Class Notes (835,385)
Canada (509,147)
Psychology (6,249)
Psychology 1000 (2,471)
Prof (56)

Ch. 1-4 Notes.docx

41 Pages
Unlock Document

Psychology 1000

 What is Psychology?  A Science – of MIND and BEHAVIOR  A scientific study of behaviour and its causes • Looks at the HOW and WHY organisms do what they do • Relates to biology, anthropology, medicine, computer science, and sociology • Concerns both animal and human behavior • Studies conscious or aware & subconscious or unaware behavior of individuals & of groups Behaviour  Observable behaviour and inner processes o Thoughts o Feelings o Images o Physiological reactions Causes of behaviour  Biological factors  Psychological factors  Environmental factors Research Methods • Basic research o Describe behaviour and identify factors influencing or causing behaviour  Applied research o Designed to solve specific practical problems Basic and Applied Research: Robber’s Cave Study • Robber’s Cave Study (Sherif et al., 1961) o Basic research findings: – Competition breeds hostility – Conflict decreased by increasing group interdependence (tasks which require greater resources than either group could provide independently) o Application of Sherif’s work: – Jigsaw Classrooms (Aronson et al., 1978)  Requires cooperation between multiethnic groups to succeed at educational tasks Aim of Psychology • Contrary to popular belief psychology is not primarily devoted to intra- or inter- personal conflict resolution • Why Bill is maladjusted or Mary is shy is only one aspect of psychology • The GOAL is to get the FACTS that are GENERAL for ALL HUMANS • A single event for a single person may be of great importance to that person, however even the most thorough understanding of that event contributes very little to an understanding of general human behavior • HOWEVER, if that one event when it occurred to 100 persons produced the SAME OUTCOME in, say, 95 of them that knowledge would be IMPORTANT Goals of Psychology • Describe behavior • Understand behavior • Predict behavior under certain conditions • Control or influence behavior Perspectives on Behavior • Biological • Cognitive • Psychodynamic • Humanistic • Behavioral • Sociocultural The Biological Perspective • Emphasizes roles of: o Brain processes (how the brain works, which sections control which behaviours) o Biochemical processes (transmission of messages/nervous impulses) o Genetic factors o Evolution  Mind-Body Dualism vs. Monism o Mind-Body Dualism – mind is a spiritual entity that is not subject to physical laws o Monism – mental events are products of physical events; one big organism; physical aspects affect mental outcomes – Luigi Galvani’s work – severed frog leg and was able to move it using an electrical current; supports monism  ELECTRICALLY TRIGGERED IMAGES o Show that one aspect of human functioning is based upon electricity o This is of paramount importance to the study of the nervous system  Wilder Penfield o First mapped the brain o Began to determine which part of the brain (cortex) controls which functions  Neurosurgery o Conducted while awake/conscious with only local anesthesia o Areas of the brain are stimulated with mild electric currents and patient reports various sensations – color, flickering lights, clicks, buzz’s and involuntary body movements o This way important control centres are not cut into  Brain Scanning o Many different methods of brain scanning o Involve the measurement of electromagnetic fields, blood flow, or glucose uptake o These techniques are important as they can reveal that different areas of the brain are active in different tasks  The Evolutionary Approach o Natural selection (Darwin) o Inheritable characteristics increasing likelihood of survival will be maintained in a species o The brain has become larger over time – more knowledge capacity  Sociobiology o Natural selection favors complex social behaviours that increase the ability to pass on one’s genes to the next generation o Adopt patterns of behaviour that make it more likely for human survival o Aggression, competition, dominance in males – historically to protect women o Cooperative, nurturing behaviour in females  Twins o Identical (monozygotic) twins are more similar than fraternal (two eggs, two sperm) twins even when reared in different homes – Twins raised in different locations experience completely different lifestyles and value sets yet remain fundamentally similar – patterns of neural activity make up the mind; less external factors actually influence human character The Cognitive Perspective • Humans are: o Information processors o Problem solvers o Able to focus in on certain things while shutting others out, sometimes in order to receive an award o Able to develop skill sets to achieve goals (ex. To enhance academic performance one must have time management skills, study skills, test- preparation strategies, test-taking skills) • Structuralism o First type of cognitive psychology o Sensations are basic elements of consciousness o Sensations are studied through introspection o Perceptual system requires minimal amount of mental processing o Wilhelm Wundt • Functionalism o Psychology should study the functions of behavior o Studies the why of behavior – what is being accomplished? o William James  Modern Cognitive Science o Artificial Intelligence – Computer models and “expert” systems o Cognitive Neuroscience – Electrical recording and brain imaging o Social constructivism – “Reality” is our own mental creation – Everyone is living a different reality  Uncertainty o Many researchers in different areas of psychology are interested in uncertainty or ambiguity in human behavior o For example what is the meaning of the statement, “The Mayor ordered the police to stop drinking”? o If you had read each of the following sentences individually before the above sentence it would resolve the ambiguity – Sentence 1: Most of the town police were reported to have been seen drinking while on duty. – Sentence 2: The constant partying by youth at the beach was getting out of control. o Verbal Ambiguity can also exist at the level of individual words o Visual Ambiguity in drawings or visual stimuli o In summary, ambiguity reveals complexity in human information processing o It can show how an immediately preceding event can affect interpretation  Automated Behaviour o It is also a fact that all of our prior experience can affect our behavior o An example is READING o Reading is so overlearned or practiced that upon exposure to written material we read it o An eloquent demonstration of this is called the STROOP effect – basically an increase in response time due to automatic reading  Sensation and Perception o Infant perception o Depth perception appears INNATE – don’t have to learn it o As an infant will not pass over a visual cliff despite the fact that they can feel the glass they see the difference in depth – infant has never actually experienced a cliff/may not even know the word cliff or fall, but is still hesitant to crawl on the visual cliff The Behavioral Perspective • Focuses on the role of the external environment in shaping and governing behaviour • Emphasis is placed on the effects of rewards and punishments • External locus of control – behavior is a consequence of an interaction btwn the organism and the environment  Radical Behaviorism o Behaviour can be controlled completely by manipulating the environment o Behaviour is influenced by the rewarding or punishing consequences it produces o There is a set of principles by which human beings operate – environment can be constructed to make humans do anything (“social engineering” AKA modern-day brainwashing) o B. F. Skinner “A person does not act upon the world, the world acts upon him.”  Cognitive behaviorism o We learn new behaviours by observing the actions of others o Our mental abilities also influence our environment o Thought processes are involved in deciding to behave a certain way The Psychodynamic Perspective • Emphasizes roles of: o Unconscious processes o Unresolved past conflicts o Childhood o Psychosexual stages of development  Sigmund Freud o Received widespread publicity o Saw people with mental disorders that displayed no physiological symptoms o Looked at developmental stages in terms of different aspects of sexuality o Influence on contemporary psychology: – Neo-Freudians – agreed with some aspects of Freud’s ideology – Encouragement of therapists to attempt to evoke the painful, anxious place to try to fix it – very specific treatment methods – Brain mechanisms for conscious experience of emotions have been discovered because of new technology (ex. fMRI’s view brain as it is functioning) (LeDoux, 1996); Freud predicted this in the 1800s – Many aspects of information processing outside awareness have been found (Wegner, 2000) The Humanistic Perspective  Emphasizes roles of: o Conscious motives o Freedom o Choice o Self-Actualization (reaching one’s potential) - Maslov o Every person deserves respect as a human being – you can’t say “This is a bad person.” But rather “This aspect of the person is bad.” o There are reasons why everyone is the way that they are  Gestalt Psychology o Concerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholes o Primary view “Whole is greater than the sum of its parts” o Focus is on whole human being rather than individual skills/flaws they might possess o Sometimes society weighs certain parts greater than others The Sociocultural Perspective  Focuses on: o The manner in which culture is transmitted to its members o Similarities and differences between people in different cultures  Individualism o Emphasis is on personal goals, happiness, and self-identity is based on one’s own attributes and achievements o Characteristic of North America and Northern Europe  Collectivism o Individual goals are subordinated to the group and personal identity is defined by ties to family o Do things because they are a part of life or to honour their family instead of for personal satisfaction o Characteristic of Asia, Africa, and South America  Geographic divide between two views (cold and warm?)  