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Chapter Notes Chapter 1

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Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

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 Biological Individual 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 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 conditions 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 Many potential causes, past and present, can contribute to a given behaviour 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: Biological Cognitive Psychodynamic Behavioural Humanistic Socio-cultural New viewpoints are the lifeblood of progress
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