Week 1 Psychology
Describe the philosophical roots of psychology
Describe the roots of psychology in biology and evolutionary thoughts
Explain and compare the major trends in the early development of psychology: Rationalism, materialism,
empiricism, structuralism, functionalism
Describe the development of behaviourism and humanistic psychology
Describe the newer trends in psychology including the cognitive sciences and neurobiology
Make connections between psychology and other disciplines. Summarize how psychology is relevant to
many different professions
What is Psychology?
The study of metal processes
The science of human behavior
The study of animal behavior
A challenging elective
Psychologists study perception ▯
the way in which we intake, organize, and interpret information in our environment
(the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and
understand the environment)
How vision develops and adapts Psychologists evaluate cognitive processes
our ability to think and reason about the world
Intelligence, decision making
Neurological aspects and differences
Nonverbal Reasoning à intelligence
Psychologists evaluate cognitive processes, (i.e., ability to think and reason about the world). This takes
many forms, such as intelligence, learning perception and experience of the world.
Psychologists study a wide range of topics such as:
Pain, Obedience, Emotions, Violence, Mental illness, Treatment, Intelligence, Lying/deception, Conformity,
Persuasion, Relationships, Trust, Sleep, Sensory experiences
Psychology has its roots in philosophy
(Rationalism) seeks to answer questions through logic and reason
ie is there really free will ?
Whereas empiricism seeks to answer questions through observation and qualification
ie How do we measure happiness? , How do we know our measure are the same? , How do anxious kids
respond to failure?
How do individuals with depression respond to failure?
People with depression tend to make 3 times more mistakes
People without depression tend to make more mistakes
Why do individuals with depression react so differently?
Catastrophic response to failure ▯ once a mistake is made the performance decreases rapidly
Motivation ▯ decreases Psychologists fit in:
Psychology in other disciplines:
Medicine, Education, Law, Human resource/Industry, Politics, Marketing
Psychiatry à Often psychologists and psychiatrists work together in the treatment of psychological
Marketing à the behaviour, motivation of buyers....advertisements, set up of stores
Education à school behaviour (e.g., bullying), learning disabilities, how children learn
Law à forensics, witness selection and questioning, eye witness testimony.
Preschoolers were give the exact same burger wrapped in either plain paper or in McDonald’s wrapping.
How many preferred McDonald’s? 60%
Why? Familiarity (use to it) and association (toys etc.)
What is psychology
Is the science of behaviour and mental processes
What do they do?
Neuroscience Perception, learning, memory, language and thinking
Social personality (how people act in a group)
* Behavior is any action that can be observed, recorded and measured.
People presume all psychologists are therapists that treat people with mental illnesses ▯ Clinical
Greek philosophers used rationalism to arrive at specific questions (and human actions)
Rationalism is the pursuit of truth through logic and reason
Is the gaining of knowledge through observable facts and experiences
Applied to why people do the things they do
Used by psychologists in the 19 century
Psychologists measured the relationship between changes in the magnitude of the physical energy in a
stimulus and our sensation of the changes in stimulus magnitude. They discovered that physical and
sensory magnitudes were not equivalent
Founding Fathers of Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt and William James
focused on the smaller elements that made up human experience
focused on the purpose associated with various human traits
Both used specific methods and thoughts to help organize research
Structuralism Psychologists break complex phenomena down to their smallest component and then study these
components, assuming that if they understand all the parts, they will understand the whole.
Emphasizes elemental constituents of experience
Important elementanalysis if we can break things down into simpler parts and understand them; we can
understand the whole
William James to of the tongue phenomenon ( where you know the word, but you cant think of it)
Influenced by Charles Darwin and his Theory (an idea or a conceptual; model, that is designed to explain
existing facts and make predictions about new facts that might be discovered) of natural selection
Functionalist psychologists examine behaviors, traits, and perceptions by asking “what are they for?” This
focus on purpose was influenced by Charles Darwin and evolutionary thought.
Psychology according to the textbook is a science whose “Primary emphasis is on discovering and
explaining the causes of behavior. (page 5)
Behavior is also the science of the brain and the