No happy medium between individualism and collectivism  Social or Group Interactive Behaviour o Another area of psychology concerns group behavior o A large number of social communications are based upon innate DISPLAYS o Ex. the courtship rituals of most bird species consist of such displays o If it is unsuccessful in one instance it remains unmodified in future attempts o Human beings also have innate displays o For example, the SMILE o Smiling is found in all infants in all cultures o Smiling is also found in the congenitally blind o The fact that it is found in those blind from birth indicates that it is innate as they could not possibly have learned the behavior through imitation (they have never seen a smile) o In general, human behavior is more complex o It is ADAPTABLE vs. Bird DISPLAYS o When something doesn’t work, we change it up o In large part it is based upon RATIONAL APPRAISAL of others behavior, or COGNITION o E.g.., If I… Then he will… Then I… o However, in LARGE GROUPS rationality is often lost and replaced by INNATE HERD behavior (Holler FIRE!!!) Psychology as a Field of Multiple Perspectives Historical Overview Example: Multiple Perspectives & Dreams • DREAMS may be viewed from at least a half a dozen different perspectives 1. Re-evocation of conscious experiences as they affect overt behavior – REM sleep occurs during dreams and both heart rate and respiration rate increase as though person was engaged in activity; muscles are limp 2. Biological perspective – Brain waves – Brain waves are measured via electrical patterns of activity recorded via electrodes placed on the scalp – Brain waves during REM sleep are much more similar to conscious brain waves than are the brain waves during other stages of sleep 3. Dreams as Thinking or Cognition – Dreams contain information consistent with the dreamers own knowledge – Persons with better mental imaging skills while awake can recall their dreams in greater detail 4. Cultural influences and Dreams – In North American culture dreams are viewed as nonsensical or unimportant, unless they are disturbing and repetitive – Content varies – in North American culture public nudity in a dream is viewed as embarrassing – not so in cultures where clothes are absent or optional (Yanamamo or Australian aboriginals) 5. As a resolution to internal conflict – Dreams can serve as a way to acquire experiences which, while conscious, are either unattainable or morally forbidden – “Don’t worry, it’s just a dream.” is told to us from childhood - anything is permissible; this is the same reason dreams are often forgotten or disregarded – Ex. poor may dream of a life of wealth – Dreams may also provide solutions to events which had unsatisfactory outcomes while conscious 6. Developmental aspects of Dreaming – In early childhood dreams are not easily distinguished from reality – they may be perceived as physical – 4 yr old reported that dreams could be tall – real real tall – 6 -7 yr olds report dreams are sent to them through the air – 10- 11 yrs old comes realization that dreams “are in the head” (imaginary)  What holds true for dreams holds true for most other psychological phenomena o They can be viewed from multiple perspectives o The text chosen for this course presents many different topics from many different perspectives (Ray’s dating struggles, depression) Interpreting the Perspectives  Three levels of analysis for understanding behaviour:  Biological level of analysis o Brain processes, hormones, genetic factors  Psychological level of analysis o For example, cognitive and psychodynamic perspectives  Environmental level of analysis o Using the behavioral and sociocultural perspectives  The Biological Foundations of Human Behavior  The organism as machine o Descartes & the Reflex concept  Basic Nervous Functions o Reception, Integration & Reaction  Nerve Cell and Nerve Impulse o The Neuron  Interaction among nerve cells o The reflex – mechanics o Inference of the synapse o Synaptic mechanism  Major Structures of the Nervous system o evolution of central control, peripheral (PNS) & central (CNS) systems  Cerebral Cortex and Brain Laterality o Division of the brain into 2 hemispheres The Organism as a Machine  Descartes was the first to seriously propose that humans be studied as one would study any machine  His views are still with us today as we employ metaphorical comparisons between the human mind and computers  Descartes saw ALL action as a response to some external event  Chain of events: o Stimulation of a sense – relay to brain – interpretation via the soul – relayed to muscle for action o Thus Energy is taken in and REFLECTED back out o Note: use of the soul provides a means to account for inconsistency of responses (evil soul vs. pious soul) Basic Nervous Functions  We agree with Descartes that the bulk of human behavior is reflexive  This necessitates a Tripartite System 1. Reception – via the senses 2. Reaction – via muscles & glands 3. Integration – mediator between Reception & Reaction via Conduction  Tripartite System o The external event is called the Stimulus as it stimulates the Receptors (Transducing nerves) o The receptors convert the energy and channel it to bundles of nerves called AFFERENT nerves (Sensory) o Afferent nerves may lead to the spinal chord and travel to the brain to INTERNEURONS that connect to EFFERENT nerves (Motor) which carry signals to Muscles & Glands, or they may in some minority of instances, connect directly to Efferent nerves – reflex o Efferent nerves activate muscles Nerve Cell: The Neuron  3 main parts: 1. Dendrites – receive msgs from other neurons 2. Cell body – contains genetic info determining function 3. Axons – conduct electrical impulses; very long; covered with myelin sheath that acts as an insulator  Glial Cells o Surround neurons and hold them in place o Manufacture