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Full Year of Psych Notes.doc

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Terry Biggs
Study Guide

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Chapter 1 – Psychology: The Science of Behaviour
Psychology = the scientific study of behaviour and the factors that influence it.
Taking into account Biological, Individual and Environmental factors.
The Nature of Psychology:
-Clinical Psychology: The study and treatment of mental disorders. Diagnose and treat
people with psychological problems.
-Cognitive Psychology: study of mental processes, especially from a model that views the
mind as an information processor. Study consciousness, attention, memory,
decision-making and problem solving.
-Biopsychology: Focuses on the biological underpinnings of behaviour. Examines how
brain processes, genes and hormones influence our actions, thoughts and feelings.
-Developmental Psychology: Examines human physical, psychological and social
development across a lifetime.
-Experimental Psychology: Focuses on basic processes such as learning, sensory systems,
perception and motivational states.
-Industrial-organizational Psychology: Examines people’s behaviour in the workplace.
Study leadership, teamwork and factors that influence employees’ job
satisfaction, motivation and performance.
-Personality Psychology: Focuses on the study of human personality. Seek to identify
core personality traits.
-Social Psychology: Examines people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour pertaining to the
social world. Examines how people influence one another, behave in groups and
from impressions and attitudes.
Basic and Applied Science
·Two types of research:
oBasic research: Knowledge gained purely for its own sake. The goals are
to describe how people behave and to identify factors that influence it.
Research maybe carried out in lab or real world
· e.g. Robert Cave – Jigsaw case study - showed how competition
leads to hostility but could be reduced by making them dependent
on each other.
oApplied research: Knowledge gained to solve specific practical problems.
Uses principles discovered via basic research to solve practical problems.
Goals of Psychology
·Four basic goals:
oDescribe how people and animals behave
oExplain and understand the causes of the behaviour
oPredict how people and animals behave under certain conditions
oInfluence or control the behaviour through knowledge and control of

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Mind-Body and Nature-Nurture Interactions:
-Mind-Body Interactions: relation between mental processes in the brain and the
functioning of other bodily systems.
-Nature-Nurture Interactions: Is behaviour shaped by nature (genes) or nurture
Importance of Perspectives
·Diverse viewpoints (perspectives) allows for enriched understanding of behaviour
and its causes
·Six different perspectives: biological, cognitive, psychodynamic, behavioural,
humanistic, and sociocultural.
oBiological - physical side of human nature, brain
and genes
oCognitive - through process
oPsychodynamic - unconscious forces motivating
oBehavioral - role of external environment on out
oHumanistic - self actualization and free will
oSociocultural - culture and behaviour relate
The Biological Perspective
·Focuses on the physical side of human nature
oEmphasizes role of brain, including biochemical processes
·Mind-body dualism: The belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to the
physical laws that govern the body
oNo amount of research on the body could ever explain the mind
oAncient widely-held view, especially by Greeks
·Rene Descartes proposed the mind and body are connected through the pineal
·Monism: The belief that the mind and body are one, and mental events are a
product of physical events
oModern view by most scientists
oThomas Hobbes: stated that all ideas and knowledge is gained through the
·Behavioural Neuroscience: examines brain processes and other physiological
functions that underlie our behaviour, sensory experiences, emotions and thoughts.
Discovery of Brain-Behaviour Relations
·Late 1700s, Luigi Galvani discovered severed leg of frog moved with
electrical current applied to it
oDefied prior belief that bodily movements were caused by soul
·By 1870, researchers applied electrical stimulation directly to brains of

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oStimulation of specific areas on brain resulted in movements of
particular muscles
·Karl Lashley damaged specific regions of brain and studied effects on
learning and memory abilities in animals trained to run through mazes
·In 1929, invention of electroencephalogram (EEG) allowed researchers to
measure electrical activity of large areas of brain
Evolution and Behaviour
·Darwin’s theory of natural selection demonstrated that inheritable
characteristics that increase likelihood of survival would be maintained.
Proposed that humans and apes arose from the same ancestor.
·Evolutionary psychology focuses on role of evolution in development of
human behaviour
oPsychologists stress organism’s biology determine its behavioural
capabilities and behaviour
·Sociobiology holds that complex social behaviours are built into human
species as products of evolution
oNatural selection favors behaviours that increase ability to pass on
genes (aggression, competition, dominance in males, cooperation
and nurturing in females, etc.)
oSociobiologists believe that one’s genetic survival is more
important than one’s own physical survival (altruism)
oCriticized for overemphasizing innate biological factors at expense
of cultural and social learning factors in explaining complex
human social behaviour
Behaviour Genetics
·Study of how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetic factors
·Animals can be bred not only for physical, but also behavioural traits
(aggression, intelligence, etc.)
·Identical twins, with identical genetic makeup, are very similar in
behaviour compared to fraternal twins
oFound even when identical twins reared in different homes
The Cognitive Perspective
·Views humans as information processors and problem solvers whose actions are
governed by thought and planning. What sets humans apart is that we have mental
oStudies how mental processes influence our motives, emotions, and
·Several schools and individuals contributed to modern cognitive perspective:
Analysis of mind in terms of its basic elements
Studied sensations through introspection (“looking within”).
Patients were exposed to stimuli and asked to explain their
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