Psychology 1000 – Sept 14 th
History of Psychology: The Philosophical Roots
Early Greeks and other ancients
Humans and Gods were quite separate from other living things.
Humans and gods reasoned about the world.
Animals behaved instinctively – without reason.
Naturalist: placed humans at the top of a Scale of Intelligence.
Rene Descartes (1596-650)
If I’m thinking about my existence, therefore I exist. “I think, therefore I am”
Reason VS Instinct
A problem remained:
Some human behavior is instinctive (just like animals)
Other behavior is based on reason.
Descarte’s solution: A distinction between the mind and the body.
The Mind-Body Problem
Pineal Gland: The intersection of mind and body. (Only have one)
Dualism lives on
After Descartes, the study of the Mind became a topic for Philosophy.
And the study of the body became the topic for Physiology
Psychology evolved from both philosophy and Physiology
What is Psychology?
The science of behavior and the mind.
- Science – based on observable facts. “Show me the evidence”
- Behavoir – observable actions of a person or animal.
- The mind
** thoughts, feelings, sensations
** perception, memories, dreams. ** motives and other subjective experiences.
The mind and the body are one.
Mental events are physical events in the brain.
Events in the brain: love, happiness, learning, ect.
Nature VS. Nuture
Behavior is shaped by experience Behavior is largely inborn
- Experience writes on the empty slate Like so many things, the truth lies
of the mind. (important) somewhere in between these two
Tabula rasa positions.
Deny the influence of genetic factors
1. Biological Perspective
2. Behavioural Perspective
3. Cognitive Perspective
4. Psychodynamic Perspective
5. Humanist Perspective
6. Sociocultural Perspective
Question and Discussion: Why did the Chicken cross the road?
1. Biological Perspective: Natural selection, eggs on the other side.
2. Behavioural Perspective: Chicken was rewarded for crossing the road, learning from other
3. Cognitive Perspective: Thought about it, might have remembered what happened last time.
4. Psychodynamic Perspective: Chickens childhood experiences.
5. Humanist Perspective: Gave the chicken selfworth.
6. Sociocultural Perspective: Social outcast.
Answer: Why did the chicken cross the road?
1. From the Biological Perspective
The neurons on her motor strip fired. Focuses on the part of the brain associated with the motor activity.
Galvani – frog legs
Brain experiments – electrical current, lesions/damage (Lashley, Broca)
Natural selection: “Survival of the fittest”
Individuals who are best suited for their environment pass their genes along the next
Nothing special about humans
Humans can be studied scientifically
2. From the behavioral perspective
She has been reinforced in the past for crossing the road.
Focuses on how the environment has shaped the chicken’s behavior.
Watson and Skinner
Observable behavior was important not mental events.
Behavior controlled by environment
- Control environment then control behavior
Reward and Punishment
- Behavior modification.
- Rewards motivate good behavior
3. From the cognitive perspective.
She wanted to cross the road
Focuses on a conscious cognitive motive or “