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Introduction to Psychology I - complete course notes

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PSY 102
John Turtle

INTRODUCTIONPSYCHOLOGY AS A SCIENCEIt is a popular belief that psychology focuses primarily on the effects of childhood experiences Freud romantic relationships and selfhelp issues counselling and the treatment of disorders The much wider focus of psychology is actually on research in neuroanatomy brain physiology memory problem solving language etcmostly concerning people without any discernible disorders Psychologys claim to have a scientific basisperspective has had to be fought forit is seen at best as a soft scienceScience is not a body of informationit is a method of figuring out how something worksthe universe ones mind the human body etc Attitudes and characteristics of scienceCommunalisma sharing of findings and informationDisinterestednessa drive to find truths rather than proof of being rightHumility and opennessScepticism empiricism precisionneed for hard evidence and proof databaseCreativity productivity publicitynew innovations and theories Goals of scienceDescribe whats going onPredict whats likely to happen to a subject with a factor given what is already knownExplain why there is a relation between different factors or a factor and a result etcControl how we use what has been learned to create improvements A challenging aspect of psychology multideterminismthat most of the things studied in psychology are not the result of just one cause nature vs nurtureWe must study issues from a variety of perspectives in order to understand them wellpsychological historical political cultural philosophical ethical moral logical On top of that the multiple factors are also related and impacted by one anothermulticollinearty Psychology includes issues such asThe nature of consciousnessHow memory workswhere they are stored if they can be improvedHow to tell if a person is lyingphysiological and verbal indicatorsThe origin and purpose of dreamsGenetic vs environmental influences on personality behavior intelligence etc BRIEF HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY 1 Ancient origins of psychology in GreecePlato approx 380 BCE proposed a model of the mind outlined theories of motivation and emotionAristotle approx 340 BCE was the first experimental psychologist handson empirical databased experimenter concerned with sensation how the body works touch taste smell imagination memory and reasoning abilitiesthth2 The Enlightenment Age of Reason1719 centuriesPsychology initially borrowed ideas and methods from philosophy it is academically acceptable to study the abstract mind and philosophers were extending the ancient Greek issues such as the mind body soul consciousness free will vs determinismthe natural sciences physiologyanatomyRene Descartes 15961650 was an influential philosopherscholarwriterthinker who argued the mindbody dualismthe mindsoul is distinct from the body and is not physicalThis distinction between the two allowed for postmortems to begin to better the understanding of body functions eg Basic anatomy and physiology how blood circulates how we sense painOther Enlightenment philosophers who contributed to ideologies of psychology John Locke Bishop Berkeley David Hume John Stuart MillPhilosophers wanted a scientific method to prove their logical and rational theories natural science gave them the scientific method to study the body including the brain and mindAlso physiologists went beyond physical anatomy to study human perception and performance eg speed of neuronal impulse audio and visual receptionThus was the creation of psychologyThe rise of psychic claims in the late 1900s lead to attempts to prove paranormal claims with scientifically accepted psychological tests but this has continued to failInstead it is now used to discuss the question is to why so many people believe these paranormal claims despite the lack of evidenceth3 Dominant views in psychology throughout the 20 century 19001920 Sigmund Freud Carl Jung and the psychoanalytic perspectiveinternal subconscious mental conflict drives our conscious thinking and behavior 19201960 Pavlov Skinner and the behaviorist perspective 19601990 Cognitivism higher mental cognitive abilities and conscious thought memory decisionmaking problemsolving language reasoning 1990present cognitive and neuroscience perspectiveTypes of psychologyClinicalassessment diagnosis causes and treatment of major disordersCounsellingassisting individuals in their personal lives marriage careers family life etcSchoolclinical counselling applied to students issuesDevelopmentalintellectual physical social and emotional life developmentExperimentalinterest mainly in researching cognition thought language memory decisionmakingBiopsychologyanatomical and physiological bases of behaviourForensicintersection with the law criminal investigation techniques proof of fitnesstostandtrial etcIndustrialorganizationalhuman resources job evaluation work environmentPersonalityenduring traits or characteristics and their originsSocialeffects others have on ones behavior
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