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Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - Realistic Conflict Theory, Cooperative Learning, Human Behaviour

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Terry Biggs

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Psychology: The Science of Behaviour, Chapter 1
Many scientists have argued that global warming is the most serious issue
facing humanity today
Number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes have doubled
Ex. Katrina responsible for 1336 deaths and $75 billion in
damages. In the aftermath of the storm, reaction of devastation reflected a
huge range of human behaviours- mercy killings, racial discrimination,
heroic acts and people reaction out to help others
The Nature of Psychology
Psychology- the scientific study of behaviour and the factors that
influence it
Psychologists use the term behaviour very broadly to refer to actions that
we observe directly (physical) and mental processes (mental)
Mental events- thoughts, feelings, images, physiological reactions
In the search for causes of these diverse forms of behaviour, psychologists
take into account
Environmental Factors
The science of psychology relates to all aspects in our lives. It explores
Nature and causes of behaviour and feelings
Our motives and thoughts
Solves human problems and promoting welfare
Questions/ issues about behaviour pg 5
Psychology as a Basic and Applied Science
Basic research-a quest for knowledge purely for its own sake, its goal is to
describe how people behave and to identify the factors that influence or cause a particular
type of behaviour. Such research is carried out in a lab or real-world setting

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Applied research-designed to solve specific practical problems and often
uses principles discovered through basic research
Cooperative learning programs show how basic research such as the
Robbers Cave experiment (pg 6) can be used as a basis for designing an intervention
program. There are many examples of how basic research provides knowledge that not
only satisfies our desire to understand our world, but also can be applied to solve
practical problems
Goals of Psychology
4 Basic Goals:
To describe how people and other animals behave
To explain and understand the causes of these behaviours
To predict how people and animals will behave under certain
To influence or control behaviour through knowledge and control
of its causes to enhance human welfare
All linked: if we understand the causes of behaviour and know when the
causal factors are present or absent, then we should be able to successfully predict when
the behaviour will occur. Furthermore, if we can control the causes we should be able to
control the behaviour.
These 4 goals are not just limited to one world of science, they are also
used in everyday life
What am I (or they) doing? (description)
Why did she do that? (understanding/explanation)
What will happen if I do this? (prediction)
What do I do to make sure things will turn out the way I want them
to? (influence/ control)
Perspectives on Behaviour: Guides to Understanding and Discovery

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Many potential causes, past and present, can contribute to a given
The Importance of Perspective
Psychology has roots in varied disciplines: philosophy, medicine and
biological and physical science, different viewpoints/ perspectives
Perspectives are vantage points for analyzing behaviour and its biological,
psychological and environmental causes
Looking at behaviour from different perspectives can enrich our
understanding of its diverse causes
Psychological perspectives serve as lenses
How the world of behaviour is viewed,
They reflect and shape our conception of human nature
Determine the aspects of human behaviour we find important and
worthy of study, the questions we ask and methods of study we use
Influence the directions in which psychology develops and the
kinds of contributions it makes to improving the human condition
Six major perspectives characterize psychological thought:
New viewpoints are the lifeblood of progress
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