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Psych Midterm #1 Notes - Chapters 1-4 Chapter 1: The Science of Behaviour Chapter 2: Studying Behaviour Scientifically Chapter 3: Biological Foundations of Behaviour Chapter 4: Genes, Evolution and Behaviour

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Chapter One Notes: pg.4-33 September-25-10 9:55 AM The Nature of Psych +Psychology: the scientific study of behaviour and the factors the influence it -the term behaviour is used very broadly to refer to observable actions and mental processes Psych as a Basic and Applied Science -employ numerous theories about behaviour and its causes +basic research: research designed to obtain knowledge for its own sake -goals are to describe how people behave and to identify the factors that influence or cause a particular type of behaviour +applied research: research designed to solve specific practical problems -often uses principles discovered through basic research to solve practical problems +jigsaw program: an applied research program in which knowledge gained from basic research on factors that increase and decrease intergroup hostility was translated into cooperative learning programs resigned to reduce interracial hostility in racially integrated schools -camp program made them perform tasks that involved the two teams working together to achieve their task Goals of Psych: -describe how people and other animals behave -explain and understand the causes of these behaviours -predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions -influence or control behaviour through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare **if we understand the causes of behaviour and know when the casual factors are present or absent, then we should be able to successfully predict when the behaviour will occur. Consequently, if we can control the causes then we should be able to control the behaviour.** The Importance of Perspectives: +perspectives: are vantage points for analyzing behaviour and its biological, psychological and environmental causes -psychological perspectives serve as lenses through which the world of behaviour is viewed and they reflect and shape our conception of human nature -six major perspectives characterize contemporary psychological thought -biological -cognitive -psychodynamic -behavioural -humanistic -sociocultural The Biological Perspective: Brain, Genes and Behaviour +mind: the inner agent of consciousness and thought +mind -body dualism: the philosophical position that the mind is a non-physical entity that is not subject to physical laws and cannot be reduced to physical processes; body and mind are separate entities -no research on the planet can truly unravel the mysteries of the mind +monism: an alternative view of mind-body relations; holds that the mind is not separate spiritual entity Discovery of Brain-Behaviour Relations: -the biological perspective focuses on processes that are largely invisible to the naked eye, its development has depended on scientific and technological developments +evolutionary psychology: is an emerging discipline that focuses on the role of evolution in the development of behaviour and mental mechanisms -organism's biology determines its behavioural capabilities and its behaviour (including its mental processes) determines whether or not it will survive. +sociobiology: controversial; holds that complex social behaviours are also built into the human species as products of evolution. -argue that natural selection favours behaviours that increase the ability to pass on one's genes to the next generation +behaviour genetics: the study of how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetic factors The Cognitive Perspective: The Thinking Human -view humans as information processors and problem solvers whose actions are governed by thought and planning -concerned with ageless questions about how information is perceived and then organized in our minds, as well as how that information is combined with other contents of the mind to create memories, problem solving strategies, and creative thoughts. -causes us to ask how mental processes influence our motives, emotions and behaviour Structuralism: -Wilhelm Wundt -he founded the first lab of experimental psychology -believed that the mind could be studied by breaking it down into basic components +structuralism: the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements -sensations are the basic elements of consciousness; sensations are studied through the method of introspection +introspection: the method of looking within and verbally reporting an immediate experience used by the structuralists to study the contents of the mind Functionalism: -should study the functions (whys) of consciousness rather than its structure (whats) -developed from Darwin's theory that stressed the importance of adaptive behaviour in helping organisms to respond successfully to their environment and survive +functionalism: early school of American psychology that focussed on the functions of consciousness and behaviour in helping organisms adapt to their environment and satisfy their needs Gestalt Psychology: -gestalt: translated as "whole" or "organization" -concerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholes -opposite approach of structuralists -argued that our perceptions and other mental processes are organized so that the whole is not only greater than but also quite different from the sum of its parts -Wolfgang Khler - leaders in this psychology -concluded that the ability to perceive relationships is the essence of what we call intelligence and he defined insight as the sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problem Social Constructivism: -highly influential viewpoint within the cognitive perspective -what we consider reality is a large part of our own mental creation The Psychodynamic Perspective: The Forces Within -searches for the causes of behaviour within the workings of our personality, emphasizing the role of unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts from the past -Sigmund Freud's theory of psychoanalysis is the first and most influential theory Psychoanalysis: Freud's Great Challenge -emphasized the role of complex psychological forces in controlling human behaviour +psychoanalysis: the analysis of internal unconscious psychological forces -Freud focussed on the area of hysteria +hysteria: a psychological disorder in which physical symptoms such as blindness, pain or paralysis develop without any apparent organic cause +repressions: protect us by keeping anxiety-arousing impulses, feelings, and memories in the unconscious depths of the mind The Behavioural Perspective: The Power of the Environment -focuses on the role of the external environment in shaping and governing our actions. -peoples behaviour is jointly determined by learned habits fashioned by their previous life experiences and by stimuli in their immediate environment. Origins of the Behavioural Perspective +British Empiricism: held that all ideas and knowledge are gained empirically; through sense -Human beings are born tabula rasa (blank slate) -Ivan Pavlov demonstrated involuntary learning in dogs Behaviourism: -school of thought that emphasizes environmental control of behaviour through learning emerged as an outspoken alternative to the cognitive and psychodynamic perspectives -John Watson was the leader of this movement -argued that the proper subject matter of psychology was observable behaviour and not observable inner consciousness -humans are a product of their own conditioning experiences and their behaviour can be controlled by manipulating their environment -we are who we are because of what we learn +behaviour modification: therapeutic procedures based on operant conditioning principles, such as positive reinforcement, operant extinction and punishment Cognitive Behaviourism -is an attempt to bridge the gap between the behavioural and cognitive perspectives and to combine them in a more comprehensive theory -we learn new behaviours by observing the actions of others and storing this information in memory; these behaviours can then be imitated when need be The Humanistic Perspective: Freedom and Self-Actualization -arose largely out of philosophical schools that emphasize free will, innate tendencies toward growth and the attempt to find ultimate meaning in one's existence -emphasize the role of internal personality processes but in contrast to the psychoanalytic emphasis on unconscious determinants of behaviour, humanists stress the importance of conscious motives, freedom and choice -in every human being there is an active force toward growth and self-actualization (the reaching of one's individual potential) -when people are in an environment that allows the creative forces free reign, then the inner nature of a person emerges -our existence and its meaning are squarely in our own hands -questions about the ultimate meaning of life and death are critically important part of our existence and of this perspective +terror management theory: innate desire for continued life, combined with the uniquely human awareness of the inevitability of death; creates an anxiety called existential terror The Sociocultural Perspective: The Embedded Human -each of us is embedded in a larger culture that helps shape who we are +sociocultural perspective: focuses on the manner in which culture is transmitted to its members and on the similarities and differences that occur among people from diverse cultures +culture: refers to the enduring values, beliefs, behaviours and traditions that are shared by a large group of people and ar
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