chpt1.docx

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Published on 20 Nov 2012
Department
Course
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PSY 100
Chapter 1 -- Foundations
Definition of psychology
Science of behavior and the mind
The scientific study of behavior and mental processes
Focuses on empirical evidence and critical thinking
Wilhelm Wundt: “father of psychology”
Established first psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany in 1879
Structuralism: sought to identify the basic building blocks, or structures, of mental life
through introspection
William James: first American psychologist
Very critical of structuralism
Functionalism: study how the mind functions to adapt organisms to their environment
Darwin’s influence
Forced scientists and thoughtful people working in many disciplines to consider the basic
features held in common by many or all animals, such as thinking and social behavior
Animals keep features through evolution that help them adapt to environments
BEHAVIOR SERVES A PURPOSE
Freud: key founder of psychoanalytic view
Behavior driven by unconscious processes and unresolved past conflicts
Skinner: behaviorism
Rejected introspection; study of mental processes determined unscientific
Redefined psychology as “science of observable behavior”
Rogers and Maslow: humanistic psychology
One’s perception of reality is what matters
Emphasis on free will and self-actualization
Led to modern field of positive psychology
Social psychology: examining behavior and mental processes in context of social situations and
cultures
Involves the study of social interactions, stereotypes, prejudices, attitudes, conformity, group
behaviors, and aggression
People’s conscious or unconscious beliefs about potential social consequences of acting in
a certain way
Cognitive psychology: involves how we process, store, and retrieve information and how cognitive
processes influence our behavior
Focuses on specific mental processes perception, memory, information, processing,
language, reasoning
Information somehow stored and activated by the brain some is innate and some is
acquired by learning
Developmental Psychology: examines moral, social, emotional, and cognitive development
throughout a person’s life span
Abnormal Psychology (personality psychology): involves the study of personality development,
personality change, assessment, and abnormal behaviors
Structuralism vs. functionalism
Structuralism: sought to identify the basic building blocks, or structures, of mental life
through introspection
Functionalism: study how the mind functions to adapt organisms to their environment
Nativism vs. empiricism
Nativism: the view that some knowledge and rules of operation are native to the human
mind and not acquired from experience
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