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PSY100H1 Chapter Notes -Cognitive Revolution, Critical Thinking, Sigmund Freud


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
doldeman

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychological Science
Intro:
Case1: Robert Dzikanski in airport
Emotion, memory, decision making, social interaction, cultural differences, prejudice, group
behavior, mental trauma
Officers were acted like “responding to a barroom brawl”
Not justified in using teasers
What we want to study about the case:
oEmotion state decision making
oFrustration with not being understood aggressive outbursts
oAccuracy of defendants & eyewitnesses
oPrejudice group behavior/ beliefs
Case2: Amadou DIallo in font of house
Racial attitudes (stereotypes)
Brain imaging: assessing changes in metabolic activity in the brain, i.e. noting where blood flows as
people process info
Amygdala: detecting threats, activation indicates a fear response using functional magnetic resonance
imaging (FMRI)
Implicit Attitudes Test (IAT): measures reaction time, indirectly assesses how people associate positive
and negative words with certain groups of people
*Increasing familiarity reduces fear response reduce prejudice, discrimination
The goal for psychology today is to understand people by considering both:
-Individual factors: how a person’s brain processes information about others
-Contextual factors: how societal beliefs shape how we behave toward other ppl
And explain effectively the most important human behaviors in real-life contexts.
Fundamental aspects of behaviour: biological, individual, social
Psychological science:
-Mind- Mental activities, perceptual experiences a person has while interacting with the world (senses)
-Memory, thoughts, feelings = mind in action
-Biological process of actions of nerve cells (neurons)~chemical reactions
-Brain- Mind is what the brain does, physical brain enables mind
-Behavior-wide variety of actions in all organisms
-Observing mind in action -> study mental states (consciousness)
Psychological scientists: try to figure out “how people tick”, how people think, feel and act
What are the 7 THEMES of Psychological science?
1. Psychology is an empirical science
-Scientific method- use objective, systematic procedure -> accurate understanding of what is being
studied
-Careful observations of natural world
-Good science (well-conducted research) V.S. bad science (flawed research)
2. Nature & nurture are inextricably entwined
-Are psychological characteristics 1biological innate or 2acquired through education, experience,
culture?
-Scheizophrenia (cause person to have unusual thoughts, believing self is God or hearing voices)
-Bipolar disorder (cause person to have dramatic mood swings)
-Bad parenting heriatable
-Post-traumatic stress disorder/ PTSD (generally believed as result from traumatic events, inherit
gene can cause nurture to activate nature, eg sean McTeague + Mike)
3. Brain & mind are inseparable

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-1506:Da Vinci-> various sensory images arrived in the middle region of the brain = sensus
communis (home of thought & judgement
-Mind/ body problem = fundamental psychological issue -> separate/distinct
-1600s: Rene Descartes ->dualism
-Many mental functions, such as memory and imagination, were the result of bodily functions
oSo linking SOME mental states with the body was a fundamental departure from earlier
dualism views, where they were completely separate
-Subscribed to religious views and said that the rational mind (which controlled volitional action) was
divine and separate from the body
-
-Thus his view of dualism kept the distinction between mind and body, but he assigned
to the body many of the mental functions previously considered the sovereign domain of
the mind.
-Descartes most radical idea: although mind can affect body, body can also affect mind
-“body was nothing more than an organic machine governed by “reflex”, mental functions resulted
from bodily functions.
4. New biological revolution -> energizing research
-Locating the neural/ brain correlates of how identify ppl, discovering disorders.
-Brain Chemistry: an understanding of brain chemistry
oBrain works through chemicals/actions (of) called neurotransmitters, which communicate
messages between NERVE cells
oHave better memories for events that happened when they are aroused rather than clam
oHundreds of different substances play critical roles in mental activity
-The Human Genome: enormous progress in understanding the influence of genetic processes
oScientist can map out human genome, the basic genetic code or blueprint for the human
body, but also developed various techniques that allow them to discover the link between
genes and behavior.
oAlmost all psychological and biological activity is affected by the actions of multiple genes.
oThere is no specific gene solely responsible for memory, or racist attitudes or shyness
oIt is the expression of genes that helps give rise to mind and behaviour
-Watching the working brain
oHow cells operate in brain has been know in past, but only since 1980s have been able to
study the working brain as it performs vital psychological functions.
oBrain Science = Neuroscience
oWe know there is some localization of function, but that many different brain regions
participate to produce behavior and mental activity.
5. Mind is adaptive
-Humans are products of both biological and cultural evolution.
a. Evolutionary theory: the brain has evolved over millions of years to solve problems
related to survival and reproduction. Emphasizes the inherited, adaptive value of behavior
and mental activity throughout the entire history of a species
b. Natural selection: Darwin’s theory that those who inherit characteristics that help them
adapt to their particular environment have a selective advantage over those who do not
-The process by which random mutations in organisms that are adaptive are passed along and
mutations that hinder reproduction are not. Survival of the fittest
-Darwin:
oThe Origin of Species outline a theory of evolution that relied on natural selection
othe inheritable individual differences provide the basis for evolutionary development
oThis idea was taken by his cousin Francis Galton, who proposed that some difference
were psychological in nature (e.g. intelligence) and they could be measured and tested
oCame up with mechanism
oBeagle, Galapagos Islands, finches, slightly different species of each island. Descended from
common ancestor, had small variations. How? Found answer in Thomas Malthus’s essay
on population
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