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PSYCH 1X03 (260)
Joe Kim (247)
Chapter 1

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Joe Kim

Bold = key term, underline = term not on key terms list Introduction • Clinical Psychology: application of psychological knowledge ad principles to the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with psychological disorders • Psychology: the science of human thought and behaviour Section 1: Foundations of Psychology • Structuralism: the first school of thought developed in psychology, where the focus was on detailed introspective examination of the contents of consciousness • Introspection: the process of examining the contents of one’s own consciousness • Psychophysics: the study of the relation between human perception and physical reality Section 2: Modern Developments • Functionalism: view that psychology should be the study of the adaptive functions of consciousness • what conscious thoughts were for – functional analysis vs. structural analysis – what thoughts are made of • This view influenced by work of Darwin – Natural Selection – only traits that helped a species adapt to environment would be retained • Functionalist argued that conscious thought must serve some adaptive purpose in the real world – we still have this ability • Reductionism: breaking a problem down into successively smaller and smaller pieces – lose ability to answer big questions in a meaningful way • Gestalt: school of psychology – emphasized problem solving and perception • Introduced 2 influential principles to study human thought and behaviour: 1. Principle of totality: study of conscious experience must include all mental and physical aspects of the individual 2. Principle of psychophysical isomorphism: there is a direct relation between conscious experience of an event and the physical events (reality)occurring in the brain and CNS (Gestalt principle) • Behaviourism: level of analysis concerned only with explaining psychological phenomena using learning methodologies • psychology should only concern itself with behaviour (objectively observable) and not internal processes of the mind (not objectively observable) • Watson - mind was a ‘black box’ – unobservable and therefore off limits to psychology (a science) • Nature vs. Nurture – extent to which a given trait is determined by biology and genetic inheritance (‘nature’) or by the environment and experience (‘nurture’) • Behaviourists believe in nurture only – everything determined by experience • Skinner – internal mental events exist but don’t need to be studied since only behaviour needs to be studied in order to understand and organism • Memories were like photos – exactly same info every time you looked at them (sect. 3) • Psychoanalysis: the school of psychology founded by Sigmund Freud that attempts to explain mental disorders, personality, and motivation by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour • He developed theories related to the nature of the disorders and a set of techniques for treating them • The unconscious: psychoanalytic concept of a portion of the mind not accessible to conscious thought • Repression: traumatic memories may be pushed down into the unconscious to free the conscious mind from having to deal with them • Psychodynamic Theory: attempts to explain mental disorders, personality and motivation by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour Section 3: Recent Revolutions • Cognitive psychology: the study of internal processes, such as memory attention and decision-making, involved in mental activity • Cognitive revolution: when modern psychologists first began to study mental processes (Sept. 11, 1956) • Introduced the rejection of the behaviourist idea that unobservable mental events should not be considered • Neuroimaging: capturing structural and functional information of the brain and nervous system • Makes it possible to study connections between mind and brain • Humanist psychology: a primarily therapeutic psychological movement focused on providing acceptance and encouraging personal growth • Humanism – focus of psychology onto humans – valued growth and development of human self  Therapy should consist of relaxed environment – people are accepted and their input is important • Leading figure – Carl Rogers (1902-1987) – believed that self-concept/internal self-representation was central to understanding human behaviour • Self-concept: a person’s image of themselves – central to humanist therapeutic techniques  Characteristic not shared by other species/specific to humans Section 4: Contemporary Perspectives in Psychology • Level of analysis: the basic type of approach used to answer a particular question. Psychologists may investigate and issue at a psychological, biological, or environmental level • Psychological level of analysis – state questions and look for answers in terms of mental events taking place in the subjects  Ex. workings of memory, role of childhood trauma in personality, how children learn a language, etc. • Biological level of analysis – try to understand human thinking and behaviour by examining the underlying physiological activity  Ex. structure and function of the brain and nervous system, genome and gene expression, molecular mechanisms by which various drugs produce their effects, diagnosis and treatment of neurophysiological diseases, etc. • Environmental level of analysis – emphasis on identification and control of environmental stimuli that can influence behaviour  Social aspects of environm
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