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Chapter 1

PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Psychophysics, Information Processing, Montessori Education

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Aqdas Qasem
Intro to Psychology Textbook Notes
Chapter 1 The Science of Psychology
September 19th, 2010
5What is Psychology?
Psychology is considered a science - a science with a special focus on behaviour.
(Psychology The Science of Behaviour 4E, 5)
Discovering and explaining causes of behaviour (why people do what they do) is the
primary focus. There is a lot of emphasis put to this when explaining psychology.
The word psychology is derived from two Greek words: psukhe meaning breath or soul
and logos meaning word or reason. The modernized meaning of psyucho- is mind and
logy is science.
Why Behaviour is Studied:
If we can discover the events that caused the behaviour, we have explained it (5)
Casual events: Events that cause other events (including behaviour) to occur
An important reason for studying human behaviour is that human behaviour is the
root to many of the world's problems (i.e. poverty, war, terrorism, crime, and etc.).
6Fields of Psychology:
Physiological psychology examines the physiology of behaviour (6).
The organism's physiology especially its nervous system is taken to be the
appropriate level of reason/explanation.
Physiological psychologists study almost every behavioural phenomena that
can be observed in non-human animals, including learning, memory. Sensory
processes, emotional behaviour, motivation, sexual behaviour, and sleep (6).
Comparative Psychology studies the behaviour of different species in order to try and
explain the behaviour of species in terms of evolutionary adaptations to environments.
7Behaviour Analysis studies how the behaviour is affected by the environment.
Believe that an important cause of certain behaviour is the relationship
between a consequent event in the organism's past and the behaviour.
They have played a role in the study of drug addiction because they created
methods that study how pleasurable events (including effects of drugs) lead many
individuals to repeating the certain behaviour
The role that genetics play in the behaviour of an organism is a branch of psychology called
Behaviour Genetics
The genes we get from our parents not only determine our physical characteristics, but
also make a blueprint of a human brain.
No two brains are identical
Behaviour genetics is studied by examining similarities and behavioural characteristics
of people who are blood-related because their genes are similar.
Also they study what aspects of behaviour can be transmitted to an offspring (through
laboratory animals and experiments)\Behaviour geneticist also have a role in the study
of drug addiction: they compare drug-susceptible animals to ones that do not tend to
become addicted may help understand the psychological mechanisms involved in drug
dependence.Page 1

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Aqdas Qasem
Intro to Psychology Textbook Notes
Chapter 1 The Science of Psychology
The study of mental processes and complex behaviours (i.e. attention, memory, and etc.) is
called Cognitive Psychology.
Some cognitive psychologists have begun to work with neurologists in brain scanning.
Created many tests that are useful in assessing behavioural and cognitive deficits
caused by abnormal brain functions.
Development Psychology: study of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social growth, mainly
of children (i.e. effects of aging)
8-Development psychologists have helped us understand how drug-taking behaviour alters
over the course of ones life.
-Social Psychology is how people affect people (i.e. perception, human interactions, and etc.)
-Personality Psychology is how peoples personality and patterns of behaviour are
-They look for casual events in a persons history (genetic and environmental)
-Closely related to social psychologists
-Created tests of personality to study the factors involved in vulnerability to drug
-Evolutionary Psychology tries to explain cognitive, social, and personality aspects of
psychology by viewing their adaptive significance during the evolution of modern species.
-Use evolution natural selection- as their guiding principle.
-Cross-culture Psychology is the study of the impact of culture on behaviour.
-A lot about drug addiction can be learned because many of the differences can best be
understood by studying the customs and habits surrounding drug use.
-Clinical Psychology is the study of psychological disorders and problems of adjustment.
-Most are practitioners- try to help people solve their problems
-Developed therapeutic methods prevent and treat drug abuse.
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