nutrient chemicals neurons need o Absorb toxins and waste materials Nerve Impulse  Nerve Conduction: The Resting Potential o Neurons have a resting potential of -70 millivolts, creating a state of polarization o Neurons are surrounded by a salty liquid environment which has a high concentration of sodium ions (Na+) o The inside of the neuron has some positively charged potassium ions (K+) and many other negatively charged ions o The combination creates the resting potential  Nerve Conduction: The Action Potential o Dendrites are stimulated by axons of other neurons o Na+ ions flow into the neuron by action of ion channels, making the membrane voltage more positive (depolarization) o If the partial depolarization reaches -.65 millivolts (action potential threshold), the neuron fires according to the all-or-none law o Nature wants polarity to return to resting state – removes K+ ions to revert back to negative charge  Nerve Conduction: Stimulus Intensity o Given the action potential is all or none how do we distinguish between different sensations? o Ex. the buzz of a mosquito vs. the roar of a jet engine o This is the realm of stimulus intensity o 2 mechanisms allow for the determination of Stimulus intensity 1. The Number of neurons firing – Neurons differ in their thresholds. Thus the mosquito will cause X number of neurons to fire while the Jet will cause X+ neurons to fire 2. Frequency of Impulse – The duration of a signal will also affect the nerves firing as a nd rd th prolonged signal will result in a 2 , 3 , 4 … Action potentials – The stronger the stimulus (intensity & duration) the more OFTEN the nerve will fire – The maximum rate is 1000 impulses per sec  Nerve Conduction: The Myelin Sheath o Insulation layer covers axons in the brain and spinal cord so that signals do not branch off to other pathways and cause difficulty controlling muscle behavior o Allows for high-speed conduction o Multiple sclerosis occurs when immune system attacks the sheath – can be very dangerous for muscles such as heart  Nerve Conduction: Effects of Neurotransmitters o Excitatory neurotransmitters depolarize the postsynaptic cell membrane by stimulating the inflow of sodium ions o Other neurotransmitters hyperpolarize the membrane by stimulating ion channels to allow K+ ions to flow out, thus inhibiting neuron firing  Nerve Conduction: The Synapse o Inference of the synapse o Prior to the work of Sherrington, transmission of nerve signals was not well understood o Sherrington’s aim was to study the Simple Reflex o He employed dogs whose spinal chords were severed just below the neck o This insured that any responses to stimulation were Afferent to Efferent only (in the spinal cord) and did not involve the brain and interneurons o He found that 1 sub (below) threshold stimulation did not cause any response but several sub threshold stimulations in a row at ½ sec intervals did cause a response o This is important as it revealed the nervous system was capable of TEMPORAL SUMMATION and the half second delay was too great to allow for this in 1 neuron o Thus temporal summation must occur OUTSIDE the axon o Sherrington proposed that this occurred via chemical production and buildup between an axon and a dendrite o Sherrington also reported that the same summation effect could be found if several sub threshold stimulations were applied simultaneously to different spots within a proscribed region o This is important as it demonstrates SPATIAL SUMMATION of nerve signals o This suggests that several nerves axons may converge on the dendrites of one other nerve cell – different nerves in different places have their endings in the same place o Since each stimulation alone produced no response he argued this supported the chemical production and pooling outside the axon – The area is the Synapse and the gap is the SYNAPTIC CLEFT o The chemicals that are produced are called NEUROTRANSMITTERS o They are produced at the terminal endings of the axon and released into the synaptic cleft o They are taken up at receptor sites along the dendrites – no direct connections between endings  Nerve Conduction: Deactivation of Neurotransmitters (Fain, 1999) o Breakdown - other chemicals in the synapse break down neurotransmitters into their chemical components o Reuptake - neurotransmitters are taken back into the presynaptic axon terminal  Nerve Conduction: Specialized Transmitter Systems o Acetylcholine (ACh) - involved in memory and muscle activity o Dopamine - an excitatory transmitter o Serotonin - enhances mood, eating, sleep, and sexual behavior o Endorphins - reduce pain and increase feeling of well-being The Nervous System  Three types of neurons: o Sensory: Carry input messages from the sense organs to the spinal cord and brain o Motor: Transmit impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and organs o Interneurons: Perform connective or associative functions in the nervous system  Organization of the Nervous System o Central Nervous System - Brain and Spinal Cord o Peripheral Nervous System - Connects the CNS with the muscles, glands, and sensory receptors  Peripheral Nervous System o Somatic nervous system: Consists of sensory and motor neurons that bind together to create nerves to transmit messages to sensory receptors o Autonomic nervous system: Controls glands and