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COMPLETE COURSE NOTES for Psychology 1000

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

The Cognitive Perspective • Views humans as information processors and problem solvers whose actions are governed by thought and planning. What sets humans apart is that we have mental capabilities. o Studies how mental processes influence our motives, emotions, and behaviour • Several schools and individuals contributed to modern cognitive perspective: o Structuralism  Analysis of mind in terms of its basic elements  Studied sensations through introspection (“looking within”)Patients were exposed to stimuli and asked to explain their experiences.  Wilhelm 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 1879 o Functionalism  Psychology should study the functions of consciousness (the “why’s) rather than its structure- (the What’s)  Influenced partly by Darwin’s evolutionary theory (adaption to succeed)  William James broad functionalist approach helped widen the scope of psychology to include biological/mental processes and behaviour o Gestalt Psychology  Concerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholes • Opposite of structuralism  Wolfgang Kohler concluded that ability to perceive relationships is the essence of intelligence • Defined “insight” as sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problem • Demonstrated insight by observing chimpanzee use various items in a cage to reach a banana at the top o Jean Piaget  Studied how children think, reason, and solve problems  Concerned with how the mind and its development contribute to our ability to adapt to our environment o Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck  Attempted to understand how mental distortions and irrational thought patterns create emotional problems  Emphasized that distress and maladaptive behaviour are caused by the ways situations are thought about, not by external situations 3
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