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Lecture 1 Notes.docx

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University of Ottawa
Kenneth Campbell

Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes In any science we must be able to: - define our variables (something that changes) - observe our variables - measure/quantify our variables What is behavior Behavior can be observed How can we quantify behavior ex. How much did you write? What is the mind What are mental processes? Mental processes cannot be observed but can be defined In a true experiment, we manipulate or change a variable In psychology, we examine the mind, a (non physical) mental state Lexical decisions Lexical: probing your mind to recognize valid English words What mental processes were involed in knowing that “street” is an English word but “glues” is not Major Divisions of Psychology 1. Experimental Psychologists 2. Clinical Psychologists 3. Applied Psychologists 1. Experimental Psychology Began mid-late 1800s First experimental psychology lab- Wilhelm Wundt The exact description of consciousness is the sole aim of experimental psychology Basic principles of experimentation are used to explain psychological phenomena Structuralism Edward Titchnener in the US Structures of the mind: in particular consciousness Attempted to discover the basic structures of the mind (analogous to the basic elements in Chemistry) He used a method called introspection The participant had to look inward (self-reflect) on the contents of their consciousness This proved to be very unreliable and highly subjective. No consistent findings Functionalism (pragmatism) Practical Developed by William James in the US in the early 1900s What is the function of our thoughts and emotions? James did not carry out experimental research. He was a theoretical psychologist He developed theories about consciousness, attention, memory. He wrote the first textbook in Psychology (used for 30-40 years) Again, the study of functions proved to be highly subjective ex. The function of memory is this/that 2. Clinical Psychology Counseling; psychotherapy S. Freud is generally considered to be the founder of psychotherapy but he was a neurologist, not a psychologist Major roots of clinical psychology and therapy are recent- late 1940s Now the major field in psychology 3. Applied Psychology Apply knowledge of basic, fundamental (experimental) psychology Social, developmental, educational, industrial psychology Experimental, Applied, and Clinical psychologists take on different approaches. These can be categorized into “schools” Schools of Psychology: Behavioral Cognitive Biological Social Psychoanalytic Phenomenological Behavioral Began in
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