PSYCH101 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Gestalt Psychology, Allan Memorial Institute, Donald Ewen Cameron

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1 Aug 2016
PSYCH 101 – Module 1.2 Notes
What is the difference between empiricism and determinism?
-Empiricism = A philosophical tenet that knowledge comes through
experience; Idea that knowledge is based on careful observation, not on
common sense or speculation
-Determinism = The belief that all events are governed by lawful,
cause-and-effect relationships
oEasily applicable to physical science concepts such as gravity, but does
this mean that we do not have control over our actions?  Free Will
vs. Determinism
(Psychology = Both!)*
What are temperaments?
-Temperaments = Emotional and personality characteristics that
remain stable throughout lifetime (Galen)
1. Sanguine (blood) – Tendency to be impulsive, pleasure-seeking,
2. Choleric (yellow bile) – Tendency to be ambitious, energetic, and a bit
3. Melancholic (black bile) – Tendency to be independent, perfectionist,
and a bit introverted
4. Phlegmatic (phlegm) – Tendency to be quiet, relaxed, and content
with life
What is zeitgeist?
-Zeitgeist = General set of beliefs of a particular culture, at a specific
time in history
-Can be used to explain why psychology took so long (until 1800s) to
become scientific
What is psychophysics?
-Psychophysics = The study of the relationship between the physical
world and the mental representation of that world
What is clinical psychology?
-Clinical Psychology = The field of psychology that concentrates on the
diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders
What is brain localization?
-Brain Localization = The idea that certain parts of the brain control
specific mental abilities and personality characteristics
oEx. Phrenology – Study of idea that mental capacities and
personalities can be measured by the contours, bumps, and ridges
distributed across the surface of the skull
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What are the 2 most well-known examples of brain localization studies?
1. Physician Paul Broca’s study with a patient named Tan:
oTan was called Tan because that was the only word he could speak,
despite the fact that he could hear, perceive, and understand perfectly
oLeft side of Tan’s brain was observed to be damaged – happened to be
area where speech production was localized  “Broca’s Area
2. Karl Wenicke’s identification of Wernicke’s Area following Broca’s
findings (1874):
oPatients with damage to this area could speak in sentences that
sounded normal, but with unusual or made-up words
oPatients who regained some of their speech later reported that,
although they could hear just fine, no speech (not even their own)
made sense during their recovery period
oTherefore, this area appears to be critical for language comprehension
What is psychoanalysis?
-Psychoanalysis = A psychological approach that attempts to explain
how behaviour and personality are influenced by unconscious processes
What are the 4 ways in which Freud’s legacy can be seen in some key elements
of scientific psychology?
1. Many modern psychologists make inferences about unconscious mental
activity, just as Freud had advocated (although not all of them agree with the
specific theories proposed by him)
2. The use of medical ideas to treat disorders of emotions, thought, and
behaviour can be traced back to Freud’s Medical Model
3. Freud incorporated evolutionary thinking into his work and emphasized how
physiological needs and urges relating to survival and reproduction can
influence our behaviour
4. Freud placed great emphasis on how early life experiences influence our
behaviour as adults
What is meant by the term “nature and nurture relationship?”
-Nature and Nurture Relationship = Inquiry into how heredity
(nature) and environment (nurture) influence behaviour and mental
What does Titchener’s concept of structuralism entail?
-Structuralism = An attempt to analyze conscious experience by
breaking it down into basic elements, and to understand how these elements
work together
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-Used the term “elements” deliberately because he believed that
mental experiences were made up of a limited number of sensations, making
them analogous to elements in physics and chemistry
What is James’ theory of functionalism?
-Functionalism = The study of the purpose and function of behaviour
and conscious experience
What was Twitmyer’s concept of behaviourism?
-Behaviourism = An approach that had a singular focus on studying
only observable behaviour, with little to no reference to mental events or
instincts as possible influences on behaviour
-Dominated theory in the first half of the 20th century of North
American psychology*
What did Pavlov contribute?
-Credited for discovering Classical Conditioning instead of
-Nobel Prize of research on digestive system – Noticed that dogs in lab
learned to salivate to a tone if tone had history of sounding prior to arrival of
food (like ice-cream truck to humans!)
-Research lead to foundation of Behaviorist Movement
What did Watson do?
-Championed Behaviourism
-As more research supported conditioned behaviours, Watson began to
believe that ultimately all behaviour could be explained through conditioning
-Adamant that only observable (experienced) changes in environment
and behaviour were appropriate for scientific study
-Methods like Wundt’s introspection (Re: genetics) were too subjective
to even consider according to him***
What did Skinner do?
-Believed (like Watson) that psychology was study of behaviour, not of
the unobservable mind***
-Revealed how rewards and punishment affect behaviour by
conducting laboratory studies on animals
Why were Watson and Skinner’s findings met with so much resistance by
other psychologists?
-Little room is left for free will
-Many believed humans can rise above reward-based motivations, and
choose between behaviours based on their own beliefs and interpretations
Which 2 perspectives dominated field of psychology by mid-20th century?*****
1. Behaviourism
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