychology

What each robot does → behaviorsal description

Why do robots do this → Motiovational/enviornmental/evolutionsary explanation

How do robots generate this behavior → mechanistic explanation

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Simple Vehicles

Very complex behaviour can be understood from very simple mechanisms

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The limits of reductionism

Very complex behaviour can arise from a small set of simple principles

Given several explanations for a phenomenon, the most simple one should be accepted

Most simple explanations are easier to test or falsify

emergent behaviour: complex dynamic systems can be described by simple linear functions but arising/emergent behaviour is unpredictable

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Reverse reductionism

Don’t we need cognitive explanation/humnisitc/structuralistic… to understand the vehicle

Would this add sth abt the true nature of the vehicle that the reductionist approach cannot detect

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using reason & logical arguments – staying objective

Argues that observation is unnecessary, in fact misleading

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theories must be confirmed or disconfirmed by observation

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Classic Method: Inductivism

Several observations are used to induce theories → used to deduce hypothesis → leading to more observations

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Tests are designed to refute predictions, not to confirm a theory

Allows for strict testing of theories

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General Scientific Theory

Observations – ideally unbiased

But generally : prior knowledge, so our observations are not objective but subjective

Status of data. Data do not equal facts

Fact = Data + Theory

Status of theory. Reflect biases, prejudices, values, assumptions, history of the individuals, cultural contexts: Science is not free of values, it is a human endeavor

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The Problem of objectivity

Doing science is a human behaviour

All science is a social activity – “science progresses funeral by funeral”

There might not be a “pure” science and neither a purely “subjective” science

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Observer Effects

You as a scientists have an effect on the experiments

2 assumptions: Researchers influence the participant’s behaviour to the extent that they decide – the objectively defined variables manipulated by the experimenter

Experimenter bias, demand characteristics, representativeness, and artificiality show that these 2 assumptions are not true.

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Experimenter bias

Exposure of male mice to male not female epxerimenters produce pain inhibition

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Hawthrone effect

being observed changes one’s behavior

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Expectancy effect

how personal predictions bias behavior of others

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Demand characteristics

what participants do to please the experimenter

They might figure out the experiment and behave accordingly in order to please the experimenter

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The Milgram experiment

the electroshock thing

Abt how all the germans agreed to do monstrous things during Nazis

Most people do stuff out of their consciousness just cuz it’s a part of the experiment

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limited observations

The bias is Anglocentric, eurocentric, androcentric and used to be Masculinist

Data obtained do not represent humanity in general

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drawbacks of lab research — Research happens inside research labs

Participants do bizarre tasks in the name of science

Often these tasks are a result of a reductionist approach

Animal research in psyc faces the same problem

One solution : field studies

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Correlational Research

Cow disease vs Brexit vote in the UK

A good correlation, doesnt mean it is meaningful

Just a mathemtatical expression of how things relate


Describe and predict how variables are related

allow making predictions, and these predictions can be tested in controlled experiments

Positive - negative - zero correlation (direction of correlation)

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Directionality problem

the direction of the relationship between variables can appear ambiguous

Causations cannot be determined, therefore it remains unclear whether a positive or negative correlation results from the increase in one or the other measured variable

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Third variable problem

The relationship between the two measured correlated variables might be dependent on a third, not measured variable

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Experimental method

main method of empirical sciences

Method used to control and explain phenomena

Cause and effect relationships — To detect causalities

Independent and dependent variables → causal relationship between

Experimental group (receive a treatment) & Control group (receive no treatment)

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Ceteris paribus principle

Manipulate 1 variable while keeping everything else constant

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a research method that tests causal hypotheses by manipulating and measuring variables

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<p>Between Subjects Design</p>

Between Subjects Design

Design principle → Seperate groups assigned to separate conditions

Advantage → no carry-over effects, no boredom, no experience effects (u can’t get good at it because u go through it once)

Disadvantage → large number of participants needed, different participants can induce variance

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<p>Within Subjects Design (repeated measures design)</p>

Within Subjects Design (repeated measures design)

Design principle → all participants exposed to all conditions

Advantage → fewer participants needed, reduces measurement errors

Disadvantage → progressive error from repeatedly measuring the same subjects, experience of participating in the experience(fatigue)

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experimenter minimizes the possibility that other variables besides the IV influence the DV

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Anything that affects a DV and that varies unintentionally between the IV levels

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how valid is what I observed?