smooth muscles in bodily organs – Sympathetic nervous system: arouses the body – Parasympathetic nervous system: slows down body processes  Studying the Brain o Destruction or surgical removal of neurons o Stimulation of neurons - by electrical current or chemicals o Neuropsychological tests o Electrical (EEG) recording  Studying the Brain: Brain Imaging o CT Scans: Beam of X-rays takes pictures of narrow slices of the brain o PET Scans: Measure brain activity, including metabolism, blood flow, and neurotransmitter activity o MRI: Used to study brain structure and activity – fMRI allows for studying brain function as people perform various tasks  Brain Structures: The Hindbrain o Pons – carries nerve impulses from higher to lower parts of nervous system o Cerebellum – concerned with muscular movement, learning/memory o Medulla – plays role in vital body functions such as heart rate and breathing  Brain Structures: Midbrain o Reticular Formation – involved in brain arousal, sleep, and attention o Ascending: Sends information to and alerts higher brain regions o Descending: Higher brain centers can admit or block sensory input o Hypothalamus – major role in motivation and emotions; connects with the endocrine system; involved in pain/pleasure o Thalamus – routes sensory information to higher brain structures  The Limbic System o Hippocampus – involved in forming memories o Amygdala – organizes emotional responses  Brain Structures: The Lobes o The Frontal Lobe – acts as conscience, involved in goal setting, judgment, planning, and impulse control o The Parietal Lobe – involved in emotional experience, organization of sensory perceptions o The Occipital Lobe – processes visual information; eyes are important – humans are very visually-oriented, able to stand up (long legs, shorter arms) o The Temporal Lobe – processes language o The Motor Cortex – controls voluntary muscular movements o Somatic Sensory Cortex – receives sensory input for heat, touch, cold, balance, and body movement  Brian Structures: Speech o Is language an innate thing that humans have? Linguists say yes. o Wernicke’s Area – involved in speech comprehension, processes incoming speech o Broca’s Area – involved in planning speech response (specific involvement not known), stimulates motor cortex o Motor Cortex – stimulates muscles that produce speech  Brain Structures: Cerebral Hemispheres o Lateralization – relatively greater location of a function in one hemisphere o Left hemisphere: Verbal, logical mathematical abilities o Right hemisphere: Mental imagery, artistic ability, spatial relationships o Hemispheric Lateralization of Language  Right-handers: 95% have language in the left hemisphere  Left-handers: 50% have language in the left hemisphere; 25% in the right hemisphere; 25 % in both hemispheres  Neural Plasticity o Ability of neurons to change structure and function over time (Kolb & Whishaw, 1998) – reorganization of pathways o Affected by early experiences (ex. fetal alcohol syndrome, early stimulation, practice, cultural factors) – brain cells are very susceptible to such experiences o Other neurons take over functions after destruction of brain tissue, at first without brain knowing – relearning lost functions is hard, but doable with time and much therapy  Healing the Nervous System o Axon Repair – axons can be repaired in PNS o Brain grafts – moving brain tissue from one area to another o Transplantation of neural stem cells The Endocrine System  Consists of numerous glands throughout the body  Secretes hormones into the bloodstream  Interacts with the immune system  Summary of Major Hormones The Immune System  Recognizes (living) antigens and develops antibodies to destroy them o AIDS: underactive immune system – tricks brain into not reacting to certain antigens o Allergy: Overactive immune system – most severe cases can cause histamine response to certain antigens  Psychoneuroimmunology o Psychosocial factors affect immune system functioning – stress (biggest factor), depression, social support, personality traits (introverts more likely to get ill than extroverts) Genetic Influences  Genes – functional units of heredity  Chromosomes – rod-shaped structures within body cells that carry genes  DNA – chromosomal molecule that transfers genetic characteristics by coding for protein structure  Genome – full set of genes in each cell of an organism  Genotype – genetic makeup of an individual  Phenotype – observable characteristics produced by genes  Dominant genes – if a person receives a dominant gene, he/she will display the characteristic the gene controls  Recessive genes – if the gene is recessive, the characteristic will not be displayed unless its partner gene inherited from the other parent is also recessive  Inheritance of genes – combination of maternal and paternal influence (if both parents carry one R and one D, 25% chance of having 2 recessive genes and inheriting that characteristic)  Twin Studies Compare: o Monozygotic (MZ) twins are genetically identical o Dizygotic (DZ) twins share 50% of genetic endowment  Adoption Studies: Twins separated at birth o Compare twin with both adoptive and biological parent o Helps determine heritability of traits  Her
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 1000

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.