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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY-0001
Professor
Sam Sommers
Semester
Fall

Description
04/15/2014 1.1  Learning Objectives Identify the goals of psychological science Provided examples of psychology’s relevance to real­life contexts Define critical thinking Trace the development of psychology since its formal inception in 1879 Why Study Psychology? Helps us understand ourselves and others and improve our lives Many of our intuitions and beliefs are wrong  Psychological knowledge used in many professions  Important to think critically about our ideas and research findings  Terms Psychological science: the study of mind, brain, and behavior  Critical thinking: systematically evaluating information to reach reasonable conclusions  1.2 Learning Objectives Define the nature/nurture debate and the mind/body problem Identify the major schools of thought that have characterized the history of experimental psychology What Are the Scientific Foundations of Psychology? Structuralists ▯ used introspection to identify basic components of mental processes (started with Wilhelm Wundt in  1879) Functionalists ▯ believed you needed to focus on understanding how the mind functions (behavior), not on its  elements  Focus on understanding subjective mind/experience of perception Gestalt movement focused on people’s perceptions    Freud emphasized the unconscious mind As behaviorism emerged, the study of how behavior is changed by its consequences, psychologists criticized for  studying the mind too subjectively and unscientifically ▯ led to emphasis on the study of observable behavior Cognitive revolution (1960s) led to research on mental processes, such as memory, language, and decisions making Information processing theories Cognitive neuroscience emerged in 1980s – study of neural mechanisms underlying thought, learning, and memory  Interest in influence of social contexts on behavior and mental activity  Research on how male domination in the field affected psychology’s content once women entered field Psychological therapy ▯ different treatments for different disorders  Terms Culture: the beliefs, values, rules and customs that exist within a group of people who share a common language  and environment and that are transmitted through learning from one generation to the next  Nature/nurture debate: the arguments concerning whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate  or acquired through education, experience, and culture Mind/body problem: a fundamental psychological issue: are mind and body separate and distinct, or is the  mind simply the physical brain’s subjective experience? Introspection: a systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that requires people to inspect and  report on the content of their thoughts
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