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PSYCH 104 - Final Exam Review

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Blaine Mullins

Psychology Review Chapter 1: Psychology – The Evolution of a Science - Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. o The mind refers to our private inner experience, the consciousness.  Consciousness is made up of perceptions, thoughts, memories and feelings. o Behaviour refers to observable actions of human beings and nonhuman animals. - Plato (428BC-347BC) argued in favour of nativism. o Nativisim – certain kinds of knowledge are innate or inborn. - Aristotle (384BC-322BC) believed that the child’s mind was a “tabula rasa” (blank slate), on which experiences were written, and he argued for philosophical empiricism. o Philosophical Empiricism – all knowledge is acquired through experience. - René Descartes (1595-1650) is best known for his suggestion that the body and soul are fundamentally different. - Francis Gall (1758-1828) developed a theory – phrenology. o Phrenology – specific mental abilities and characteristics, ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness, are localized in specific regions of the brain. - Paul Broca (1825-1880) worked with a brain-damaged person who could comprehend but not produce spoken language. Him and Pierre Flourence were the first to demonstrate that the mind is grounded in a material substance; namely, the brain. - Physiology – the study of biological processes, especially in the human body. o Stimulus – sensory input from the environment o Reaction time – the amount of time taken to respond to a specific stimulus - Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) estimated the length of time it takes a nerve impulse to travel to the brain. - Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) founded the first lab devoted exclusively to psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany. o Also, his book “Principles of Physiological Psychology” was publicised in 1874. o Believed that psychology should focus on analyzing consciousness.  Consciousness – A person’s subjective experience of the world and the mind. o He adopted structuralism just like chemistry broke down matter into basic elements.  Structuralism – the analysis of the basic elements that constitute the mind. o Wundt tried to analyze consciousness by using introspection.  Introspection – The subjective observation of one’s own experience. - Edward Titchener (1867-1927) studied with Wundt for 2 years, travelled to the United States and set up a psychology laboratory at Cornell University. o Wundt emphasized the relationship between elements of consciousness, Titchener focused on identifying the basic elements themselves. - The structuralist approach gradually faded, due mostly to the introspective method, which could never give valid results. - William James (1842-1910) he disagreed with Wundt’s claim that consciousness could be broken down into separate elements and developed functionalism. o Consciousness was like a flowing stream than a bundle of separate elements. o Functionalism – the study of the purpose mental processes serve in enabling people to adapt to their environment. o James set out to understand the functions those mental processes served. o Inspired by Charles Darwin’s principle of natural selection.  Reasoned that mental abilities evolved because they were adaptive, this also means that consciousness must serve an important biological function. o James’ functionalist psychology quickly gained followers, especially in North America. - G. Stanley Hall (1844-1924) set up the first psychology research laboratory in North America after studying with both Wundt and James. His work focused on development and education. o Hall believed that as children develop, they pass through stages that repeat the evolutionary history of the human race – the mental capacities of a young child resemble those of our ancient ancestors. - Illusions – Errors of perception, memory, or judgment in which subjective experience differs from objective reality. - Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) reasoned that the perceived motion could not be explained in terms of the separate elements that cause the illusion (the two flashing lights) but instead that the moving flash of light is perceived as a whole rather than a sum of its two parts. o Wertheimer’s interpretation of the illusion led to Gestalt (whole) psychology.  