PSY 101 - Lecture Notes
1/30/14 - What Is Psychology?
psychology: the scientific stud of the behavior of individuals and their
scientific method: set of procedures for gathering and interpreting objective
information in a way that minimizes error/yields generalizations
behavior: actions by which an organism adjusts or responds to its
-observable vs. not directly observable
mental processes: (workings of the mind)- thinking, planning, reasoning,
etc. not observable.
behavioral data: reports of observations about behavior and conditions
under which behavior occurs
Behavior is influenced by a combination of factors:
-internal: genetics, motivation, etc.
-external: changes in environment
-based on understanding the ways events relate to each other
-suggest what mechanisms link those events to predictors
-specifies conditions in which we predict that behaviors will change
-need to be worded in such a way that they can be tested
History of Psychology
Hermann Ebbinghaus: known for research on memory, learning, and
Plato: rooted in the NATIVST view: that people begin life with mental
structures that constrain experience
-how does the mind work?
-what is the nature of free will?
Aristotle: rooted in the EMPIRICIST view: that people begin life with a
blank tablet John Locke: empiricist view following Aristotle - minds acquire info. through
Immanuel Kant: nativist view following Plato - learn through experience
while influenced by mental structures
Empiricist vs. Nativist - Nature vs. Nurture
-19th century: psychology emerges as its own field
William Wundt: founded the 1st format experimental psychology laboratory
- applied scientific technique to philosophical inquiry
William James: wrote “The Principles of Psychology” - addressed issues
such as brain function, consciousness, awareness, memory, sensation,
G. Stanley Hall: established the 1st American psychological lab and
founded the APA - American Psychological Association
Perspectives on Psychology
Psychodynamic Perspective: behavior explained in terms of inherited
instincts, biological drive, and attempts to resolve conflicts
-focus on the unconscious