PSYCH101 Study Guide - Final Guide: Myelin, Axon Terminal, Naturalistic Observation

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20 Apr 2013
Introduction to Psychology
Module 1
- Before 300 B.C., Aristotle theorized about learning and memory, motivation and
emotion, perception and personality
- Wundt seeked to measure “atoms of the mind”
o Started the first psychological lab
- 2 early schools were structuralism and functionalism
- Titchener aimed to discover the mind’s structure
o Engaged ppl in self-reflective introspection (looking inward)
o However, his study waned with time
Behaviourism the view that psychology….
1. Should be an objective science that
2. Studies behavior without reference to mental processes
- Most research psychologists today agree with 1 but not 2
Humanistic psychology historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth
potential of healthy people
- Wundt and Tichener focused on inner sensations, images, and feelings
- James engaged in introspective examination of the stream of consciousness and of
- Early definition of psychology was “the science of mental life”
- In 1920s, Watson and Skinner dismissed introspection and redefined psychology as “the
scientific study of observable behaviour”
o Science is rooted in observation. You can’t observe a sensation, a feeling, or a
thought, but you can observe and record ppl’s behaviour as they respond to
different situation
- The behaviourists were 1 of 2 major forces in psychology well into the 1960s
- 2nd major force was Freudian psychology
o Emphasized the ways our unconscious thought processes and our emotional
responses to childhood experiences affect our behaviour
- In 1960s, the definition of psychology was rejected by humanistic psychologists
o Rogers and Maslow found Freudian psychology and behaviourism too limiting
o They focused on current environmental influences that can nurture or limit our
growth potential, and to the importance of having our needs for love and
acceptance satisfied
- Another group in the 1960s rebelled as well
o Termed cognitive revolution
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Led the field back to its early interest in mental processes (i.e. the
importance of how our mind processes and retains info)
Cognitive neuroscience the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition
(including perception, thinking, memory, and language)
Psychology the science of behaviour and mental processes
Nature-nurture issue the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes
and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviours. Today’s
science sees traits and behaviours arising from the interaction of nature and nurture
Natural selection the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those
contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding
- Cognitive neuroscience, an interdisciplinary study, has enriched our understanding
of ways to understand ourselves and to treat disorders such as depression
- Psychology is the science of behaviour and mental processes
o Behaviour is anything an organism does any action we can observe and record
(yelling, smiling, blinking)
o Mental processes are the internal, subjective experiences we infer from
behaviour sensations, perceptions dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings
Psychology’s 3 Main Levels of Analysis
Levels of analysis the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-
cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon
Biopsychosocial approach an integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological,
and social-cultural levels of analysis
1. Biological influences:
o Natural selection of adaptive traits
o Genetic predispositions responding to environment
o Brain mechanisms
o Hormonal influences
2. Psychological influences:
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o Learned fears and other learned expectations
o Emotional responses
o Cognitive processing and perceptual interpretations
3. Social-cultural influences:
o Presence of others
o Cultural, societal, and family expectations
o Peer and other group influences
o Compelling models (i.e. media)
- Together, they create behaviour or mental process (refer to FIGURE 1.1 pg 8)
Psychology’s Main Subfields
- The tribe of psychology is united by a common quest: describing and explain behaviour
and the mind underlying it
Biological psychologists explore the links between brain and mind
Developmental psychologists study our changing abilities from womb to tomb
Cognitive psychologists experiment with how we perceive, think, and solve problems
Personality psychologists investigate our persistent traits
Social psychologists explore how we view and affect one another
Basic research pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base
Applied research scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
o i.e. use psychology’s concepts and methods in the workplace to train employees,
and boost morale and productivity
Counseling psychology a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often
related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being
o help cope with challenges and crises and to improve their personal and social
Clinical psychology a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats ppl with
psychological disorders
o bother counseling and clinical administer and interpret tests, provide counseling
and therapy, and sometimes conduct basic and applied research
Psychiatry a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians
who sometimes provide medical (e.g. drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy
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