Gestalt psychology – emphasizes that we often perceive the whole rather than the sum of the parts o Gestaltists’ claim was diametrically opposed to the structuralists’ claim that experience can be broken down into separate elements. - Dissociative identity disorder – the occurrence of two or more distinct identities within the same individual. - Hysteria – temporary loss of cognitive or motor functions, usually as a result of emotionally upsetting experiences. - Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), fascinated by the fact that the brain can create many conscious selves that are not aware of each other’s existence, suggested that many of the patients’ problems could be traced to the effects of painful childhood experiences that the person could not remember and that the powerful influence of these seemingly lost memories have on the presence of an unconscious mind. o According to Freud, the unconscious is the part of the mind that operates outside of conscious awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings and actions. o That idea led Freud to develop psychoanalytic theory, an approach that emphasizes the importance of unconscious mental processes in shaping feelings, thoughts and behaviours. o From a psychoanalytic perspective, it is important to uncover a person’s early experiences and to illuminate unconscious anxieties, conflicts and desires. This formed the basis for a therapy that Freud called psychoanalysis – bringing unconscious material into conscious awareness. o Freud’s vision (psychoanalysis) of human nature was a dark one, emphasizing limitations and problems rather than possibilities and potentials. He saw people as hostages to their forgotten childhood experiences and primitive sexual impulses, and the inherent pessimism of his perspective frustrated those psychologists who had a more optimistic view of humans. - Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) and Carl Rogers (1902-1987) pioneered a new movement called humanistic psychology – an approach to understanding human nature that emphasizes the positive potential of human beings. Humanistic psychologists viewed people as free agents who have an inherent need to develop, grow, and reach their full potential. - Behaviourism is a new approach, which advocated that psychologists should restrict themselves to the scientific study of objectively observable behaviour. - Margaret Floy Washburn in 1894, became the first woman with a PhD degree in psychology. - Burrhus Frederick Skinner (1904-1990) built a “conditioning chamber” or what’s now called a “Skinner Box”. o He argued for the principle of reinforcement.  Reinforcement – the consequences of a behaviour determine whether it will be more or less likely to occur again - The emergence of the computer led to a re-emergence of interest in metal processes and it spawned cognitive psychology. o Cognitive psychology – the scientific study of mental processes, including perception, thought, memory, and reasoning. - Sir Frederic Bartlett (1886-1969) suggested that memory is not a photographic reproduction of past experience and that our attempts to recall the past are powerfully influenced by our knowledge, beliefs, hopes, aspirations, and desires. - Jean Piaget (1896-1980) studied the perceptual and cognitive errors of children. He theorized that younger children lack a particular cognitive ability that allows older children to appreciate the fact that the mass of an object remains constant even when it is divided. - Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) argued that one could best predict a person’s behaviour in the world by understanding the person’s subjective experience of the world. - Donald Broadbent (1926-1993) observed that pilots must actively move the focus of their attention from one to another and showed that the limited capacity to handle incoming information is a fundamental feature of human cognition. This limit could explain many of the errors that humans make. - Karl Lashley (1890-1958) surgically removed parts of the brain of mice that ran mazes to try and find the precise spot in the brain where learning occurred. This led to the development of behavioural neuroscience. o Behavioral neuroscience – link psychological processes to activities in the nervous system and other bodily processes. - Cognitive neuroscience – field that attempts to understand the links between cognitive processes and brain activity. - Evolutionary psychology – explains mind and behaviour in terms of the adaptive value of abilities that are preserved over time by natural selection. (Charles Darwin – Natural Selection – William James was a big fan of Darwin) - Social psychology – studies how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of individuals can be influenced by the presence of others. - Cultural psychology – study of how cultures reflect and shape the psychological processes of their members. o Absolutism holds that culture makes little or no difference for most psychological phenomena. o Relativism holds that psychological phenomena are likely to vary considerably across cultures and should be viewed only in the context of a specific culture. Chapter 3: Psychology – Neuroscience and Behaviour Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system. They process information received from the outside world, they communicate with one another, and they send messages to the body’s muscles and organs. Neurons are composed of three major parts: the cell body, dendrites and the axon. The cell body contains the nucleus, which houses the organism’s genetic material. Dendrites receive sensory signals from other neurons and transmit this information to the cell body. Each neuron has only one axon, which carries signals from the cell body to other neurons or to muscles and organs in the body. Neurons don’t actually touch: They are separated by a small gap, which is part of the synapse across which signals