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PSYA01H3 (1,206)
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Chapter 1


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Steve Joordens

CHAPTER 1 BOOK NOTES 1.1 The Path to a Science of Mind Structuralists: people to try to analyze the mind by breaking it down into basic components. Functionalists: people who focus on how mental abilities allow people to adapt to their environments. 1.2 The Great Philosophers Plato (Greek philosopher) argued in favour of nativism and empiricism, which maintains that knowledge is innate or inborn. Aristotle (Greek philosopher) believed in tabula rasa (blank state in which experiences are written) and in Philosophical empiricism: all knowledge is acquired through experience. 1.3 From the Brain to the Mind: The French Connection Rene Descartes (French philosopher) argued that the body and mind are fundamentally different things; that the body is made of material substance, whereas the mind (or soul) is made of an immaterial or spiritual substance. -Dualism: how mental activity can be reconciled and coordinated with physical behavior. -Mind influences the body through a tiny structure at the bottom of the brain known as the pineal gland. Thomas Hobbes (British philosopher) argued that the mind and body aren’t different things at all; rather, the mind is what the brain does. Franz Joseph Gall (French physician) argued brain and mind is linked, by size not by glands. -Observed that mental ability often increases with larger brain size and decreases with damage to the brain. -Phrenology: psychological theory which holds that specific mental abilities and characteristics, ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness, are localized in specific regions of the brain. (This idea is right however Gall did not realize that the bumps on the skull do no reveal anything about the shape of the brain underneath.) Pierre Flourens (French biologist) conducted experiments in which he surgically removed specific parts of the brain from animals and found that their actions and movements differed from those of animals with intact brains. Paul Broca (surgeon) worked with a patient, Monsiur Leborgne, who was unable to speak and could utter only “tan” but understood everything that was said. -Broca suggested that damage to a specific part of the brain impaired a specific mental function. 1.4 Structuralism: Applying Methods from Physiology to Psychology Physiology: The study of biological processes, especially in the human body. William James was attracted to the work of Hermann von Helmholtz and Wilhelm Wundt -Helmholtz developed a method for measuring the speed of nerve impulses in a frog’s leg. -Stimulus: sensory input from the environment- to different parts of the leg -Reaction time: the amount of time taken to respond to a specific stimulus Wilhelm Wundt taught at a university and led a course to the publication of ‘Principles of Physiological Psychology’ -Believed scientific psychology should focus on analyzing consciousness: a person’s subjective experience of the world and the mind. (i.e., sights, tastes, etc.) -Structuralism: the analysis of the basic elements that constitute the mind. -Wundt tried to analyze the consciousness using introspection: the subjective observation of one’s own experience. -Observers would be presented with stimulus and asked to report their introspections (color or sound) -Introspection: the subjective observation of one’s own experience. 1.5 Titchener Brings Structuralism to the United States Edward Titchener worked with Wudnt, moved the US. He brought structuralism and made changes; instead of emphasizing the relationship between elements of consciousness (as per Wudnt) he focused on identifying the basic elements themselves. -Wrote a book ‘An Outline of Psychology’ and put a list of more than 44,000 elemental qualities of conscious experience 1.6 James and the Functional Approach James believed that trying to isolate and analyze a particular moment of consciousness distorted the essential nature of consciousness. -‘Consciousness was more like a flowing stream than a bundle of separate elements’ James developed the approach of functionalism. -Functionalism: the study of the purpose mental processes serve in enabling people to adapt to their environment. -Understanding functions that mental processes served. Inspired by the ideas of Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species by Natural Selection’ -Natural Selection: principle that states features of an organism that help it survive and reproduce are more likely than other features to be passed on to subsequent generations. -Reasoned mental abilities must have evolved because they were adaptive. -That the consciousness must serve an important biological function and the task for psychologists was to understand what those functions are G. Stanley Hall influenced by Darwin and Wundt focused on development and education and was strongly influenced by evolutionary thinking. -Believed that children pass through stages that repeat the evolutionary history of the human race. 1.7 In Summary -French scientists, Pierre Flourens and Paul Broca developed a science, linking mind and behavior, Broca who showed that damage to the brain can result in impairments of behavior and mental functions. -Hermann von Helmholtz developed methods for measuring reaction time. -Wilhelm Wundt created the first psychological laboratory and taught the first course in physiological psychology. -Edward Titchener, Wundt’s student, brought structuralism to the United States. -William James emphasized the functions of consciousness and applied Darwin’s theory of natural selection to the study of the mind. -G. Stanley Hall established the first research laboratory, journal, and professional organization devote to psychology 1.8 The Development of Clinical Psychology Other psychologists worked on patients with psychological disorders and realized that one can often understand how something works by examining how it breaks. 1.9 The Path to Freud and Psychoanalytic Theory Jean-Martin Charcot & Pierre Janet (French physicians) interview patients that developed a condition known as hysteria. -Hysteria: temporary loss of cognitive or motor functions, usually as a result of emotionally upsetting experiences. -These patients would become blind, paralyzed, lost memory, etc. -Putting these patients under hypnosis would disappear their symptoms. -The brain can create many conscious selves that are not aware of each other’s existence. Sigmund Freud (Physician from Vienna) theorized that many of the patients’ problems could be traced to the effect of painful childhood experiences that the person could not remember, the powerful influence of these lost memories revealed an unconscious mind. -Unconscious: the part of the mind that operates outside the conscious awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings, and actions. -This lead to psychoanalytic theory: an approach that emphasizes the importance of unconscious mental processes in shaping feelings, thoughts, and behaviors -Which formed a basis for a therapy called psychoanalysis: bringing unconscious material into conscious awareness. -Patients would recall past experiences and related their dreams and fantasies. 1.10 Influence of Psychoanalysis and the Humanistic Response Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers established a new movement called humanistic psychology. -Humanistic psychology: an approach to understanding human nature that emphasizes the positive of human beings. -Humanistic therapists helped people realize their full potential; called them “clients” instead of “patients”. 1.11 In Summary -Jean-Martin and Pierre Janet studied patients who acted like different people while under hypnosis -Sigmund Freud developed psychoanalysis, which emphasized the importance of unconscious influences and childhood experiences in shaping, thoughts, feelings and behaviour. 1.12 The Search for Objective Measurement: Behaviorism Takes Center Stage th 20 century approach: -Behaviorism: An approach that supports that psychologists restrict themselves to the scientific study of objectively observable behavior 1.13 Watson and the Emergence of Behaviorism -John Broadus Watson proposed that psychologists focus on the study of behaviour, what people do, rather than what people experience. -Psychology should be done to predict and control behaviour in ways that benefit society -Margaret Floy Washburn published
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