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Chapter 1

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Queen's University
PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

Psych100 Chapter One • Psychologists study a wide variety: nervous systems, genetics, environmental events, personality characteristics, mental abilities and social interactions. Psychology • A science with a focus on behaviour • The ultimate goal of psychology is to understand human behaviour and why people act the way they do. Casual Events Events that cause other events to occur Areas of Psychological Research Physiological Psychology • Examines the physiology of behaviour • Learning, memory, sensory processes, emotional behaviour, motivation, sexual behaviour and sleep • Study non humans as a model to understand casual events in humans Comparative Psychology • Study of behaviour of members of a species to explain behaviour o Evolutionary adaptation to the environment • Inherited behavioural patterns  Courting and mating  Predatation and aggression  Defensive behaviours  Parental behaviours Behaviour Analysis • Studies the effect of the environment on behaviour • Primarily interested in learning and motivation • Important cause of behaviour is the relationship between behaviour and consequent event • Pleasant behaviours= repeated • Unpleasant= less likely to be repeated Behaviour Genetics • Studies role of genetics in behaviour • Examines similarities in physical and behavioural character between blood relatives • What aspects of behaviour are passed down through generations Cognitive Psychology • Study of mental processes and complex behaviours o Perception, attention, learning/memory, verbal behaviour, concept formation and problem solving • Events that cause behaviours consist of functions of the brain that occur in response to environmental events Cognitive Neuroscience • Attempts to discover brain mechanisms responsible for cognitive processes • Mainly studies brain damaged patients Developmental Psychology • Physical, cognitive, emotional and social development especially in children • Affects of aging • Casual events  physiological and cognitive processes and social influences Social Psychology • The effects of people on people o Perception, cause and effect relations, attitudes, opinions, interpersonal relations, group dynamics, emotional behaviours (aggression and sexual behaviour) Personality Psychology • Individual differences in temperament and patterns of behaviour • Casual events in personal history (genetic and environmental) Evolutionary Psychology • Cognitive, social and personality aspects during evolution of modern species Cross Cultural Psychology • Studies the affects of culture on behaviours Clinical Psychology • Branch of psychology devoted towards investigation and treatment of abnormal behaviour and psychological disorders Animism The belief that all animals and all moving objects possess spirits proving their motive forces. Dualism • The belief that reality consists of mind and matter. • Descartes said that mind controlled the body and senses supplied the mind with information about the environment Empiricism Philosophical view that all knowledge is obtained through senses. No knowledge is innate; all is acquired through sensory experiences. Materialism The belief that reality can be known only through understanding the physical world which the mind is a part. All human behaviour could be explained in terms of physical entities; the interaction of matter and energy. Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies Johannes Muller’s observation that different nerve fibres convey specific info from one part of the body to the brain and vice versa. Experimental Ablation Removal or destruction of a part of the brain in order to determine it’s functions. Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig • Electrical stimulation tool for mapping functions of the brain • Electrical shock to different parts of cerebral cortex caused different parts of the body to react. • Body is mapped on the brain Psychophysics Branch of psychology that measures quantitative relations between stimuli and perceptual experience Determinism The doctrine that behaviour is the result of prior events. Progressive Education • John Dewey • Education must match the way in which children’s abilities develop • To establish habits that integrate children into the community • Helped shape the movement in the US of progressive education Law of Effect Thorndike’s observation. Stimuli that occur as a response will increase/decrease the likelihood of having that same response. Edward Thorndike • “Stamp in” “stamp out” • Law of effect • Learning was automatic and inevitable Maria Montessori • Individualized instruction • Education was most effective when the curriculum was based on the child’s competency at his/her stage Phillipe Pinel • Father of psychiatry • Proposed that an asylum could become a therapeutic institution • Restore cognitive abilities of mentally ill Structuralism • Created by Wilhelm Wundt • The structure of the mind • Based on elements of consciousness (sensations, ideas) • Introspection  observers look within and describe experiences • Raw data of sensation unmodified by experience Functionalism • Focus on the process of conscious activity (perceiving, learning) • Grew from Darwin • Emphasis on observable behaviours • Behaviours could be inherited and evolved • William James  theory of emotion • Understanding behaviour by establishing usefulness to survival Behaviourism • The study between the relation to people’s environments and their behaviours without the appeal to mental processes • Ivan Pavlov’s dog salivation experiment • John Watson defined psychology as  objective study of stimuli and the behaviours that they produce. • Only proper subject matter for psychology is through behaviours Humanistic Psychology • Developed as a reaction to behaviourism and psychoanalysis • Human nature goes beyond environmental influences • Should study conscious processes not unconscious ones • Emphasizes human experience, choice, creativity, self realization, and positive growth Gestalt Psychology • Cognitive processes could be understood by studying their organization rather than their elements • “Unified form” • Elements of an experience are organized
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