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Notes from text for test 1

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis
Study Guide

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Psychology Notes for Test 1
Chapter 1:
-psychologists seek to describe, explain, and predict the occurrence of
-term psychology has Greek origin; psyche means soul; logos means the study
of a subject
-it emerged as a scientific discipline just over a 100 years ago
-Wundt made a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline
rather than the stepchild of philosophy or physiology
-in 1879, Wundt established the first formal lab for research in psychology
-according to Wundt, psychologys primary focus was consciousness; the
awareness of immediate experiences
-structuralism and functionalism were the firs 2 major schools of thought
-structuralism was based on notion that the task of psychology is to analyze
consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are
-study conscious experiences like sensation, feelings, images
-introspection systematic self-observation of ones own consciousness
experience (structuralists depend on this to examine contents of
-functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate
the function of purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure
-paved the way for behavioral and applied psychology
-behaviourism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that
scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour
-stimulus is any detectable input from the environment
-according to Freud:

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-unconsciousness contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well
below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great
influence on behavior
-psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation, and
mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior
-humanism is a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities
of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth
-applied psychology is a branch of psych concerned with everyday practical
-clinical psychology is the branch of psych concerned with the diagnosis
and treatment of psychological problems and disorders
-Watson and Skinner believed that psych should study only observable
-Skinner argued in Beyond Freedom and Dignity that free will is an illusion;
we are controlled by our environment not by ourselves
-cognitive refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge;
involves thinking or conscious experience
-cognitive theorists argue that psychology must study internal mental events
to fully understand behaviour
-Donald Hebbs pioneering ideas highlighted the importance of physiological
and neuropsychological perspectives
-he argued that the locus of behaviour should be sought in the brain
-one of the pivotal concepts he introduced was the cell assembly
-he suggested that repeated stimulation leads to development of cell
assemblies; cell assemblies resemble cognitive units that together or in
concert with other cell assemblies facilitate behaviour
-he set the stage for contemporary developments in cognition and
-neuroethics is the concern with ethics in neuroscience research
-why has the focus of Western psychology been so narrow?

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1) it is cheaper, easier, and more convenient for academic psychologists to
study middle class white students enrolled in their schools
2) some psychologists worry that cultural comparisons may inadvertently
foster stereotypes of various cultural groups
3) ethnocentrism: tendency to view ones own group as superior to other
and as a standard for judging the worth of foreign ways
-now they have devoted increased attention to culture as a determinant of
-this new interest is because of 2 new trends:
1) advances in communication, travel, international trades have shrunk the
world and increased global interdependence bringing us all in contact with
each other
2) ethnic makeup of western world has become an increasingly diverse
multicultural mosaic
-evolutionary psychology examines behavioural processes in terms of their
adaptive value for members of a species over the course of many generations
- E.Ps premise is that natural selection favours behaviours that enhance
organisms reproductive success-that is passing on genes to the next
-for example: males are more visual-spatial because of their hunting
background and women are better at memory and etc because of gathering
-positive psychology uses theory and research to better understand the
positive, adaptive, creative, and fulfilling aspects of human existence
-they study 3 different areas of interest:
1) positive subjective experience or positive emotions (happiness, love,
hope, etc)
2) positive individual traits like personal strengths and virtues
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