Psychology Notes.docx

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Dan Dolderman

Psy100 Page1Chapter 1 IntroductionSeven Themes of Psychological SciencePsychology is an empirical science o Psychology is studied through the scientific method 1 Nature and nurture are inextricably entwinedThe brain and mind are inseparable o The mind is what the brain does more details in chapter 4A new biological revolution is energizing researchThe mind is adaptive o The human brain was shaped by evolution o Part of what we know intrinsically comes from evolution such as the case where a baby will not crawl over the edge of a table even if its covered with a plastic sheet and their mothers are calling to them from the other side o Culture shapes the mind much faster than biological adaptation does and can lead to many different ways of thinking Ex While easterners value family orientation and harmony more westerners value independence morePsychological science crosses levels of analysis o Biological level of analysis things like the neurochemical and genetic processes occurring in the body and brain o Individual level of analysis focuses on individual differences in personality and in the mental processes that affect how people perceive the world o Social level of analysis how group context affect peoples way of interacting and influencing each other o Cultural level of analysis explores how peoples thoughts feelings and actions are similar or different across culturesWe are often unaware of the multiple influences on how we think feel and act1 Unable to be disentangled untied Forming a maze or tangle from which it is impossible to get freePsy100 Page2History of PsychologyExperimental Psychology Begins with Structuralism oIn 1879 Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory and institute He used reaction times to study psychological processes which is still used today However introspection and thus structuralism are disused today because experience is too subjective and thus too difficult to study o To study the conscious experience he developed the method of introspection a systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that requires people to inspect and report on the content of their thoughts o And then Edward Titchener Wundts student used introspection to create structuralism which is based on the idea that conscious experiences can be studied when it is broken down into its underlying components He believed that understanding the basic elements of consciousness would help understand the mindFunctionalism Addresses the Purpose of Behaviouro William James argued against structuralism saying that the mind was far more complex than its elements and as such could not be studied through its elementso Rather James noted that the mind consisted of an ever changing continuous series of thoughts This stream of consciousness could not be frozen in time according to James so structuralism would not work o James thought that psychologists should study the functions served by the mind how the mind operates aka functionalism According to this the mind came into existence over the course of human evolution and it works as it does because it is useful for preserving life and passing along genes to the future generation Aka it helps humans adapt to environmental demands o Who we are is constructed through a lifetime of choices and we build upon ourselves If we try to change something we must first force ourselves to do the thing first and then eventually you will be happier or better at something SelfConditioningUsed in therapy right now This is because the neuro links will be stronger over time sort of like remember things many times before one can remember it o Recently functionalism has returned to use in psychologyGestalt Psychology Emphasizes Patterns and Context in Learning Psy100 Page3o In 1912 the Gestalt Theory came to light According to this theory the whole of personal experience is different from the sum of its parts For instance a triangle on a paper does not equate to three lineso Observations were taken not from a trained professional but ordinary people when experimentally investigating subjective experience This was called the phenomenological approach o The Gestalt Theory reflects the idea that perception of objects is subjective and dependent on contextFreud Emphasized the Power of the Unconscious o Freud believed that much of a persons psychological process comes from the unconsciousHe believed that these unconscious mental forces often sexual and in conflict produced psychological discomfort and in some cases even apparent psychological disorders o From this Freud pioneered the clinical case study approach and developed the therapeutic method of psychoanalysis which involves trying to bring the contents of a patients unconsciousness into conscious awareness so their conflicts can be dealt with constructively o He also believed in free association a theory that when a patient is allowed to talk about whatever he wants then eventually the unconscious conflicts will come outMost Behaviours Can Be Modified by Reward and Punishment o Behaviourism an approach that emphasizes environmental impact on behaviour to study the mind According to this there is only nurture not natureCognition Affects Behaviour o This started in the late 1920s and then in 1957 Miller and colleagues launched the cognitive revolution in psychologyo Cognitive Psychology is concerned with higher order mental functions such as intelligence thinking language memory and decision making Cognitive research has shown that the way people think about things influences their behaviour o In the 1990s Cognitive Neuroscience emerged in which a view of the mind was integrated with things like computer science neuroscience and philosophySocial Situations Shape Behaviour
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