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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Levels of Analysis Video Lecture Psych 1X03
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 1X03
Professor
Joe Kim
Semester
Fall

Description
Video Lecture Psych 1X03 Chapter 1: Foundations of Psychology Levels of Analysis Psychology as a Science  Experimental psychologists use a variety of tools to ask wide-ranging questions with the goal of understanding human thought and behavior  Psych teaches us how we thing, feel, develop, learn, love, interact and grow  Experimental psychology uses the scientific method to collect, evaluate and interpret information to draw sound conclusions o This process of critical thinking are important basic tools to guide you through a world of information overload A Brief History of Psychology  Many views and schools of thought have influenced psychology which introduce new questions, tools and perspectives  Today the diverse field is united by the use of rigorous methods to understand human thoughts and behavior  150+ years ago, Greek “psyche” which means soul o Before that, the study of the mind was told from the perspective of philosophy and physiology  Thousands of years before the ride of psychology – philosophers (such as Aristotle and Plato) asked questions (such as “how do we learn and remember?”)  Rene Descartes, philosopher – the mind and body are distinct entities that were casually linked in a dualistic relationship o Mind – controlled the movements of the mechanical body – in turn received information about the outside world through the sense organs  Muller – messages transmitted by nerves were coded as electrical impulses that travelled along different channels (like an electrical current flowing along a metal conductor) o Helmholtz measured the speed of nerve impulses – 90 feet/second, slower than electrical current o Muller proposed that particular areas of the body are connected to specific areas of the brain to serve different functions o Flourens – destroyed certain areas of an animal brain to learn which regions control heart rate, breathing, and processing of visual and auditory reflexes  1879 Wilhelm Wundt, German scientist – opened the first lab devoted to the study of psychology o Believed that conscious experience could be studies using the same rigorous experimental tools that chemists and physicists use to study their research questions o 1818 – Wundt launched the first scientific journal devoted to publishing psychological research  1883, G. Stanley Hall – Wundt’s student who founded the first psychology lab in North America at John Hopkins university o 1892, Founded the American Psychological Association  Early focus on psychology was on the mind, with little attention paid to the brain  Today, new technologies allow researchers to draw more direct links between brain and behavior Introduction to Levels of Analysis  A problem can be approached from a number of perspectives that take into account one or more of the three basic levels of analysis 1. Psychological o Most intuitive level to approach an understanding of human thought and behavior o Concerns itself with the role of what lies within a subjects mind, how do thoughts, memories and emotions motivate our actions? o How emotions, memories and patterns of thinking lie at the core of ones feelings 2. Biological o Physiological mechanisms that underlie thoughts and behavior Video Lecture Psych 1X03 o Structure and function of the brain, the molecular effects of neurotransmitters and hormones, and how genetic factors contribute to behavior 3. Environmental o Understanding how social, cultural and learning interactions can influence thought and behavior o Working to change external influences may bring about positive changes  Perspectives 1. Behavioral 2. Cognitive 3. Neuroscience 4. Developmental 5. Evolutionary 6. Socio-Cultural  Behaviorism o Watson, father of behaviorism, is credited with formalizing the methodology of research methods in the field of behaviorism  Believed in the role of nurture over nature  Eg/ Dozen healthy babies, raise them to be any specialist o Behaviorism: Overt behavior is the only valid means of measure in psychology o Mind should be considered a “black box” that we cannot gain access into as it is outside the domain of science, that takes input and makes output o Experiments are carefully controlled to understand the influences of the environmental level of analysis on behavior o B.F. Skinner – believed that although internal mental events must
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