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PSYO 1021 (3)


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Dalhousie University
PSYO 1021
Sean Barrett

Ch.1 Psychology: The Science of Behavior 1. Define psychology and indicate what kinds of behaviors it studies. Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and the mind. The term behavior refers to action and responses that we can directly observe. Whereas the term mind refers to internal states and processes, such as thought and feelings, that cannot be seen directly and that must be inferred from observable and measurable responses. 2. What are the four goals of psychology? How are these goals linked to one another? The four goals of psychology are: 1- To describe how people and other animals behave 2- To explain and understand the causes of these behaviors 3- To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions 4- To influence or control behavior through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare The scientific goals of understanding, prediction and control are linked in the following manner: If we understand the causes of behavior and know when the causal factors are present or absent, then we should be able to successfully predict when behavior will occur. Moreover, if we can control causes, then we should be able to control the behavior. For scientists, successful prediction and control are the best ways for us to know whether we truly understand the causes of behavior. 3. How do the goals of basic research and applied research differ? A distinction is made between basic research, the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake and applied research, which is designed to solve specific practical problems. In psychology, the goals of basic research are to describe how people behave and to identify the factors that influence or cause a particular type of behavior. Applied research often uses principles discovered through basic research to solve practical problems. 4. What are perspectives on behavior? Cite four ways in which they can influence psychological science. Psychologists’ focus on biological, psychological, and environmental factors that influence behavior is not new 5. Contrast the positions of dualism and monism as they apply to the “mind-body problem. Mind-body dualism Monism The mind is a spiritual entity not The mind and body are one Definition subject to physical laws that govern the body Nature of the mind Mind is not composed of physical Mind is not a separate spiritual matter entity Mind body Mind and body interact through Mental events correspond to interaction/relationship the brain’s tiny pineal gland physical events in the brain No amount of research on the The mind could be studied by physical body could ever hope to measuring physical processes Research unravel the mysteries of the within the brain nonphysical mind 6. Compare the goals of structuralism and functionalism. Structuralism: the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements. Functionalism: psychology should study the functions of consciousness rather than its structure. Example: Consider your hands. A structuralist would try to explain their movement by studying how muscles, tendons, and bones operate. In contrast a functionalist would ask, “Why do we have hands? How do they help us adapt to our environment?” The functionalists asked similar questions about mental processes and behavior. 7. What causal factors are the focus of the psychodynamic perspective? Psychodynamic perspective: searches for the causes of behavior within the inner working of our personality (our unique pattern of traits, emotions, and motives) emphasizing the role of unconscious processes. 10. What are the important causal factors in behavior within behavioral perspective? How was this school of thought influenced by British empiricism? Behavioral perspective: focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions. Our behavior is jointly determined by habits learned from previous life experiences and by stimuli from our immediate environment. It is influence d by British empiricism because the early empiricist John Locke believes that at birth the human mind is a tabula rasa (a blank tablet) upon which experiences area written. In this view, human nature is shaped purely by the environment. 11. What is cognitive behaviorism? How does it differ from radical behaviorism? Learning experiences and the environment affect our behavior by giving us the information we need to behave effectively. It differs from radical behaviorisms’ view because it challenges the view that mental life was off-limits as a topic for scientific study. 12. How does the humanistic conception of human nature and motivation differ from that advanced by psychoanalysis and behaviorism? The humanistic perspective emphasized free will, personal growth and the attempt to find meaning in one’s existence. Humanists rejected psychodynamic concepts of humans as being controlled by unconscious forces, and rejected behaviorism’s view of human as mere reactors to the environment. 13. What is the conception of human nature advanced by the cognitive perspective? The cognitive perspective examines the nature of the mind and how mental processes influence behavior. In this view, humans are information processors whose actions are governed by thought. 14. What does gestalt mean? How does this meaning relate to the goals and findings of Gestalt psychology? Gestalt roughly translates as “whole” or “organization”. Gestalt psychology examined how the mind organizes elements of experience into a unified or “whole” perception. Scientists argued that perceptions are organizes so that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” 15. Define culture and norms. What functions does a culture serve? Culture refers to the enduring values, beliefs, behaviors and traditions that are shared by a large group of people and passed from one generation to the next. Norms are rules (often unwritten) that specify what behavior is acceptable and expected for members of a certain cultural group. Cultural psychology (som
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