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Psychology notes - Thursday, Sept 13 2012.docx

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St. Thomas University
Brad Mc Kay

Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY  PSYCHOLOGY: o Scientific study or how the mind works, human behaviours – a discipline that examines how we feel, perceive, think, learn, remember …  SUBFIELDS: o Biological / Physiological: - Science behind mental processes and behaviours o Developmental: - Describing how behaviour / mental processes evolve over time. - Ex: babies – recognizing themselves in the mirror by 6 months, pointing by 9. o Cognitive: - Understanding mental abilities (sensation, perception, learning, memory, thinking, intelligence, creativity …) - Cognitive = thinking o Personality: - What makes us special / different. o Behavioural: - Positive reinforcement o Clinical: (largest subfield) - Study of mental disorders. o Community: - Administer service to the general public o Health: - Study the degree to which different behaviours affect people’s health. o Educational: - Studies to improve educational systems/policies. o School: - Similar to educational, but with application. - Often works within the school system. - Assessment and treatment (therapy) o Social: - Study the ways peoples thoughts influences themselves and others. o Industrial / Organizational: (second largest subfield) - Study workers and workplaces that affect the efficiency, productivity and satisfaction.  BRIEF HISTORY: o Official birth: 1879; William Wundt opened the first psychology lab. o Gestalt Psychologist: o Disagreed with Wundt’s approach of investigating separately, rather than as a unified whole. o Freud: o Developed a theory based on the idea of an “unconscious” when faced with behaviour that couldn’t be explained by consciousness.  MEANWHILE, IN NORTH AMERICA … o Late 1870s – William James established a lab at Harvard o 1883 – G. Stanley Hall established a lab in John Hopkins University st o 1889 – 1 Canadian lab at University of Toronto As the study of psychology explanded in the late 1900s, comparative methods developed (studying animals) and we saw the birth of behaviourism: based on the view that studying unobservable mental processes was inappropriate for understanding behaviour.  TODAY … o Behaviourism is still around o Many inventions have revolutionized the study of human functioning, and allow specialists to “see” what is happening when we engage in different mental processes. o Greater recognition of human diversity  UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN PSYCHOLOGY o All areas of Psychological practice/research fall under general heading of mental process or behaviour and, o All psychologists subscribe to a scientific approach for obtaining and evaluating knowledge.  UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN PSYCHOLOGY o Biological: o Behaviour and mental processes are shaped by biological structure and process. o Evolutionary: o Who we are psychologically is shaped through time, and natural selection. o Psychodynamic: o Psychological functioning is determined by psychological structure. o Behavioural: o Behaviour is shaped by learning (ex: good behaviour = reward) o Cognitive: o How we take in, mentally represent, store and perceive (ect) info. How these cognitive processes are related to our behaviour. o Humanistic: o Our behaviour is decided by our choices o The decisions we make (bad or good) are the best choices for us at that time. Chapter 2. RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY o Critical thinking: evaluating info and making judgments on the basis of well-supported evidence. o People in general: o constant barrage of info and claims (from media, people, ect …) o We decide if we want to accept this info o People in specific: o We tend to trust certain people Ex: doctors, policemen, psychologists, … o People who guide public policy: o We are also influenced by laws and policies o These laws and policies are not placed based on ONE or FEW people. They are based on good, solid reasons and truth.  APPLYING CRITICAL THINKING o What am I being asked to believe? o What supporting evidence is available? o Are there other ways of evaluating the evidence? o Is there more evidence needed/useful? o What conclusions are most reasonable?  CRITICAL THINKING + RESEARCH o Hypothesis: - Predictions stated as specific, testable propositions about the topic of interest. o Variables: - Factors that are manipulated during the research. Ex: # of people, definitions of ex, help, trouble..) o Operational Definitions: - Statements of the exact operations/procedures used during research. o Data: - Information collect
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