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Western University
Geography 2152F/G

 Wolfgang Kohler concluded that ability to perceive relationships is the essence of intelligence • Defined “insight” as sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problem • Demonstrated insight by observing chimpanzee use various items in a cage to reach a banana at the top o Jean Piaget  Studied how children think, reason, and solve problems  Concerned with how the mind and its development contribute to our ability to adapt to our environment o Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck  Attempted to understand how mental distortions and irrational thought patterns create emotional problems  Emphasized that distress and maladaptive behaviour are caused by the ways situations are thought about, not by external situations Modern Cognitive Science • Artificial intelligence develops computer models of complex human thought, reasoning, and problem solving • Interested in how people produce and recognize speech and how creative solutions to problems are produced • Social constructivism: What we consider reality is in large part our own mental creation o Little shared reality exists apart from what groups of people socially construct through subjective meaning they give to their experiences o Believe male and female sex roles created not by nature, but by shared world view that exists within social groups The Psychodynamic Perspective • Searches for causes of behaviour within workings of personality, emphasizing role of unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts from past • Sigmund Freud emphasized role of complex psychological forces in controlling human behaviour o Focused on hysteria, condition where physical symptoms develop without organic cause o Found improvement in patients after they reported and relived painful childhood sexual experiences o Led Freud to believe that most of human behaviour is influenced by unconscious forces o Believed repression was a defense mechanism to keep anxiety-arousing impulses, feelings, and memories in unconscious depth of mind o All behaviour is a reflection of unconscious internal struggle between conflicting psychological forces of impulse and defenses • Freud opposed laboratory research, and depended on clinical observations and personal self- analysis The Behavioural Perspective • Focuses on the role of the external environment in shaping and governing our actions o Behaviour influenced by learned habits and by stimuli in the environment • History rooted in school of philosophy known as British Empiricism o All ideas and knowledge are gained empirically o John Locke: The human mind is initially a white paper, to be furnished by experience o Observation overrules reasoning, since “seeing is believing” while reasoning has potential for error o Pavlov found involuntary learning in dogs from external stimulus • John Watson lead movement of behaviourism in 1920s
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