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PSY100H1 Study Guide - Hermann Von Helmholtz, Tabula Rasa, Pineal Gland

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Dan Dolderman

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Intro to Psychology (PSYA01)
Chapter 1 Psychology: The Evolution of a Science
William James discovered the science of “psychology”
Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior, mind refers to our
private inner experiences, behavior refers to observable actions of human
beings and nonhuman animals
Nativism philosophical view that certain kinds of knowledge are innate or
Aristotle believe a child’s mind is a tabula rasa (blank slate)
- He argued for philosophical empiricism which holds that all knowledge
is acquired through experience
Rene Descartes argued that the mind and body are fundamentally different
things- that the body is made of a material substance, whereas the mind is
made of an immaterial or spiritual substance
- “Mind” influences “body” through the pineal gland
Thomas Hobbes argued that the mind and body aren’t different things;
rather the mind is what the brain does
Franz Joseph Gall thought that brains and minds were linked, but they are
related through size rather than glands
-Gall developed the theory known as Phrenology specific mental abilities
and characteristics, ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness, are
localized in specific regions of the brain
Pierre Flourens disagreed with Gall’s theory, so he conducted an
experiment by surgically removing parts of the brain from animals, to show
that their actions differed from those of animals with intact parts of the brain
Paul Broca through surgery with a patient came to the realization that
damage to a specific part of the brain impaired a specific mental function,
demonstrating that the brain and mind are closely linked
Physiology the study of biological processes, especially in the human body
Hermann Von Helmholtz conducted the frog experiment, which lead to him
realizing the length it takes for nerve pulses to reach the brain
Wilhelm Wundt founder of the first laboratory devoted to psychology,
believed that scientific psychology should focus on consciousness (a
persons subjective experience of the world and mind)
- Wundt’s students developed the approach called structuralism
analysis of basic elements that constitute the mind
- Because consciousness is so vague, Wundt tried to analyze them in a
systematic way called introspection - the subjective observation of one’s
own experience
Edward Titchener studied under Wundt in Germany, and brought
structuralism to America by setting up a laboratory at Cornell University
Because William James disagreed with Wundt’s view of consciousness, he
decided to approach it from a different view called functionalism the
purpose mental processes serves in enabling people to adapt to their
William James came about this idea by influence of Charles Darwin’s idea
of natural selection features of an organism that help it to survive and
reproduce are more likely than others to be passed on in generations
- James believed mental abilities were naturally selected, because they
must have helped people solve problems in the past
After Sigmund Freud visited Charcot’s clinic in Paris, he returned to Italy to
work on his hysteric patients
- Freud theorized that many of the patients problems resulted from painful
childhood experiences that the person could not remember, and he
suggested that powerful influence of these lost memories lead to an
unconscious mind
- Unconscious is the part of the mind that works outside of conscious
awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings, and actions
- This led to the development of psychoanalytic theory an approach of
that emphasizes the importance of unconscious mental processes in shaping
feelings, thoughts and behaviors
- However since Freud’s theories were difficult to test, it is limited in
psychology and other sciences
This is when psychologists Maslow and Rogers, created the new movement
called humanistic psychology understanding human nature that
emphasizes the positive potential of human beings
John Watson believed that private experience was too vague to be an object
of scientific inquiry
- He then proposed that psychologists focus on the study of behavior
what people do rather than what they experience
- Behaviorism an approach that says that psychologists restrict
themselves to the scientific study of objectively observable behavior
Cognitive Psychology scientific study of mental processes, including
perception, thought, memory, and reasoning
Evolutionary Psychology- a psychological approach that explains mind and
behavior in terms of the adaptive values of abilities that are preserved over
time by natural selection
Social Psychology psychology that studies the causes and consequences of
interpersonal behavior
Cultural Psychology The study of how cultures reflect and shape the
psychological processes of their memories
Chapter 2 Psychology: Methods in Psychology
Empiricism The belief that accurate knowledge can be acquired through
Scientific Method Principles about the appropriate relationship between
ideas and evidence (Ibn al-Haytham father of this method)
Theory Hypothetical explanation of a neural phenomenon
Hypothesis- Falsifiable prediction made by a theory
Empirical Method- Set of rules and techniques for observation
Operational Method- Description of a property in concrete, measurable
terms (I.e. intelligence, shyness)
Measure- a device that can detect the condition to which an operational
definition refers
Electromyograph (EMG)- A device that measures muscle contractions
under the surface of a person’s skin
Validity The extent to which a measurement and a property are
conceptually related
Reliability The tendency for a measure to produce the same measurement
whenever it is used to measure the same thing
Power- The ability of a measure to detect the concrete conditions specified
in the operational definition
Demand characteristics Aspects of an observational setting that cause
people to behave as they think they should (do these jeans make me look fat?)
Naturalistic observation- Technique for gathering scientific information by
discreetly observing people in their natural environments
Double-Blind An observation whose true purpose is hidden from the
observer and the person being observed
Frequency distribution- A graphical representation of measurements
arranged by the number of times each measurement was made
Normal distribution- A mathematically defined frequency distribution in
which most measurements are concentrated around the middle
Mode- The value of the most frequently observed measurement
Mean- The average value of all the measurements
Median- The value that is “in the middle”