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Chapter 1-3

PSY100Y5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-3: Microelectrode, Hard Wired, Genetic Drift

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Ayesha Khan

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Chapter 1 The Evolution of Psychology
- psychology is practical, but it is more than that it is a way of thinking
From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed
- PSYCHE soul, spirit or mind
- LOGOS study of a subject
- PSYCHOLOGY “the study of the mind”
A New Science is Born: The Contributions of Wundt and Hall
- Wilhelm Wundt (German professor) campaigned to make psychology an independent discipline rather than a
stepchild of philosophy or physiology, widely characterized as the founder of psychology
- psychology became the scientific study of conscious experience, focusing on mind and mental processes
The Battle of the “Schools” Begins: Structuralism versus Functionalism
- STRUCTURALISM based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic
elements and investigate how these elements are related
- Structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience, such as
sensation, feelings and images. Their work was concerned more of sensation and perception in vision, hearing,
and touch
- INTROSPECTION systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience
- FUNCTIONALISM based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of
consciousness, rather than its structure
- NATURAL SELECTION heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more
likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus come to be
“selected” over time
- William James contended that psychology should investigate the functions rather than the structure of
- James argued, consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts (“stream of consciousness”)
- Structuralists naturally gravitated to the laboratory, functionalists were more interested in how people adapt
their behaviour to the demands of the real world around them
Watson Alters Psychology’s Course as Behaviourism Makes Its Debut
- BEHAVIOURISM theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only
observable behaviour (founded by John B. Watson)
- Watson suggested psychologists abandon the study of consciousness altogether and focus exclusively on
behaviours that they could observe directly because he believed power of the scientific method rested on the
ideas of verifiability
- BEHAVIOUR refers to any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism
- Psychologists can study anything people do or say, but they could not study scientifically the thoughts, wishes,
and feelings that might accompany these observable behaviours
- Watson argued that an individual is made by the environment (nurture) rather than by genetic inheritance
- STIMULUS detectable input from the environment
Freud Brings the Unconscious into the Picture
- UNCONSCIOUS contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious
awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour
- PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on
unconscious determinants of behaviour
Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviourism Flourishes
- Skinner developed a system based on hid own philosophy of radical behaviourism that represented a departure
from earlier forms of behaviourism and neo-behaviourism
- He argued that psychology could understand and predict behaviour adequately without resorting to
physiological explanations
- Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend not to repeat responses
that lead to neutral or negative outcomes
- According to Skinner, people are controlled by the environment, not by themselves (therefore, free will is an
The Humanists Revolt
- PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY belief that behaviour is dominated by primitive, sexual urges
- BEHAVIOURISM study of simple animal behaviour
- People are not masters of their own destinies
- HUMANISM theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom
and their potential for personal growth

