Day 1: Birth Of Psychology

July 10, 2008 by  

 Psychology is the child of philosophy and experimental physiology. It has acquired traits from each parent. Psychology tries to answer the questions of philosophy by using the techniques of experimental design.

Philosophy asks big questions. It asks about the way life is, and what makes us human.
  • Do we share the same reality?
  • What is reality?
  • Are the mind and body separate?

Philosophy includes ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and logic. In general, it is greatly concerned about the consistency of ideas. It analyzes the meaning of words, parses arguments, and applies logic. The methodology of philosophy includes using synthesis, diagrams and syllogisms.

Experimental physiology uses the scientific method to figure out how the body works. It likes ablation, dissection, observation, and experiments. In general, experimental physiology prefers to slice, dice, scan and stimulate. It’s more about doing than talking.

Psychology combines talking and doing. It employs both philosophy and experimentation. Although some area of psychology are closely related or indistinguishable from physiology, psychology in general a dual-minded child.

Roughly half of psychology is devoted to research. It uses naturalistic observation, experiments, correlational studies, and complex mathematical modeling. This half of psychology likes rats in mazes, randomly-assigned treatment groups, and lots of brain-scanning equipment.

The other half of psychology tends to focus on  helping people feel less miserable. This group likes talk therapy, case studies, and one-way mirrors. This clinical orientation uses more personal stories, insights, and philosophical arguments.


   Day 1 Lectures
        01 Birth of Psychology
        02 Ancient Ideas
        03 More Philosophy
        04 Mind-Body Problem
        05 Experimental Physiology
        06 Wilhelm Wundt
   Progress Check

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