Module 1.1 The Science of Psychology
- Anthropomorphism is treating objects or animal as people
- First, psyc involves the study of behabiour that broadly defined can incude perceptions thoughts
- Second, psycologists employ the scientific method in their work.
- We can define psychology as the scientific study of behaviour, thought, and experience.
- Psycologists share with other sciences and ascientists a common set of methods and
perspepctives for understanding the world.
The Scientific Method
A person who conducts a system of observing, predicting and testing is conducting science.
The scientific method is a way of learning about the world through collecting observations, proposing
explanations for the observations, developing theories to explain them, and using the theories to make
The scientific Method- scienists use theories to generate hypotheses. Once tested, hypotheses are
either confirmed orrejected. Confirmed hypotheses lead to new ones and strengthen theories. Rejected
hypotheses are revised and tested again, and can potentially alter an existing theory.
Hypothesis and theories are both crucial frameworks for scientists. Both guide the process and progress
of the sciences. A hypothesis is a testable prediction nabout processes that can be observed and
measured. (testable hypothesis must be confirmed or rejected, scientific hypothesis must be testable.)
Hypotheses are a major component of scientific theories. A theory is an explanation for a broad range of
observations that also generates new hypotheses and integrates numerous findings into a coherent
whole. Theories are built on hypotheses that are constantly tested and confirmed.
Pseudoscience ideas that are presented as science but do not actually utilize basic principles of scientific
thinking or procedure
Theories are not the same thing as opinions or beliefs
All theories are not equally plausible
A measure of a good theory is not the number of people who believe ti to be true
THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL
Why do we behave the way that we do?
The biopsychosocial model is a means of explaining behaviour as a product of biological, psychological,
and sociocultural factors. Building Scientific Literacy
Scientific literacy , theability to understand, analyze, and apply scientific information.
Critical thinking involves exercising curiosity and skepticism when evaluating the claims of others, and
with our own assuptions and beliefs.
Module 1.2 How Psychology Became a Science
Psychology’s Philosophical and Scientific Origins
Science stemps from two fundamental beliefs; empiricsm and determinism
Empiricism is a philosophical tenet that knowledge comes through experience.
Determinism is the belief that all events are goverened by lawful, cause-and-effect relationships. [free
will versus determinism]
Psycologists do recognize that behaviour is determined by both internal and external influences.
Zeitgeist “spirit of the times” refers to a general set of beliefs of a particular culture at a specific time in
Materialism the belief that humans, and other living beings, are composed exclusively of physical
Dualism is the opposing belief, that there are properties of humans that are not material (a mind or soul
separate from the body)
Early influences on psychology came from the natural and physical sciences
INFLUENCES FROM PHYSICS: EXPERIMENTING WITH THE MIND
Fechner was a physicist who coined the term psychophysics which is the study of the relationship
between the physical world and the mental representation of that world
INFLUENCES FROM EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: THE ADAPTIVE FUNCTIONS OF BEHAVIOUR
Behaviour is shaped by natural selection just as physical traits are
INFLUENCES FROM MEDICINE: DIAGNOSES AND TREATMENTS
Clinical psychology the field of psychology that concentreates on the diagnosis and treatment of
psychological disorders. Brain localization the ideda that certain parts of the brain control specific
mental abilities and personality characteristics
Mid 1800s two competiting views of localization - Phrenology by Gall and Spurzheim, believed that the brain consisted of 27 “organs” could be
detected by examining the surface of the skull
- Later this was abandonded by the study of brain injuries such as physical Paul Broca who studied
a patient named Tan, left side of the brain and claimed to have found where speech production
was localized now named BROCAS AREA
- Likewise, Wericke area in 1874., patienets with damange in wericke area oculd speak in
sentences that sounded normal but with unusual or made up words
Mesmer created hyponosis by being exposed to magnets too much
Sigmund freud developed the concept of an uncious mind and its underlying processes in his theory of
Psychoanalysis is a psychological approach that attempts to explain how behaviour and personality are
influenced by unconscious processes.
THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES: MEASURING AND COMPARING HUMANS
Galton-> nature and nurture relationships the inquiry into how heredity (nature) and environment
(nurture) influence behavior and mental processes. …. Nature>nurture
Eugenics, “good genes” caused a lot of discrimination among non whites
STRUCTURALISM AND FUNCTIONALISM: THE BEGININGS OF PSYCHOLOGY
Most contemporary psychologists agree that Wilhelm wundt established the first laboratory dedicated
to studying human behaviour abd was responsible for establishing psychology as an independeyt
Introspection “to look within”
Structuralism was an attempt to analyze conscious experience by breaking it down into basic, and to
understand how these elements work together.
William James, first textbook in psychology, The Principles of Psychology 1890
In contrast to structuralism, which looks for permanent, unchanging elemetns of thought, james was
influenced by darwins evolutionary principles, so he preferred to examine behaviour in context, and
explain how our thoughts and actions help us adapt to our environment.
Functionalism is the study of the purpose and function of behaviour and conscious experience.
Evolutionary psychology is based on darwins ideas, an approach that interprets and explains modern
human behaviour in terms of forces acting upon our distant ancestors. Ac