Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
o Scientific study or how the mind works, human behaviours – a discipline that
examines how we feel, perceive, think, learn, remember …
o Biological / Physiological:
- Science behind mental processes and behaviours
- Describing how behaviour / mental processes evolve over time.
- Ex: babies – recognizing themselves in the mirror by 6 months, pointing
- Understanding mental abilities (sensation, perception, learning, memory,
thinking, intelligence, creativity …)
- Cognitive = thinking
- What makes us special / different.
- Positive reinforcement
o Clinical: (largest subfield)
- Study of mental disorders.
- Administer service to the general public
- Study the degree to which different behaviours affect people’s health.
- Studies to improve educational systems/policies.
- Similar to educational, but with application.
- Often works within the school system.
- Assessment and treatment (therapy)
- 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
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
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.
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
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
UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN PSYCHOLOGY
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 Psychological functioning is determined by psychological structure.
o Behaviour is shaped by learning (ex: good behaviour = reward)
o How we take in, mentally represent, store and perceive (ect) info. How these
cognitive processes are related to our behaviour.
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
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
- Predictions stated as specific, testable propositions about the topic of interest.
- 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.
- Information collect