PSYCH100 Lecture Notes Fall 2012
Birth of Psychology as a Science
What is Structuralism?
• Wilhelm Wundt - ran first psychology lab in Germany (1879)
o mind consists of basic elements analyzed via objective introspection
• Edward Titchener - introspected about physical objectsAND thoughts
o “tell me what comes to mind when you see this object”
What is Functionalism?
• William James - firstAmerican psychologist
o “stream of thoughts” vs. elements of the mind
o focused on adaptation, living, working, playing – what is the purpose/function of
these things in the real world?
What is Psychoanalysis (aka. Psychodynamic)?
o Sigmund Freud – neurologist in the late 18 century Vienna
o Emphasized the unconscious & early childhood
o Not that common today
What is Behaviorism?
o Key figures: B.F. Skinner, John Watson, Mary Cover Jones
o If we can’t observe it for the record, then it’s not worth recording
o Major focus is on rewards & punishments in shaping our behavior
Psychology Now: Contemporary Perspectives
• Relationship between social behavior & culture (Sociocultural)
o Ex. Social loafing in Western civilizations (highly individualistic) vs. social
striving in Japan (community-focused)
• People have the freedom to choose their own destiny (Humanism)
• Attribute human & animal behavior to biological events (Biopsychological)
• Study of memory, intelligence, perception, problem solving, learning (Cognitive)
o Executive function = advanced problem-solving
• Through the process of natural selection, how certain processes/behaviors have
developed to ast in survival (Evolutionary)
• Even in the 21 century, there isn’t one single perspective that is used to explain all
human behavior & mental processes
The Scientific Method
• 5 steps: perceive (observations) hypothesize test draw conclusions
• Theories & Hypotheses
o Theory – an organized set of principles that describes, predicts, and explains
o Hypothesis – a specific testable prediction, often derived from a theory
Ex. Hans Eysenck’s Theory of Personality, which states that:
• There are 3 dimensions of personality PSYCH100 Lecture Notes Fall 2012