PSY100H1 Chapter Notes -Action Potential, Reuptake, Fear Conditioning

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18 Jan 2011
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Term Test 1 Study Notes
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Introduction
- The goal of psychology today is to understand people by considering both individual factors,
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as how societal beliefs shape how we behave toward those other people
- Psychological science is the study of mind, brain and behavior
o Mind Æ mental activity Æ thoughts and feelings
o Mental activity is the results of biological processes within the brain, such as the action
of nerve cells and chemical reaction
o Behavior --< wide variety of actions from the subtle to most complex
What are the themes of psychological science?
- The principles of psychological science are cumulative
o Knowledge accumulates based on systematic study of questions raised by what is
already known
o relies on empirical evidence and builds on previous discoveries in a dynamic way
- A new biological revolution is energizing Research
o discoveries in brain activity have been enhanced by the discoveries of
neurotransmitters.
o Mapping of the human genome has furthered the role of genetics in analyzing disease
and behavior
o Tremendous advances in brain imaging have revealed the working brain.
- The mind is adaptive
o the brain has evolved to solve survival problems and adapt to environments. Many
modern behaviors are by-products of adaptationÆevolutionary theory Æ theory in
which the inherited adaptive value of behavior and mental activity throughout the
entire history of a specie
o Culture provides adaptive solutionsvdevelopes a strong framework for a shared social
understanding of how the world works
Culture Æ beliefs, values, rules and customs that exist within a group of people
who share a common language and environment and that are transmitted
through learning from one generation to the next
o Solving adaptive problems
Evolutionary theory Æ solutions to these adaptive problems are built into the
brain and therefore require no special training Æ XPX]v(v[(}(Z]PZ
- Psychological science crosses levels of analysis
o Socialvculture and interpersonal behaviour
o Individualvpersonality, perception and cognition
o Biologicalvbrain systems, neurochemistry, genetics
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Term Test 1 Study Notes
What are the Intellectual origins of psychology?
- Nature-nurture debate
o Whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate or acquired through
education, experience, and culture
i.e. mental disorders are a result of both environmental circumstances and
heritable genes; same with posttraumatic stress disorder
- mind-body problem
o whether mind and body are separate and distinct or whether the mind is simply the
subjective experience of the physical brain
o Leonardo da Vinci concluded that there is one location of the brain that is the home of
thought and judgementvsensus communis
o Rene Descartes thought the mind and body were separate yet intertwinedvdualism
Mind could affect the body, the body could also affect the mind
- Evolutionary theory
o Natural selectionvrandom mutations that are adaptive are passed along and mutations
that kinder reproduction are not
How did the scientific Foundations of psychology develop?
- Structuralism
o 1879: Wilhelm Wundt: established first psychology laboratory and institute in Leipzig
x Regarded as the founder of experimental psychology as an academic
discipline
o Based on the idea that conscious experience can be broken down into its basic
underlying components or elements
o Introspectionva systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that
required people to inspect and report on the content of their thoughts
This method was used by Edward Titchener, but rejected by Wundt
- Functionalism
o Concerned with the function of mind and behavior, and not its structures
o William James
o Stream of consciousnessv]}v[}v]vµ}µ]}(ever-changing thoughts
- The unconscious
o Mental processes that operate low below the level of conscious awareness
o Sigmund Freud
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Term Test 1 Study Notes
o Psychoanalysisva method to attempt bringing the contents of the unconscious into
conscious awareness so that conflicts can be revealed
- Behaviourism
o Emphasizes the role of environmental forces of producing behavior
o Johb B. WatsonÆinfluenced by Ivan Pavlov
But B.F Skinner became famous for it
x Believed mental states were noting more than an illusion
Claimed the study of the mind was too subjective and therefore unscientific
- Cognitive revolution psychology
o George A. Miller
o Concerned with higher-order mental functions, such as intelligence, thinking, language,
decision making
o Gestalt psychology Æ a theory based on the idea that the whole of personal experience
is different from simply the sum of its constituent elements
o Gestalt psychology[s patterns and context in learning: the assertion that the whole
experience is different from the sum of its parts led to an approach emphasizing the
subjective experience of perception.
- Social psychology
o Focuses on the power of situation and how people are shaped through their interactions
with others
- Psychological therapy
o Humanistic approach lead by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow
People can come to know and accept themselves in order to reach their unique
potentials
o No universal treatment of disorders
How can we Apply Psychological Science?
- Psychological scientistvone who uses the methods of science to study the interplay between
brain, mind, and behavior and how the social environment affects these processe
- Psychological practiontionersvapply findings from psychological science in order to assist
people with their daily lives
- Social psychologistsvinfluences that other situations and people have on how we act, think,
and feel
- Personality psychologistsvinterested in individual preferences
- Developemental psychologistsvaddress changes in mind and behavior over the life span
- Congnitive psychologyvconcerned with the mental processes such as thinking, perceiving,
remembering, and decision making
- Cognitive neurosciencevthe brain systems involved in learning
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Document Summary

The goal of psychology today is to understand people by considering both individual factors, z7z as how societal beliefs shape how we behave toward those other people. The principles of psychological science are cumulative: knowledge accumulates based on systematic study of questions raised by what is already known, relies on empirical evidence and builds on previous discoveries in a dynamic way. The mind is adaptive: the brain has evolved to solve survival problems and adapt to environments. S culture  beliefs, values, rules and customs that exist within a group of people who share a common language and environment and that are transmitted through learning from one generation to the next: solving adaptive problems. S evolutionary theory  solutions to these adaptive problems are built into the brain and therefore require no special training  :2:ll z2 . Psychological science crosses levels of analysis: sociallculture and interpersonal behaviour, biologicallbrain systems, neurochemistry, genetics.

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