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PSY100- CHP1+2 notes.docx

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Dan Dolderman

PSY100 CHAPTER 1 Psychological Science: the study of mind, brain, and behavior  Mind= Mental Activity: the perceptual experiences a person has while interacting with the world (sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch), memories, thoughts, feelings  Results from biological processes- the actions of nerve cells, or neurons, and their associated chemical reactions- within the brain  Behavior: vide variety of actions (7) Themes of Psychological Science 1) Psychology Is an Empirical Science - scientists use the scientific method to understand how people think, feel, an act - use of objective, systematic procedures that lead to an accurate understanding of what is being studied - involves careful observations of the natural world to examine how things work 2) Nature and Nurture Are Inextricably Entwined - 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 -Nature/Nurture debate: the arguments concerning whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate or acquired through education, experience, and culture - depends on understanding humans nature genetic basis and how environment shapes any particular human nature 3) The Brain and Mind are Inseparable - 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 Leonardo Da Vinci (1500): concluded that the brains working, such as that all sensory messages (vision, touch, smell, etc) arrived at one location in the brain; which he called the Sensus Communis Rene Descartes (1600s): theory of Dualism- the mind and the body are separate yet intertwined - argued that the body was nothing more than organic machine, governed by “reflex” - rational mind, which controlled volitional action, was divine between mind and body 4) A New Biological Revolution is Energizing Research (3) Developments in biological revolution 1) Brain Chemistry: first major development - brain works through the actions of neurotransmitters (chemicals that communicate messages between nerve cells) - hundreds of substances play critical roles in mental activity an behavior - enables development of treatments for various psychological disorders 2) The Human Genome: second major development - the basic genetic code, or blueprint, for the human body - developed various links between genes and behavior - Human nerve cells/neurons are basic units of the human nervous system - allows the studying of how specific genes affect thoughts, actions, feelings, and disorders - Localization of function: some areas in brain are important for specific feelings, thoughts and actions but many brain regions participate to produce behavior and mental activity - invention of imaging technology to see image of the brain in action. 5) The Mind is Adaptive - Evolutionary Theory: the brain has evolved over millions of years to solve problems related to survival and reproduction -during human evolution, random genetic mutations endowed some of our ancestors with adaptations: physical characteristics, skills, and abilities that increased their chances of survival and reproduction an ensured that their genes were passed along to future generations - Charles Darwin: Natural Selection – the process by which organisms’ random mutations that are adaptive are passed along and random mutations that hinder survival (and reproduction) are not - many of a cultures “rules” reflect adaptive solutions worked out by previous generation - better understanding between culture and behavior when considering behavioral phenomena in cultural contexts 6) Psychological Science Crosses Levels of Analysis - interdisciplinary efforts share goal of understanding how biological, individual, social and cultural factors influence our specific behaviors (4) Levels of Analysis 1. The biological Level : deals with how the physical body contributes to mind and behavior as in the neurochemical and genetic processes occurring in the body and brain 2. The Individual Level : focuses on individual differences n personality and in the mental processes that affect how people perceive and know the world 3. The Social Level : involves how group contexts affect peoples ways of interacting and influencing each other 4. The Cultural Level: explores how peoples thoughts, feelings, and actions are similar of different across cultures, differences between cultures highlight the role that cultural experiences play in shaping psychological processes, whereas similarities reveal evidence for universal phenomena that em
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