Psychologists are interested in understanding how people perceive, think, and act in a wide range
The goal of psychology today is to understand people by considering both individual factors,
such as how a person’s brain processes info about others, and contextual factors, such as how
societal beliefs shape how we behave toward those other people. The ambition is to explain
effectively the most important human behaviour in real-life context.
Brain Imaging –technique that involves assessing changes in metabolic activity of the brain, such
as noting where blood flows as people process info. These changes in blood flow represent
changes in brain activity that indicate which parts of the brain are involved in certain behaviours
or mental activities.
Amygdala – structure in the brain which is involved in detecting threat. In the research unfamiliar
faces activated amygdala.
Implicit attitudes test (IAT) – test that indirectly assesses how people associate positive and
negative words with certain groups of people. In the research, those who were found to hold
negative attitudes were more likely to show activation of amygdala when observing unfamiliar
-Increasing familiarity reduces the fear response, which may indicate a reduction in the
likelihood of prejudice and discrimination.
Psychological science – the study of mind, brain, and behaviour.
Mind- mental activity, such as thoughts and feelings. The perceptual experiences that one has
during while interacting with the world (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch) are examples of the
mind in action, as are memories. Mental activity results from biological processes within the
brain. Mind is what the brain does/ the physical brain enables the mind.
Behaviour – variety of action, from subtle to complex, that occur in organism from ants to
humans. In the past psychologists focused on behaviour rather than on mental states. Technology
today allows psychologists to study mental states such as consciousness, which in turn allows to
develop a further understanding of human behaviour.