aggressive impulses. He believed that when a person is hypnotized, the psychoanalyst could have more direct
access into the individual’s unconscious mind.
oThe medical model is an approach involving the use of medical ideas to treat disorders of emotions, thought, and
•Sir Francis Galton believed that heredity (genetics) explained psychological differences among people. It fit his beliefs about
social class. For example, he noticed that great achievement tended to run in families.
oTo support his beliefs, Galton developed ways of measuring what he called eminence, a combination of ability,
morality, and achievement.
oHe took on the question of nature and nurture relationships, the inquiry into how heredity (nature) and environment
(nurture) influence behavior and mental processes.
oGalton pursued scientific justification for eugenics, which literally means “good genes,” and promoted the belief that
only intelligent, talented individuals should have children.
oBiological psychology seeks to explain the underlying genetic, physiological, and brain basis for behavior.
•The Beginnings of Contemporary Psychology
oWilhelm Wundt’s primary research method was introspection, meaning, “to look within.” It required a trained volunteer
to experience a stimulus and then report each individual sensation he or she could identify through introspection. He
developed reaction time methods as a way of measuring mental effort. Wundt found that mental activity is not
instantaneous and requires a small amount of effort measured by the amount of time it takes to react.
•Structuralism was an attempt to analyze conscious experience by breaking it down into basic elements, and to understand
how these elements work together.
oEdward Titchener believed that mental experiences were made up of a limited number of sensations, which were
analogous to elements in physics and chemistry. According to Titchener, different sensations can form and create
complex compounds, just like hydrogen and water can combine to form water – H2O.
•Functionalism is the study of the purpose and function of behavior and conscious experience.
oThe incorporation of Darwin’s ideas can be found today in the modern field of evolutionary psychology, an approach
that interprets and explains human behavior in terms of forces acting upon our distant ancestors. According to this
approach, the physical and social environment that our ancestors encountered has shaped our brains and behaviors.
•Behaviorism is an approach that dominated the first half of the 20th century of American psychology and had a singular focus
on studying only observable behavior, with little to no reference to mental events or instincts as possible influences on
oThe credit for discovering classical conditioning went to Ivan Pavlov who showed dogs could learn to salivate to a
tone if the tone has a history of sounding just prior to the delivery of food.
oCredit for the rise of behaviorism in the United States went to John B. Watson.
oB.F. Skinner was a behaviorist who had considerable influence over American psychology for several decades, and
believed that psychology was the study of behavior and not of the unobservable mind.
•Humanistic psychology focuses on the unique aspects of each individual human, each person’s freedom to act, his or her
rational thought, and the belief that humans are fundamentally different from other animals.
oPsychologists Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow believed that humans strive to develop a sense of self and are
motivated to personally grow and fulfill their potential.
•The Cognitive Revolution
oHermann Ebbinghaus studied data on remembering and forgetting. The results of his studies produced “forgetting
curves,” which showed that most of what a person learns will be forgotten rapidly, but then forgetting slows to a crawl.
The forgetting curve is now a staple of modern psychology.
oFrederick Bartlett illustrated that memory is an interpretive process that involves cultural knowledge. He
demonstrated that, in a movie for example, we are more likely to remember the general storyline than details such as
exact words in the script or what the characters were wearing. Our cultural knowledge shapes what we find important
enough to remember.
oGestalt psychology is an approach emphasizing that psychologists need to focus on the whole of perception and
experience, rather than its parts. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
oCognitive psychology is a modern psychological perspective that focuses on processes such as memory, thinking,
oNorman Triplett investigated how other people influence individual behavior and observed that cyclists ride faster in
the presence of other people than when riding alone.
oThe field of social and personality psychology is the study of the influence of other people on our behavior along with
what makes each individual unique.