Psychology 100 9/16/2012 8:18:00 AM
Chapter I The Science of Psychology
1.1 What is psychology?
The study of mind, brain and behavior.
How the two are connected.
Its technically a science.
Psychology is about you and I.
o Personally relevant.
o Relevant to us all.
Human behavior in real life contexts.
Determined by human interaction.
Psychological processes can surprise us its not just common sense!
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Humans are intuitive psychologists:
Fact or fiction?
o We have to systematically evaluate information to reach
What am I supposed to believe?
Whats the evidence?
Example of Critical Thinking:
1. A statement is made based on some evidence.
2. You carry out other experiments regarding the statement.
3. A FINAL conclusion is made about the statement.
1.2 The Scientific Foundations of Psychology:
Dated back to 1870s. Originated in philosophy Chinese, Muslim philosophers (ex.
19 thcentury emerged as a scientific discipline.
Nature/ Nurture Debate:
Innate or cultural phenomenon?
Influence each other and is inseparable.
Mind/body problems Separate and distinct?
Wilhelm Wundt first psychological laboratory.
John Stuart argued psychology should be a science of
observation and experiment.
Introspection you can absorb behavior, but you cant determine
the cognitive processes.
o You have to revert it back to yourself whats going on in
o Used to study consciousness (self awareness).
o ISSUE WITH INTROSPECTION: experience is subjective,
reporting of the experience changes the experience itself.
Structuralism Edward Titchener Breaking down into basic
Consciousness FIRST MAJOR DEBATE BETWEEN
o Psychologists thought consciousness was not always present
debated about it.
o Argued the mind consisted of a stream of consciousness
o Looked at the big picture not just components but what it
all led to.
Consciousness could not be frozen in time, broken down
and analyzed- its a constant flow.
Functionalism examining the functions of the mind Evolutionary theory Charles Darwin:
Adaptation genes pass along from generation to generation.
Natural selection mutations facilitate survival.
Survival of the fittest better adapted survive, less adapted die
Gestalt Theory whole of conscious experience is different from the sum of
Women Psychology Field:
Mary Whiton Calkins:
o 1 woman president of the American Psychological
Association despite no PhD.
Margret Flow Washburn:
o First woman with Psych PhD.
o 2 ndwoman president of the American Psychological
Mental processes below the level of awareness determine much of
o Introduced notion of unconscious.
o Unconscious forces can produce discomfort in the conscious
Impulses, tendencies that you act upon, but not really sure why.
John B. Watson:
Challenged focus on conscious and unconscious mental processes.
o Developed behaviorism:
Environmental stimuli affect behavioral responses.
Behavior is learned (nurture).
Mantle of behaviorism: o Behavior is shaped by consequences that follow them .
o Mental processes have no scientific value.
What you think has no scientific value whatsoever.
Behaviorism dominated psychology in the 1960s.
Psychoanalysis vs. Behaviorism:
Behaviorism could not explain all learning.
o Developed cognitive psychology The study of how people
think, learn and remember.
o In 1980s cognitive psychologists joined forces with neurology,
computer science and philosophy.
o 1990s- psycho-neuroscience.
Computers Information processing theories.
Behavior is affected by presence of others.
Emphasized a scientific, experimental approach to understanding
how people are affected by others.