PSY100- Ch.1- Introduction to Psychological Science
•Psychological science is the study of mind, brain, and behaviour
oMind- mental activity such as thoughts and feelings. Perceptual experiences that you have while
interacting with the world (sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch). Memories etc.
oBrain- mental activity such as biological processes (action of nerve cells associated with chemical
It is the physical brain that enables the mind
oBehaviour- wide variety of actions that occur in organisms
•First theme is that research on mind, brain, and behaviour has accumulated overtime to produce the
principles of psychological science.
•Second theme: a new biological revolution of profound significance is in progress at the dawn of the
21st century: bringing with it a deeper understanding of the human mind and behaviour:
oUnderstanding brain chemistry : the brain works through the actions of chemicals known as
neurotransmitters, which communicate message between nerve cells.
oProgress in understanding the influence of genetic processes : scientists have been able to map out
the human genome (basic genetic code for human body), and have developed various techniques
that allow them to discover the link between genes and behaviour
Mapping out the human study how specific genes affect thoughts, actions, feelings and
oStudy the working brain: can study the brain as it performs its vital psychological functions.
How the cells operate in the brain to influence behaviour has been studied with increased
Can now address some central questions of human experience: how different brain regions
interact to produce perceptual experience
•Third theme: mind has been shaped by evolution
oEvolutionary theory- the brain has evolved over million of years to solve problems related to
survival and reproduction
oNatural selection- Darwin’s theory, those who inherit characteristics that help them adapt to
their particular environment have a selective advantage over those who do now
oAdaptations- (evolution) physical characteristics, skills, abilities that increase the chances of
reproduction or survival and are therefore likely to be passed along to future generations
oBuilt- in mechanisms assist in solving recurring problems that faced out ancestors over the course
of human evolution.
oOur evolutionary heritage encourages us to eat foods that had survival value when food was
relative scarce (high calorie)
Rather than being adaptations, such behaviours can be considered by-products of adaptive
solutions to earlier adaptive problems.
oHumans are dependent on group-living.
culture which refers to the beliefs, values, rules, norms, and customs that exist within a
group of people who share a common language and environment various aspects of culture
are transmitted from one generation to the next.
Many of these cultural rules reflect adaptive solutions that have been worked out by