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- Humanists:
o Take an optimistic view of human nature
o Human behaviour is governed primarily by each individual’s sense of self, or “self-concept” which
animals presumably lack
o People have a basic need to continue to evolve as human beings and to fulfill their potentials
o Argued many psychological disturbances are the result of thwarting these uniquely human needs
Psychology Comes of Age as a Profession
- APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY the branch of psychology concerned with everyday, practical problems
- CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY branch of psychology concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological
problems and disorders
Psychology Returns to It’s Roots: Renewed Interest in Cognition and Physiology
- renewed interest in consciousness (“cognition”) and physiological bases of behaviour
- COGNITION refers to the mental process involved in acquiring knowledge, thinking or conscious experience
- COGNIIVE PERSPECTIVE people’s manipulations of mental images surely influence how they behave
- Hebb suggested that repeated stimulations leads to the development of cell assemblies. These cell assemblies
resemble cognitive units that together or in concert with other cell assemblies facilitate behaviour
Psychology Broadens Its Horizons: Increased Interest in Cultural Diversity
- research has been conducted in the United States by middle- and upper-class white psychologists who have
used mostly middle- and upper-class white males as subjects
o cross-cultural research is costly, difficult, and time consuming
o psychologists worry that cultural comparisons may inadvertently foster stereotypes of various cultural
groups, many of white already have a long history of being victimized by prejudice
o ETHNOCENTRISM the tendency to view one’s own group as superior to others and as the standard
for judging the worth of foreign ways
- new interest in culture appears attribute to two recent trends:
o advances in communication, travel, and increased global interdependence, bring more and more
North Americans and Europeans into contact with people from non-Western cultures
o the ethnic makeup of the Western world has become an increasingly diverse multicultural mosaic
- what they want to learn:
o test the generality of earlier findings and to catalogue both differences and similarities among cultural
o increase knowledge of how culture is transmitted through socialization practices and how culture
colours one’s view of the world
o how people cope with cultural change and find ways to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts in
intercultural interactions
o enhance understanding of how cultural groups are affected by prejudice, discrimination, and racism
o unique experiences of culturally diverse people from the point of view of those people
Psychology Adapts: The Emergence of Evolutionary Psychology
- EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY examines behavioural processes in terms of their adaptive value for members
of a species over the course of many generations
- Natural selection favours behaviours that enhance organisms’ reproductive success – that is, passing on genes
to the next generation
Psychology Today: Vigorous and Diversified
- PSYCHOLOGY is the science that studies behaviour and the physiological and cognitive processes that
underlie it, and it is the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems
Research Areas in Psychology
- Seven Major Research Areas in Modern Psychology:
1. developmental psychology development across the life span
2. social psychology interpersonal behaviour and the role of social forces in governing behaviour
3. experimental psychology sensation, perception, learning, conducting, motivation, and emotion
4. physiological psychology influence of genetic factors on behaviour, role of the brain, nervous system,
endocrine system, and bodily chemicals in the regulation of behaviour
5. cognitive psychology memory, reasoning, information processing, language, problem solving, decision
making, and creativity
6. personality describing and understanding individuals’ consistency in behaviour, factors that shape
personality with personality assessments
7. psychometrics measurement of behaviour and capacities, design of tests to assess personality,
intelligence, and a wide range of abilities, development of new techniques for statistical analysis
Professional Specialties in Psychology
- Applied psychology consists of four clearly identified areas of specializations:

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1. clinical psychology evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with psychological disorders (less
severe behavioural and emotion problems)
2. counseling psychology work with people struggling with everyday problems of moderate severity
3. educational and school psychology improve curriculum design, counsel children, aid parents and
4. industrial and organizational psychology tasks in the world of business
- clinical and psychologists and psychiatrists have different training and educational requirements, as well as they
have a different approach to treatment
- PSYCHIATRY is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems
and disorders
- Clinical psychology takes a non-medical approach to such problems
Putting It in Perspective: Seven Key Themes
- learn about both behaviour and the scientific discipline that investigates it
- two sets:
1. statements highlighting crucial aspects of psychology as a way of thinking and as a field of study
2. broad generalizations about psychology’s subject matter:
a. behaviour
b. cognitive and physiological processes that underlie it
Themes Related to Psychology
- three crucial ideas
Theme 1: Psychology is Empirical
- EMPIRICISM the premise that knowledge should be acquired through observations
- Conclusions that are based on direct observation rather than reasoning, speculation, traditional beliefs, or
common sense
Theme 2: Psychology is Theoretically Diverse
- psychologists seek to explain and understand what they observe, so they must construct a theory
- THEORY a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations (linking unrelated observations
to try and explain them)
- No single theory can adequately explain everything that is known about behaviour
- Oversimplication to expect that one view has to be right while all others are wrong
Theme 3: Psychology Evolves in a Sociohistorical Context
- trends, issues, and values in society influence psychology’s evolution
- psychology affects trends, issues, and values in society
- psychology develops in a sociohistorical context
- society and psychology influence each other in complex ways
Themes Related to Psychology’s Subject Matter
- four crucial ideas
Theme 4: Behaviour Is Determined by Multiple Causes
- behaviour is exceedingly complex, and most aspects of behaviour are determined by multiple causes
- psychologists find that behaviour is governed by a complex network of interacting factors, an idea referred to
as the multifactorial causation of behaviour
Theme 5: Behaviour is Shaped by Cultural Heritage
- CULTURE refers to the widely shared customs, beliefs, values, norms, institutions, and other products of a
community that are transmitted socially across generations
- Because a cultural background is widely shared, members feel little need to discuss it with others and of then
take it for granted
Theme 6: Heredity and Environment Jointly Influence Behaviour
- nature verses nurture (heredity vs. environment)
- Watson: personality and ability develop almost exclusively on an individual’s environment
- Galton: personality and ability depend almost entirely on genetic inheritance
- Heredity and environment are both important
Theme 7: People’s Experience of the World Is Highly Subjective
- people sometimes see what they want to see
- people also tend to see what they expect to see
- psychologists strive to make their observations as objective as possible
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