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Chapter 1

Psyc 100/102 Chapter 1 - Science of Behaviour

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 102
Brooke Seal

Psychology: 1 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 environmental level. 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 psychology. ▯ ie. a functionalist would ponder what function hands serve us and what their ▯ adaptive features are Psychodynamic Perspective • 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 forces • 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. Behavioral Perspective • studies the role of the external environment in governing our actions (Pavlov). • believes that at birth we are tabula rasa,
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