Chapter 1: The Science of Behavior
Psychology: the scientiﬁc study of behavior and the mind.
• behavior refers to actions ands responses we can directly observe
• mind refers to internal thoughts and feelings that must be inferred
Misconceptions can occur through other people (including media) giving faulty
information or our own mental thinking:
• we often take mental short cuts (judging someone based on stereotypes)
• we sometimes fail to consider alternative explanations
• we often fail to test beliefs and therefore conﬁrm biases
Psychology’s goals are:
1. to describe how people and animals behave
2. to explain and understand the causes of these behaviors
3. to predict how people and animal will behave under certain conditions
4. to inﬂuences or control behavior through knowledge and control of its causes to
enhance human welfare
Basic research: the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake.
Applied research: using knowledge to solve speciﬁc practical problems.
The three levels of analysis are at the biological level, the psychological level, and the
Mind-body interaction is the relationship between mental processes in the brain and the
functional aspects of the body (psychological level and biological level).
• dualism, the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to the physical laws.
• monism, the belief that holds that the mind and body are one.
British empiricism, holds that all ideas and knowledge are empirically gained through
the senses because observation is a more valid approach to knowledge than pure
reason. They developed a ﬁeld called psychophysics, the study of how psychologically
experienced sensations depend on characteristics of a physical stimuli.
Nature-nurture is the problem that addresses which aspects effect human development
more (environmental level and biological level).
Structuralism: the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements. Sensations were
studied and considered the basic elements of consciousness. The method of analysis
was introspection (“looking within”).
▯ ie. a structuralist would try to explain hand movement by studying how muscles,
▯ bones, and tendons operate Psychology: 2
Functionalism: the study of the functions of consciousness which is inﬂuenced by
Darwin. This ﬁeld divided into modern day cognitive psychology and evolutionary
▯ ie. a functionalist would ponder what function hands serve us and what their
▯ adaptive features are
• studies the causes of behavior within the inner workings of our personality,
emphasizing the role of unconscious processing (Freud).
• psychoanalysis is the analysis of internal and primarily unconscious psychological
• humans have inborn sexual and aggressive drives which cause people anxiety
when brought into conscious awareness
• repression is a defense mechanism that protects us by keeping unacceptable
impulses, feelings, and memories in unconscious depths.
• studies the role of the external environment in governing our actions (Pavlov).
• believes that at birth we are tabula rasa,