Chapter 1: Introduction, Six perspective in Psychology
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
Dualism versus Monism☺ p.12
What influences behaviour?
B = f(P, E)
o Kurt Lewin
E = Environment
P = Person(ality)
Reciprocal Influences ☺
o maturation to development
o individual to group
o thoughts to behaviours
Questions?: Normal versus/or/and Abnormal?
Seven Themes in Psychology
Psychology is empirical.
Psychological capacities evolve (in a sociohistorical context).
Behaviour is determined by multiple cause.
Our Behaviour is shaped by our cultural heritage.
Heredity and environment jointly influence behaviour.
Our experience of the world is highly subjective.
Psychology is theoretically diverse.
Level of Analysis (p.28)
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?
Environmental: parent interaction? Troubles at home? Interaction with teachers? Six Theoretical Perspectives
(see chart p.24)
1. Psychodynamic Perspective
a psychological perspective that focuses on how personality processes—including unconscious
impulses, defenses, and conflicts—influence behaviour.
Conscious / Pre-conscious / Unconscious mind (Repression)
Drives “keep us going”. (hunger, sexual drives)
Original Sin/Basic Goodness. (humans are born bad and society need to train them)
Too much emphasis on childhood sexuality
Impossible to test scientifically
2. Behavioural Perspective
focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions
John B. Watson: Believed psychology should be concerned with observable behavior, not unobservable inner
B.F. Skinner: believed that all behaviour was the result of the environment; nothing inside can explain origins of
Albert Bandura: cognitive behaviorism, merges the behavioral and cognitive perspectives. Proposes that
learning experiences and the environment influences our expectations and other thoughts, and in turn our
thoughts influence how we behave
3. Humanistic Perspective
emphasized free will, personal growth, and the attempt to find meaning in one’s existence
Maslow and (Carol) Rogers
Proposed that people motivated toward growth and self-actualization
Emphasized the importance of personal choice, responsibility, personality growth and positive feelings of self-
worth – the meaning of our existence resides in our own hands
Positive psychology movement: which emphasizes the study of human strengths, fulfillment, and
In contrast to psychology’s historical focus (mental disorders, conflict), positive psychology examines how we
can nurture what is best within ou