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PSYC 102
Russell Day

Psychology Psychology is..... - the scientific study of behaviour and mind - behaviour refers to actions and responses that we can directly observe where as the term mind refers to internal processes such as thoughts and feelings which cannot be seen directly - clinical psychology is the study and treatment of mental disorder - cognitive psychology specializes in the study of mental processes Cognitive psychologists Subfields of psychology: - biopsychology  focuses on the biological underpinnings of behaviour Examines how brain processes, genes, and hormones influence our actions, thoughts and feelings - developmental psychology  examines human physical, psychological, and social development across the lifespan - experimental psychology  focuses on processes such as learning, sensory systems, perception, and motivational states Most research includes laboratory experiments - industrial – organizational psychology  examines peoples behaviour in the workplace such as leadership, teamwork, and work motivation - personality psychology  the study of personality Seek to identify core personality traits and how diff traits relate to one another and influence behaviour - social psychology  examines peoples thoughts, feelings, behaviour pertaining to the social world Often study how people influence one another, behave in groups, and form impressions and attitudes Psychology’s Scientific Approach - science is  a process that involves systematically gathering and evaluate empirical evidence to answer questions and test beliefs about the natural world - empirical evidence is  gained through experience and observation, often including evidence from manipulating or tinkering around with things and then observing what happens - must be systematic observations so that it is as objective and precise as possible Misconceptions can lead to faulty thinking: - mental shortcuts when forming judgements - we may fail to consider alternative explanations - a confirmation bias How psychologists work to fix this problem: - use statistics to analyze their data - examine behaviour under highly controlled environment - they publish their findings When someone makes a claim ask these qs: - what exactly is the claim or assertion? - who is making the claim? Is the source credible? - whats evidence and how good is it? - are other explanations possible? - what is the most appropriate conclusion? Psychology’s Goals: - to describe how ppl and animals behave - to expland and undertand the causes of these behaviours - to predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions - to influence or control behaviour through knowledge Psychology as a basic and applied science: - basic research  the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake - applied research  designed to solve specific practical problems Levels of Analysis: - biological level  brain processes, genetic influences - psychological level  out thoughts, feelings and motives - environmental level  past and current physical and social environments to which we are exposed Mind-body interactions: - the relation between mental processes in the brain and the functioning of other bodily systems - mind- body dualism  the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity (non entity) - rene descarts proposed that the mind and body interact through the pineal gland - monism  the mind and body are one Structuralism: -the analysis of consciousness in terms of its basic elements Functionalism: -studying the functions of consciousness Perspectives of Behaviour: -psychodynamic perspective  searches for the causes of behaviour within the inner workings of our personality - psychoanalysis is the analysis of unconscious psychological forces - behavioural perspective  focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions - behaviourism = a school of thought that emphasizes environmental control of behaviour through learning - cognitive behaviourism = learning experiences and the environment affect our behaviour by giving us the info we need to behave - humanistic perspective  emphasizes free will, personal growth and the attempt to find meaning in one’s life - to humanists the meaning of our existence lies in our own hands - cognitive perspective  examines the nature of the mind and how mental processes influence behaviour (reason, make decisions, solve problems) - gestalt psychology = examined how the mind organizes elements of experience into a “whole” perception Argued that “the whole is great than the sum of its parts” Was strong from the 1920’s and 30’s but then died out - Cognitive revolution 1960’s and 1970’s - cognitive neuroscience = seeks to determine how brain learns language, acquires knowledge, forms memories and performs other cognitive activities - sociocultural perspective  examines how the social environment and cultural learning influences our thoughts, behaviour and feelings - cultural psychology (cross-culture psychology) = explores how culture is transmitted to its members and examines psychological similarities and differences among people from diverse cultures - individualism = emphasis on personal goals and achievements - collectivism= individual goals are subordinated to those of the group - biological perspective  examines how brain processes and other bodily functions regulate behaviour - behavioural neuroscience = examines brain processes and other physiological functions that underline our behaviour, sensory experiences, emotions, and thoughts - behavioural genetics = how a humans genetics can affect their behaviour Evolutionary psychology: - seeks to explain how evolution shaped modern human behaviour - an evolutionary theory is sociobiology which believes that one’s genetic survival is more important than one physical survival Steps in the scientific process: -step 1  identify a question of interest - step 2  gather info and form hypothesis - step 3  test hypothesis by conducting research - step 4  analyze data and draw tentative conclusions - step 5  build a body of knowledge Two approaches to understanding Behaviour: -hindsight (after the fact understanding)  explanations based on common sense and folk knowledge - problem with this is that related past events can be explained in many creative, reasonable, and sometimes contradictory ways - Prediction control and theory building  if we undertand the causes of behaviour then we should be able to predict the conditions of which these behaviours shall occur again - so if we can control these conditions then we should be able to produce that behaviour - A good theory has several important characteristics: . it organizes info in a meaningful way . it i
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