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PSYC 2310 (266)
Chapter 1

Dynamics of Behaviour Chapter 1

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PSYC 2310
Anneke Olthof

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 reactions - Psychologists look at biological, individual, and environmental aspects - Explores nature and causes of our behaviour and feelings (motives and thoughts) - Basic research- quest for knowledge o Describe how people behave and identify the factors that influence or cause a type of behaviour - Applied research- designed to solve specific practical problems o Uses 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 o Translated into a cooperative learning program designed to reduce interracial hostility in racially integrated schools - Four main goals o Describe behaviours o Explain and understand causes and behaviours o Predict behaviours under certain conditions o Influence 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 behaviour o Make up their intellectual and scientific traditions o Analyzing behaviour and its biological, psychological, and environmental causes o Influence how psychology develops, what it learns about behaviour, contributions to improve human conditions o Biological, cognitive, psychodynamic, behavioural, humanistic, and socio-cultural perspectives Behavioural Perspective o Brain, genes, and behaviour o Mind-body dualism- mind is a spiritual entity not subject to the physical laws that control body o Monism- mind is not separate to spiritual entity, mental events are simply a product of physical events o Focuses n physical side of human nature o Biochemical processes cause our thoughts, emotions, and actions o Genetic factors influence development and behaviour of human organisms o Electrical nature of the nerve conduction was an important discovery in research o Luigi Galvani- severed leg of a frog and discovered it would move if an electrical current was applied to it o Karl Lashley- looked at brain mechanisms in learning  Created damage to different brain regions to study the effects of learning and memory abilities o James Olds and Peter Milner- parts of the brain specialize in providing pleasurable sensations o W. 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 epilepsy o Electroencephalogram- 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 o We exist today because of the ability of our ancestors to adapt to a changing environment (biologically and behaviourally) o Focuses on biological processes in thousands of a second and processes in thousands of generations o Charles Darwin- theory of evolution  Species evolve over time in response to the environment  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 o Evolutionary psychology- role of evolution in the development of behaviour and mental mechanisms o Organisms biology determines its behavioural capabilities and it’s behaviour determines whether or not it will survive o Sociobiology- social behaviour is built into the human species as products of evolution o Martin Daly and Margo Wilson- females have a greater investment in the reproductive process (women have less opportunity to reproduce) o One’s genetic survival is more important than one’s own physical survival o Behaviour genetics- behavioural trends are influenced by genetic factors o Organisms can be bred selectively not only for physical traits but instead for behavioural traits such as aggression or intelligence o Human behaviour is influenced by genetic factors Cognitive Perspective: - Sees humans as information processors and problem solvers - Actions are governed by thought and planning - Look at how mental processes influence our motives, emotions, and behaviours - Schools of psychological thought were developed where mental processes were studied to form this perspective - Structuralism o Wilhelm Wundt modeled the mind through physical and biological sciences  Founded the first laboratory of experimental psychology  Scientific psychologists studied there (August Kirschmann, James Baldwin, George Humphrey, Edward Tichener) o Analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements o Introspection- method of “looking within” and verbally reporting on immediate experience o Used by the structuralists to study contents of the mind - Functionalism o Study the functions of consciousness (the whys) not the structure (the what’s) o Influenced by Darwin’s evolutionary theory  Stressed importance of adaptive behaviour to help respond successfully to environment o William James- leader in the movement who helped widen the scope to include biological and mental processes and behaviour - Gestalt Psychology o How elements of experience are organized into wholes o Opposite of Structuralism o Perceptions and mental processes are organized so the whole is greater and different from the sum of it’s parts o Kang Lee and Alejo Freire- tendency to perceive wholes is built into nervous system o Wolfgang Kohler- did research with apes and found that the ability to perceive relationships is through intelligence  Insight- the sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problem o Demonstrations of insight learning stimulated new interest in perception, problem solving, and intelligence - Jean Piaget
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