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PSYC 1200 - Chapter 1

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PSYC 1200
Jason Leboe- Mcgowan

The Evolution of Psychology  Psychology: the study of the mind o Comes from two Greek words, psyche, which means soul, and logos, which refers to the study of a subject o The term psychology did not gain more than rare usage until the early 18th century The Contributions of Wundt and Hall  Psychology's parents were the disciplines of philosophy and physiology o Experts in those fields viewed questions about the mind as fascinating issues within their discipline  Wilhelm Wundt (1832 - 1920) o German professor who changed this view o Mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather then a stepchild of the others o Timing was right - German universities were expanding and the intellectual climate favored the scientific approach that Wundt advocated o In 1879, Wundt established the first formal laboratory for research in psychology, at the University of Leipzig.  Historians have christened 1879 as the year that psychology was born o In 1881, he established the first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology o He is widely characterized as the founder of psychology  Declared that it should be a science modeled after fields like physics and chemistry o According to Wundt, psychology's primary focus was consciousness - the awareness of immediate experience o G Stanley Hall - studied under Wundt  Established America's first research laboratory at John Hopkins, in 1883  In 1887, he established the American Psychological Organization  Worlds largest organization devoted to the advancement of psychology The Battle of "Schools" Begins: Structuralism vs. Functionalism  Structuralism: based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related o Emerged through the leadership of Edward Titchner o Structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience, such as sensations, feelings, and images o Introspection: the careful, systematic self-observation of one's own conscious experience  Subjects were exposed to stimuli and asked to analyze what they experienced o More laboratory based o Limitations associated with the use of introspection were a factor that contributed to the demise of structuralism  If you depend solely in an individuals reflection to document a phenomenon, there is no independent objective evaluation of that claim  Functionalism: based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than structure o Based of work of William James  Principles of Psychology became standard reading for a generations of psychologists - one of the most influential texts in the history of psychology o Natural selection: heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely to be passed along - 'selected' over time  James applied this idea to humans - psychology should investigate the function, instead of structure of consciousness  Wanted to understand the flow of consciousness - the flow of consciousness  Argued that Structuralists were looking at static points o Spent more time studying people in the real world, than in the laboratory o Margaret Floy Washburn - first woman in the US to receive a Ph.D in psychology\  Author of the book - The Animal Mind - served as a precursor to behavioralism o Fostered the development of behaviouralism and applied psychology Watson Alters Psychology's Course as Behaviorism Makes Its Debut  Behaviorists, lead by John B. Watson, argued that psychology should only study observable behavior. Thus they campaigned to redefine psychology as the science of behavior  Behavior: refers to any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism  Watson asked question - nature vs. nurture o Argued that people are made, not born o Downplayed the importance of heredity  Viewed psychology's mission as an attempt to relate overt behaviors (responses) to observable events in the environment (stimuli)  Stimulus: any detectable input from the environment  Behavioral approach often referred to as stimulus-response (S-R) psychology o Emphasizing the importance of the environment over heredity, behaviorists began to explore stimulus-response relationships, often using animals as subjects  Ivan Pavlov showed that dogs could be trained to salivate in response to an auditory stimulus such as a tone  The Gestalt theories challenged Watson's o Argued that psychology should continue to study conscious experience rather than overt behavior  Freud also challenged Watson Freud Brings the Unconscious Into the Picture  Freud's approach to psychology grew out of his efforts to treat mental disorders  The unconscious: contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour o Believed that slips of the tongue and dreams revealed people's true feelings  By arguing that behavior is governed by unconscious forces, Freud suggested that people are not the masters of their minds o Proposed that behaviour is influenced by how people cope with sexual urges  By 1920, the psychoanalytic theory was widely known around the world, but continued to meet with resistance o It conflicted with the spirit of the times o Psychologists felt that the conscious experience was inaccessible to scientific observations, never mind the unconscious o Nonetheless, psychoanalytic theory survived and became an influential theoretical perspective Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviouralism Flourishes  B F Skinner was a central figure in behaviouralism and the history of psychology o Influenced by Watson's methodological behaviorism and Pavlov's work on conditioned reflexes o Developed a system based on radical behaviouralism o Argued that psychology could understand and predict behaviour adequately without resorting to physiological explanations o Main principle - organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to a positive outcome and not repeat those that lead to a negative outcome  Spelled this out in the book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity  Asserted that all behaviour is governed by external stimuli  People are controlled by their environment, not by themselves  Arrived at the conclusion that free will is an illusion  Serious criticism - people believed that her was advocating for an undemocratic 'scientific police state' The Humanists Revolt  By the 1950's, behaviouralism and psychoanalytic theory had become the most influential schools of thought in psychology o Claimed to be dehumanizing  Psychoanalytic theory attacked for belief that behaviour is dominated by primitive, sexual urges  Behaviorism attacked for its preoccupation with the study of simple, animal behaviors  Both criticized because they suggested that people are not the masters of their own destinies  Humanism: a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth  Leaders - Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow  Believed that psychologists had to take into account the fundamental drive towards personal growth  People have a basic need to evolve as human beings and to fulfill potential o Humanists greatest contribution to psychology has probably been their innovative treatments for psychological problems and disorders Perspective Principal Subject Matter Basic Premise and It's Contributors Influential Period Behavioural Watson Effects of Only observable events (1913 - Pavlov environment on the (stimulus-response present) Skinner overt behaviour of relationships) can be studied humans and animals scientifically Psychoanalytic Freud Unconscious Unco
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