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Western University
Psychology 1000

Chapter 1Psychology The Science of BehaviourPsychologyThe scientific study of behaviour and the factors that influence itTaking into account Biological Individual and Environmental factorsBasic and Applied ScienceTwo types of researchoBasic research Knowledge gained purely for its own sake The goals are to describe how people behave and to identify factors that influence it Research maybe carried out in lab or real world eg Robert CaveJigsaw case studyshowed how competition leads to hostility but could be reduced by making them dependent on each otheroApplied research Knowledge gained to solve specific practical problems Uses principles discovered via basic research to solve practical problemsGoals of PsychologyFour basic goals DEuPIcoDescribe how people and animals behaveoExplain and understand the causes of the behaviouroPredict how people and animals behave under certain conditionsoInfluence or control the behaviour through knowledge and control of causesImportance of PerspectivesDiverse viewpoints allows for enriched understanding of behaviour and its causesSix different perspectives biological cognitive psychodynamic behavioural humanistic and sociocultural PBSHBCoPsychodynamicunconscious forces motivating behaviouroBehaviouralrole of external environment on out actionoSocioculturalculture and behaviour relateoHumanisticself actualization and free willoBiologicalphysical side of human nature brain and genesoCognitivethought processThe Biological PerspectiveFocuses on the physical side of human natureoEmphasizes role of brain including biochemical processesMindbody dualism The belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to the physical laws that govern the bodyoNo amount of research on the body could ever explain the mindoAncient widelyheld view especially by GreeksMonism The belief that the mind and body are one and mental events are a product of physical eventsoModern view by most scientistsDiscovery of BrainBehaviour RelationsLate 1700s Luigi Galvani discovered severed leg of frog moved with electrical current applied to itoDefied prior belief that bodily movements were caused by soulBy 1870 researchers applied electrical stimulation directly to brains of animalsoStimulation of specific areas on brain resulted in movements of particular musclesKarl Lashley damaged specific regions of brain and studied effects on learning and memory abilities in animals trained to run through mazesIn 1929 invention of electroencephalogram EEG allowed researchers to measure electrical activity of large areas of brainEvolution and BehaviourDarwins theory of natural selection demonstrated that inheritable characteristics that increase likelihood of survival will be maintained Proposed that humans and apes arose from the same ancestorEvolutionary psychology focuses on role of evolution in development of human behaviouroPsychologists stress organisms biology determine its behavioural capabilities and behaviourSociobiology holds that complex social behaviours are built into human species as products of evolutionoNatural selection favors behaviours that increase ability to pass on genes aggression competition dominance in males cooperation and nurturing in females etcoSociobiologists believe that ones genetic survival is more important than ones own physical survival altruismoCriticized for overemphasizing innate biological factors at expense of cultural and social learning factors in explaining complex human social behaviourBehaviour GeneticsStudy of how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetic factorsAnimals can be bred not only for physical but also behavioural traits aggression intelligence etcIdentical twins with identical genetic makeup are very similar in behaviour compared to fraternal twinsoFound even when identical twins reared in different homesThe Cognitive PerspectiveViews humans as information processors and problem solvers whose actions are governed by thought and planning What sets humans apart is that we have mental capabilitiesoStudies how mental processes influence our motives emotions and behaviourSeveral schools and individuals contributed to modern cognitive perspectiveoStructuralismAnalysis of mind in terms of its basic elementsStudied sensations through introspection looking withinPatients were exposed to stimuli and asked to explain their experiencesWilhelm Wundt wanted to model study of the mind after physical and biological sciences Believed mind could be studied via breaking it down to its basic parts this was called structuralism Believed sensations were basic elements of consciousness Founded first laboratory of experimental psychology in 1879oFunctionalismPsychology should study the functions of consciousness the whys rather than its structure the WhatsInfluenced partly by Darwins evolutionary theory adaption to succeedWilliam James broad functionalist approach helped widen the scope of psychology to include biologicalmental processes and behaviouroGestalt PsychologyConcerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholesOpposite of structuralismWolfgang Kohler concluded that ability to perceive relationships is the essence of intelligenceDefined insight as sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problemDemonstrated insight by observing chimpanzee use various items in a cage to reach a banana at the topoJean PiagetStudied how children think reason and solve problemsConcerned with how the mind and its development contribute to our ability to adapt to our environmentoAlbert Ellis and Aaron BeckAttempted to understand how mental distortions and irrational thought patterns create emotional problems
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