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Psychology Chapter 1-Psychology 104/105

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Connie Varnhagen

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Chapter 1: Psychology: The Evolution of a Science Terms: Psychology- The scientific study of the mind and behavior. Mind- Our private inner experience of perceptions, thoughts, memories, and feelings. Behavior-Observable actions of human beings and nonhuman animals. Nativism-The philosophical view that certain kinds of knowledge are innate or inborn. Philosophical Empiricism-The philosophical view that all knowledge is acquired through experience. Phrenology-A now defunct theory that specific mental abilities and characteristics, ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness, are localized in specific regions of the brain. Physiology-The study of biological processes, especially in the human body. Stimulus- Sensory input from the environment. Reaction Time-The amount of time taken to respond to a specific stimulus. Consciousness-A person’s subjective experience of the world and the mind. Structuralism-The analysis of the basic elements that constitute the mind. Introspection-The subjective observation of one’s own experience. Functionalism-The study of the purpose mental processes serve in enabling people to adapt to their environment. Natural Selection- Charles Darwin’s theory that the features of an organism that help it survive and reproduce are more likely than other features to be passed on to subsequent generations. Illusions-Errors of perception, memory, or judgment in which subjective experience differs from objective reality. Gestalt Psychology-A psychological approach that emphasizes that we often perceive the whole rather than the sum of the parts. Dissociative Identity Disorder-A condition that involves the occurrence of two or more distinct identities within the same individual. Hysteria-A temporary loss of cognitive or motor functions, usually as a result of emotionally upsetting experiences. Unconscious-The part of the mind that operates outside of conscious awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings, and actions. Psychoanalytic Theory-Sigmund Freud’s approach to understanding human behavior that emphasizes the importance of unconscious mental processes in shaping feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Psychoanalysis-A therapeutic approach that focuses on bringing unconscious material into conscious awareness to better understand psychological disorders. Humanistic Psychology-An approach to understanding human nature that emphasizes the positive potential of human beings. Behaviorism-An approach that advocates that psychologists restrict themselves to the scientific study of objectively observable behavior. Response-An action or physiological change elicited by a stimulus. Reinforcement-The consequences of a behavior that determine whether it will be more likely that the behavior will occur again. Cognitive Psychology-The scientific study of mental processes, including perception, thought, memory, and reasoning. Behavioral Neuroscience-An approach to psychology that links psychological processes to activities in the nervous system and other bodily processes. Cognitive Neuroscience-A field that attempts to understand the links between cognitive processes and brain activity. Evolutionary Psychology-A psychological approach that explains mind and behavior in terms of the adaptive value of abilities that are preserved over time by natural selection. Social Psychology-A subfield of psychology that studies the causes and consequences of interpersonal behavior. Cultural Psychology-The study of how cultures reflect and shape the psychological processes of their members. Chapter 1 Summary: Psychology’s Roots: The Path to a Science of Mind:  Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Behavior is usually adaptive because it helps us meet the challenges of daily living; similarly, the brain and mind usually function effectively and efficiently. Disruptions to the mind and behavior, in the form of mindbugs, allow us to better understand the normal functions of the mind and behavior.  Early efforts to develop a science of mind were pioneered by French scientists Pierre Flourens and Paul Broca, who observed the effects of brain damage on mental abilities of people and animals, and by German scientis
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