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Textbook Notes – Week 1.pdf

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

PSY100   Textbook  Notes  –  Week  1     Ch.  1:  pp  16  –  25,  (history):     • mid-­‐1800s  in  Europe,  psychology  arose  as  a  separate  field  of  study  using  the   experimental  method   • John  Stuart  Mill  declared  that  psychology  should  leave  the  realm  of   speculation  and  philosophy  and  become  a  science  of  observation  and   experiment,  defining  psychology  as  “the  science  of  the  elementary  laws  of  the   mind”   • Throughout  early  1800s  early  psychologists  studied  mental  activity  through   careful  scientific  observation   • James  Mark  Baldwin  founded  first  psychological  laboratory  in  the  British   Commonwealth  at  the  University  of  Toronto   • As  psychology  developed,  many  different  schools  of  thought  developed     STRUCTURALISM     • Experimental  Psychology  Begins  with  Structuralism   • 1879,  Wilhelm  Wundt  established  the  first  psychology  laboratory  and   institute  in  Leipzig,  Germany.  At  this  facility,  students  could,  for  the  first  time,   earn  advanced  academic  degrees  in  psychology.   • Wundt  became  interested  in  measuring  conscious  experiences.   • Wundt  developed  the  method  of  introspection,  a  systematic  examination  of   subjective  mental  experiences  that  requires  people  to  inspect  and  report  on   the  contents  of  their  thoughts   • Introspection’s  biggest  problem  is  that  experience  is  subjective;  each  person   brings  to  introspection  a  unique  perceptual  system,  and  its  difficult  for  a   researcher  to  determine  whether  study  participants  are  applying   introspection  to  a  study’s  criteria  in  similar  ways   • Edward  Titchener,  a  student  of  Wundt’s,  used  introspection  and  other   methods  to  pioneer  a  school  of  thought  that  became  known  as  structuralism.   • Structuralism  is  based  on  the  idea  that  conscious  experience  can  be  studied   when  it  is  broken  down  into  its  underlying  components   • Titchener  believed  that  an  understanding  of  the  basic  elements  of   consciousness  would  provide  the  scientific  basis  for  understanding  the  mind   • The  subjective  nature  of  experience  was  fatal  to  introspection,  and  as  such,  it   has  been  largely  abandoned  and  deemed  unreliable   • Structuralism  was  important  with  respect  to  advancing  the  goal  of   developing  a  pure  science  of  psychology  with  its  own  vocabulary  and  set  of   rules           PSY100     FUNCTIONALISM     • Functionalism  Addresses  the  Purpose  of  Behaviour   • William  James,  a  pioneer  in  the  field  of  psychology,  criticized  structuralism,   stating  that  it  failed  to  capture  the  most  important  aspects  of  mental   experience   • James  argued  that  the  mind  was  much  more  complex  than  its  elements  and   therefore  could  not  be  broken  down.   • He  noted  the  mind  consisted  of  an  ever-­‐changing,  continuous  series  of   thoughts.  This  stream  of  consciousness  could  not  be  frozen  in  time,  so  the   structuralists’  techniques  were  sterile  and  artificial     • James  likened  people  who  approach  psychology  through  the  lens  of   structuralism  to  people  trying  to  understand  a  house  by  studying  each  of  its   bricks  individually.  More  important  was  that  the  bricks  together  formed  a   house  and  that  a  house  has  a  particular  function   • The  mind’s  elements  mattered  less  than  the  mind’s  usefulness  to  people  –   this  idea  heavily  influenced  by  Darwin’s  thinking   • James  argued  that  psychologist  ought  to  examine  the  functions  served  by  the   mind  –  how  the  mind  operates.   • This  approach  came  to  be  known  as  Functionalism  –  the  mind  came  into   existence  over  the  course  of  human  evolution,  and  it  works  as  it  does  because   it  is  useful  for  preserving  life  and  passing  along  genes  to  future  generations.   