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Lecture #1- Psychology Evolves in a Socio-Historical Context.docx

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

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Lecture #1: Psychology Evolves in a Socio-Historical Context Psychology is the study of the soul/mind; therefore it has philosophical and physiological influences.  William Wundt is considered the founder of psychology as its own discipline. He defined it as the study of the conscious experience and how the mind works. o He theorized reaction time  the “thought meter” determined the time between the tone and the patient’s perceived tone. The delay between the two was considered the measurement of thought. Structuralism:  Edward Tichener was a student of Wundt. He believed psychologists should study the consciousness  The sum of total mental experience at any given moment o Broken down into components  Studying these components gives a greater understanding of the whole  More interested in describing the conscious experience  Introspection  This was good in the beginning, but it eventually faded out  No women were allowed in these experiments Functionalism:  Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection played a developmental role in functionalism o Those more adapted to the environment are more likely to survive  William James wanted to understand the function of the mind rather than describe it o Described it as a stream of conscious that cannot be broken down o The mind adapts to the environment to help us survive Behaviourism:  Consciousness shouldn’t be studied because you cant observe it  Uses introspection  John Watson thought psychology should be the study of behaviour that is observable o Behaviour can be determined by environmental factors  Take any individual at random, and by using specific environmental factors, he believed he could turn anyone into anything he wanted (i.e. police officer, doctor, criminal, etc)  B. F. Skinner is an extremist of behaviourism o “Free will is an illusion” o If you understand the triggers, you can predict the outcome Psychoanalytic Theory:  Sigmund Freud said the key to understanding human nature is the unconscious o It can explain personality, illness, etc Humanism:  Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow: psychoanalytic theory and behaviourism were unappealing and dehumanizing  Emphasizes the unique qualities of humans o Focus on the positive of human nature (i.e. Freedom)  Shouldn’t study animals o Human beings are too unique and complex  Maslow’s hierarchy  a structure of the fundamental survival needs, with the goal of self-actualization at the top Psychology then took a turn back to its roots: cognition (George A. Miller). Mental functions were important for understanding behaviour. This is the study of how people think, learn and remember to understand higher mental function. One is rewarded for good behaviour so it is continued and punished for bad behaviour so it does not continue (behaviourism). It was seen as trial and error thinking, BUT after testing, animals proved to show insight along with the trial and error. Physiology was then looked at, and through the advancing technology of neuroscience, they would find out which parts of the brain are stimulated with psychological tasks. A Canadian, Donald Hebbs, wanted to discover what was going on in the brain because to understand the biological basis of behaviour, one must understand the brain. Cell assemblies show that as we age, neurons wire together to form new memories as we learn new things.  Kurt Lewin: In WWII, propaganda had a huge influence on social psychology o The women at home had to change their lifestyle’s, it helped them seeing other women do the same things as them  i.e. using different cuts of meat, growing gardens o Worked through persuasion and influence Social Psychology:
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