PSY 1101 Chapter 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12: Complete Psychology Notes

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Psychology Notes
PROLOGUE – The Story of Psychology
WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?
Psychology’s Roots
Wilhelm Wundt in December 1879 established the first psychology laboratory at the University of
Leipzig, Germany. They measured the time people responded hearing a ball hit a platform and pressing a
telegraph key.
The two first schools of philosophy were structuralism and functionalism.
Edward Bradford Titchener, a student of Wundt wanted to discover the mind’s structure. He had people
look inward (introspection) during their experiences.
Introspection failed as results varied from person-to-person, and experience-to-experience. The difference
in people’s vocabulary caused problems when reporting experiences.
William James looked at the evolved functions if our thoughts and feelings. Going along with Darwin’s
theory of evolution, James assumed that thinking was developed because it was adaptive, as it contributed
to our ancestors’ survival.
James was a functionalist; he looked at down-to-earth emotions, memories, willpower, and habits.
Mary Whiton Calkins was taught by William James at Harvard in 1890, but was not given a degree by the
University, because she was a woman. She became the first female president of the American Psychology
Association in 1905.
Margaret Floy Washburn became the first female psychology Ph.D., wrote the book “The Animal Mind”
which synthesized about animal behaviour, and was the second female president of the APA in 1921.
William James wrote the first textbook for Psychology, taking 12 years, completed in 1890, for publisher
Henry Holt, called the “Principles of Psychology”.
Psychological Science Develops
In the 1920s John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner dismissed introspection and redefined psychology as, “the
scientific study of observable behaviour”.
Behaviorism (Behaviorists): the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies
behaviour without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists agree with (1), but disagree
with (2).
Freudian Psychology was the other major psychological view at that time, which emphasized the ways ur
unconscious thought process and our emotional responses to childhood behaviour affect our behaviour.
Behaviorism was rejected in the 1960s by 2 groups.
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Humanistic Psychologists: historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of
healthy people and the individual’s potential for personal growth. Led by Carl Rogers and Abraham
Maslow.
Cognitive Rebellion: the rebellion of a second group of psychologists in the 1960s, and led psychology
back to its early interest in mental processes.
Cognitive Psychology: scientifically explores the ways we perceive, process, and remember information.
Cognitive Neuroscience: the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition.
Psychology: the science of behaviour and mental processes.
Behaviour: anything an organism does, any action we can observe and record.
Mental Processes: the internal, subjective experiences we infer from behaviour. Ex: sensations,
perceptions, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOLOGY
Psychology’s Biggest Question
Nature-Nurture Issue: the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and
experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviours. Todays science sees traits
and behaviours arising from the interaction of nature and nurture.
-Charles Darwin proposed the evolutionary process of natural selection.
Natural Selection: the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to
reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis
Levels of Analysis: the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-
cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon.
Biopsychosocial Approach: an integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and
social-cultural levels of analysis.
Biopsychosocial Approach Figure – pg. 8
Psychology’s Current Perspectives - Table pg. 9
Psychology’s Subfields
Psychology is about describing and explaining behaviour and the mind underlying it.
Basic Research: pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base.
Biological Psychologists: explore the links between the brain and the mind.
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Developmental Psychologists: study our changing abilities from womb to tomb.
Cognitive Psychologists: experimenting with how we perceive, think, and solve problems.
Personality Psychologists: investigate our persistent traits.
Social Psychologists: explore how we view and affect one another.
Applied Research: scientific studies that aim to solve practical problems.
-Psychology bases it finding on its evidence of effectiveness.
Counseling Psychologists: a branch of psychology that helps people with problems in living (often
related to school, work, or marriage), and in achieving greater well-being.
Clinical Psychologists: a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with
psychological disorders.
Psychiatrists: a branch of medicine with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who
sometimes provide medical treatments as well as psychological therapy.
Positive Psychologists: the scientific study of human functioning, with the goals of discovering and
promoting strengths and virtues that help individuals and communities to thrive.
Community Psychologists: a branch of psychology that studies how people interact with their social
environments and how social institutions affect individuals and groups.
Psychohistory: the psychological analysis of historical characters.
Psycholinguistics: the study of language and thinking.
Psychoceramics: the study of crackpots.
CHAPTER 1 – Thinking Critically with Psychological Science
THE NEED FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Three phenomena: hindsight bias, judgemental overconfidence, and our tendency to perceive patterns in
random events, illustrate why we cannot solely rely on intuition and common sense.
Did We Know It All Along? Hindsight Bias
Hindsight Bias: the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it; also
known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon.
Overconfidence
We as humans tend to think we know more than we do. When we are wrong we will say, well we were
almost right.
Perceiving Order in Random Events
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