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Chapter 1

Psychology: PSYA01 Chapter One Textbook Notes

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Steve Joordens

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Lecture 1, 2,3, CHAPTER 1 Week 1-2 Psychology Chapter 1 Module 1.1 - Psychology: the scientific study of behavior, thought and experience Scientific Method - Scientific Method: a way of learning about the world through collecting observations, proposing explanations for the observations, developing theories to explain, and using the theories to make predictions Hypothesis: Making Predictions - Scientific thinking revolves around hypothesis and theories, they guide process and progress of science - Hypothesis: a testable prediction about processes that can be observed and measured - Hypothesis must be: o Confirmable or rejectable o Testable o Breaking these rules lead to field of astronomy and horoscopes - Pseudoscience: Refers to ideas that are presented as science but do not use the principles of scientific thinking or procedure Theories: Explaining Phenomena - Theory: an explanation for a broad range of observation that also generate new hypotheses and integrate numerous findings into a coherent whole - Theories must be: o Falsifiable: evidence that can be for but also against it o Are different from beliefs or opinions o Are not equally plausible, several theories for the same issue o No way to measure which theory is better The Biopsychosocial Model - Psychology examines individuals from many influences, biological, psychological and social - Biopsychosocial Model: means of explaining behavior as a product of biological, psychological and social factors - Biological influences include brain structure, chemicals, hormones, drug affects, o Focus on genes, brain anatomy and function, and evolution - Social influences include peers family friends immediate social situations o Focus on Interpersonal relationships family groups society and ethnicities - Psychological influences include language memory decision making personality o Focus on behavior perception, thought and experience Critical Thinking - Critical Thinking: exercising curiosity and skepticism when evaluation other’s claims, and with our belief and assumptions - Essential skill for psychology, but must be exercised with cautious skepticism - Habits to develop this skill see page 9 Module 1.2 - Psychologist question how environmental, genetic and physiological processes affect behavior - Is it external events or if we have free will to act Psychology’s Philosophical and Scientific Origins - Science stems from two beliefs: empiricism and determinism Lecture 1, 2,3, CHAPTER 1 Week 1-2 Empiricism - Empiricism: knowledge comes from experience - Whatever we see or measure should be observable for anyone following the same method Determinism - Determinism: event are governed by lawful, cause and effect relationships - Controversy between free will and determinism, do we have control of our own actions or are our behaviors determined - Behavior is determined through internal and external influences Psychology requires the right cultural atmosphere to begin - Zeitgeist: “spirit of the time” general set of beliefs of a culture in a specific time in history - Psychology didn’t emerge sooner because: o People weren’t ready to accept that human behavior could be applied to science o People weren’t ready to accept that viewing human behavior as a predictable law o People weren’t ready to accept that humans are complex machines that lack self- conscious and a self-controlling soul o Couldn’t swallow materialism - Materialism: belief that humans and other living things are composed of exclusively physical matter - PAGE 15 for history of psychology Influences from Physics Gustav Fechner - Worked on sensation and perception, interest in the natural world of moving objects and energy - Psychophysics: the study of the relationship between the physical world and the mental representation of that world Influences from Evolutionary Theory: Charles Darwin - The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal¸ written by Charles Darwin pointed out that behavior is shaped by natural selection - This helped during survival and reproduction because of a species ability to recognize expressions of threats and submission Influences from Medicine - Medicine contributed to psychology and clinical psychology - Clinical Psychology: the field of psychology that concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders - Brain Localization: idea that certain parts of the brain control specific mental ability and personality characteristics - Franz Gall: brain had 27 ‘organs’ that were responsible for mental traits could be distinguished on surface of skull - Paul Broca: found Broca’s Area - Karl Wernicke: found Wernicke’s Area - Franz Mesmer: prolonged exposure to magnet could redirect the flow of metallic fluids in the body, curing disease and insanity (psychosomatic medicine) Sigmund Freud - Emphasized the importance of hypnosis and developed the Psychoanalytical theory - Psychoanalytical Theory: psychological approach that attempts to explain how behavior and personality are influenced by the unconscious process - Perception, thoughts, sense of self, are controllable - Freud didn’t do any scientific experiments on this theory Lecture 1, 2,3, CHAPTER 1 Week 1-2 Importance of Psychoanalytical Theory 1. Conscious mental activity 2. Medical idea to treat disorders of the emotion thought and behavi
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