PSY 110 Chapter 1,2,8,11-16: Psych 121 complete notes

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4 Feb 2016
Psych 121
Chapter 1
-The discipline concerned with behaviour and mental processes and
how they are aected by an organism’s physical and mental state, and
external environment. Based on scienti!c research and empirical
Critical thinking
-The ability and willingness to asses claims and make objective
judgements on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence
rather than emotion or anecdote
-Eight critical thinking guidelines
oAsk questions and be willing to wonder
oDe!ne terms – frame it in clear and concrete terms
oExamine the evidence
oAnalyze assumptions and biases
Assumptions are beliefs that are taken for granted, try to
identify and evaluate any unspoken assumptions on which
any claims and arguments may rest, and avoid bias – it
creates intellectual blinders
oAvoid emotional reasoning
oDon’t oversimplify
Look beyond the obvious and resist easy generalizations
oConsider other interpretations
oTolerate uncertainty
Psychology’s history to present day
-Hippocrates (ca. 460-377BC) the Greek physician and the founder of
modern medicine, observed brain injuries and inferred that the brain
must be the ultimate source of our ‘pleasures, joys, laughter, and jests
as well as our sorrow, pains, griefs, and tears’
-In the 17th century John Locke (1632-1704) argued that the mind works
by associating ideas arising from experience
-Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) without empirical methods was wildly o
base and developed the theory of phrenology, the theory indicating
that certain regions of the brain were for speci!c personality traits, and
could be read through bumps on the skull
-Then, in 1879, the !rst psychological lab was opened in Leipzig,
Germany, by Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) in whom was trained in
medicine and philosophy but in 1873 he announced he was going to
make psychology an o>cial science. Wundt tried to break down
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behaviour into basic elements by asking a patient to give up to 20
minutes of introspection of what they were feeling in just a 1.5 second
experiment – and to be quali!ed to take part one had to do up to
10000 practice observations
-3 early psychologies
An early psychological approach named by Wundt’s
student E.B. Titchener that emphasized the analysis of
immediate experiences into basic elements, such as asking
a volunteer to break down the sound of a metronome or
describe the components of taste when biting an orange
An approach that emphasized the function or purpose of
behaviour, as opposed to its analysis and description –
William James being one of its forefathers. Inspired by part
by the evolutionary theories of Darwin, similarly,
functionalists wanted to know how speci!c behaviours and
processes help a person or animal adapt to an environment
A theory of personality and a method formulated by Freud,
that emphasizes unconscious motives and con@icts
The !ve major psychological perspectives
-Biological perspective
oEmphasizes bodily events and how biological changes aects
learning and performance, perceptions of reality, the experience
of emotion, and vulnerability to emotional disorder
oEvolutionary psychology
Walking in the footsteps of functionalism, evolutionary
psychology studies how evolutionary mechanisms may
help explain human commonalities in cognition,
development, emotion, social practices, and areas of
-Learning perspective
oAn approach that emphasizes how the environment and
experience aect a person’s or animal’s actions; it includes
behaviourism and social-cognitive learning theories
Emphasizes the study of observable behaviour and the role
of the environment and prior experiences as the
determinants of behaviour
oSocial-cognitive learning theory
Combining elements of behaviourism with research on
thoughts, values, expectations and intentions. Not only do
people learn by adapting their behaviour to the
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environment, but also by imitating others and considering
events happening around them
-Cognitive perspective
oEmphasizes what goes in people’s heads – how people reason,
remember, understand language, solve problems, explain
experiences, acquire moral standards and form beliefs
-Sociocultural perspective
oFocuses on social and cultural forces the individual, forces that
shape every aspect of behaviour
oWithin this perspective
Social psychologists
Focus on social rules and roles, how groups aect
attitudes and behaviours, why people obey authority,
and how people are aected by others
Cultural psychologists
Focus on cultural rules and values, both explicit and
unspoken – aect people’s development, behaviours
and feelings
-Psychodynamic perspective
oDeals with unconscious dynamics within the individual, such as
inner forces, con@icts, or instinctual energy, digging below the
surface and analyzing the unconscious roots of an individual. It is
the thumb on the hand of psychology because it shares some
similarities but is radically dierent
Psychological research
-Basic psychology
oThe study of psychology for its own sake of knowledge
-Applied psychology
oThe study of psychological issues that has direct practical
signi!cance, and the application of !ndings
-Non-clinical specialties in psychology
oExperimental psychologists
Conduct lab studies of learning, motivation, emotion,
sensation and perception, physiology and cognition
oEducational psychologists
Study principles that explain learning and how to improve
educational systems
oDevelopmental psychologists
Study how people change and grow overtime
oIndustrial/organizational psychologists
Study behaviour in the workplace
oPsychometric psychologists
Design and evaluate tests of mental abilities, aptitudes,
interests and personality
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