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Levels of Analysis.docx

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Intro: Levels of Analysis Unit 1: Intro to Psychology - Psychology teaches us how we think, feel, develop, learn, love interact and grow (who we are) Psychology is study of mind (mental processes ie emotions, thoughts, perceptions) and behaviour(observable actions) - Cannot just trust gut feeling and blindly accept urban myths = no scientific background= sloppy thinking Experimental Psychology: scientific method to collect, evaluate and interpret info to get conclusion (critical thinking), guide through info in the world - Social Psychologist only interested in relationship between people not things Clinical Psychology: treating clients in private practice 4 Main Goals for Research in Psychology: -Accurately and objectively describe processes of mind and behaviour - Explain mechanisms of processes and cause - Predict how processes will be affected by different conditions - Control and influence these processes in practical application Unit 2: History of Psychology - Ebbinghaus began book on pys. in 1908 - Must break links of speculation to become a science -Aristotle and Plato questioned about mind - Psy = Greek word "psyche" =soul and "logo" = word; before this study of mind is told from perspective of philosophy and physiology Rene Descartes: suggested mind and body are distinct and linked (mind control movement and in return it receives info from outside through sense organs) Muller:  proposed messages transmitted by nerves are like impulses travels along channels similar to electric currents in metal conductor  Helmholtz (physicists) found nerve impulse move at 90 feet/sec ≠electric current  Muller said different part of body connected to different part of brain; supported by Flourens who destroyed diff. regions of animal brain to see which part is controlled Wilhelm Wundt:  opened first lab for psy, also believed conscious experiments could e studied using same tools as scientists  Student G. Stanley, Hall opened first lab in NA at John Hopkins Uni - He founded APA (American Psychological Association) in 1892 helped to develop: Assoc. Psychological Science, Canadian Psychological Assoc, Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science viewed psychology as structure of conscious thought William James:believed emotions, values and recognition of individual uniqueness could not necessarily be capture by test results Functionalism: focus on what conscious thought were for rather than what they were made (influenced by Charles Darwin), examine consciousness in environment rather than lab Edward Titchener extended Wundt's idea and developed Structuralism Intro: Levels of Analysis Structuralist:  focus on the elements of conscious thought and perception; reduce conscious experience to its core components such as sensations, feelings, and images  Structuralist focus on visual, auditory, and touch sensations and perceptions  These researchers collected data through Introspection in which experimenters trained subjects to carefully observe and report their own experiences (self reflection); LAB BASED  created Reductionism: breaking problem to smaller pieces therefore loses big picture  Experiences were later broken down to basic components parts and to determine the order in which they occurred and related to each other Psychophysics: study of relation between human perception ad physical reality Experimental Psychology: empirical tests to understand the brain and nervous system through physiological tests of sensory mechanisms Gestalt:  school of psychology centering work of Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka - these researchers suggest psychology should be study of perception and problem solving  Principle of Totality: study of conscious experience must take into account all mental and physical aspects of individual  Principle of Psychological Isomorphism: systematic relation between conscious experience and physical events occurring in the brain and central nervous system Freud:  Psychoanalysis: emphasizes unconscious conflicts and desires  thought internal mental world was accessible through unconsciousness because thoughts and emotions that the conscious mind does not want to confront it hidden in the unconscious  Repression: way for conscious mind to defend itself against trauma and conflict  Material in unconscious can influence conscious thinking and behaviour  Psychodynamic theory: emphasizes role of relationships and self- image along with unconscious motivations Unit 3: Intro to Levels of Analysis - 3 lvls of analysis: Psychological, Biological and Environmental -Psychological lvl: studying emotions influence in actions, thinking, mind, memories, studying mind and its effects - Biological lvl: physiological mechanisms ie brain, structures, molecular effects of neurotransmitters and hormones (for depression study neurotransmitter serotonin) - Environmental lvl: social, cultural, and learning influence thought and behaviour (studying feelings and conditions that maintain depression and to change these for pos change) Unit 4: Intro to Perspectives in Psychology - Commonly used perspectives: Behavioural (outside the mind, external behaviour), Cognitive (mind and thinking process), Neuroscience (anatomy and physiology of neurons) , Developmental, Evolutionary and Socio-Cultural Intro: Levels of Analysis Ivan Pavlov: demonstrated "involuntary" learning in dogs = experience with environment can alter behaviour Watson: Behaviourism  is father of Behaviourism; he believes behaviour is only valid means of measure in psych  Mind is like black box, there is input and makes output what is inside box is beyond science  Thus researchers focus on controlled experiments to understand environmental level of analysis on behaviour  nurture (environment) over nature (genetics)  1924 argued he can make any healthy infant to become anything to show environmental influences on behaviour  BF Skinner ( mental events cannot be measured in scientific way) and also said studying behaviour can tell us everything about an organism; if something is good there will be a repeat if not there will not be = behaviour modification  Today psychologists open black box= new discoveries  Skinner supported idea of black box
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