Dynamics of Behaviour 9/8/2011 12:32:00 PM
What is psychology?
- Diverse field
o Levels of analysis
- Learning about ourselves
- A science that requires critical thinking
Four Goals of Psychologists:
4. Apply 9/8/2011 12:32:00 PM
Psychology: scientific study of behaviour and the mind.
Behaviour: actions and responses that we can directly observe.
Mind: internal states and processes, such as thoughts and feelings, that cannot
be seen directly and must be inferred from observable, measureable responses.
Clinical psychology: the study and treatment of mental disorders.
Cognitive psychology: study of mental processes, especially from a model that
views the mind as an information processor. Examines consciousness, attention,
memory, decision making and problem solving.
Psycholinguistics: psychology of language.
Empirical Evidence: evidence gained through experience and observation, and
this includes evidence from manipulating with things and then observing what
Levels of Analysis
Biological Level: behavior and its causes (brain processes, genetic influences).
Psychological Level: our thoughts, feelings and motives.
Environmental Level: past and current physical and social environments to which we are
PSYCHOLOGYS INTELLECTUAL ROOTS
o Mind-body Dualism: the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to physical
laws that govern the body.
o Monism: (Greek: monos, meaning one) the mind and body are one and the mind is not
a separate spiritual entity.
o British Empiricism: ideas and knowledge is gained empirically- through the senses.
EARLY SCHOOLS: STRUCTALISM AND FUNCTIONALISM
Structuralism: the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements.
Method used: introspection (looking within) to study sensations
Participants exposed to sensory stimuli and describe inner experiences
Said to be too subjective and died out after few decades Functionalism: studies functions of consciousness rather than structure.
Influenced by Darwins theory of evolution
Importance of adaptation in order to survive and reproduce in
No longer is a school of thought in psychology
Endures in Cognitive Psychology (studies mental processes) and
Evolutionary Psychology (adaptiveness of behavior)
THE PSYCHODYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE: THE FORCES WITHIN
Psychodynamic perspective: searches for the causes of behavior within the inner workings of
our personality, emphasizing the role of unconscious processes.
first and most influential theory developed by Freud.
Free association: expression of any thoughts that come to mind.
Psychoanalysis: analysis of internal and primarily unconscious psychological forces.
The BEHAVIOURAL PERSPECTIVE: THE POWER OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions.
Behavior determined by habits learned in previous life experience and stimuli
in our immediate environment.
Roots in philosophical school of British empiricism. Behaviorism: school of thought that emphasizes environmental control of
behavior though learning.
o Radical behaviorism: how environmental forces could be used to
enhance human welfare.
o Behavior modification: techniques aimed at decreasing problem
behaviors and increasing positive behaviors by manipulating
THE HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE: SELF-ACTUALIZATIONAND POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
o Humanistic perspective: emphasizes free will, personal growth, and the attempt
to find meaning in ones existence.
o Self-actualization: reaching of ones individual potential.
Supportive environment = positive inner nature
Misery and pathology = environment with frustration
Positive psychology movement: emphasizes the study of human strength,
fulfillment, and optimal living.
THE COGNITIVE PERSPECTIVE: THE THINKING HUMAN
o Cognitive perspective: examines the nature of the mind and how mental processes
o Gestalts psychology: examined how the mind organizes elements of experience into
a unified or whole perception.
o Cognitive revolution: between the 1960s-1970s, psychologists interest in mental
o Cognitive psychology: study of mental processes, embodies cognitive perspective.
o Cognitive neuroscience: uses sophisticated electrical recording and brain-imaging
techniques to examine brain activity while people engage in cognitive tasks.
THE SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE: THE EMBEDDED HUMAN