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PSYA01H3 (1,206)
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Chapter 1

Chapter one psych.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYA01H3
Professor
Steve Joordens
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 1: - Psychology is the study of mind and behavior - The mind refers to our private inner experiences, the flowing stream of consciousness that is made of perceptions, thoughts and memories - Behavior refers to observant actions of human beings and non-human beings, the things we do in the world, by ourselves or with others - Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) allows scientists to “scan a brain” and sees which parts are active when a person reads a word, sees a face, learns a new skill or remembers a personal experience - Psychological processes are said to be adaptive, which means they promote the welfare and reproduction of organisms that engage in those processes - Perception allows us to recognize our families, see predators before they see us, and avoid stumbling onto incoming traffic - Language allows us to organize our thoughts and communicate with others - Memory allows us to avoid solving the same problems over again every time we encounter them to others, which enables us to form social bonds - Emotions are adaptive because they function as signals that tell us when we are putting ourselves in harms way - Structuralisms tried to analyze the mind by breaking it down into its basic components - Functionalists focused on mental abilities allowing people to adapt to their environments - Plato argued in favor of nativism, which maintains that certain kinds of knowledge are innate or inborn. - Aristotle believed a child’s mind is a blank on which experiences were written and he argued for philosophical empiricism which holds that “all knowledge is acquired through experience” - Rene Descartes argued that body and mind are fundamentally different things (body is material and the mind is immaterial) - Dualism: how mental activity can reconcile and coordinate with physical behavior - Descartes suggested that the mind influences the body through a tiny structure near the bottom of the brain known as the pineal gland. - Franz Joseph Gall went for beyond his evidence to develop a physiological theory known as phrenology, which held that, specific and mental abilities and characteristics, ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness, are localized in specific regions of the brain. - In the 19 th century many people accept Descartes idea that the mind is separate from, but interacts with the brain and the body - Broca and flourens were the first to demonstrate that the mind is grounded in a material substance; namely the brain. Their work jumpstarted the scientific investigation of mental process. - Germany scientists were trained in the field of physiology which is the study of biological processes, especially in the human body - Physiologist developed methods that allowed them to measure such things as the speed of nerve impulses, and some of them had begun to use these methods to measure mental abilities - Helmholtz had developed a method that measures the speed of nerve in a frogs leg, which he then adapted to the study of human beings - He trained humans to respond when he applied a stimulus which is a sensory input from the environment - He then recorded the participants reaction time or the amount of time taken to respond to a stimulus, after applying the stimulus - Wilhelm Wundt believed that scientific psychology should focus on analyzing consciousness, which is a persons subjective experience of the world and mind that chemists try to understand the structure of matter by breaking down natural substances into elements - Wundt and his students adopted a new approach called structalism or the analysis of the basic elements that make up the mind. - Wundt tried to analyze consciousness, which is a persons subjective experience of the world and mind - Wundt tried to figure out a way to study consciousness scientifically, he noted that chemists try to understand the structure of matter by breaking down natural substances into elements - Wundt and his students adopted a new approach called structuralism or the analysis of the basic elements that make up the mind - Wundt tried to analyze consciousness in a systematic way using the method of introspection, which involves the subjective observation of ones own experience - This type of experimentation broke new ground by showing that psychologists could use scientific techniques to disentangle even subtle conscious processes - Sigmund Freud began to make his own observations of hysterics and develop theories to explain their strange behaviors and symptoms - According to Freud the unconscious is the party of the mind that appears outside of conscious awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings and actions - This idea led to the psychoanalytic theory which is focused on bringing unconscious material into conscious awareness - Psychoanalyst used Freud’s theoretical approach to interpret what their patients said - Carl rogers pioneered a new movement called humanistic psychology which is an approach to understanding human nature that emphasizes the positive potential of human beings - Humanistic psychologists focused on the highest aspirations that people had for themselves th - By the Early 20 century structuralism, functionalism and psychoanalysis differed substantially from one another - All 3 shared on important similarity: each one tried to understand the inner workings of the mind by examining conscious perceptions, thoughts, memories and feelings or by trying to elicit previously unconscious material, all of which were reported by participants in a clinical setting - As the 20 th century unfolded, a new approach developed as psychologists challenged the idea that psychology should focus on mental life at all. This new approach was called behaviouralism which advocated that psychologists should restrict themselves to the scientific study of objectively observable behavious - Behaviorism represented a dramatic departure from previous schools of thoughts - John Watson believed that private experience was too idiosyncratic and vague to be an object of scientific inquiry. - Science required replicable, objective measurements of phenomena that were accessible to all observers - The methods used by all struturalists and functionalists were far too subjective for that - Instead of describing conscious experiences, Watson proposed that psychologists focused on the study of beh
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