Chapter 1: Textbook
Psychology: the discipline concerned with behavior and mental processes and how
they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and environment.
Psychobabble: pseudoscience and quackery covered my a veneer of psychological
and scientific sound language that appeals to the general public. (higher IQ, perfect
love life, or better personality are offered with ease).
Gives people a sense of control and predictability in a confusing world (Brain is
always trying to find patterns even if there are none).
Confirms our existing opinions and beliefs, where as scientific psychology
challenges them. This is undesired by most. (Fear of knowledge).
Popular opinion vs. research evidence.
Ex: playing Beethoven to infant makes them smarter is proven to be false despite
Critical thinking: the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective
judgements on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence, rather than
emotion or anecdote.
Open mindedness does not mean that all opinions are created equal and that
everybody’s beliefs are as good as anyone else’s.
On the matter of personal preference all beliefs are equal. However, when it comes
to backing up beliefs with fact is where the validity of opinions is measured
differently for each. Ex: if you say one product is better than another.
IF YOUR OPINION IGNORES REALITY IT IS NOT EQUAL TO ANY OTHER.
8 Steps to Critical Thinking:
Define your terms (Don’t be vague. Understand what you are trying to find)
Examine evidence (Take in to consideration all evidence be for formulating opinion)
Analyze assumptions and bias (Preexisting belief that impairs acceptance of
Don’t over simplify (argument by anecdote generalizing to everyone from a
personal experience or a few examples. Look beyond the obvious, resist
generalizations, and avoid either/or thinking).
Avoid emotional reasoning (Don’t allow personal beliefs to interfere with logical
reasoning. Don’t become overly defensive of old belief)
Tolerate uncertainty: sometimes there will be limited evidence. Must learn to draw
conclusions from this. Consider other interpretations (creatively generate as many explanations are
possible for the problem. Choose one that accounts for most evidence while making
the fewest unverified assumptions. – Occam’s Razor: the simplest answer is most
often the correct answer.
Phrenology: false school of psychology which believed that different areas of the
brain accounted for specific character and personality traits. Also believed theses
traits could be read through bumps on the skull. (Ex: thieves have large bumps
Different Perspective in Psychology:
Biological: an approach that emphasizes bodily events and changes associated with
actions feelings and thought.
Evolutionary Psychology: emphasizes evolutionary mechanisms that may
help explain human commonalities in cognition, development, emotion, social
practices, and other areas of behavior.
Learning perspective: an approach that emphasizes how the environment and
experience affect a person’s or animal’s actions; it includes behaviorism and social
cognitive-theories. (Focuses on school of behaviorism.)
Cognitive perspective: emphasizes the study of observable behavior, and the role of
the environment as a determinant of behavior. (analyzes how people reason,
remember, understand language, solve problems, explain experiences, acquire
moral standards, and form beliefs..
Showed how peoples thoughts/explanations affect their actions, feelings, and
Is one of the strongest forces in psychology
Sociocultural perspective: a psychological approach that emphasizes social and
cultural influences on behavior. (Studies the conditions in which we live to see how
the affect us)
Psychodynamic perspective: emphasizes unconscio