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Dax Urbszat (643)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Answers to Questions @ End of Each Subtopic

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Dax Urbszat

From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed 1) What were Wundt's and Hall's key ideas and accomplishments? Wundt - mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology - in 1879, Wundt succeeded in establishing the first formal laboratory for research in psychology at the University of Leipzig - 1881, Wundt established the first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology - declared that psychology should be a science modelled after fields such as physics and chemistry - according to Wundt, psychology's primary focus was consciousness – the aware of immediate experience - psychology became the scientific study of conscious experience -> kept psychology focused on the mind and mental processes -> methods psychologists used to investigate the mind be as scientific as those of chemists and physicists Hall -studied briefly with Wundt - toward the end of the 19 century, Hall related off a series of “firsts” forAmerican psychology -> he establishedAmerica's first research laboratory in psychology at John Hopkins University in 1883 -> four years later, he launchedAmerica's first psychology journal -> in 1892, he was the driving force behind the establishment of theAmerican Psychological Association (APA) -> he was elected its first president 2) What were the chief tenets of structuralism and 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 sensations, feelings and images - most of their work concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing and touch - depended on the method of introspection -> the careful, systematic self-observation of one's own conscious experience - subjects were typically exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions and visual stimuli under carefully controlled and systematically varied conditions and were asked to analyze what they experienced - Titchner was behind this Functionalism -based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure - William James -> psychology is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences -> impressed with Charles Darwin's concept of natural selection -> consciousness obviously is an important characteristic of our species -> psychology should investigate the functions rather than the structure of consciousness -> consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts -> structuralists were looking at static points in that flow -> wanted to understand the flow itself, which he called the stream of consciousness - structuralists were 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 3) What was the main idea underlying behaviourism? - the theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour - John B. Watson -> founder -> proposed that psychologists abandon the study of consciousness altogether and focus exclusively on behaviours that they could observe directly -> to him, the power of the scientific method rested on the idea of verifiability -> scientific claims can always be verified (or disproved) by anyone who is able and willing to make the required observations -> the power depends on studying things that can be observed objectively -> mental processes were not a proper subject for scientific study b/c they are ultimately private events. No one can see or touch another's thoughts -> asserted that psychologists could study anything that people do or say – shopping, playing chess, eating, complimenting a friend – but they could not study scientifically the thoughts, wishes and feelings that might accompany these observable behaviours -> the issue of nature vs. Nurture -> whether behaviour is determined mainly by genetic inheritance (“nature”) or by environment and experience (“nurture”) -> downplayed the importance of heredity, maintaining that behaviour is governed primarily by the environment - if psychology were to be a science, it would have to give up consciousness as its subject matter and become instead the science of behaviour - Behaviour refers to any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism -behaviourists eventually came to view psychology's mission as an attempt to relate overt behaviours (“responses”) to observable events in the environment (“stimuli”) -> stimulus response psychology 4) What did Freud have to say about the unconscious and sexuality, and why were his ideas so controversial? Unconscious -> contains thoughts, memories and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour -> seemingly meaningless slips of the tongue often appeared to reveal a person's true feelings -> patients' dreams often seemed to express important feelings they were unaware of -> psychological disturbances are largely caused by personal conflicts existing at an unconscious level - people are not masters of their own minds -behaviour is greatly influenced by how people cope with their sexual urges -> people were far less comfortable discussing sexual issues than they are today, even scientists were offended and scandalized by Freud's emphasis on sex 5) How did the Freudian theory affect the mainstream of psychology? - psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation and mental orders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour - psychoanalysis -> psychoanalytic theory -> conflicted with the spirit of the times in psychology -> people were becoming uncomfortable with their earlier focus on conscious experience -> felt that conscious experience was inaccessible to scientific observation - psychoanalytic ideas steadily gained credence in the culture at large, influencing thought in medicine, the arts and literature -popular acceptance of psychoanalytic theory essentially forced psychologists to apply their scientific methods to the topics Freud had studied: personality, motivation and abnormal behaviour and therapy 6) What basic principle of behaviour did Skinner emphasize? Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to neutral or negative outcomes 7) What did Skinner do to stir up controversy? He asserted that all behaviour is fully governed by external stimuli -> your behaviour is determined in predictable ways by lawful principles Thus, if you believe that your actions are the result of conscious decisions, you're wrong. -People are controlled by their environment, not by themselves - Free will is an illusion -> his analysis of free will was often misconstrued as an attack on the concept of a free society – which it was not – and he was often mistakenly condemned for advocating an undemocratic “scientific police state” 8) What was the impetus for the emergence of humanism? - behaviourism and psychoanalytic theory had become the most influential schools of thought in psychology - the principal charge hurled at both schools was that they were “dehumanizing” -> psychoanalytic theory was attacked for its belief that behaviour is dominated by primitive, sexual urges -> behaviourism was criticized for its preoccupation with the study of simple animal behaviour - both theories were criticized because they suggested that people are not masters of their own destinies - both schools of thought failed to recognize the unique qualities of human behaviour - humanism is the 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 -> maintain that people are not pawns of either their animal heritage or environmental circumstances -> because humans are fundamentally different from other animals, research on animals has little relevance to the understanding of human behaviour 9) Where and when did academic psychology emerge in Canada? - The first experimental laboratory in the British Empire was established
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