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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Evolution of Psychology

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Carleton University
PSYC 1001
Vessela Stamenova

Chapter One: The Evolution of Psychology  Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes  Scientific: careful observations and rigorous analysis; test our hunches  Behaviour: observable phenomenon; anything we do, easy because it’s observable  Mental Processes: internal, subjective experiences; subjective, create self- reports, what you think about a particular question, interpretation, biased, etc.  Socio-cultural explains how we think and behave through influence of other people  Developmental – how does the human develop over time; how we grow mentally as we get older; children, infants, adolescents (geriatric)  Cognitive – internal mental processes; memory, attention  Experimental – not specific subject; refers to methods being applied to study various topics; clinical (patients) vs. experimental (study mental processes through experiments)  Psychodynamic- influence of unconscious, mental processes in mind on behaviour; Freud  Psychometrics – psychological measurement; assessments i.e. IQ test  Personality – thoughts, feelings, behaviour; individual – how people are different from each other  Evolutionary – how has behaviour changed; natural selection; evolutionary way of studying mental processes  Neuroscience (Biological) – physiological; nervous system and brains are what control behaviour and mental processes (neurons)  Clinical & Counselling – trained in treating mental disorders, specialties on certain ones; sit down and talk about problems, work through them  Medicine (Neurology & Psychiatry) – various psychological aspects on disorders (psychological or physiological) Roots: Greece  Mind endures after death, knowledge born with us (innate)  Socrates (dialectic – give birth to theories with reasoning) and Plato – dualist (Body and mind separate entities)  Relationship between mind and body; are they separate or connected, one more important?  Only through reasoning can we achieve the truth; body is corruptible; we cannot find truth because we are biased  Aristotle – mind and body are connected (mentalism – having a mind is essential to being human)  Psyche – source of human behaviour; mind is nonmaterial  Knowledge acquired from experience and stored in memories  Mind is a blank slate (tabula rasa)  Deductive and inductive reasoning (empiricist) Dualism  Rene Descartes: The Father of Modern Philosophy; mind is not material  Dualism: Both a nonmaterial mind and the material body contribute to behavior  Mind: directs rational behavior  Body and brain: direct all other behavior via mechanical and physical principles, examples: sensation, movement, and digestion  Mind-Body Problem: dilemma of explaining a nonmaterial mind in command of a material body (only material things can influence nonmaterial things?) Materialism  Pierre Gassendi, Thomas Hobbes; non-mentalists  Behaviour can be explained as a function of the nervous system without explanatory recourse to the mind  Everything is physical  Hobbes believed in empirical studies, then coming to conclusion  Mental activities must be motions of atoms in the nervous system in response to atoms in external, physical world  Phrenology: shape and curvature of person’s skull reveals mental faculties and character traits; extreme localization of function (all different mental functions we have can be localized to specific area in brain responsible for that function – brain made up of different areas, and each area has its own function and tasks) – “mental faculties”  If someone is generous, they have a bump on their head because the part of their brain for generosity is larger  This was pseudoscience (don’t follow scientific method in strict way, only used data that confirmed their theory – made up stories, hidden facts that disprove theory)  Psychology didn’t really exist until late 1800s Wundt  The father of psychology  Subject matter: the structure of the mind, built from the elements of consciousness (ideas, sensations)  Defined psychology as “the science of immediate experience”  Study Approach: introspection (“looking within
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