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PSY 1101 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Unconscious Mind, Behaviorism, Psychoanalysis

Course Code
PSY 1101
Gary Capstick
Study Guide

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Introduction to Psychology: Foundations
PROLOGUE: What is Psychology?
The scientific study of behaviour and mental processes
Utilizes the scientific method
Method: Systematic observations
Values: rigor, objectivity, open-mindedness
The Founding of Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt
First psychology laboratory
University of Leipzig, Germany, December 1879
Tested Sensory perception (Visual, auditory, tactile)
Experiments included: How long does it take to react to a sound? A light? A touch?
“How different do two lights have to be before one can tell which is brighter?”
Interested in the composition of conscious, mental experiences and processes
Used Reaction Time Experiments: (i.e. speed of the simplest mental processes, e.g.:
Edward Bradford Titchener
Student of Wundt
Brought psychological science to North America
Coined the term “structuralism”- the school of thought
Structuralism- Focuses on the basic structural elements of conscious, mental experiences
Observation and reporting of one’s mental experiences
Not reliable
Different people reported different experiences
Gestalt Psychology
Max Wertheimer
Phi phenomenon
Emphasizes that people’s experiences are holistic or unified
Gestalt = whole, form, or pattern
The whole is more than just the sum of the parts
Perceptions don’t arise just by adding independent sensations
Thus, structuralism cannot provide the whole answer
William James
“stream of consciousness
Functionalism focuses on the functions of our thoughts, feelings, ideas and behaviours

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James was influenced by Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection
What is the survival advantage of our mental behaviour?
Sir Francis Galton
Genetic inheritance
Mental abilities are also inherited
Expanded psychology from the study of thinking to the study of behaviour
Developed by Sigmund Freud
Psychoanalysis is the theory of personality (human behaviour) & treatment of psychological
disorders (therapy)
Personality Theory
Mind (psyche): Ice-berg analogy
Conscious mind is just the tip of the ice-berg
But unconscious impulses, thoughts, wishes, memories have larger impact
Sexual and
aggressive drives
and repressed
traumatic memories
No free will
Also believed in the Unconscious Mind
(Unconscious mental forces were
responsible for human nature and
John Watson & B.F. Skinner
Objected to structuralism
and functionalism
Introspection is NOT science (it’s too subjective... Consciousness, perceptions,
thoughts, feelings, motivations are private experiences therefore not appropriate
for science)
Focus in independently observable behaviour
study the factors that influence learning and behaviour with the goal of influencing/
predicting behaviour
Believed behaviour is primarily determined by environmental factors
Classical and operant learning
Humanistic Psychology
Abraham Maslow & Carl Rogers
Opposes the idea of no free will or of unconscious forces controlling behaviour
Emphasizes current environmental influences on our growth potential
People are driven towards personal growth

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People make conscious choices
People are innately good
When needs are not met, maladaptive behaviour or thinking result
Highlighted need for love and acceptance
Introduced Theory of motivation & therapy
Cognitive Psychology
Credited with recapturing psychology’s earlier interest in mental processes and making them
fields for legitimate study
Focus on how the mind processes and retains information (mental processes- how do we
process, retain and remember information?)
Also rejects notion of no free will
Humans are active thinking machines not passive reacting machines
Modern brain-imaging techniques allow researchers to see mental processes (Cognitive
Other Perspectives
Focuses on the functioning of the central nervous system
Brain and spinal cord
Evolutionary Psychology
Focuses on the evolution of behaviour and thought
How do our behaviours and thoughts benefit survival?
controversy that genes and experiences make to the development of psychological traits and
behaviours); are our human traits present at birth or do they develop with experience**
Biopsychosocial Approach
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