are transmitted from one neuron to another. Glial cells provide support for neurons, usually in the form of the myelin sheath, which coats the axon to facilitate the transmission of information. In demyelinating diseases, the myelin sheath deteriorates. Neurons are differentiated according to the functions they perform. The three major types of neurons include sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons. Examples of sensory neurons and interneurons are, respectively, bipolar neurons and Purkinje and py+amidal cells. The neuron’s resting potential is due to differences in the K concentrations inside and outside the cell membrane. If electric signals reach a threshold, this initiates an action potential, an all-or-none signal that moves down the entire length of the axon. The action potential occurs when sodium + channels in the axon membrane open and potassium channels close, allowing the Na ions to flow inside the axon. After the action potential has reached its maximum, the sodium channels close and the potassium channels open, allowing K to flow out of the axon, returning the neuron to its resting potential. The sodium-potassium pump is activated after the internal membrane potential becomes too + + negative to return it to normal resting membrane potential. (2 K in and 2 Na out) [-70~-55~+30~-90~- 70~-55~etc.] For a brief period, the action potential cannot be re-initiated. Once it is initiated, the action potential spreads down the axon, jumping across the nodes of Ranvier to the synapse. Neurotransmitter Function Examples of Malfunctions Acetylcholine Enables muscle action; regulates Alzheimer’s disease – Ach-producing neurons (Ach) attention, learning, memory, deteriorate sleeping, and dreaming Dopamine Influences movement, High levels of dopamine – Schizophrenia. Low motivation, emotional pleasure levels of dopamine produce tremors and and arousal decreased mobility of Parkinson’s disease Glutamate A major excitatory Oversupply can overstimulate the brain, neurontransmitter involved in producing migraines or seizures learning and memory GABA (gamma- The primary inhibitory Undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter insomnia Norepinephrine Helps control mood and arousal Undersupply can depress mood Serotonin Regulates hunger, sleep, arousal, Undersupply linked to depression and aggressive behaviour Endorphins Act within the pain pathways and Lack of endorphins could lower pain emotion centers of the brain threshold or reduce the ability to self-soothe The action potential triggers synaptic transmission through the release of neurotransmitters from the terminal buttons of the sending neuron’s axon. The neurotransmitter travels across the synapse to bind with receptors in the receiving neuron’s dendrite, completing the transmission of the message. Neurotransmitters bind to dendrites based on existing pathways in the brain and specific receptor sites for neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters leave the synapse through reuptake, through enzyme deactivation and by binding to autoreceptors. Some of the major neurotransmitters are acetylcholine (Ach), dopamine, glutamate, GABA, norepinephrine, serotonin, and endorphins. Drugs can affect behaviour by acting as agonists, that is, facilitating or increasing the actions of neurotransmitters or as antagonists by blocking the action of neurotransmitters. Neurons make up nerves, which in turn form the human nervous system. The nervous system is divided into the peripheral and the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system connects the central nervous system with the rest of the body and it is itself divided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. The somatic nervous system, which conveys information into and out of the central nervous system, controls voluntary muscles, where as the autonomic nervous system automatically controls the body’s organs. The autonomic nervous system is further divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, which complement each other in their effects on the body. The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for action in threatening situations, and the parasympathetic nervous system returns it to its normal state. The central nervous system is composed of the spinal cord and the brain. The spinal cord can mediate some basic behaviour such as spinal reflexes without input from the brain. The brain can be divided into the hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain. The hindbrain generally coordinates information coming into and out of the spinal cord with structures such as the medulla, the reticular formation, the cerebellum and the Pons. These structures respectively coordinate breathing and heart rate, regulate sleep and arousal levels, coordinate fine motor skills, and communicate this information to the cortex. The midbrain, with the help of structures such as the tectum and tegmentum, generally coordinates functions such as orientation to the environment and movement and arousal toward sensory stimuli. The forebrain generally coordinates higher-level functions, such as perceiving, feeling and t
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