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Chapter 1

Psych. Ch 1.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Dax Urbszat

Chapter 1 – The Evolution of Psychology - Use of scientific methods to help explain behaviour. - Psych. is also about how people are able to perceive colour, how hunger is regulated by the brain, whether chimpanzees can use language to communicate... Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) “Founder of Psychology” “Physiology informs us about those life phenomena that we perceive by our external senses. In psych, the person looks upon himself as from within and tries to explain the interrelationships of those processes that this internal observation discloses.” - Wanted to make psych. an independent discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology. - Est. first formal lab for research in psychology at the University of Leipzig in 1879. - Said the new psych. should be a science modelled after fields such as physics and chem. - Psych’s primary focus > consciousness (the awareness of immediate experience). Focus on the mind and mental processes. G. Stanley Hall (1846-1924) - Studied briefly w Wundt. *Contributor to the rapid growth of psychology in America. - America’s first research lab @ Johns Hopkins University in 1883. - 1887, he launched America’s first psychology journal. - 1892, driving force behind the American Psychological Assoc. (APA) and was elected first president. Though psychology was born in Germany, it blossomed into adolescence in America. The Battle of the “Schools” Begins: Structuralism vs. Functionalism Structuralism: the task of psych. is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related. - Structuralists want to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience, such as sensations, feelings, and images. - Introspection – the careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience. Chapter 1 – The Evolution of Psychology Functionalism: based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure. William James (1842-1910) Func. “It is just free water of consciousness that psychologists resolutely overlook.” - American scholar. - Formal training in medicine, but did not find medicine to be intellectually challenging. - Landmark book “Principles of Psychology” (1890), became standard reading for generations of psychologists and is perhaps the most influential text in the history of psychology. - Illustrates how psych. like any field, is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences. - Impressed with Darwin’s theory of natural selection, which suggests that the typical characteristics of a species must serve some purpose. - Noted that consciousness is an important characteristics of our species. - Psych. should investigate the functions rather than the structure of consciousness. - Argued that the structuralists’ approach missed the real nature of conscious experience... consists of a continuous flow of thoughts. In analyzing consciousness into its “elements,” the structuralists were looking at static points in that flow. James wanted to understand the flow itself, which he called the stream of consciousness. - Functionalists are more interested in how people adapt their behaviour to the demands of the real world around them. - Mental testing, patterns of development in children, the effectiveness of educational practices, and behavioural differences between the sexes. Behaviourism – is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour. Watson (1913, 1919) “The time seems to have come when psychology must discard all references to consciousness.” - Proposed that psychologists abandon the study of consciousness altogether and focus exclusively on behaviours that they could observe directly. - The power of the scientific method rested on the idea of verifiability. Chapter 1 – The Evolution of Psychology - For Watson, mental processes were not a proper subject for scientific study because they are ultimately private events. - Behaviour – any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism. - In the nature vs. Nurture debate, Watson argued that each is made, not born; maintaining that behaviour is governed primarily by the environment. - Stimulus is any detectable input from the environment. Ivan Pavlov - Russian psychologist. - Taught that dogs could be trained to salivate in response to an auditory stimulus such as a tone. *Stimulus-response bonds* - Behaviourism’s stimulus-response approach contributed to the rise of animal research in psychology. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Brings the Unconscious into the Picture - Austrian physician. - His approach to psych. grew out of his efforts to treat mental disorders > Psychoanalysis. - According to Freud, the unconscious contains thoughts, memories ,and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour. - Eventually concluded that psychological disturbances are largely caused by personal conflicts existing at an unconscious level. - His psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour. - Behaviour is greatly influenced by how people cope with their sexual desires. Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviourism Flourishes “I submit that what we call the behaviour of the human organism is no more free than its digestion.” - Skinner was influenced by Watson’s methodological behaviourism and by Pavlov’s work on conditional reflexes, he eventually developed a system based on his own philosophy of radical behaviourism that represented a departure from earlier forms of behaviourism and neo- behaviourism. Chapter 1 – The Evolution of Psychology - Redefined internal, mental events as private events. He noted that these private events are much ore difficult to study and much of his own science of behaviour is based on public observable events. - Emphasized how environmental factors mould behaviour. - Though he repeatedly acknowledged that an organism’s behaviour is influenced by its biological endowment, 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. - Behaviour is fully governed by external stimuli. I.e. Your behaviour is determined in predictable ways by lawful principles, just as the flight of an arrow is governed by the laws of physics. *Free will is an illusion. - In a 1990 survey, 93 chairpersons of psychology departments ranked B.F. Skinner as the most important contributor to psychology. The Humanists Revolt - By the 1950s, behaviourism and psychoanalytic theory had become the most influential schools of thought in psychology. - Humanism is a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth. - Humanists take an optimistic view of human nature. They maintain that people are not pawns of either their animal heritage or environmental circumstances. Carl Rogers (1902-1987) and Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) “It seems to me that at bottom each person is asking, “Who am I, really? How can I get in touch with this real self, underlying all my surface behaviour? How can I become yourself?” - Rogers argued that human behaviour is governed primarily by each individual’s sense of self, or “self-concept” – which animals presumably lack. - Both Rogers and Maslow maintained that to fully understand people’s behaviour, psychologists must take into account the fundamental human drive toward personal growth. - To date, the humanists’ greatest contribution to psychology has probably been their innovative treatments for psychological problems and disorders. Chapter 1 – The Evolution of Psychology Perspective and Its Principal Contributors Subject Matter Basic Premise Influential Period Behavioural (1913- John B. Watson Effects of Only observable present) Ivan Pavlov environment on the events (stimulus- B. F. Skinner overt behaviour of response humans and animals. relationships) can be studied scientifically. Psychoanalytic (1900- Sigmund Freud Unconscious Unconscious motives present) Carl Jung determinants of and experiences in Alfred Adler behaviour. early childhood govern personality and mental disorders. Humanistic (1950s- Carl Rogers Unique aspects of Humans are free, present) Abraham Maslow human experience. rational beings with the potential for personal growth, and they are fundamentally different from animals. Cognitive (1950s- Jean Piaget Thoughts; mental Human behaviour present) Noam Chomsky processes. cannot be fully Herbert Simon understood without examining how people acquire, store, and process information. Biological (1950s- James Olds Physiological basis of An organism’s present) Roger Sperry behaviour in humans functioning can be David Hubel and animals. explained in terms of Torsten Wiesel the bodily structures
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