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Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - Animal Testing, Ethology, Organism

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Nick Skinner

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Tuesday Sept 20, 2011
Psychology Week 2 Lecture
1. Definition of psychology
2. Methods of psychology
Definition of Psychology – Psychology is the study of the mind, in a sense of the
visible indicators of this said ‘mind’. It is the study of mental processes, cognition,
thought and thinking. It studies behaviour and responses to the surrounding
environment and situation as well as society. It relates to personality as well as
mental disorders and abnormalities. The most concise definition is the study of
human and animal behaviour. Learning perspectives believe measurements of
observations are still valuable. Reaction (behaviour) is a function of stimuli (the r-s
model). Then the more complicated cognitive perspective model was developed,
Stimulus Organism Response S-O-R model, which means the response is a function
of the stimuli and the organism.
Animal testing in Psychology- 5 reasons for studying animals page 67
-To conduct basic research on a particular species.
-To discover practical applications.
-To study issues that cannot be studied experimentally with human beings
because of practical or ethical considerations.
-To clarify theoretical questions.
-To improve human and animal welfare.
While most research done by psychologists pertains to humans they also greatly
study animals. They study animals to study evolutionary behaviour and if it has
evolved. Animal behaviour can relate to human behaviour (comparative behaviour).
E.g., psychosurgery on animals, help understand the connection between brains
and resulting behaviour, lobotomy. Brain connections are severed between the
frontal lobes of the brain (where we think) and the thalamus (receives and directs
information) results in emotional information not being sent to the thinking part of
the brain. Began on humans in the 1930’s, but earlier on monkeys and in these
situations where these monkeys were frustrated before the surgery after they were
less frustrated. In people however unpredicted, physical and psychological negative
side effects were obesity, personality change, deterioration of social behaviour, no
abstract behaviour, engage in inappropriate sexual behaviour). Therefore regardless
of studies done on animals it does not make the surgery ‘fool proof’ on humans.
Further research must be done to limit the risks of surgery. There have been positive
findings from experimenting on animals such as understanding addictions and
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