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PSYC 2310 (266)
Chapter 1

Chapters 1,2 & 11

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PSYC 2310
Paula Barata

PSYCHOLOGY Chapter 1,2,11 Notes Chapter 1: Psychology, The Science of Behaviour - psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the factors that influence it - behaviour actions observed directly, inner processes (mental events) ie, thoughts, feelings images, etc - basic research is the quest for knowledge for its own sake (ie. how people behave + influences), while applied research is to solve specific practical problems - The Robbers Cave Study showed that competition brewed hostility while cooperation and dependence decreased it/formed relationships (an example of the link between basic/applied research) THE GOALS OF PSYCHOLOGY: 1. Describe behaviour 2. Explain/understand cause of behaviour 3. Predict behaviour under certain conditions 4. Influence/control behaviour through knowledge - perspectives are diverse viewpoints - different perspectives: sociocultural, biological, cognitive, psychodynamic, humanistic, behavioural.. each guides modern psychologys attempts to understand human behaviour and show how each has contributed to the evolution of psychology The Biological Perspective - brain, genes, behaviour - relationship between body + mind? - Greek philosophers: mind-body dualism (mind spiritual entity not subject to physical laws of the body) - monos- Greek for one - Monism says that the mind is not a spiritual entity, mind and body are one mental = product of physical - Bio perspective focuses on physical side of human nature, emphasizes role of highly developed brain, genetic factors, biochem processes and behaviour of organisms - Galvanis discovery of nervous energy led to the mapping of the diff. areas of the brain surface - Invention of electroencephalogram (EEG) allowed measurement of electrical activity of large areas of the brain through electrodes attached to scalp - Brains electrical activity controlled by release of chem. substances by nerve cells (neurotransmitter substances) - Darwin proposed survival of the fittest and natural selection, meaning any inheritable characteristic that increases the likelihood of survival will be maintained in the species because individuals with the characteristic will be more likely to survive and reproduce - Evolutionary psych focuses on role of evolution in the development of human behaviour - Sociobiology holds that complex social behaviours are built into human species as products of evolution - Study of how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetics is behaviour genetics The Cognitive Perspective - cogitare (Latin for to think) - cognitive perspective describes humans as info processors and problem solvers whose actions are governed by thought and planning (how mental processes influence motives, emotions, behaviour) - Structuralism: Wilhelm Wundt- wanted to model study of the mind after physical and biological sciences, believed mind to be studied when broken down into its components or structures, therefore structuralism is the analysis of the mind in terms of basic elements - Functionalism: William James- psychology should study the functions (why) of consciousness instead of structure (what) - Gestalt psychology: Wolfgang Kohler- gestalt: whole/organization, concerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholes, opposite of structuralism! Argues that our perceptions/mental processes organized so that whole is greater than and different from sum of its parts. Insight as sudden perception of useful relationship or solution to problem (Aha!) strong influence on cognitive perspective - Piaget: cognitive development in children: Jean Piaget- how children think, reason, problem solve, concerned with how mind/development lead to adaptation to environment - artificial intelligence an area of cognitive science, computers modelling human thoughts - how people produce/recognize speech, creative solutions to problems created, resulted in cognitive neuroscience - social constructivism highly influential viewpoint- what we consider reality is largely our own mental creation The Psychodynamic Perspective - searches for causes of behaviour within workings of personality, emphasizing role of unconscious processes and unresolved past conflicts - Sigmund Freuds theory of psychoanalysis- introduced complex psychological forces controlling human behaviour: the analysis of internal unconscious psychological forces - Unconscious forces: much of behaviour is fuelled by forces of which we are unaware - Anxiety humans create defence mechanisms ie. repression: keeps anxiety arousing impulses in the unconscious depths of the mind remaining sources of energy The Behavioural Perspective - focuses on the role of external environment in shaping/governing actions, rooted in 17 century British empiricism (all ideas and knowledge are gained through senses) - rewards/punishment - Ivan Pavlovs experiment demonstrated involuntary learning in dogs: salivate to sound of stimulus when paired a number of times with food - Behaviourism: school of thought emphasizing environmental control of behaviour through learning (B.F. Skinner) - Behaviour modification: powerful techniques of behaviour change - Cognitive behaviourism: attempt to bridge the gap between behavioural and cognitive perspectives (Albert Bandura) The Humanistic Perspective - arose out of philosophy (free will, innate tendencies toward growth) to find the ultimate meaning in ones existence - emphasize role of internal personality processes, stress importance of conscious motives, freedom, choice - in every human an active force toward growth and self-actualization (reaching of ones potential) - terror management theory: innate desire for continued life combined with awareness of inevitability of death existential terror The Sociocultural Perspective - focuses on the manner in which culture is transmitted to its members and on the similarities and differences that occur among people from diverse cultures - culture: enduring values, beliefs, behaviours, traditions shared by large group, passed on through generations : complex definition - humans have a need to develop cultures, expresses way of being through art, literature and development of knowledge - individualism vs. collectivism (how cultures differ) - individualism: (northern Europe and North America) emphasis on personal goals and a self-identity based on own attributes/achievements - collectivism: (Asia, Africa, South America) individual goals=group goals, personal identity=ties binding one to family/other social groups UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION: - one of most commonly experienced psychological problems - normal response to negative events: sadness, grief, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, etc, when remain intense over a long time, alongside hopelessness and inability to experience pleasure= clinical depression - 1/4 women, 1/8 men - possibly genetics, biochemical factors, sleep/wakefulness in brain - person interprets things in a pessimistic way, can be related to tragic events, abuse, past painful experience, etc - biological psychologists say depression is a reaction to a non-rewarding environment - interaction: presence or strength of one factor can influence the effects of other factors that cause depression Chapter 2- Studying Behaviour Scientifically - curiosity, skepticism and open mindedness are behind scientific inquiry, evidence, explanation - interplay between observe/explain Gathering Evidence: Steps in the Scientific Process - curiosity sparks observation and questions are posed - testable hypothesis (tentative explanation or prediction about some phenomenon), clues logically gathered and analyzed - hypothesis is translated into prediction (If..Then) - test hypothesis by gathering evidence, conducting research - analyze data, tentative conclusions - further research and theory building following more research - theory used to develop new hypotheses (theories broader than hypotheses, typically specify lawful relations b/w certain behaviours and causes), theory is tested, self-correcting process Two Approaches to Understanding Behaviour - understanding means being able to specify causes of behaviour 1. Hindsight understanding - after-the-fact understanding - foundation for which further scientific inquiry is built - often seen as common sense answer to a situation, not always correct - major limitation: past events can be explained in many different ways 2. Understanding through Prediction, Control and Theory Building - understanding causes of certain behaviour allows us to predict conditions under which such behaviour occurs in future - if conditions can be controlled, behaviour can be produced/eliminated - good theories generate a integrated network of predictions A GOOD THEORY: - organizes info in meaningful way - testable, generates new hypotheses- new specific predictions evaluated by gathering evidence - supported by findings
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