AOK 2: Human Sciences Anthropology, psychology, economics

Progress Journal:

The Knowledge Question: “Knowledge gives us a sense of who we are.” To what extent is this true in the human sciences and one other area of knowledge?

Today, after reading the articles about standardization and racial profiling, it came upon me that human nature is can be essentially defined as an interaction between our biology and our environment. On one hand, the actions that reflect our nature often depicts racism, sexism anti-pluralism because our environment and the social influence strongly affects our behavior. On the other hand, human nature was to corporate with each other and whatever, I don’t fucking know what I am writing right now. How does this article have anything to do with anthropology or psychology? If we assume that we are all born differently, then should our behavior all be different? Models, rules and laws in psychology, anthropology and economics explain our behavior as similar even though we have differences because we are all bound to this physical self, moral thoughts. But that’s what makes us humans and these models and laws explain our thinkings, our beliefs, even where our thoughts of knowledge came from, why we even question it in the first place. The study of human sciences set out to find the answer to these existential question yet ironically get trapped inside the boundaries of its own existence.

Annoying guy talking about the scientific methods video:

The video was very cringe-worthy indeed but he made some exceptionally good points that all students have wondered about the scientific method at some time in their learning journey. He stated that the scientific method is about finding the answers that are already there not making new answers. This reflects the purpose of using the scientific method in the study of sciences: scientists set out to make explanation and the cause of an event but none have believed such wild conspiracy theories like controversial behavior that contradicts the individual’s disposition, they only make reasonable reasonings that can be justified. Answers that are the truth, what happened behind the stage can be explained by imagination but only confirmed with facts and correct reasoning.

TOK paragraph 1 (deleted attempt):Harry Le

ToK paragraph writing - The Human Sciences

Knowledge question: Human sciences are less able to predict because humans have free will. But human sciences nevertheless try to establish laws of human behaviour. How can this be?

VERY BASIC DRAFT:

Regardless of a knower’s opinion on the debate of free will vs determinism, human behaviour always follow a certain pattern that is consistent enough to be studied systematically by the human sciences due to the limitations of the human mind and body.

g In the famous Stanford Prison Experiment by social psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo, participants were randomly assigned roles of “guard” and “prisoner”. All the prisoners were put in the most realistic criminal-like situation possible as real police officer swoops in, charged, warned of his legal rights, spread-eagled against the police car, searched, and handcuffed. During the six days of the experiment, the guards portrayed actions that can be described as sadistic, abusive and dehumanizing such as calling the prisoners only by their numbers, throwing insults and even putting them in solitary confinement. Prisoners started having mental breakdowns, some rebelled while some followed orders as if they deserve the punishment. The guards knew all of this was just role-playing and had the authority to do anything but physically harming the prisoners. They had all the chances to do treat the prisoners differently, conversing with them or just treat them like normal people. They had the free will to choose whatever course of action to take except for mentally humiliating these people, but their actions were limited by the pre-existing prejudice and the expectations they had for a prison. Psychology, as a major study in the human sciences, attempt to explain this behaviour with the schema theory, stating that these representations of the world can be implicit and unconscious, a part of our subliminal thought that we cannot control.

Attempt #2:

The human sciences try to explain our choices because of this inevitable limitation of human consciousness about free will so as to help us make more meaningful decisions.

We have limitations regarding our physical body that determines just how much “free will” we have, allowing psychologists to study human behaviour systematically. Following Pavlov’s famous experiment of classical conditioning on his dog, Watson and Rayner in 1920 showed that it can affect humans the same way it affected his dog. Little Albert was shown a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey and various masks. Albert showed neutral emotion to these stimuli, however, he would burst into tears when a hammer was struck against a steel bar behind his head. 2 months later, when he was 11 months old, the white rat was presented to Little Albert and seconds later the hammer was struck against the steel bar. This was repeated 7 times in 7 weeks and by now, Little Albert would cry and crawl away when he sees the rat. Classical conditioning works based on the process of association between unconditioned response and conditioned stimulus. Human are evolutionary animals and thus requires automatic evolutionary behaviour that guarantees their survival. The natural response to a stimulus developed through centuries of evolution is associated with a neutral stimulus. The experiment proves that humans, no matter how much we believe we have “free will”, are bound to natural forces that follows a certain pattern which can be studied. The human sciences seek out to shine a light on this pattern and answer a question: “Is free will an illusion?”

Final Draft (turned in as badge project):

We have limitations regarding our physical body that determines just how much “free will” we have, allowing psychologists to study human behaviour systematically. Following Pavlov’s famous experiment of classical conditioning on his dog, Watson and Rayner in 1920 showed that it can affect humans the same way it affected his dog. Little Albert was shown a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey and various masks. Albert showed neutral emotion to these stimuli, however, he would burst into tears when a hammer was struck against a steel bar behind his head. 2 months later, when he was 11 months old, the white rat was presented to Little Albert and seconds later the hammer was struck against the steel bar. This was repeated 7 times in 7 weeks and by now, Little Albert would cry and crawl away when he sees the rat. Classical conditioning works based on the process of association between unconditioned response and conditioned stimulus. Human are evolutionary animals and thus requires automatic evolutionary behaviour that guarantees their survival. The natural response to a stimulus developed through centuries of evolution is associated with a neutral stimulus. The experiment proves that humans, no matter how much we believe we have “free will”, are bound to natural forces that follows a certain pattern which can be studied. The human sciences seek out to shine a light on this pattern and answer a question: “Is free will an illusion?”

Reflection: There is still mistakes being made as the paragraph is not as concise as predicted and wordings may be inaccurate here and there.

Elective Readings:

Taco Trucks and the Soul of America: the article effectively look at an example of the situation of taco trucks all over America and connect it to current worldwide culture and situation with immigrants. Speaking in terms of anthropology, it is noticeable that the effects of immigrants reflect our own nature of insecurity and provoke negative emotion that drives us against acceptance.

Ignorance, How it drives Science: The chapter is well structured as it gives a lot of evidence. For the origin of what drives science forward, ignorance does not fully serve the determination of scientists, it only creates a situation, a troublesome situation that provokes within ourselves the urge to explore.

Extension Proposal: Google Memory and other cognitive processes (not the one from the elective readings): http://whataretheseideas.com/a-tale-of-two-memories-long-term-memory-and-google-memory/

Notes: The article gives an excellent explanation to the Google Effect through the psychologist's perspective and discuss long term memory too which can be added as a reading for WOK memory and serve as the connection between WOK Memory and AOK Human Sciences.

Credits:

Created with images by Son of Groucho - "Scottish "Culture""

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