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Psychology 101 Lecture 1.30.14 - What is Psychology?

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University at Buffalo
PSY 101
Professor Berg

PSY 101 - Lecture Notes 1/30/14 - What Is Psychology? psychology: the scientific stud of the behavior of individuals and their mental processes 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 environment -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 Predicting: -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 illusory effects 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 experience 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, perception, etc. 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
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