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PSY100Y5 (809)
Dax Urbszat (681)
Chapter 1

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Dax Urbszat

Pages 3 - 32 Chapter 1: The Evolution of Society From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed  Psychology  Psyche (soul) and Logos (refers to study of a subject)  Meaning: the study of the mind a) A New Science is Born: The Contributions of Wundt and Hall  Psychology’s intellectual parents: philosophy and physiology  Wundt mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy and physiology  1879: Wundt established the first formal laboratory for research in psychology; referred to as Psychology’s “date of birth”  1881: Wundt established first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology  He declared the new psychology should be a science modelled after fields such as physics and chemistry  using scientific methods  Today, he’s considered as founder of psychology  primary focus on conscious experience (mind and mental process)  New psychological research labs quickly sprang in US  1892: he established American Psychological Association (APA) as president. (Today, one of world’s largest organization devoted to the advancement of psychology) b) The Battle of the “Schools” Begins: Structuralism vs. 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 o Structuralists  identify + examine the fundamental components of conscious experience (ex. sensations, feelings, images) o Introspection – the careful, systematic self observation of one’s own conscious experience (used to examine contents of consciousness)  Subjects: exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions then asked to analyze what they experienced  Functionalism  based on belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure o James (founder) illustrates how psychology is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences  Impressed by Charles Darwin’s concept of natural selection  heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent gens. thus come to be “selected” over time  Shows that those characteristics must have served a purpose. Hence, James argued psychology should investigate the functions rather than structure of consciousness Pages 3 - 32 o Argued that structuralists’ approach missed the real nature of conscious experience  Consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts. In analyzing consciousness into its “elements”, structuralists looked at static points in that flow  He wanted to understand the flow itself (stream of consciousness) c) Watson Alters Psychology’s Course as Behaviourism Makes Its Debut  School of thought: Behaviourism by John Watson o A theoretical orientation based on premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour o Stated: psychologists should abandon the study of consciousness and focus exclusively on behaviours that they could observe directly  To him, scientific method rested on the idea of verifiability o Scientific claims can always be verified by anyone who is able and willing to make the required observations  which depends on studying things that can be observed objectively  Believed mental processes were not proper subject for scientific study o Are private events that can’t be seen or touched o Believed: if psychology is science  give up consciousness and become the science of behaviour  Behaviour – any observable response/activity by an organism o Behaviourists viewed psychology’s mission as an attempt to relate overt (observable) behaviours  responses to observable events in the environment (stimuli)  Stimulus – any detectable input from the environment  Stimulus-response r/s  stimulus-response psychology  Psychologists believed animals are better research subjects o Experimental research often more productive if experimenters can exert considerable control over their subjects  Ex. more control over lab rats vs humans since humans would want to go home at night d) Freud Brings the Unconscious into the Picture  Approach to psychology  treating mental disorders  Believed: unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour o Ex. seemingly meaningless slips of the tongue  “I decided to take a summer school curse” often revealed a person’s true feelings o Patients’ dreams expressed important feelings they were unaware of o Result: psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour Pages 3 - 32 e) Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviourism Flourishes  Redefined internal, mental events as private events + shouldn’t be used to explain behaviour  believed in observable behaviour  Emphasized how environmental factors mould behaviour  His fundamental principle: organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and tend to not repeat responses that lead to neutral/negative outcomes o Showed he can exert control over behaviour of animals by manipulating the outcomes of their responses o Able to train animals to perform unnatural behaviours (Ex. trained pigeons to play ping pong) o Result: people are controlled by their environment, not by themselves or “free will is an illusion” f) The Humanists Revolt  1950s: behaviourism and psychoanalytic theory  most influential schools of thought in psychology  Believed both schools were “dehumanizing”  suggested that people aren’t masters of their own destinies o Psychoanalytic Theory: criticized for belief that behaviour is dominated by primitive, sexual urges o Behaviourism: criticized for its preoccupation with the study of simple animal behaviour
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