It  helps  humans  adapt  to  environmental  demands   • Functionalism  was  criticized  as  to  broad  ranging  to  be  sufficiently  rigorous,   and  slowly  lost  momentum.  Within  the  past  few  decades,  however,  the   functionalist  approach  has  returned  to  psychological  science,  as  more  and   more  researchers  consider  the  adaptiveness  of  the  behaviours  and  mental   processes  they  study.     GESTALT  PSYCHOLOGY:     • Gestalt  Psychology  Emphasizes  Patterns  and  Context  in  Learning   • Gestalt  psychology  arose  in  opposition  to  structuralism,  founded  by  Max   Wertheimer  in  1912,  and  expanded  by  Wolfgang  Kohler  in  Germany   • According  to  Gestalt  Theory,  the  whole  of  personal  experience  is  not  simply   the  sum  of  its  constituent  elements;  or  in  other  words,  the  whole  is  different   from  the  sum  of  its  parts.   • For  example,  when  shown  a  picture  of  a  triangle,  we  see  a  triangle  rather   than  three  lines  on  a  paper   • Gestalt  psychologists  relied  on  ordinary  people’s  observations.  This   unstructured  reporting  of  experience  was  called  the  phenomenological   approach,  referring  to  the  totality  of  subjective  conscious  experience   • Gestalt  movement:  the  perception  of  objects  is  subjective  and  dependent  on   context.  Two  people  can  look  at  an  object  and  see  different  things.   PSY100   FREUD,  UNCONSCIOUS  AND  PSYCHOANALYSIS:     • Sigmund  Freud  dominated  20th  century  psychology.     • Freud  initially  worked  with  people  who  had  neurological  disorders,   particularly  paralysis  of  various  body  parts.  Many  of  the  patients  had  few   medical  reasons  for  their  paralysis,  and  thus  Freud  came  to  believe  their   conditions  were  caused  by  psychological  factors   • Freud  determined  much  of  human  behaviour  is  determined  by  mental   processes  operating  below  the  level  of  conscious  awareness,  at  the  level   of  the  unconscious.   • These  unconscious  mental  forces,  (often  sexual  and  in  conflict),  produced   psychological  discomfort  and  in  some  cases  even  apparent  psychological   disorders.   • Freud  pioneered  the  clinical  case  study  approach,  and  developed  the   therapeutic  method  of  psychoanalysis,  which  involves  trying  to  bring  the   contents  of  a  patient’s  unconscious  into  conscious  awareness  so  their   conflicts  can  be  dealt  with  constructively.     • Freud  also  heavily  utilized  free  association,  a  technique  in  which  a  patient   would  simply  talk  about  whatever  he  or  she  wanted  to  for  as  long  as  he  or   she  wanted  to.  Freud  believed  that  through  free  association,  a  person   eventually  would  reveal  the  unconscious  conflicts  causing  the   psychological  problems.   • Many  of  Freud’s  original  ideas,  such  as  the  meaning  of  dreams,  is  that   they  are  extremely  difficult  to  test  using  the  methods  of  science.   • No  contemporary  scientists  accept  many  of  Freud’s  theories.  The  idea   that  mental  processes  occur  below  the  level  of  conscious  awareness,   however,  is  now  widely  accepted  in  psychological  science     BEHAVIOURISM:     • Most  Behaviour  Can  Be  Modified  Through  Reward  and  Punishment   • Started  with  John  B.  Watson  ~1913   • Watson  believed  that  if  psychology  was  to  be  a  science,  it  had  to  stop  trying   to  study  mental  events  that  could  not  be  observed  directly   • Behaviourism  emphasizes  environmental  effects  on  behaviour   • Big  focus  on  nature/nurture  debate   • Behaviourist  believed  nurture  was  all   • Watson  believed  that  animals  acquired,  or  learned,  all  behaviours  through   environmental  factors   • Understanding  the  environmental  stimuli  was  all  that  was  needed  to  predict   a  behavioural  response   • B.F.  Skinner  was  another  notable  behaviourist   • Skinner  denied  mental  states  existence,  writing  that  concepts  referring  to   mental  processes  were  of  no  scientific  value  in  explaining  behaviour.  