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Psychology 1000

Chapter 1Psychology The Science of BehaviourPsychologyThe scientific study of behaviour and the factors that influence it Taking into account Biological Individual and Environmental factors Basic and Applied ScienceTwo types of research o Basic 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 Eg Robert CaveJigsaw case studyshowed how competition leads to hostility but could be reduced by making them dependent on each other o Applied research Knowledge gained to solve specific practical problems Uses principles discovered via basic research to solve practical problemsGoals of PsychologyFour basic goals o Describe how people and animals behave o Explain and understand the causes of the behavior o Predict how people and animals behave under certain conditions o Influence or control the behaviour through knowledge and control of causesImportance of PerspectivesSix diverse viewpoints allows for enriched understanding of behaviour and its causes o Biologicalphysical side of human nature brain and genes o Cognitivethought process o Psychodynamicunconscious forces motivating behaviour o Behavioralrole of external environment on out action o Humanisticselfactualization and free will o Socioculturalculture and behaviour relateThe Biological PerspectiveFocuses on the physical side of human nature o Emphasizes role of brain including biochemical processesMindbody dualism The belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to the physical laws that govern the body o No amount of research on the body could ever explain the mind o Ancient widelyheld view especially by GreeksMonism The belief that the mind and body are one and mental events are a product of physical events o Modern view by most scientistsDiscovery of BrainBehaviour RelationsLate 1700s Luigi Galvani discovered severed leg of frog moved with electrical current applied to it o Defied prior belief that bodily movements were caused by soulBy 1870 researchers applied electrical stimulation directly to brains of animals o Stimulation of specific areas on brain resulted in movements of particular musclesKarl Lashley damaged specific regions of brain and studied effects on learning and memory abilities in animals trained to run through mazesIn 1929 invention of electroencephalogram EEG allowed researchers to measure electrical activity of large areas of brainEvolution and BehaviourDarwins theory of natural selection demonstrated that inheritable characteristics that increase likelihood of survival will be maintained Proposed that humans and apes arose from the same ancestorEvolutionary psychology focuses on role of evolution in development of human behaviour o Psychologists stress organisms biology determine its behavioural capabilities and behaviourSociobiology holds that complex social behaviours are built into human species as products of evolution o Natural selection favors behaviours that increase ability to pass on genes aggression competition dominance in males cooperation and nurturing in females etc o Sociobiologists believe that ones genetic survival is more important than ones own physical survival altruism o Criticized for overemphasizing innate biological factors at expense of cultural and social learning factors in explaining complex human social behaviourBehaviour GeneticsStudy of how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetic factorsAnimals can be bred not only for physical but also behavioural traits aggression intelligence etcIdentical twins with identical genetic makeup are very similar in behaviour compared to fraternal twins even when identical twins reared in different homesThe Cognitive PerspectiveViews humans as information processors and problem solvers whose actions are governed by thought and planning What sets humans apart is that we have mental capabilitiesStudies how mental processes influence our motives emotions and behaviourSeveral schools and individuals contributed to modern cognitive perspectiveStructuralismAnalysis of mind in terms of its basic elementsStudied sensations through introspection looking within Patients were exposed to stimuli and asked to explain their experiencesWilhelm Wundt wanted to model study of the mind after physical and biological sciences Believed mind could be studied via breaking it down to its basic parts this was called structuralism Believed sensations were basic elements of consciousness Founded first laboratory of experimental psychology in 1879FunctionalismPsychology should study the functions of consciousness rather than its structureInfluenced partly by Darwins evolutionary theory adaption to succeedWilliam James broad functionalist approach helped widen the scope of psychology to include biologicalmental processes and behavior Edward ThorndikeHis work on animal behavior and the learning process led to the theory of connectionism and helped lay the scientific foundation for modern educational psychologyGestalt PsychologyConcerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholesOpposite of structuralism Wolfgang Kohler concluded that ability to perceive elements is the essence of intelligenceDefined insight as sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problemDemonstrated insight by observing chimpanzee use various items in a cage to reach a banana at the topJean PiagetStudied how children think reason and solve problemsConcerned with how the mind and its development contribute to our ability to adapt to our environmentAlbert Ellis and Aaron BeckAttempted to understand how mental distortions and irrational thought patterns create emotional problemsEmphasized that distress and maladaptive behaviour are caused by the ways situations are thought about not by external situationsModern Cognitive ScienceArtificial intelligence develops computer models of complex human thought reasoning and problem solvingInterested in how people produce and recognize speech and how creative solutions to problems are producedSocial constructivism What we consider reality is in large part our own mental creation o Little shared reality exists apart from what groups of people socially construct through subjective meaning they give to their experiences o Believe male and female sex roles created not by nature but by shared world view that exists within social groupsThe Psychodynamic PerspectiveSearches for causes of behaviour within workings of personality emphasizing role of unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts from pastSigmund Freud emphasized role of complex psychological forces in controlling human behaviour o Focused on hysteria condition where physical symptoms develop without organic cause o Found improvement in patients after they reported and relived painful childhood sexual experiences o Led Freud to believe that most of human behaviour is influenced by unconscious forces o Believed repression was a defense mechanism to keep anxietyarousing impulses feelings and memories in unconscious depth of mind o All behaviour is a reflection of unconscious internal struggle between conflicting psychological forces of impulse and defensesFreud opposed laboratory research and depended on clinical observations and personal selfanalysisThe Behavioral PerspectiveFocuses on the role of the external environment in shaping and governing our actionsHistory rooted in school of philosophy known as British Empiricism o All ideas and knowledge are gained empirically o John Locke The human mind is initially a white paper to be furnished by experience o Observation overrules reasoning since seeing is believing while reasoning has potential for error o Pavlov found involuntary learning in dogs from external stimulusJohn Watson lead movement of behaviourism in 1920s o Proper subject matter of psychology is observable behaviour not unobservable inner consciousness o Devoted efforts to discovering laws that govern learning and performanceB F Skinner believed mental events images and feelings from within are behaviours and not causesBehaviour modification techniques alter problem behaviours and increase positive behaviours through alterations in environmental factors
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