Textbook Notes (368,461)
Canada (161,893)
Psychology (2,971)
PSY100H1 (1,821)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1.doc

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Ashley Waggoner Denton

Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychological Science • Important developments for studying the human mind and behaviour • Brain imaging: show parts of the brain involved in particular behaviours/mental activities • Implicit Association Test: assesses how people associate (+) and (-) words with certain people • Phelps, Banaji- used brain imaging to study racial attitudes • Unfamiliar black faces activated amygdala structure involved in detecting threat (familiar black faces no response) • Response occurred only when scores on IAT also showed (-) attitude towards blacks Psychological science refers to the study of the: 1. mind: mental activity- senses, thoughts, feelings, memories 2. brain: action of nerve cells and chemical reactions “Mind is what the brain does” 3. behaviour: wide variety of actions from the subtle to the complex 7 Themes of Psychological Science 1. Psychology is an empirical science • Psych scientists use the scientific method- objective, systematic procedures that lead to an accurate understanding of what is being studied 2. Nature and nurture are inextricably entwined (cannot be separated) • Nature and nurture influence each other in shaping our brain, mind, behaviour • Ex: mental disorders- schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder were originally thought to have resulted from bad parenting or enviro circumstances (nurture) • PTSD: result from traumatic event from environment • Now believed to have also a genetic component 3. The brain and the mind are inseparable • Mind first believed to have resided in liver, heart, etc. • Then, many scholars believed the mind is separate from and in control of body • Theological beliefs, divine/immortal soul is what separates us from animals Da Vinci • “sensus communis” region of brain that receives all sensory information, home of thought and judgement • not accurate but first to link brain’s anatomy to psychological function Descartes • dualism: mind and body are separate yet intertwined • mechanistic body that controlled some mental functions (memory, imagination) • rational mind, controlled volitional action, divine separate from body • psych scientists reject dualistic thinking: “mind is what brain does” 4. A new biological revolution is energizing research • new understanding of mental activities’ biological bases • Brain Chemistry • Brain works through actions of NT, chemicals that communicate messages b/t nerve cells • can now identify certain chemicals and their functions • ex: ppl remember events that happened when they were aroused vs. calm • chemicals in brain that respond to world influence neural mechanisms involved in memory • Human Genome • Found links between genes and our behaviour • However, no single gene causes specific behaviour, rather effect of multiple genes • Watching the Working Brain • Neuroscience, can find specific patterns of brain activation are associated with specific mental tasks (show that 2 are connected) • Some localization of function (specific areas of brain important for specific thoughts, feelings, actions) but largely, many regions that work together 5. Mind is adaptive • Brain has evolved to solve problems related to survival and reproduction • Solving adaptive problems • Many behaviours and attitudes can be considered adaptive solutions to recurring human problems • ex: humans have fundamental need to belong to group most societies discourage behavioural that lead to social exclusion • ex: people who cheat, steal are taking resources away from other members of group adapted to have “cheater detectors” • ex: visual cliff: kid won’t walk past edge of table, fear or heights adaptive mechanism that enhance chances of survival later on • Modern minds in stone age skulls • During Pleistocene era, scare food supply, advantageous to eat sweet foods that were high in fat (adaptive, for survival) • Nowadays, eat same foods even with an abundance of food maladaptive (obesity) Culture provides adaptive solutions • People from different cultures have different minds Nisbett- differences b/t Westerners and Easterners • Westerners- miss forest, focus on elements in forefront- more analytical (break complex ideas into smaller ones), more independent and autonomous & emphasize personal strengths • Easterners- focus on entire forest- more holistic in thinking, more interdependent, more likely to emphasize need for self-improvement 6. Psych Science Crosses Levels of Analysis • Problems in psych need to be solved using different levels of analysis Biological level of analysis: how physical body contributes to mind and behaviour, the neurochemical, genetic processes that occur in body and brain • Pleasant music ↑serotnin- associated with mood Individual level of analysis: individual differences in personality, mental processes that affect how ppl perceive and know the world (perception & cognition) • Music’s effect on mo
More Less

Related notes for PSY100H1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.