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Western University
Psychology 1000

Chapter One: - psychology – scientific study of behaviour and the factors that influence it - behaviour refers to both actions we observe directly and mental events (inner processes) – take into account biological, environmental, and individual factors Psychology as a Basic and Applied Science - basic research – the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake - applied research – designed to solve specific practical problems - From Robbers Cave to the Jigsaw Classroom o study showed that competition could breed hostility and conflict between groups could be decreased by making the groups dependent upon one another so they need to cooperate - Goals of Psychology o describe how people and animals behave o explain and understand causes of behaviours o predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions o influence or control behaviour through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare o if we understand the causes of behaviour and know when the causal factors are present/absent, then you can predict (successfully) when the behaviour will occur o if we can control the cause, then we should be able to control the behaviour - In review o psychology is the scientific study oh behaviour – the term behaviour refers to actions and responses that can be observed and measured directly as well as mental processes such as thoughts and feelings that must be inferred directly observable responses o basic research is the quest for knowledge for its own sake, whereas applied research involves the application of knowledge derived from basic research to solve practical problems o the primary goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and influence behaviour and to apply psychological knowledge to enhance human welfare Perspectives on Behaviour: Guides to Understanding and Discovery - vantage points for analyzing behaviour and it biological, psychological and environmental causes - perspective on behaviour thereby influence the directions in which psychology develops, what it learns about behaviour, and the kinds of contributions it makes to improving the human conditions - six major perspectives o biological o cognitive o psychodynamic o behavioural o humanistic o sociocultural The Biological Perspectives: Brain, Genes and Behaviour - mind-body dualism  belief that the mind is a spirituality entity not subject to the physical laws that govern the body - monism  mind and body are one and mental events are simply a product of physical events o physical events are electrical and chemical processes occurring in the brain - biological perspective – the biochemical process that underlie our every thought, emotion and action; and the manner in which genetic factors influence the development and behaviour od human organisms - Discovery of Brain-Behaviour Relations o Luigi Galvani o Karl Lashley o EEG proved it and neurotransmitters were discovered - Evolution and Behaviour: From Darwin to Evolutionary Psychology o species over time in response to environment conditions through natural selections (survival of the fittest) o natural selection – means that any inheritable characteristic that increases the likelihood of survival will be maintained in the species because individuals having the characteristic will be more likely to survive and reproduce o evolutionary psychology – focuses on the role of evolution in the development of behaviour and mental mechanisms o sociobiology – Wilson, 1980 – holds that the complex social behaviours are also built into the human species as products of evolution  argued that natural selection favours behaviours that increase the ability to pass on one’s genes to the next generation - Behaviour Genetics o the study of how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetic factors o human behaviour is also influenced by genetic factors o genetic factors are also implicated in certain brain dysfunctions that produce disturbed behaviour The Cognitive Perspective: The Thinking Human - cognitive perspective views humans as information processors and problem solvers whose actions are governed by thought and planning - concerned with how information is perceived and organized in our minds, as well as how information is combined with other contents of the mind to create memories, problem solving strategies and creative thoughts - Origins of the Cognitive Perspective o Structuralism – Wilheml Wundt –the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements o structuralists believed that sensations are the basic elements of consciousness and they set out to study sensations through the method of introspection (“looking within”) o Functionalism – should study the functions- the whys – of consciousness rather than the structure o functionalism was influenced by Darwin’s evolutionary theory which stressed the importance of adaptive behaviour in helping organisms respond successfully to their environment and survive o Gestalt Psychology – concerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholes – opposite of structuralists - in Review o Darwin’s theory of evolutions, the biological perspective examines how bodily functions regulate behaviour - physiological psychologists study brain processes and other physiological functions that underlie our behaviour, sensory experiences, emotions and thoughts – behavioural genetics study how behaviour is influenced by our genetic inheritance – evolutionary psychologists examine behaviour in terms of its adaptive functions and seek to explain how evolution has biologically predisposed modern humans toward certain ways of behaving o the cognitive perspective views human information processors who think, judge and solve problems – its roots like in structuralism and functionalism and Gestalt psychology o the psychodynamic perspective calls attention to unconscious motives, conflict, and defence mechanisms that influence our personality and behaviour – Freud’s psychoanalytic theory emphasized the unconscious sexual and aggressive impulses and early childhood experiences that shape personality o the behavioural perspective emphasizes how the external environment and learning shape behaviour – believe that psychology should only study observable stimuli and responses, not unobservable mental processes o humanists reject the notion that people are controlled by unconscious forces or merely react to environmental stimuli – perspective emphasizes personal freedom and choice, psychological growth, and self-actualization Summary of Major Themes - factors that influence behaviours can be organized into three broad levels of analysis – the biological level focuses on brain processes, hormonal and genetic influences and evolutionary adaptations that underlie behaviour – the psychological level examines mental processes and psychological motives and how they influence behaviour – the environmental level calls attention to physical and social stimuli - to understand behaviour we often move between these levels of analysis - biologica
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