Chapter One: What is Psychology?
Rene' Descartes (1596-1650)
Does perception accurately reflect reality?
How is sensation turned into perception?
Philosophers didn't have "scientific" ways of studying these problems.
Dual Roots of Psychology
Philosophy - Questions
Natural Science - Methods
Prior to 1879
-Physiology and philosophy scholars studied questions of the mind.
-Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) University of Leipzig, Germany
Campaigned to make psychology and independent science.
Established the first laboratory of psychology in 1879.
Wundt's International Influence
-Leipzig, the place to study psychology until Wundt's graduates set up labs elsewhere.
-G. Stanley Hall (1846-1924), John Hopkins University established the first psych lab in the US
1883. Between 1883-1893 24 new labs were established in North America.
-The University of Toronto established the first in Canada in 1881.
The Battle of the "Schools"
-Two intellectual schools of thought regarding the science of psychology.
1. Structuralism: led by Edward Titchener; focussed on analyzing consciousness into basic
elements. Thoughts, sensations.
Introspection: careful, systematic observations of one's conscious experience.
2. Functionalism: led by William James (influenced by Darwin); focussed on investigating the
function/ purpose of consciousness.
Freud and Pscyhoanalysis (1856-1939)
-Proposes the idea of the unconscious- thoughts, memories and desires exist below
conscious awareness and exert an influence on our behaviour.
-He also proposed conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels.
-Wholes versus multiple individual elements -Shouldn't dissect an experience into separate elements to discover truths-instead, look at the
Behaviorism: Redefining Psychology
-Problems of the "unseen"; you can't see the mind
-John B Watson (1878-1958): U.S. was the founder of behaviorism
-Psychology=the scientific study of behaviour
-Behaviour= overt or observable responses or activities.
-Made psychology more scientific because you are able to test what you can see.
-The study f the consciousness was abandoned.
The Cognitive Revolution: The Return of the Cognition
-Putting psyche back in psychology
-1950s & 60s brought the invention of computers (almost a model of the mind) and memory
-How children think, language, problem solving-John Piget.
Psychology: the scientific study of the mind and behaviour.
-Permits the study of virtually every aspect of human behaviour and the human experience. -
-Given its complexity, have variety of perspectives.