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Psychology (329)
PSYC 1020H (99)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1.docx

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Course Code
PSYC 1020H
Wolfgang Lehmann

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Chapter 1- What is Psychology? Psychology, Pseudoscience and Popular Opinion Psychology- the discipline concerned with behaviour and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and external environment; the term is often represented by the Greek letter psi. Empirical- relying on or derived from observation, experimentation, or measured. Psychobabble- pseudoscience and quackery covered by a veneer of psychological and scientific- sounding language. Thinking Critically and Creatively about Psychology Critical thinking- the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgements on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence, rather than emotion or anecdote. Guidelines to Critical Thinking 1. Ask questions; be willing to wonder 2. Define your terms 3. Examine the evidence 4. Analyze assumptions and biases 5. Don’t oversimplify 6. Consider other interpretations 7. Avoid emotional reasoning 8. Tolerate uncertainty Psychology’s Past: From the Armchair to the Laboratory  Psychologists want to describe, predict, understand and modify behaviour to add to human knowledge and increase human happiness  Hippocrates said the brain is our source of emotions  Stoic philosophers- emotions due to our explanations of events  John Locke- mind works by associating ideas arising from experience  Franz Joseph Gall- phrenology- the now discredited theory that different brain areas account for specific character and personality traits, which can “read” from bumps on the skull. o When people with “stealing bumps” weren’t thieves, tried to account for it by saying positive traits kept these impulses in check  Willhelm Wundt- first person to make psychology a science o First psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany in 1879  E.B. Titchener- turned Wundt’s ideas into structuralism o Structuralism- an early psychological approach that emphasized the analysis of immediate experience into basic elements.  William James- functionalism: function or purpose of behaviour o Functionalism- an early psychological approach that emphasized the function or purpose of behaviour and consciousness o Inspired by evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin  Freud- conscious awareness is the tip of a mental iceberg o Psychoanalysis- a theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts o Huge impact- mostly rejected nowadays, but Freud is still a “household name” Psychology’s Present: Behaviour, Body, Mind and Culture Major Psychological Perspectives 1. Biological perspective- bodily events affect behaviour, feelings, thoughts  Biological perspective- a psychological approach that emphasizes bodily events and changes associated with actions, feelings, and thoughts  Evolutionary psychology- a field of psychology emphasizing commonalities in cognition, development, emotion, social practices, and other areas of behaviour 2. Learning perspective- how environment and experiences affect actions  Learning perspective- a psychological approach that emphasizes how the environment and experience affect a person’s or animal’s actions; it includes behaviourism and social-cognitive learning theories  Behaviourists-environmental rewards and punishments  Behaviourism- an approach to psychology that emphasizes the study of observable behaviour and the role of the environment as a determinant of behaviour  Social-cognitive learning theorists combine elements of behaviourism with research on thoughts, values, expectations, and intentions 3. Cognitive perspective- emphasized what goes on in people’s heads: how people reason, remember, understand language, solve problems, explain experiences, acquire moral standards, form beliefs  Cognitive perspective- a psychological approach that emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem solving, and other areas of behaviour 4. Sociocultural perspective- social and cultural forces outside  Sociocultural perspective- a psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural influences on behaviour.  Social psychologists- focus on social rules and roles, how groups affect attitudes and behaviour, why people obey au
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