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Summary - Historical and conceptual issues in psychology
1.1 The invention of writing
Civilisation before writing was invented.
Explanation of the workings of the world and the universe by means of spirits with
information-conveyingsign that consists of a picture resembling the person, animal or object it represents.
A sign that represents a sound or a
syllableof spoken language: forms the basic of writing systems.
A sign representing a spoken word, which no longer has a physical resemblance to the word's meaning.
Study method in which students
unquestioninglymemorise and recite texts that are thought to convey unchanging truths.
Name 3 features of the preliterate civiliation.
- Knowledge confined to 'know-how' without theoretical knowledge of the underlying principles.
- Fluidity of knowledge.
- Collection of myths and stories about the beginning of the universe (animism).
Why was the invention of writing so important?Written records form an external memory, which allows an accumulation of knowledge.
1.2 The discovery of numbers
Place coding system
System in which the meaning of a sign not only depends on its form but also on its position in a string: is used for instance in Arabic
Why were the number systems of the Greek and Romans suboptimal?Their notation did not assign a meaning to the place of the digits. (Such a place coding system was developed in india. This required the invention of a symbol for 0).
1.3 The Fertile Crescent
Region in the Middle East with a high level of civilisation around
3.000 BCE: included the Ancient Mesopotamian and the Ancient Egyptian civilisation.
Name the 2 civilisations in the Fertile Crescent, and their main contributions.
- Ancient Mesopotamia: mathematics (algebra, astronomy, calendar).
- Ancient Egypt: geometrical knowledge, calendar, hieroglyphs.
1.4 The Greeks
Critical reflection on the universe and human functioning: started in Ancient Greece.
Argument consisting of three propositions: the major premise, the minor premise, and the conclusion. The goal of logic is to determine which
syllogismslead to valid conclusions and which not.
Plato founded the Academy and Aristotle the Lyceum. With 2 other schools they educated students for centuries. Name the 2 other schools and were they emphasised on.
- Stoa, which had an emphasis on self-control.
- Garden of Epicurus, which emphasised the enjoyment of simple pleasures.
Under Alexander the Great, there was significant expansion and interaction with other cultures. To which culture did this led, and what signified this culture?Hellenistic culture (shift to Alexandria), Where knowledge became more mathematical and specialised.
1.5 Developments from the roman empire to the end of the middle ages
Name given in the
Renaissanceto the Middle Ages, to refer to the lack of independent and scientific thinking in that age.
Name 2 features of the Ancient Romans.
- Assimilated the Greek methods and knowledge.
- Were more interested in technological advances than in philosophy.
name 2 features of the Byzantine Empire
- Eastern part of the Roman Empire: capital Constantinople; lasted till 1453.
- Preservation of the legacy of the Ancient Greeks.
Name 4 features of the Arab Empire.
- Founded on Islam: Contained the Fertile Crescent.
- Translation and exstension of the Greek works.
- Particularly strong on medicine, astronomy, mathematics (algebra) and optics.
- occupied most of Spain.
Name 3 features of Western Roman Empire.
- Largest decline in scientific knowledge.
- Catholic Church main preserver: not very science-orientated.
- In the renaissance referred to as the 'Dark Ages'.
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What was the cognitive neuropssychiatry explaination of the Capgras delusion?
The condition results from blocked information transfer in an unconscious, emotion-related processing route, that under normal circumstances elicits an emotional response each time we encounter a familiar person. As a result, the relatives feel strange, even though we recognise them.
What was the Freudian interpretation of the Capgras delusion?
Conflicting feelings towards the relatives, which result in a dissociation between the absent loved persons and the present hated look-alikes.
What is Capgras delusion?
A situation in which a person still recognise close relatives, but is convinced that they have been replaced by look-alikes.
What does cognitive neuropsychiatry states?
That symptoms of mental disorders (such as delusions) can be understood as the result of errors in the cognitive information-processing model that accounts for normal psychological functioning.
What created the research field known as cognitive neuroscience?
Techniques like EEG, ERP, MEG, PET etc. allowed researchers to measure brain activity while participants are performing mental tasks.
What does TMS allow researchers to do?
Interfere briefly with the activity of a small region of the grey matter and to examine the effects of his interference on the time needed to complete a particular task. Makes it possible to ascertain that the brain region is crucial for performance.
FMRI scanning allows researcher....?
to localise brain activity on the basis of oxygen use, produces more detailed images than PET and does not require an injection of substance into the participants.
What does PET scanning allow?
PET scanning allows researchers to see which brain areas require extra blood during the performance of tasks by tracing a radioactive substance injected into the blood.
What is MEG scanning, and what does it allow researchers?
MEG scanning also measures the electrical activity of groups of neurons and allows researchers to add localisation to the ERP studies.
What are ERP studies and what does it allow researchers to find?
ERP studies are based on EEG recordings and allow researchers to find out how the brain response changes as a function of different types of stimuli.