PSYC 2310 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Human Conditions, Donald O. Hebb, Margo Wilson

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22 Nov 2011
Chapter 1:
- Psychology- study of behaviour and factors that influence it
- Behaviour- actions we observe directly and the processes
(mental events)- thoughts, feelings, images, physiological
- Psychologists look at biological, individual, and environmental
- Explores nature and causes of our behaviour and feelings
(motives and thoughts)
- Basic research- quest for knowledge
oDescribe how people behave and identify the factors that
influence or cause a type of behaviour
- Applied research- designed to solve specific practical problems
oUses principles discovered through basic research to solve
practical problems
- Jigsaw program- applied research program where knowledge
gained from basic research on factors that increase and
decrease intergroup hostility
oTranslated into a cooperative learning program designed to
reduce interracial hostility in racially integrated schools
- Four main goals
oDescribe behaviours
oExplain and understand causes and behaviours
oPredict behaviours under certain conditions
oInfluence and control behaviours with knowledge and
control of causes to enhance human welfare
- Understand causes of behaviour and when causes are absent or
present predict when behaviour will occur
- If causes are controlled control behaviour
- Perspectives- different ways of viewing people and their
oMake up their intellectual and scientific traditions
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oAnalyzing behaviour and its biological, psychological, and
environmental causes
oInfluence how psychology develops, what it learns about
behaviour, contributions to improve human conditions
oBiological, cognitive, psychodynamic, behavioural,
humanistic, and socio-cultural perspectives
Behavioural Perspective
oBrain, genes, and behaviour
oMind-body dualism- mind is a spiritual entity not subject to
the physical laws that control body
oMonism- mind is not separate to spiritual entity, mental
events are simply a product of physical events
oFocuses n physical side of human nature
oBiochemical processes cause our thoughts, emotions, and
oGenetic factors influence development and behaviour of
human organisms
oElectrical nature of the nerve conduction was an important
discovery in research
oLuigi Galvani- severed leg of a frog and discovered it would
move if an electrical current was applied to it
oKarl Lashley- looked at brain mechanisms in learning
Created damage to different brain regions to study
the effects of learning and memory abilities
oJames Olds and Peter Milner- parts of the brain specialize in
providing pleasurable sensations
oW. B. Scoville and Brenda Milner- discovered damage to
some areas of the brain are associated with severe
memory loss
Tested on a patient (H. M) who suffered from
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oElectroencephalogram- measures electrical activity in large
areas of the brain through electrodes attached to scalp
Can study brain-waves and correlation of behaviours
and states of consciousness without invading brain
oWe exist today because of the ability of our ancestors to
adapt to a changing environment (biologically and
oFocuses on biological processes in thousands of a second
and processes in thousands of generations
oCharles Darwin- theory of evolution
Species evolve over time in response to the
Survival of the fittest
Natural selection- inheritable characteristics that
increase the likelihood of survival
Having that characteristic means a persons more
likely to survive and reproduce
oEvolutionary psychology- role of evolution in the
development of behaviour and mental mechanisms
oOrganisms biology determines its behavioural capabilities
and it’s behaviour determines whether or not it will survive
oSociobiology- social behaviour is built into the human
species as products of evolution
oMartin Daly and Margo Wilson- females have a greater
investment in the reproductive process (women have less
opportunity to reproduce)
oOne’s genetic survival is more important than one’s own
physical survival
oBehaviour genetics- behavioural trends are influenced by
genetic factors
oOrganisms can be bred selectively not only for physical
traits but instead for behavioural traits such as aggression
or intelligence
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