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PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes -Classical Conditioning, Cognitive Revolution, Ferdinand Hitzig

Course Code
Steve Joordens

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Psychology is a relatively new discipline it began in Germany (1920)
Psychology is science that focuses on discovering behaviour and explains
its causes. Psychology = psukhe (breath/soul) & logos (word/reason) Greek
psycho (mind) & logy (science) science of the mind
In order to explain behaviour one must describe and discover the causes of
the behaviour.
Causal events events that cause other events to occur
Fields of psychology
Research based fields
Physiological basis of behaviour
Learning, memory, sensory,
emotion, motivation …
Studies behaviour of a variety of organisms
in attempt to understand the adaptive and
functional significance of the behaviours in
relation to evolution.
Mating, courtship,
predation, parental, defense
Environments effect on behaviour
Events with good effects are
repeated those with
negative effects are avoided
Studies the role of genetics in behaviour
Inherited by parents
Studies the mental processes and complex
Perception, attention,
learning, memory, problem
solving …
Discovers the brain mechanisms
responsible for cognitive function
Study of physical, cognitive, emotional and
social development as a function of age and
Study of the effects people have on one
Study of individual differences in
temperament and patterns of behaviour
Views behaviours in terms of an adaptive
advantage that through the process of
Effects of culture on behaviour
Investigation and treatment of abnormal
behaviour and mental illness
Case = Clive Wearing
was an expert in
music but due to a
brain infection he lost
his memory. He feels
as though he just
woke up from a deep
sleep. Although he
has no memory he
still hugs his wife
whenever he sees her
and can sing
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Applied psychology
Clinical neuropsychologists
Identify and treat behaviours caused by disorders or injury of the
nervous system
Health psychologists
Promote behaviours that prevent illness and maintains health
School psychologists
Deals with behavioural issues of students
Consumer psychologists
Helps marketing
Community psychologists
Works for the social system and improves structure
Organizational psychologists
Increases the effectiveness of organizations
Engineering psychologists
Improves machines used by people
Forensic psychologists
Studies human behaviour related to legal systems
Psychology was “created” by philosophy (father) and biology (mother)
Definition once again psychology is the science of behaviour can be explained by events
that cause them.
Earlier it was thought that anything that moved or grew independently had a spirit. For
example, if a rock fell they would assume that the rock fell to the floor because it wanted to
be apart of the ground on the other hand fog stayed in the air because it wanted to. These
entities were thought to have a motive force for their actions this is known as animism.
Rene Descartes (1596 1650) is the father of modern philosophy and biological traditions.
He believed that the world was a mechanical entity that, having once been set in motion by
God and runs its course without interference. Animal’s behaviours were controlled by
natural causes. Therefore the body is thought to be a complex machine (hydraulics).
Reactions don’t require the mind (when you touch a hot stove you automatically remove
your hand, you don’t think about it)
Mind was not considered to be a part of the natural world.
Dualism philosophical belief that reality consists of mind and matter
The mind controls the body however the body, using sense organs, supplies the mind with
information about the environment. Rene Descartes believed the pineal body was
responsible for this interaction.
Model simple system that works on a known principle and it is able to do at least some of
the things that a more complex system can do. Model of the human body was controlled by a
non-mechanical mind.
Empiricism truth by experimentation and observation
Rationalism truth by reasoning
John Locke (1632 1704) believed that the mind was mechanical and followed the laws of
nature. When someone is born they are born with a blank slate (tabula rasa) in other words
he believed that knowledge was acquired through experiences.
Simple ideas come together to form complex ones. He was an empiricist.
George Berkeley (1685 1753) knowledge requires inferences based on the accumulation
of past experiences learn how to perceive using sense organs
James Mill (1773 1836) materialism belief that reality can be known by understanding
the physical world, which the mind is a part of
Human and animals were fundamentally the same
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