Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Myelin, Neurotransmitter, Axon Terminal

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Reading Notes Chapter 1 9/12/2011 12:11:00 PM
Psychology: scientific study of behaviour and the mind
Behavior: actions and responses we can directly observe
Mind: internal states and processes (ex: feelings, thoughts) that
can’t be seen and must be inferred
Clinical psychology: study and treatment of mental disorders
Cognitive psychology: study of mental process from a view that the
mind is an information processor
Examine consciousness, attention, memory, decision making and
problem solving
Psycholinguistics: psychology of language
Psychology Subfields
Biopsychology: how brain processes, genes and hormones influence our
behavior
Developmental psychology: examines human physical, psychological
and social development cross lifespan
Experimental psychology: basic processes such as learning, sensory
systems (ex: vision, hearing), perception and motivational states (ex:
sexual motivation, hunger, thirst)
Industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology: people’s behavior in
workplace (ex: leadership, teamwork, job satisfaction, performance, etc)
Personality psychology: identify core personality traits and how
different traits relate/influence one another
Social psychology: how people influence one another, behave in
groups, form impressions and attitude, etc
Empirical evidence: evidence gained through experience and observation
Psychology’s Goals
1. To describe how people and other animals behave
2. To explain and understand the causes of these behaviors
3. To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions
4. To influence or control behavior through knowledge and control of its
causes to enhance human welfare
Levels of Analysis
Behavior and its causes can be examined at the
Biological level ex: brain processes, genetic influences, hormones
Psychological level ex: thoughts, feelings and motives, cognitive
perspective, memory
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Environmental level ex: past and current physical/social environments
that we’re exposed to, sociocultural perspective, stimuli in the
environment
Mind-body Interactions: the relations between mental processes in
brain and functioning of other bodily systems
Mind-body dualism: belief that mind is a spiritual entity not subject to
psychical laws that govern the body
Monism: mind and body are one, mind is not seperate spiritual entity
Structuralism: analysis of mind in terms of its basic elements
Exposed to stimuli, then asked to describe experiences
Functionalism: study functions of consciousness rather than its
structure
Why do we have this? How do they help us adapt to environment?
Psychodynamic perspective: searches for causes of behavior within
inner workings of our personality, focusing on role of unconscious
processes
Sigmund Freud developed first and most controversial
psychodynamic theory
Psychoanalysis: analysis of internal and primarily unconscious
psychological forces
Behavioral perspective: focuses on role of external environment in
governing our actions
Cognitive behaviorism: learning experiences and environment affect
our behavior by giving us information we need to behave
Humanistic perspective: free will, personal growth and attempt to find
meaning in one’s life
Cognitive perspective: examines nature of mind and how mental
processes influence behavior
Cultural psychology: explores how culture is transmitted to its
members and psychological similarities/differences among people from
diverse cultures
Biological perspective: examines how brain processes and other bodily
functions regulate behavior
Behavioral neuroscience (also called physiological psychology):
examines brain processes and other physiological functions that
underlie our behavior, sensory experiences, emotions and thoughts
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o Karl Lashley pioneer of behavioral neuroscience
o He trained rats to run mazes, observed how damaging
different areas of brain affect rats’ memory and learning
Neurotransmitters: chemicals released by nerve cells that allow
them to communicate with another
Behavior genetics: study of how behavioral tendencies are influenced
by genetic factors
Natural Selection: an inherited trait gives certain members of a species
an advantage over others to survive
These members survive and their traits are passed on to offspring
Charles Darwin: Theory of Evolution
Evolutionary Psychology: seeks to explain how evolution shaped
modern human behavior
Sociobiology: complex social behaviors built into human species
as product of evolution
o Natural selection favors behavior that increases ability to pass
on ones genes to next generation
** Pg. 24: Chart that compares Six Major Perspectives on Human Behavior
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