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CH1 – INTRODUCTION (textbook notes)

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

CH1 – INTRODUCTION Introduction to Psychological Science  PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE – study of mind, brain and behavior Themes of Psychological Science  Psychological is an empirical science o use scientific method  objective, systematic procedures  result: careful observations, accurate understandings  Nature & nurture inextricably entwined o NATURE: psychological characteristics biologically innate, or o Nurture: acquired w/ education, experience, culture  Culture – The 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 -ex. Schizophrenia/bipolar: prev. view b/c bad parenting  certain environments both disorder more likely  now drugs alleviate symptoms  genetic basis for disorder o -ex. PTSD: mental disorder from traumatic event  recent research: some genetically predisposed for PTSD  nurture activates nature  Brain & mind inseparable o mind/body problem: A fundamental psychological issue that considers whether mind and body are separate and distinct or whether the mind is simply the subjective experience of the physical brain o historically: mind separate & control body  from theological belief of immortal soul  da Vinci: speculated brain regions for thought/judgment and sensory  challenged views, linked brain’s anatomy to psychological functions o Rene Descartes: dualism  mind/body separate yet intertwined  body = organic machine, reflex governed  body functions result in mental functions (memory/imagination) o Current view: mind is what the body does  New biological revolution energizing research o Brain chemistry  increased understanding  last 30: progress identifying neurotransmitters’ functions = chemical communicating btwn nerve cells  ex. better memories when one’s aroused b/c more chemical involved in responding to event o Human Genome mapped  human body’s basic genetic code  trial and error tests: bred mice w/ & w/o specific genes  all psychological/biological activity = multiple genes’ involved
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