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Psychology’s Philosophical and Scientific Origins

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PSYC 100

Psychology’s Philosophical and Scientific Origins Science is a philosophy of knowledge that stems from two beliefs: Empiricism- knowledge comes from experience Determinism- all events are governed by lawful, cause-and-effect relationships -free will vs. determinism Zeitgeist-the reason why it took psychology until the late 1800s to become scientific -a general set of beliefs of a particular culture at a specific time in history Materialism- all living things are made of only physical matter Anthropometrics- Francis Galton Intelligence Test- Alfred Binet Influences from Physics Psychophysics-the relationship between the physical world and the mental representation of the world -Gustav Fechner Influences from Evolutionary Theory Natural Selection-genetically inherited traits that contribute to survival and reproductive success are more likely to flourish within the breeding community -Charles Darwin -emotional expressions and other behaviors are resulted Influences from Medicine Clinical Psychology- diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders Psychosomatic Medicine-Franz Mesmer -prolonged exposure to magnets could redirect the flow of metallic fluids in the body, therefore curing disease and insanity -rejected in the past, now accepted Hypnosis-Franz Mesmer -interested Sigmund Freud Psychoanalysis-explains how behavior and personality are influenced by an unconscious process -Hypnosis cured hysterical paralysis- an individual loses feeling and control in a specific body part, despite the lack of neurological damage or disease -Sigmund Freud -Freud was on cocaine during a period of his career, and he didn’t conduct scientific experiments -> why is he so trusted? Brain Localization - Certain parts of the brain control specific mental abilities and personality characteristics Mid-1800s, there were two different views: Phrenology-Franz Gall and Johann Spurzheim -brain consisted of 27 ‘organs,’ corresponding to mental traits and dispositions that could be detected by examining the surface of the skull Brain Injury-Paul Broca identified the ‘Broca’s area’; where speech production was localized, with the help of his patient Tan which is the only word he could speak, despite his ability to hear and understand perfectly -Karl Wernicke identified the ‘Wernicke’s area,’ where patients could speak in sentences that sounded normal but with unusual or made-up words Influence of Social Science Eminence -a combination of ability, morality, and achievement -Sir Francis Galton -explained psychological differences among people -developed a way to measure it -led to a movement where people with ‘good genes’ should mate with other people with good genes, and bad genes (criminals people with mental or physical disabilities) should be left out -nature vs. nurture Nature and Nurture Perspective- heredity and environment influence behavior and mental processes Biological Psychology- genetic, physiological, and brain basis for behavior Behavioral Genetics- determines how genes affect characteristics such as personality and intelligence Cognitive Neuroscience- relationships between thought and brain function Structuralism and Functionalism Introspection-Wilhelm Wundt -basic sensations are the mental ‘atoms’ that combined to form the molecules of experience Reaction Time-Wilhelm Wundt -mental activity is not instant, it requires a small amount of effort measured by the amount of time it takes to react Structuralism- analyze conscious experience by breaking it down into basic elements and to understand how these elements work together -Edward Titchener Functionalism- purpose and function of behavior and conscious experience The Rise of Behaviorism Behaviorism-studying only observable behavior with little or no reference to mental events or instincts -Ivan Pavlov discovered classical conditioning-> dogs could learn to salivate to a tone if the tone has a history of sounding just prior to the delivery of food -rise of behaviorism in the US->John B. Watson, concentrated on marketing -B.F Skinner, and the ‘Skinner Box,’ rats were rewarded with food if they pushed the right lever -Watson’s and Skinner’s believed that if behavior is controlled by external rewards and the satisfaction of motivational drives, this leaves little room for free will Humanistic Psychology Emerges Humanistic Psychology-the unique aspects of each individual human, each person’s freedom to act, his or her rational thought, and the belief that humans are fundamentally different from other animals -Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow -believed that humans strive to develop a sense of self and are motivated to personally grow and fulfill their potential The Cognitive Revolution Forgetting Curves-most of what a person learns will be forgotten fast -Hermann Ebbinghaus Cultural Knowledge- involved in the interpretive process of memory Gestalt Psychology- psychologists need to focus on the whole of perception and experience, rather than its parts The invention of the comp
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