Skinner   believed  mental  states  were  nothing  more  than  an  illusion   PSY100   • Skinner  wanted  to  understand  how  repeated  behaviours  were  shaped  or   influences  by  the  events  or  consequence  that  followed  them.  E.g.  an  animal   would  learn  to  preform  a  behaviour  if  doing  so  in  the  past  had  led  to  a   positive  outcome,  such  as  receiving  food   • Behaviourism  dominated  research  well  into  the  early  1960s   • Over  time  evidence  accumulated  to  show  the  thought  processes  influence   outcomes,  and  thus  very  few  contemporary  psychologists  are  strict   behaviourists     COGNITIVE  PSYCHOLOGY:     • Cognition  Affects  Behaviour   • Humans’  perceptions  of  situations  can  influence  behaviour   • Researchers  showed  that  animals  could  learn  by  observation  –  which   contradicts  behaviourism  since  the  animals  observing  were  not  being   rewarded,  but  still  learning.  The  connections  were  being  made  in  their  heads.   • George  A.  Miler  and  Ulric  Neisser  were  prominent  figures  in  early  cognitive   psychology   • Cognitive  Psychology  is  concerned  with  the  higher-­‐order  mental  functions   such  as  intelligence,  language,  memory,  and  decision-­‐making.   • Heavily  influenced  by  the  use  of  computers  –  computers  operate  according  to   software  programs,  which  dictate  rules  for  how  information  is  processed   • Cognitive  psychology  applies  this  process  to  an  explanation  of  how  the  mind   works:  information  processing  theories  of  cognition  view  the  brain  as  the   hardware  that  ran  the  mind,  or  mental  processes,  as  the  software;  the  brain   takes  in  information  as  a  code,  processes  it,  stores  relevant  sections,  and   retrieves  stored  information  as  required.   • Initially  cog  psychologists  were  solely  interested  in  the  software,  the  mind,   rather  than  the  hardware,  which  specific  brain  mechanisms  were  involved   • In  early  1980s,  cognitive  psychologists  joined  in  study  with  neuroscientists,   computer  scientists,  and  philosophers  to  develop  an  integrated  view  of  the   mind  and  brain   • This  led  to  the  field  of  cognitive  neuroscience,  which  emerged  during  the   1990s,  defined  as  the  study  of  the  neural  mechanisms  that  underlie  though,   learning,  and  memory     SOCIAL  PSYCHOLOGY:     • Social  Situations  Shape  Behaviour   • Social  psychology  can  be  defined  as  the  study  of  group  dynamics  in  relation   to  psychological  processes   • Social  psych  received  a  boost  as  people  sought  to  understand  the  atrocities   committed  in  World  War  II   • After  WWII,  social  psych  focused  largely  on  topics  of  authority,  obedience,   and  group  behaviour.   PSY100   • In  1930s  and  1940s  Kurt  Lewin  designed  a  field  theory  which  emphasized   the  interplay  between  people,  (biology,  habits,  beliefs)  and  their   environments,  such  as  social  situations  and  group  dynamics.   • Stresses  the  importance  of  fully  considering  a  situation  to  predict  and   understand  the  behaviour  within  it     Ch.  9:  pp.  406  –  414,  (sex)     WHAT  FACTORS  MOTIVATE  SEXUAL  BEHAVIOUR:     • For  much  of  the  history  of  psychological  science,  the  study  of  sex  was  taboo.   The  idea  that  women  were  motivated  to  have  sex  was  almost  unthinkable;   many  theorists  even  believed  women  were  incapable  of  enjoying  sex   • In  the  1940s,  Alfred  Kinsey  provided  evidence  that  women’s  sexual  attitudes   and  behaviours  were  in  many  ways  similar  to  those  of  men.   • Kinseys  approach  exemplified  psychology’s  empirical  nature.  Although  his   research  was  controversial,  Kinsey  showed  a  deep  respect  for  collecting  data   as  a  way  of  answering  a  research  question     SEXUAL  RESPONSE  CYCLE:     • Despite  Kinsey’s  work,  not  much  was  known  about  the  physiology  of  sex  well   into  the  1960s   • William  Masters  and  Virginia  Johnson  set  up  a  laboratory  to  study  sexual   behaviour   • The  biggest  contribution  of  Masters  and  Johnson  was  the  identification  of  the   sexual  response  cycle  –  a  predictable  pattern  of  physical  and  psychological   responses  that  occur  in  four  stages:   o Excitement  Phase:    Occurs  when  people  contemplate  sexual  activity  or  begin   engaging  in  bahaviours  such  as  kissing,  and  touching  in  a   sensual  manner.    