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Chapter 1

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Psychology PSYA01Y Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology Physiological Psychology: The branch under psychology focusing on physical behavior. The interest lies in the nervous system, and is studied on non-humans on anything related to behavior; learning, memory, sensory processes, emotional behaviour, motivation, sexual behaviour, and sleep. They study the brain for behavior. Comparative Psychology: A psychology branch that tries to explain behavior as an evolutionary concept in response to the environment by studying behavior amongst the variety of species. The studies are related to the physiological psychology, but rather focus on the behavior that can be inherited. They compare the capacity of certain behavior between species. Behaviour Analysis: The psychology that involves the environment and environmental events as a factor on an individual’s behavior- primarily learning and motivation. With this in mind, an individual is likely to repeat a behavior if it gained a positive response the first time around. They see the impact bahaviour has on the environment. Behaviour Genetics: In which genes are studied in relation to behavior. Each individual is made up of different genetics, which in turn means each individual will behave differently. How different do they act if they’re blood related? Which behavior can be inherited? Cognitive Psychology: Perception, attention, learning and memory, verbal behaviour, concept formation, and problem solving are complex aspects of the mind and behavior that are studied in this branch. The human brain creates a function in response to an environmental event, namely behavior. Cognition involves the study of the brain parts. Cognitive Neuroscience: It is a combination of physiological and cognitive psychology, by studying physiological cognition on the various parts of the brain, and seeing which is responsible for a specific behavior. They study how the brain instructs cognitive processes. Developmental Psychology: The branch under psychology that emphasizes on the age factor when studying the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. While this mainly focuses on children, adolescents and adults are an interest in studies. They observe how behavior changes and develops through the lifespan of a person. Social Psychology: This involves the effects that people have on each other that leads to perception (of oneself as well as of others), cause-and-effect relations in human interactions, attitudes and opinions, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, and emotional behaviours, including aggression and sexual behavior. Evolutionary Psychology: During the evolution of modern species, natural selection filtered out the behavior that would not favour in the environment. Here comes a focus on the advantages of certain adaptations (like walking upright) and how those lead to certain behaviour found today. Cross-cultural Biology: This branch of psychology is interested in how culture affected certain behavior. These can be traced down to laws, customs, myths, religious beliefs, and ethical principles. Clinical Psychology: The focus on psychological disorders and abnormalities, which are treated. Others research causal events that lead up to these psychological problems, and others help to improve the technology and methods. Psychology is the science of behavior. In order to study that for people and animals, they observe what these behavior cause. Philosophical Roots: We have an awareness of a consciousness, and that it guides and directs the behavior that we act out. We also assume, even though we only have our own consciousness, that other people and animal have it as well, and a mental state too. Aminism: the belief that everything that moves contains and is driven by minds and spirits, including the wind, the sun, and us. However, for psychology in the term of science, an explanation of ‘will’ is not satisfactory. Just like other sciences, behavior is driven by physical laws. However, other more abstract subjects, like feelings, emotions, and imagination, were harder to apply, and it took centuries for those to be explained. Rene Descartes the father of philosophy. The hydraulic mechanisms of the Royal Garden inspired him to state that the world and their aspects, including humans and animals, did not run by divine interference, but by mechanisms. The reflex, an automatic action in response to a stimulus that did not require the mind, was an example of that. He also proclaimed dualism, and that there are two entities in reality, the mind and matter, and they were connected. The mind controls the body, and the body’s action provides information for the mind. He used a model: a simplistic representation of a complex system that uses familiar principles. He used rationalism: the use of reason to find the truth. John Locke started empiricism: the method to learn something through observation and experience. He stated that we learn, and gain ideas and knowledge through the years from the experience we gain. And knowledge becomes more complex as they combine. George Berkeley adds to that by saying that for our knowledge to have a perception, we compile the past experiences. This can also be applied to sight; we have different element put together for us to see depth in our vision. James Mill brought up materialism: the world, including the mind, can only be realized with an understanding of the physical world. Humans and animals were basically the same, since both are physical being subjected to physical laws of the universe. The mind was a machine that responded to the environment. Luigi Galvani put an electrical current through the muscles or nerve fibers attached to them, and they contracted. Biological Roots in Psychology Johannes Muller is a physicist who encouraged more experimental ways. He found the doctrine of specific nerve energies, which is the observation that electrical impulses travel through nerves, but direct specific information via the channels they travel (ex. Optic nerves- eye). This also lead to the assumption that the brain had specified parts. Pierre Flourens used experimental ablation, which is the removal of parts of the nervous system (including the brain) to observe which body part it controls. Paul Broca used that information, that each part of the brain has a certain function, when he studied the brain of a patient who lost his ability to speak due to a stroke. He discovered that the left part of the cerebral cortex was responsible for speech production. Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig mapped the functions of the brain by seeing which body part responds when they electrically stimulate a part of the brain (Fig 1.2). Herman von Helmholtz used the scientific method
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