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Psyc100-Ch1 - History & Perspective.docx

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PSYC 100
Jaime Palmer- Hague

Psychology 100 Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology Psychology (p.2) Definition: the scientific study of behaviour and the mind (mental processes)  Behaviour is observable and can be measured - eg actions and responses  Mind is the internal states that cannot be seen directly and must be inferred from observable responses - eg thoughts and feelings Critical Thinking Critical thinking is the ability and willingness to asses claims and make objective judgements on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence rather than emotion or anecdote. Critical thinking involves taking an active role in understanding the world, rather than merely receiving information. It also means evaluating the validity of something presented to you as fact. Steps: 1. Wonder: Be willing to ask questions 2. Define: Clearly define the terms that are being used 3. Investigate: Examine the evidence being presented 4. Analyze: Analyze any possible assumptions and biases 5. Be objective: Avoid emotional thinking and reasoning 6. Don’t oversimplify: Be careful not to draw simple conclusions about complex issues 7. Be open minded: Consider the possibility of other explanations 8. Tolerate Uncertainty: Be okay with the fact that sometimes, there just isn’t enough evidence to make a conclusion. Psychological Research (p.3) 1. Basic Research: reflects the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake (fundamental research on how the brain operates) - eg neuroscience Examples: Robber’s Cave  Eagles and Rattlers p.3  This is Basic Research because its goal was to discover general principles of intergroup conflict, not to solve some pre-existing problems. They didn’t know about this knowledge before. 2. Applied Research: designed to solve specific, practical problems. (done with goal of applying existing knowledge to real word problems) - eg counselling Example: Jigsaw Classroom p.4  Multiethnic groups of children learn parts of project and come together to fit the information together and teach each other  Basic research like Robber’s Cave provide a foundation to help solve real world problems Goals of Psychology as Science (p.4) Five central goals: 1. Describe: to describe how people and other species behave 2. Understand: to understand the causes of these behaviours 3. Predict: to predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions 4. Influence: to influence behavior through the control of its causes 5. Apply: to apply psychological knowledge in ways that enhance human welfare Level of Analysis (p.4)  Biological (eg brain processes, genetic influences)  Psychological (eg thoughts, feelings, motives)  Environmental (eg past/present physical environmental, social environment) Eg grade 2 kid at school Psychological: how he feels about interaction with peers? Does he have shyness? Self esteem? Biological: health issue? Glasses? Breakfast/nutrition? Environmental: parent interaction? Troubles at home? Interaction with teachers? History of Psychology Roots in Philosophy (p.6) Dualism: the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subjected to physical laws that govern the body Rene Descartes (1596-1650)  Proposed that the mind and body interact through the tiny pineal gland in the brain.  Although he placed the mind within the brain, he still believed that the mind was separate from the body. Monism: holds that mind and body are one and that the mind is not a separate spiritual entity. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)  Believe that mental events are simply a product of physical events in the brain, which means that the mind could be studied by measuring physical process within the brain.  Believed in materialism: nothing exist other than matter and energy, so the concept of soul/spiritual entity is useless. British empiricism: which held that all ideas and knowledge are gained empirically–that is, through our senses. John Locke (1632-1704)  Believed observation is a more valid approach to knowledge than is reason, so all information should be observed and gained through scientific study. Roots in Physiology (p.7)  1870, researchers were electrically stimulating brains of animals and mapping controlled body movements. At the same time, medical reports linked damage in areas of brains with various behaviour/mental impairments Eg, damaged left brain impaired ability to speak fluently  Mounting evidence of relation between brain and behaviour  Mid 1800s, established psychophysics, the study of relations between the physical characteristics of stimuli and the sensory experiences they evoke Charles Darwin (1809-1882) (lec02)  Theory of evolution: Implied that the mind was not a spiritual entity but rather the product of a biological continuity between humans and other species.  Also believed that scientists might gain insight about human behaviour by studying other species  Focused on adaptation and evolving through natural selection Structuralism and Functionalism (p.7) Structuralism: the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements Their experiments used methods of Introspection, “looking within”, to study sensations. They exposed participants to all sorts of sensory stimuli—lights, sound, tastes—and trained them to describe their inner experiences. Asking the question “What is there?” Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)  Established 1 psychology research laboratory in Germany  Believed the mind could be studied by breaking it down into its basic components. (To study the basic elements of consciousness, not mental issues, personality, etc.) Edward Titchener (1967-1927)  Student of Wundt, established first laboratory in USA, also attempted to identify the basic building blocks, or structures of the mind Functionalism: study the functions of consciousness rather than its structure Asking the question “Why/How”. Eg Consider arms. St: study muscles, tendons, bones. Func: “Why do we have arms? How do they help us adapt?” William James (184-1910)  Leader of functionalism Six Theoretical Perspective 1. Psychodynamic Perspective (p.8) Definition: a psychological perspective that focuses on how personality processes—including unconscious impulses, defenses, and conflicts—influence behaviour. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)  ‘obscure’ neurologist (deals with disorder of nervous system) Psychoanalysis: analysis of internal and primarily unconscious psychological forces  Worked with patients with mental issues, anxiety, phobias (intense unrealistic fears), but there was no bodily cause  Realized that patients were producing symptoms unconsciously; many described painful/forgotten childhood experiences  Became convinced that an unconscious part of mind can influence behaviour and developed psychoanalysis Defense Mechanisms: psychological techniques that help us cope with anxiety and the pain of traumatic experiences  Eg: Repression: protect us by keeping unacceptable impulses, feelings, and memories in the unconscious depths of the mind Critics:  Too much emphasis on childhood sexuality  Impossible to test scientifically Modern Psychodynamic Theory  Focuses on how early family relationships, other social factors, and sense of ‘self’ shape our personality Object Relations Theories: focus on how early experiences with caregivers shape the views that people form of themselves and others  These views about themselves will influence a person’s relationships with other people throughout life. Eg shyness may be developed from his parents being rejecting and disapproving, the view now unconsciously shape his expectations of how relationships with others will be 2. Behavioural Perspective (p.9) Definition: focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions  Human mind is a tablula rasa (a blank tablet) upon birth and experiences are written, so behaviour is purely by the environment  Learning is key to understanding how experience molds behaviour Behaviorism: a school of thought that emphasizes environmental control of behavior through learning  Led byJohn B. Watson in 1913
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