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Chapters 1-6 This notes include key terms and a summary of the key concepts from the textbook and from the lectures

34 Pages

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Dan Dolderman

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P S Y C H O L O G Y C H A P T E R S # 1 6 CHAPTER 1: Introduction to Psychological Science - Psychology has offered many powerful insights into prejudice - Prejudice influences peoples beliefs and expectations about others, which leads to racist behavior - Brain imaging involves assessing changes in metabolic activity in the brain, such as noting where blood flows as people process information; these changes represent changes in brain activity that indicate which parts of the brain are involved in certain behaviors - Amygdala is a structure in the brain detecting threat, activating a fear response - The implicit attitudes test (IAT) indirectly assesses how people associate positive and negative words with certain groups of people - Goal of psychology is to understand people by considering individual factors (how a brain processes information) and contextual factors (societal beliefs shape how we behave about others) - Psychological science is the study of the mind (mental activity such as thoughts and feelings), brain (action of nerve cells) and behavior (actions that occurs in organisms) - Psychological scientists use the methods of science to understand how people think, feel, and act - Four themes that have defined psychological scientists to study the mind brain, and behavior include: 1) The Principles of Psychological Science Are Cumulative - Throughout history there have been leaps in scientific knowledge and science progresses in smaller, incremental steps building on the foundation of shared knowledge - As scientists expand the outer edge of knowledge, their search for the unknown is still rooted in psychological science - One consequence of focusing on principles is that it can at times make things seem simpler than they really are, where complexities are not involved because we do not have the space to discuss - Therefore, if recognition is easier than recall, there are conditions where this is not true but these complexities are of greater interest to the scientific researcher than a first time student 2) A New Biological Revolution is Energizing Research - In the last 20 years, there has been a growth in understanding biological bases of mental activities but some recent developments have set the stage for a new biological revolution contributing to our understanding psychological phenomena - Brain chemistry is when the brain uses chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate messages between nerve cells - We now know that people have better memories for events that happen when they are calm, because chemicals influence the neural mechanisms involved in memory - Chemical processes are useful for developing treatments to help people with psychological disorders - The human genome is the basic genetic code for the human body but can also be linked to human behavior - The effects of the gene on memory, may soon be able to develop therapies based on genetic manipulation that will assist people with memory problems - The development of methods for assessing the brain in action has been more recent on its vital psychological functions - Neuroscience has been able to address questions of human experience such as how conscious experience involves changes in brain activity 3) The Mind is Adaptive - From an evolutionary theory perspective, the brain is an organ that has evolved over millions of years to solve problems related to survival and reproduction - Those ancestors that were able to solve survival problems and adapt to their environment were most likely to pass on their genes, the process of natural selection - Random gene mutations known as adaptations have allowed our ancestors to pass along their genes to future generations - Solving adaptive problems have the potential to affect whether one survives and reproduces such as eating or our emotions - As well, humans have a fundamental need to belong to their group, and therefore behaviors lead to possible exclusion are discouraged in all societies - We must understand the challenges that faced our ancestors to understand our current behavior - Even though many foods are high in fat and sugar, we still eat them because our heritage encourages us to eat foods that had survival value when food was scarce - Our culture provides adaptive solutions because for humans most challenges involve dealing with other humans - The complexity of living in groups gives rise to culture, which refers to the beliefs, values, and rules that exist within a group of people sharing a common environment - Cultural evolution has occurs over a shorter period of time, including the rise of the internet creating a worldwide network of humans in essence creating a new culture of beliefs, values, and rules - Culture shapes to the extent to which people should emphasize their own interests versus the interests of their families or the group 4) Psychological Science Crosses Levels of Analysis - Scientists must break down behavioral phenomenas into their component parts in order to understand how the biological, individual, and social components influence our specific behaviors - Social aspects involve an examination of how cultural and social contexts affect the ways people interact and influence each other - Individual aspects concern individual differences in personality and mental processes that concern how we perceive and know our worlds - Biological aspects deal with how the physical body contributes to mind and behavior - Music can affect our moods because pleasant music may be associated with increases activation of one brain chemical (serotonin), changing how people behave - Amusia is the ability to recognize familiar tunes even when other aspects of her memory and language systems were intact Origins of Psychology - The nature versus nurture debate is important in determining mind and behavior that captivates the interest of psychological scientists - Schizophrenia is a disorder in which people have unusual thoughts or experiences such as hearing voices where bipolar disorder is when a person has dramatic mood swings both believed to result from bad parenting or environmental circumstances (nurture), but now mental disorders are a result of the brain (nature) - Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is when people have unwanted memories of their traumatic experiences, where some people inherit this predisposition thus nurture activates nature - Both nature and nurture are tightly inseparable and the social environment plays an important role - The mind-body problem is a fundamental psychological issue that considers whether mind and body are separate and distinct or whether the mind is simply the subjective experience of the physical brain - Divine and immortal soul is what separates humans from animals as well as the mind and body being separate entities - Leondardo da Vinci believed that the sensus communis (common sense) is the home of thought and judgment - Dualism (Descartes) is the philosophical idea that the mind exists separately from the physical body, concluding that the rational mind was divine and separate from the body also believed that although the mind could affect the body, the body could also affect the mind - Natural selection (Darwin) is the process by which random mutations in organisms are passed along mutations that hinder reproduction, thus those species that are better adapted to their environment will leave more offspring and so on Scientific Foundations of Psychology - Introspection is a systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that required people to inspect and report on the content of their thoughts - Structuralism is that conscious experience can be studied when it is broken down into its underlying components or elements - The mind consists of a continuous serious of thoughts that are ever- changing, often called a stream of consciousness - Functionalism is an approach to psychology concerned with the adaptive purpose, or function, of mind and behavior; useful for preserving life and passing along genes to future generations (helping organisms adapt to environmental demands) - Gestalt theory is based on the idea that the whole of personal experience is different from simply the sum of its constituent elements (a triangle is shown to people, they see a triangle not three lines) - The phenomenological approach refers to the totality of subjective conscious experience and the perception of objects is subjective and dependent on context - Much of human behavior is determined by mental processes that operate below the level of conscious awareness, at the level of unconscious - Psychoanalysis involves trying to bring the contents of the patients unconscious into conscious awareness so that their conflicts could be dealt with in a constructive way - Behaviorism emphasizes the role that environmental forces have on producing behavior, mai
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