Psych lecture 2 Sept 17, 2013
What is Psych? Explanations of behavior, schools of psych and
Psychology isn’t all about treatment for mental disorders.
• What are the different approaches to psych?
• What do psychologists do?
• Who were the pioneers of psychology?
“Psychology has a long past, but short history” – E.G. Boring
Explanations of Behavior
Cultural & environmental -> individual and psychological -> biological (all influence one another)
1. Biological factors: basic and molecular; how nervous system functions
(neuromechanisms, neurotransmitters) what causes aggression? What brain
mechanisms explain aggression (brain chemicals)
2. Individual & psychological: learning process, or cognitive processes. What causes
aggression? Looking at a person’s past learning history; if they have learned violence in
their home life.
3. Cultural & environmental: value system. What causes aggression? Western society
rewards aggression, some cultures aggression is frowned upon. Individual learns from
All three of these factors are correct in their abilities to explain behavior, not any one is better
than the other.
Psychology: the scientific study of behavior and the mind. (Page 4)
Schools of Psychology
o Focus on the function or significance of behavior
o How does behavior or mental process help us adapt
o Primarily biological (sometimes environmental)
o “why do people help each other” is a hard question to explain in this school
o Ex: psychobiology, neuroscience, ethology
• Psychodynamic (Freud)
o Focuses on unconscious experience… the “mind”
o Look for unresolved conflict
o Importance of pers