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PSYCH 1X03 (254)
Joe Kim (241)
Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1-Foundations of Psychology.docx

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

CHAPTER 1: FOUNDATIONS of PSYCHOLOGY 1 PSYCHOLOGY: science of the mind & behaviour - MIND: mental processes & subjective experiences that make up your sensations, perceptions, thoughts, emotions, etc.. - BEHAVIOUR: observable actions -answers questions through the systematic collection & analysis of data -4 GOALS: - 1. To accurately & objectively DESCRIBE the processes of the mind & behaviour - 2. To EXPLAIN the mechanisms of these processes & their causes - 3. To PREDICT how these processes will be affected by different conditions - 4. To CONTROL & INFLUENCE these processes in practical application -CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: application of psychological knowledge & principles to the diagnosis & treatment of individuals with psychological disorders SECTION 1: THE HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY PSYCHOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS -Greek root word: psyche-> "soul", logos -> "words" -"the study of the mind" "Psychology has a long past, but only a short history" -classic works for Greek philosophers-> formally exploring issues of human thought & behaviour -DESCARTES (1596-1650) - mind & body are separate & distinct entities that are casually linked - mind controlled movements of the mechanical body, retrieving info about outside world through sense organs -MULLER (1801-1858) - messages transmitted by nerves were coded as electrical impulses travelling along dif. channels - nerve connections to specific areas of the brain resulted in different sensory experiences - supported by experimental works by Pierre Flourens -FLOURENS ( 1794-1867) - damaged different regions of animal's brain -> recording the resulting deficits - brain controlled different parts of breathing, heart rate -HERMANN von HELMHOLTZ (1821-1894) - speed at which nerve impulses travelled was slower than that of the speed of an electrical current flowing along metal conductor - neural communication involved processes are more complex than just an electrical signal travelling along a wire CHAPTER 1: FOUNDATIONS of PSYCHOLOGY 2 THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY EMERGES: WUNDT & STRUCTURALISM -WUNDT (1832-1920) - established 1st formal psych lab @ U of Leipzig - launched 1st academic journal -> psych STRUCTURALISM: 1st school of thought developed in psychology - focus: detailed introspective examination of the contents of consciousness - focus on elements of conscious thought & perception - goal: reduce conscious experience to core components (sensation, feelings & images) -INTROSPECTION: the process of examining the contents of one's own consciousness - experimenters trained subjects to carefully observe and report their own experiences - accounts analyzed -> break down experience -> basic component parts & determine order & how they relate to one another -research inspired by structuralist view focused on visual, auditory… etc -PSYCHOPHYSICS: study of the relation between human perception & physical activity -EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: empirical tests developed for claims & assumptions held on human psychology leading to a modern understanding of the brain & nervous system through physiological tests of sensory mechanisms SECTION 2: MODERN DEVELOPMENTS THE ADAPTIVE NATURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS: JAMES & FUNCTIONALISM -FUNCTIONALISM: view that psychology should be the study of the adaptive functions of consciousness - what conscious thoughts were for, rather than of what they were made -DARWIN (1984) - greatly influenced functionalism - theory of Natural Selection (1859) (certain traits would be retained in a species, or not, based on the adaptive value of the trait ( any evolved characteristic-> helped species adapt to its environment) - functionalists-> observe consciousness in environments & situations where evolution occurred -JAMES - room for emotion, values (can't capture using test results) - argued that what was important about conscious thought was what it allowed us to do -objective data could be used -> observed & verified -James argued that structuralists were using unscientific methods by relying on introspection -James -> 2nd criticism of reductionism -REDUCTIONISM: philosophical problem based on the idea that if we continue to break a problem into smaller parts, we eventually become unable to answer larger questions in a meaningful manner - long & complicated, making it difficult/impossible to see the big picture CHAPTER 1: FOUNDATIONS of PSYCHOLOGY 3 - WERTHEIMER & KOFFKA - psychology-> study of perception & problem solving -PRINCIPLE OF TOTALITY: Gestalt principle that analysis of any conscious experience must include all mental & physical aspects of a person's situation -PRINCIPLE OF PSYCHOPHYSICAL ISOMORPHISM - Gestalt principle that the conscious experience of an event is directly related to the physical reality of the event occurring in the brain & central nervous system THE BLACK BOX: WATSON & BEHAVIOURISM -PAVLOV (1849-1936) - "involuntary" learning-> dogs (dogs learn to salivate to previously neutral stimulus (sound) paired with presentation of food) -WATSON & BEHAVIOUR - psychology -> study of behaviourism - absence to any reference to thought or consciousness - behaviourists-> internal mental events were not objectively observable - concern itself w/ behaviour -> objectively observable - objective measure -> no interpretation or guesswork(no way to verify data) - UNWILLINGLY TO ACCEPT A FACT:  1) reluctant to state the real reason/give other reason  2) unaware of true motivating factors - anything happening inside someone's head was unobservable (off limits) - mind- "black box" -WATSON (1924) - "Give me a dozen healthy infants… and race of his ancestors" - nature does not matter - everything of importance is determined by experience - consider both nature & nurture & how these influences interact -B.F SKINNER (1904-1990) - impossible to make measurements in a scientific way - learn everything we need about an organism by studying its behaviour w/o need to appeal to internal mental events - any behaviour, or response, could be explained entirely as a result of some observable input or stimulus -behaviourism primarily responsible for pushing psychology towards operating as a scientific discipline UNCONSCIOUS MOTIVES: FREUD & PSYCHOANALYSIS -PSYCHOANALYSIS: the school of psychology, founded by Sigmund Freud that emphasized unconscious conflicts & desires as the motivators of behaviour CHAPTER 1: FOUNDATIONS of PSYCHOLOGY 4 - focus on treatment of disorders & study of personality (provided the foundations for modern clinical psychology) -THE UNCONSCIOUS: the psychoanalytic concept of a portion of the mind not accessible to conscious thought -REPRESSION: psychoanalytic concept that traumatic memories may be pushed into the unconscious in order to free the conscious mind from having to deal with them -PSYCHOANALYTIC PERSPECTIVE - after traumatic material -> unconscious, capable of influencing conscious thinking & behaviour - best treatment: seek out underlying unco
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