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PSYC 1010 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Developmental Psychology, Hypothalamus, Acetylcholine

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Agnieszka Kopinska
Study Guide

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Psychologists seek to describe, explain & predict the occurrence of different
behaviors. By the rigorous application of scientific methods, psychologists can
often offer possible explanations for this behavior, as well as suggestions about
what to do about it immediately in order to cope with it and prevent its occurrence
in the future.
Psychology’s focus, methods, and explanatory models have changed as it has
The term “psychology” comes from two Greek words, psyche, meaning the soul,
and logos, referring to the study of a subject. (This term did not gain more than
rare usage among scholars until the early 18th century).
Scholars interested in the history of psychology often point to developments in
philosophy and physiology as influencing the course of early psychology.
Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, considered and debated issues
of relevance to psychology, including subjects such as whether knowledge is
inborn (nativism) or gained through experience (empiricism).
Aristotle’s theory of memory suggested that memories are the result of three
principles of association similarity, contrast, and contiguity.
Descartes famously argued for the dualism of mind & body, that they were
separate and fundamentally different.
The establishment of the first research laboratory in psychology by Wilhelm
Wundt marked the birth of psychology as a modern science. (1879)
The new discipline grew rapidly in North America in the late 19th century, as
illustrated by G. Stanley Hall’s career.
Wundt mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather
than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology. Wundt’s pioneering work had an
enormous impact on the development of psychology.
In 1881, Wundt established the first journal devoted to publishing research on
Hall established Americas first research lab in psychology and founded the
American Psychological Association.
APA is the worlds largest organization devoted to the advancement of psychology.
The first two major schools of thought, structuralism and fundamentalism, were
entangled in the fields first great intellectual battle.
oStructuralism was based on the notion that the task of psychology is to
analyze consciousness into tits basic elements and investigate how these
elements are related.

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To examine the contents of consciousness, the structuralists depended on the
method of introspection, the careful, systematic self-observation of ones own
conscious experience.
oFunctionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate
the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure.
James thinking illustrates how psychology like any field is deeply embedded in a
network of cultural and intellectual influences. James had been impressed with
Darwin’s concept of natural selection. According to the principle of natural
selection, heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive
advantage are most likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to
subsequent generations and thus come to be “selected” over time.
Structuralists naturally gravitated to the laboratory; functionalists were more
interested in how people adapt their behavior to the demands of the real world
around them.
Founded by Jon. B Watson, behaviorism is a theoretical orientation based on the
premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior.
Behavior refers to any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism.
Watson also debated whether behavior is determined mainly by genetic
inheritance (“nature”) or by environment and experience (“nurture”).
The behaviorists eventually came to view psychology’s mission as an attempt to
relate overt behaviors (“responses”) to observable events in the environment
(“stimuli”). A stimulus is any detectable input from the environment.
Behaviorism’s stimulus- response approach contributed to the rise of animal
research in psychology. (Many mental processes would now be studied on
animals, as they made better research subjects, anyway.)
Sigmund Freud’s (1856-1939) approach to psychology grew out of his efforts to
treat mental disorders. Decades of experience probing into patients lives and
gathering material looking inward and examining his own anxieties, conflicts, and
desires, provided inspiration for his own theory.
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 behavior. His psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain
personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious
determinants of behavior.
Like Watson, Skinner also emphasized how environmental factors mold behavior.
Although he repeatedly acknowledged that an organism’s behavior is influenced
by its biological endowment, he argued that psychology could understand and
predict behaviors adequately without resorting to physiological explanations.
Skinner’s fundamental principle of behavior: Organisms tend to repeat responses
that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to
neutral or negative outcomes. Skinner arrived at the conclusion that free will is an
In psychology, humanism is the theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique
qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal

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Rogers (1951) argued that human behaviour is governed primarily by each
individual’s sense of self, or “self-concept” – which animals presumably lack.
Both he and Maslow (1954) maintained that to fully understand peoples
behaviour, psychologists must take into account the fundamental human drive
toward personal growth.
G. Stanley Hall established the first experimental laboratory in psychology in
1833 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. James Mark Baldwin
at UOFT established the first experimental laboratory in the British Empire in
The first psychology course offered at a Canadian University was likely at
Dalhousie in 1838.
oApplied Psychology is the brand of psychology concerned with everyday,
practical problems.
oClinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the
diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders.
During WWII, many academic psychologists were pressed into service as
clinicians. They were needed to screen military recruits and to treat soldiers
suffering from trauma.
oCognition refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge.
In other words, cognition involves thinking or conscious experience.
Advocates of the cognitive perspective point out that peoples
manipulations of mental images surely influence how they behave.
Donald Hebb was a professor that is credited with high lightening the importance
of physiological and neuropsychological perspectives and as having paved the
way for the recent cognitive revolution in psychology. Hebbs emphasis on the
importance of the brain in behaviour provided an important counterweight to
those times dominance of the behaviorist models. He argued that the locus of
behaviour should be sought in the brain. Hebb’s ideas suggested how neural
networks might work and be organized. He proposed that the key to
understanding this was activity at the neuronal level.
Western psychology was so narrow because:
First, cross-cultural research is costly, difficult, and time
Second, some psychologist’s worry that cultural comparisons may
in advertently foster stereotypes of various cultural groups, many
of which already have a long history of being victimized by
Third, ethnocentrism- the tendency to view ones own group as
superior to others and as the standard for judging the worth of
foreign ways.
The civil rights movement, the womens movement, and the gay rights movement
all raised doubts about whether psychology had dealt adequately with human
oAbove all else however, the new interest in culture appears attributable to
two recent trends: (1) Advance in communication, travel, and international
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