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PSY105_Chapter 1

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PSY 105
Kristin Vickers

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Chapter 1: Psychology - Yesterday and Today Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behavior Four Goals of Psychology - Description o Describing what goes on - Explanation o Answering why something is happening - Prediction o Predict what will happen next o You can never predict the actions of an individual, however you can for an average - Control o Trying to control and change a behavior Levels of Analysis - When studying why a certain behavior or mental process occurs, one can study the influences of: o The brain  Neural activity o The person  What emotions, ideas, thoughts does the person have o The group  Society, family, friends culture  How does culture influence out behavior? Level What Is Analyzed Example: Using Social Media How brain structure and The brain brain cell activity differ What are the patterns of brain activation as from person to person and people interact with “friends” online? situation to situation Are there personality factors that influence how How the content of the individual’s mental much people use different types of social media? The person Can online social support or crisis resources processes form and improve people’s decision-making and quality of influence behaviour life? What features of social networking sites, such as How behaviour is shaped relative anonymity, ease of access, and lack of The group by the social and cultural environments face-to-face contact, increase or decrease users’ feelings of belonging and connectedness? Psychology’s Roots in Philosophy Many myths and ceremonies developed as a way to describe, explain, predict and control our reality Philosophy: is the study of knowledge and reality o Philosophers posed questions and discussed and proposed solutions - Aristotle o Why are people the way they are? o People are born as a blank slate o Experience imprints on us and creates impressions on our slate - Plato o We are born a certain way with certain knowledge - Hippocrates o Greek physician that thought that everyone has a certain amount of humors in our bodies o Used direct observation to test his theory of medicine and developed one of the first psychological theories: o Physical and psychological health are influence by the 4 humors  Black bile, yellow bile, blood, phlegm The Early Days of Psychology - Wilhelm Wundt* o Founder of psychology o Established first psychology lab in 1879 o Interested in what happens in our conscious mind – studied consciousness o Studied a branch of psychology called voluntarism o What do we direct our attention to?  We volunteer/choose where to direct our attention to Structuralism - Edward Titchener o Founded structuralism (was a student of Wundt) o About finding the basic aspects of consciousness o At attempt to identify all of the elements of consciousness o Looking within yourself to identify conscious elements; a process called introspection o Goal was to describe observable mental processes rather than to explain, predict, or control In such an experiment you would receive a visual stimulus, then introspect about it, and then report what your basic levels of consciousness were - Why did structuralism reach its end? Titchener thought people would reach the same conclusions However people’s experiences influences what they saw and everyone’s interpretations were different Functionalism - Founded by William James o Set up the first psychology lab in the US at Harvard o Wrote one of the first psychology textbooks, Principles of Psychology 1890 - The belief that mental processes were fluid “stream of consciousness” and have purpose - Emphasizes the functions of the mind in adapting to a changing environment. Included animals and mental disorders in research o Everything is very dynamic, every detail influences the fluidity of our thought processes o What we do has a purpose. Our behavior is motivated towards something (there is a functionalism towards our behavior) - Has done very well and is now mainstream in psychology Psychoanalysis - The belief that people’s behavior’s are based on their unconscious desires and conflicts - Founded by Sigmund Freud o He developed a form of therapy that aimed to resolve unconscious conflicts o All about the unconscious elements o A technique that was used would be to show people ink blots and ask what they see  Idea is that you are drawing on the persons unconscious
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