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Fall Mid-term, Chapters 1-4.docx

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Psychology 1000
Ross Esson

Psychology 1000: Mid-term Notes Chapter 1: The Nature of Psychology Philosophical roots of psychology: Early Greeks humans and Gods were quite separate from other living things they reasoned about the world, while animals behaved instinctively (without reason) Aristotle (naturalist): placed humans at the top of a scale of intelligence (but Christian Scholars believed that humans alone possessed a rational soul, an idea which persisted for centuries) o Believed brain was located in the heart Ren Descartes: I think, therefore I am Reason vs. Instinct this problem remained, creating a distinction between the mind and body The brain has two of everything, except for the pineal gland intersection of mind and body? After Descartes, study of the mind became philosophy, the study of the body became physiology, and psychology evolved from both philosophy and physiology What is Psychology? Psychology: the scientific study of behaviour and the factors that influence it Behaviour is defined broadly: both mental events or physical ones Basic research: quest for knowledge purely for its own sake Applied research: designed to solve specific practical problems uses principles discovered in basic research Robbers Cave: Sherif et al., 1961 11-year old boys camp o Competition can breed hostility and conflict between groups, but this can be decreased by making the groups dependent on one another for cooperation o Similar to Jigsaw classroom: Aronson et al., 1978 small pieces of info for bigger picture Goals of psychology: 1. Describe how people and other animals behave 2. Explain and understand the causes of these behaviours 3. Predict how people will behave under certain circumstances 4. Influence or control behaviour through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare The Whitman case illustrates how many potential causes could contribute to a given behaviour o Potential causes include biological, psychological, and environmental Nature vs. Nurture: o Empiricists: behaviour is shaped by experiences, deny influence of genes tabula rasa o Nativists: behaviour is largely inborn Six major perspectives: characterize contemporary psychological thought The Biological Perspective: Natural Selection, Survival of the Fittest Mind-body dualism: the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to the physical lows that govern the body Monism: mind and body are one, mental events are a product of physical ones The biological perspective focuses on the physical side of human nature o Electrical nature of nerve conduction Galvani Evolutionary psychology: focuses on the role of evolution in the development of behaviour o Biology determines behaviour, and behaviour determines if it will survive Sociobiology: complex social behaviours are also built into the human species as products of evolution natural selection favours behaviours that allow the passing on of genes to the next generation (ex. Altruism) Behaviour genetics: how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetic factors Psychology 1000: Mid-term Notes The Cognitive Perspective The thinking human: humans as information processors and problem solvers whose actions are governed by thought and planning Structuralism: analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements (like what biologists or chemists would do) the what Functionalism: psych should study the why of consciousness rather than the what Gestalt Psychology: how elements of experience are organized into whole (opposite of structuralists), whole is different from parts Insight: sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution o Wolfgang Kohler chimpanzees, Sultan o Jean Piaget problem-solving in children Artificial intelligence: an area of cognitive science Social constructivism: what we consider reality is in large part our own mental creation shared views within social norms vs. nature The Psychodynamic Perspective Searches for the cause of behaviour within the workings of our personality, emphasizing the role of unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts from the past Freuds theory of psychoanalysis: developed from his interest in hysteria sexual memories, Freudian slips Repression: a defence mechanism often used to cope with anxiety The Behavioural Perspective The role of the external environment in shaping and governing our actions British empiricism: all ideas and knowledge are gained empirically or through the senses (John Locke) Ivan Pavlovs salivating dogs Behaviourism: environmental control of behaviour through learning o John B. Watson (1878-1958) proper subject matter of psychology was observable behaviour, not inner consciousness, B.F. Skinner world acts upon him Cognitive behaviourism: an attempt to bridge the gap between the behavioural and cognitive perspectives, and combine them in a more comprehensive theory The Humanistic Perspective Emphasizes free will, innate tendencies towards growth, and the attempt to find ultimate meaning in ones existence importance of conscious motives Self-actualization: the reaching of ones individual potential Terror management theory: an innate desire for continued life, with the awareness of the inevitability of death, causes an anxiety called existential terror o To defend its members against terror, each culture establishes its own world view, and people are motivated to support this world view The Sociocultural Perspective The manner in which culture is transmitted to its members, the similarities and differences that occur between cultures Humans seem to have an inherent need to develop cultures Individualism (personal goals, self-identity based on own achievements) vs. collectivism (individual goals subordinate to group, ties to the family) Perspectives on Behaviour Summary Biological = brain processes Psychodynamic = unconscious processes Behavioural = learned behaviour Humanistic = striving to achieve Cognitive = thought processes Sociocultural = importance of cultural beliefs Psychology 1000: Mid-term Notes Chapter 2: Studying Behaviour Scientifically Bystander apathy: Kitty Genovese murder Darley and Latan believed it was unlikely all 38 bystanders were apathetic. Believed environment influenced (someone else called) Diffusion of responsibility: a psychological state in which each person feels decreased personal responsibility for intervening The Scientific Process/ Theories 6 steps in the scientific process: 1. Initial observation/ question 2. Form hypothesis 3. Test hypothesis 4. Analyze data 5. Further research and theory building 6. New hypothesis derived from theory Theory: a set of formal statements that explains how and why certain events are related to one another Hindsight understanding: most common method used to try to understand behaviour in everyday life. Problem: related past events can be explained in many ways Understanding through prediction, control and theory building o Theory development is the strongest test of scientific understanding because they generate an integrated network of predictions Good theories: o Incorporate existing facts and organizes it o Are testable o Predictions made are supported by the findings o Law of parsimony: if two theories can explain and predict equally well, the simpler theory is preferred A theory is never regarded as absolute truth: always possible for a future observation to contradict it, or a more accurate theory will arise Prediction does not require understanding, although the advantage of this is that it satisfies curiosity and increases knowledge Variable: any characteristic that can differ Operational definition: defines a variable in terms of the specific procedures used to produce or measure it: translate an abstract term into something observable Theory Measures Self-report measures: ask people to report on their own knowledge/e experiences/ behaviour (tests, interviews to gather info) o Accuracy depends on peoples ability to respond honestly. May be distorted by a social desirability bias: participants may give a good impression rather than the truth Reports by others: rate others experiences Physiological measures: measure rates like blood pressure, hormones Links between patterns of physiological activity and particular mental events are still not completely understood Behavioural observations: observe overt behaviour in real life or lab settings o Archival measures: already-existing records used n studies o Humans may behave differently when they know they are being watched, resulting in an unrepresentative sample of behaviour (need to use unobtrusive measures to reco
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