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External validity

how much a result obtained in an experiment can be generalized to other situations/contexts

Observer effects influence the outcome measures, thus it is possible that our observations may only be valid within the specific context

the greater the control over the IVs, the more artificial the experimental situation, and the lower the external validity

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Empirical Structuralism

External validity does not exist as a concept and is not useful when it comes to evaluate the goodness of a theory

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Logical Empiricism

objective empirical observations that are independent of the observer and of theory: what truly exists can actually and accurately be discovered by human observation

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Internal validity

the quality of an experiemnt/ how well it was done

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spread of data points across the range of possible measurements

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Mode - Median - Mean

In a PERFECTLY normally distributed dataset: mode - mean - median are the same

In a skewed distribution – these are different

Best to use median: to characterize central tendency

Mean is too much affected by outliers, and does not represent

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how much the data points in a data set vary from each other and from the mean – how spread out

Affects how well the masure of central tendency describes the distribution

If high, a central tendency value does not represent a typical value very well

Measures of central tendency (like mean) are only meaningful if accompanied by a measure of variability

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Standard deviation

measure of the amount of variability in a data sat – average distance of the data points from the mean

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Inferential Statistics

Hypothesis testing: do the differences mean sth?

Data points form distributions → question is, if these distributions are different, is the difference meaningful, big enough or too small to draw conclusions

If the group difference in the DV are sufficiently bigger than what we would expect by chance → difference is statistically significant

The experiment tests two statistical hypotheses

Null hypothesis (H0) → in reality, no difference between the groups, observed differences are simply by chance

Experimental hypothesis (H1) → actual, true differences between the groups, due to manipulating the IV

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knowledge is innate (Nature determines behavior)

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At birth mind is tabula rasa, all is learned (Nurture determines behavior)

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Human Body Form

Adapted to support upright walking in genus homo

A clear and prominent sharp bend in the human spine in the area of the hip

Walking upright → certain proportions of legs vs → arms adapted to living on land → prey and predators easier to see → frees ur hands → allowes us to develıp tools

Specialzied tumb and an increase in sensitive areas is notable in human development

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Homo erectus

by far the most successful human, they were around for 2 million years (we probably wont make it)

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Cognitive Revolution

what gave us our distinct behaviour — Complete change in the ability to process new info

This way we outcompeted other, so they went extinct — Drastic increase in brain size

The gene ARHGAP11B gene → random mutations → the gene ARHGAP11A → the brain started to fold so this much brain matter fit in our skull

Spend more time looking for food

Muscle atrophy (the decrease in size and wasting of muscle tissue)

Premature birth ( bigger brain and smaller pelvis)

Cooking → improved the energy supply system

Language → unique in many ways

Unparalleled compared to lang of other animals

Abilitiy to communicate knowledge about world, planning → rapid learning

Communcaite about social structure → gossip

Possible friendliness

Ability to communicate about things that do not exist (myths, laws, rules, concepts)

Rapid innovation of social behaviour

A lot more cons than pros to have a bigger brain → so why the mutations

The only advantage that humans have to survive in this world is our intelligence to overcome weakness of vision/nose or etf

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Agricultural(neolithic) Revolution

before, we used to migrate & hunt

Animals were domesticated

Concept of ownership

Instead of kinship, social structures

Reduced knowledge about the wider surroundings

Spending significant more time on working

Evolutionary Pscyhologists argue that our minds remained hunter gatherers, we have not adapted yet

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Scientific Revolution

we can develop tools to control nature

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we have reached a level to control the entire planet

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Familiy commonalities

Phylogenetically preserved behaviours

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Baby Schema

Certain facial characteristics have a high appeal to humans, the perception of “cuteness”

Emerges in early human development

Lrge head, round face, hight forehead, large eyesi small nose and mouth

In human and animal infants

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Piloerection (“goosebumps”)

Hair stands up reaction to fright-cold

Inherited from our ancestors who had fur

Makes us look bigger and scarier, keeps air around skin, insukating us from cold

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