Blood  flows  to  the  genitals,  and  people  report  feelings  of   arousal    For  men,  the  penis  begins  to  become  erect,  and  for  women,  the   clitoris  becomes  swollen,  the  vagina  expands  and  secretes   fluids,  and  the  nipples  enlarge   o Plateau  Phase:    Pulse  rate,  breathing,  and  blood  pressure  increase,  as  do  the   various  other  signs  of  arousal.    For  many  people,  this  phase  is  the  frenzied  phase  of  sexual   activity,  in  which  inhibitions  are  lifted  and  passion  takes   control   o Orgasm  Phase:   PSY100    Involuntary  muscle  contractions  throughout  the  body,   dramatic  increases  in  breathing  and  heart  rate    For  women,  contractions  of  the  vagina  occur,  and  for  men,   ejaculation  of  semen  occurs    For  healthy  males,  orgasm  nearly  always  occurs;  for  females,   orgasm  is  more  variable.  When  it  does  occur,  women  and  men   report  nearly  identical  pleasurable  sensations    Following  orgasm,  there  is  a  dramatic  release  of  sexual  tension   and  a  slow  return  to  a  normal  state  of  arousal.   o Resolution  Phase:    Males  enter  a  refractory  period,  during  which  he  is  temporarily   unable  to  maintain  an  erection  or  have  an  orgasm    Females  do  not  have  a  refractory  period  and  may  experience   multiple  orgasms  with  short  resolution  phases  between  each   one     BIOLOGICAL  FACTORS:     • Hormones:   o Hormones  are  involved  in  producing  and  terminating  sexual   behaviours   o In  nonhuman  animals,  hormones  profoundly  influence  sexual  activity.      In  many  species,  females  are  sexually  receptive  only  when   fertile,  and  estrogen  is  believed  to  control  reproductive   behaviours    Estrogen  appears  to  play  only  a  small  role  in  human  female   sexuality   o Hormones  affect  human  sexual  behaviour  in  two  ways:   1. They  influence  physical  development  of  the  brain  and  body   a. In  the  developmental  phase  of  puberty,  hormone   levels  increase  throughout  the  body  and  stimulate   physical  changes  –  the  development  of  secondary   sexual  characteristics,  including  pubic  hair,  body   hair,  and,  for  females,  breasts.   2. Hormones  influence  sexual  behaviour  through  motivation;   they  activate  reproductive  behaviour   a. Sex  hormones  are  released  from  the  gonads,  (testes   and  ovaries),  and  males  and  females  have  some   amount  of  all  the  sex  hormones   b. Males  have  a  greater  amount  of  androgens,  and   females  have  a  greater  quantity  of  estrogens  and   progesterone   c. Androgens  are  apparently  more  important  for   reproductive  behaviour   d. Testosterone,  a  type  of  androgen,  is  involved  in   sexual  functioning.  Males  require  a  certain  amount   PSY100   of  testosterone  to  be  able  to  engage  in  sex,  although   they  do  not  perform  better  if  they  have  more   testosterone  –  the  availability  of  testosterone,  not   large  quantities  of  it,  apparently  drives  male  sexual   behaviour.   e. The  more  testosterone  women  have,  the  more  likely   they  are  to  have  sexual  thoughts  and  desires  –   although  normal  females  have  relatively  low  levels   of  testosterone   f. A  hormone,  oxytocin,  is  released  during  sexual   arousal  and  orgasm.  Some  researchers  believe   oxytocin  may  promote  feelings  of  love  and   attachment  between  partners;  it  also  seems  to  be   involved  in  social  behaviour  more  generally   o The  hypothalamus  controls  the  release  of  hormones  into  the   bloodstream  and  thus  is  considered  the  brain  region  most  important   for  stimulating  sexual  behaviour     • Neurotransmitters:   o Neurotransmitters  can  affect  various  aspects  of  the  sexual  response  
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