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Midterm Review PS101.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

The Evolution of Psychology Philosophy, Physiology, and Psychology -The term psychology comes from two Greek words: psyche meaning the sol, and logo referring to the study of a subject th -These two Greek words were put together to define a topic of study in the 16 century -Not until the early 18 century did the term psychology gain more than rare usage among scholars it then meant the study of the mind -Ancient Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle considered and debated issues of relevance to psychology, including such subjects as the separation of mind and body and whether knowledge is inborn or gained through experience -Aristotle created the theory of memory memories are the result of three principles of association: similarity, contrast, and contiguity -The impact of philosophy on the development of ideas about mind, behaviour, and human nature continued as classic philosophy itself developed through the periods of Renaissance -Descrates argued for the dualism of mind and body, that the two were separate and different memory, perception, dreaming and emotions were properties of the body A New Science is Born: The Contributions of Wundt and Hall -German professor, Wilhelm Wundt mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology -In 1879, Wundt established the first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology -Wundt is considered the founder of psychology -In 1874 Wundt declared that the new psychology should be a science modelled after fields such as physics and chemistry -Wundt said psychologys primary focus was consciousness - the awareness of immediate experience -Between 1883 and 1893, some 24 new psychological research laboratories sprang up in the US and Canada -In 1892, he was the driving force behind the establishment of the American Psychological Association (APA) and was elected its first president today it is the worlds largest psychology organization with over 154 000 members The Battle of the Schools Begins: Structuralism versus Functionalism -In psychology, the first two major schools of thought, structuralism and functionalism, were entangled in the fields first great intellectual battle -Structuralism emerged through the leadership of Edward Titchener -Structuralism was based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related -Just as physicists were studying how matter is made up of basic particles, the structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experiences, such as sensations, feelings and images -Structuralists work concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing, and touch. To examine the contents of consciousness, the structuralists depended on the method of introspection, the careful, systematic self-observation of ones own conscious experience -Functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure -This is the work of William James -James thinking illustrates how psychology like ay field, is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences James was impressed with Charles Darwin and the concept of natural selection -Natural selection, heritable characteristics that provide survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus come to be selected over time. -James argued that the structuralists approach missed the real nature of conscious experience James wanted to understand the flow itself, which he called the stream of consciousness -Functionalists were interested in how people adapt their behaviour to the demands of the real world around them -Both schools of thought gradually faded away, functionalism fostered the development of two descendants that have dominated modern psychology: behaviourism and applied psychology Watson Alters Psychologys Course as Behaviourism Makes its Debut -In the early 1900s another school of thought entered -Behaviourism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour -This, founded by John Watson was redefining what scientific psychology should be about -In principle, scientific claims can always be verified (or disproved) by anyone who is able and willing to make the required observations. However, this power depends on studying things that can be observed objectively. If psychology were to be a science, it would have to give up consciousness as its subject matter and become instead the science of behaviour -Behaviour refers to any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism -Watson asserted that psychologists could stud anything that people do or say -Nature vs. nurture argument concerned with whether behaviour is determined mainly be genetic inheritance or by environment and existence -Watson said: Give me a dozen healthy infant, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and Ill guarantee to take any one at random ad train him to become any specialist I might select doctor, lawyer, artist, etc. -The behaviourists eventually came to view psychologys mission as an attempt to relate overt behaviours (responses) to observable events in the environment (stimuli) -A stimulus is an detectable input from the environment. Ex. Light and sound waves, advertisements on TV -Because the behaviourists investigates stimulus-response relationships, the behavioural approach is often referred to as stimulus-response psychology -The gradual emergence of behaviourism was partly attributable to an important discovery made around the turn of the last century by Ivan Pavlov, who shower that dogs could be trained to salivate in response to an auditory stimulus such as a tone Ex. Dwight in the Office -This contributed to the rise of animal research is psychology humans were no longer needed to be studied -One key reason was that experimental research is often more productive if experimenters can exert considerable control over their subjects -Watsons views were opposed by Germanys Gesalt psychology concerned with perception, argued that psychology should continue to study conscious experience rather than overt behaviour -Another opposition came from Australias Sigmund Freud who had been contemplating the mysteries of unconscious mental processes -As advertising emerged in the 1920s, Watson because a practitioner -Watson became the public face of the discipline that has banished him from its mainstream Freud Brings the Unconscious into the Picture -According to Freud, the unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour -He noted that patients dreams often seemed to express important feelings they were unaware of -Fred eventually concluded that psychological disturbances are largely caused by personal conflicts existing at an unconscious level -His psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour -In arguing that behaviour is governed by unconscious forces, Freud made the disconcerting suggestion that people are not masters of their own minds -He proposed that behaviour is greatly influenced by how people cope with their sexual urges -Freud eventually won acceptance within medicine, attracting prominent followers such as Carl Jung, and Alfred Adler -Many psychologists were becoming uncomfortable with their earlier focus on conscious experience and were turning to the less murky subject of observable behaviour Most psychologists contemptuously viewed psychoanalytic theory as unscientific speculation that would eventually fade away -Psychoanalysis was becoming so popular that it threatened to eclipse psychology entirely -The acceptance of it has psychologists apply their scientific methods to the topics Freud had studied: personality, motivation, and abnormal behaviour and therapy Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviourism Flourishes -Harvard B. F Skinner -He developed his own philosophy of radial behaviorism that represented a departure from earlier forms of behaviourism and neo-behaviourism -Skinner did not deny the existence of internal, mental events but he redefined them as private events and did not think that they should be given special status when explaining behaviour -He argued that psychology could understand and predict behavior adequately without resorting to physiological explanations -Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to neutral or negative outcomes -He asserted that all behaviour is fully governed by external stimuli your behaviour is fully governed in predictable ways by lawful principles just as the flight of an arrow is governed by the laws of psychics -Thus, if you believe our actions are the result of conscious decisions, youre wrong -According to Skinner, people are controlled by their environment, not by themselves -Free will is an illusion -Despite all the controversy, however, behaviourism flourished as the dominant school of thought in psychology during the 1950s and 1960s The Humanists Revolt -Psychoanalytic theory was attacked for its belief tat behaviour is dominated by primitive, sexual urges -Behaviourism was criticized for its preoccupation with the study of simple animal behaviour -Both theories were criticized because they suggested that people are not master of their own destinies -Humanism is a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans
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