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PSYC 100
Sherri Atwood

PSYC100 WEEK1 CHAPTER1 I. The Nature of Psychology A. Definition of psychology: The scientifi study of behavior  and ental processes 1. Scientific: Answering questions objectively based on observation, data, and  established methods. Empirical methods. 2. Behavior: Observable activity 3. Mental   processes:   Thoughts,   feelings,   sensations,   perceptions,   motivations,  dreams, subjective experiences. B. Subfields of psychology 1. Clinical psychology: the study and treatment of mental disorders 2. Biopsychology: focuses on the biological underpinnings of behavior Developmental psychology: examines human physical, psychological, and social  3. development across the lifespan. 4. Experimental psychology: focuses on such basic processes as learning, sensory  systems, perception, and motivational states. 5. Industrial­organizational (I/O) psychology: examines people’s behavior in the  workplace. 6. Personality psychology: focuses on the study of human personality. 7. Social psychology: examines people’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior pertaining  to the social world­­­the world of other people. II. The Big Issue in Psychology: The Nature­Nurture Question        We share a common origin that gives us an inborn human nature in common.                                +        We have differences that are shaped by our environment Psychology’s Scientific Approach  III. A. Empirical approaches make use of research evidence rather than rely on popular  opinion, common sense or intuition, mental shortcuts (e.g., thinking based on  stereotypes, looks, personal experience which may be atypical).  B. Psychology may help us to look for alternative explanations, other perspectives. C. Empirical   research   relies   on   or   is   derived   from   observation,   experimentation,  measurement.   IV. Thinking Critically About Behavior A. Critical thinking questions 1. What is the claim, is the source credible? 2. What is the evidence for that claim, are there other explanations? 3. What is the appropriate conclusion? V. Psychology’s Goals To describe how people and other animals behave A. B. To explain and understand the causes of these behaviors C. To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions D. To influence or control behavior through knowledge and control of its causes to  enhance human welfare VI. Psychology As A Basic And Applied Science A. Basic research 1. the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake 2. to describe how people behave and to identify the factors that influence or cause a  particular type of behavior. B. Applied research 1. is designed to solve specific practical problems 2. uses principles discovered through basic research to solve practical problems VII. Psychology’s Broad Scope: A Simple Framework A. Levels of analysis: Behavior and its causes can be examined at the  biological level,  the psychological level, and the environmental level 1. The deep level,   Biology:   genes, brain, neuro­transmitters, survival, reflexes,  sensation 2. In the middle, Psychology:  thoughts, emotions, moods, choices, behaviors, traits,  motivations, knowledge, perceptions  3. The outer level, nvironment soc: l  Influences, culture, education, relationships B. Interaction not one way street  1. Biology: a. Genetics b. Neurotransmitters (serotonin) c. Brain areas affected           2. Psychological: a. Pessimistic thinking style b. Heightened sensitivity due to childhood experiences may lead  to different reactions 3. Environment: a. Abuse b. Social Support c. Cultural norms d. Coping skills e. Stress levels  VIII. Perspectives On Behavior A. Perspectives 1. Provide history & context for study of psychology 2. Are guides to understanding 3. Are viewpoints on behavior 4. Considers different components to be important B. Illustrates that behavior has diverse causes (interaction between nature and nurture) IX. Psychology’s Intellectual Roots A. Roots of Psychology Are In Philosophy 1. Rene Descartes: Dualism is the idea that the mind (spiritual/mental) & body  (physical) are separate entities.    2. Plato: Nativism is the idea that certain kinds of knowledge are inborn or innate. 3. Aristotle: Philosophical empiricism is the idea that all knowledge is acquired  through experience. B. From speculation to science: The Birth of Modern Psychology 1. Aristotle (4   century BCE) asked questions to understand the relationship  between body and psyche. His way of answering those questions was to  observe  and ake guesses .  2. Wilhelm Wundt (1832­1920) added two key elements to help make psychology a  scie
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