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Chapter 1

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: American Psychological Association, Tabula Rasa, Sociobiology

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

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Perspectives on Behaviour: Chapter 1: pg10
-Psychology’s (an empirical science) broad scope thanks to roots in varied disciplines: such as philosophy,
medicine, and the biological and physical sciences.
-caused varied perspectives (different ways of viewing people)
- influence science by: 1) advances occur as existing beliefs are challenged 2) debate ensues and
scientist seek new evidence to solve it 3) supporting elements of contrasting perspectives merge into a
new framework 4) continuous challenging by new viewpoints leads to progress
Psychology intellectual roots:
-mind-body problem: is the mind an inner agent of consciousness and thoughts separate from body, or is it part
of body’s activities?
-mind-body dualism:
-mind is a spiritual entity not subject to physical laws that govern body
-research on physical body cannot unravel mysteries of nonphysical mind
- Rene Descartes proposed mind and body interact through pineal gland in brain: mind can become aware of
bodily sensations and control body functions
-supporter of dualism, although considered mind as in the brain
-mind and body are one, not separate spiritual entity
-mental events correspond to physical events in brain (Thomas Hobbes 1588-1679 english philosopher)
-research on physical brain processes could be used to study mind
-John Locke & others from School of British Empiricism (all ideas and knowledge are gained by
-modern science: observation is more valid than reason, since reason can be faulty
-1870 europe, electrically stimulate brain areas to map areas that control body movements
-linking brain damage in certain areas to behavioural and mental issues
-SHOWS empirical natsci methods could be used to study mental processes
-psychophysics (mid1800s Germans): psychological sensations depend on physical stimuli
-Charles Darwin theory of evolution (against religion and philosophy) supports monism: brain is not spiritual
but continuation of other species, therefore we could study other species to help
Early Schools: Structuralism vs. Functionalism:
-*first psychology lab by Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) at Uni of Leipzig, Germany
-taught students Kirschmann and Balvin, founders of psych dept & Humphrey: began tradition of psych
research (all at Canadian Unis)
-Titchener and Wundt psych lab at Cornell, analyzed mind in terms of basic components: structuralism died
out in decades but left mark
-structuralists used introspection (looking within) to study sensations, basic elements of consciousness
-study functions of consciousness rather than structure
-influences by Darwin theory of evolution
-“Why do we have hands?” not “lets study movement using tendons, muscles, etc”
-William James (Harvard) widened scope of psych by including study of bio and mental processes and
overt behaviour. Taught Mary Calkins female prez of APA
-died out but still endures in: cognitive psychology (mental processes) and evolutionary psychology
(adaptiveness of behaviour)
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1)Psychodynamic Perspective:
-searches causes for behaviours within inner workings of personality (unique pattern of emotions, motives, etc)
-emphasizes role of subconscious processes:
-Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) first and most influential pd theory
-tramatic childhood memories (usually sexual) can cause symptoms such as blindness, pain, paralysis,
phobias he believed subconscious part of mind infl. behaviour
-free association: patients talk bout whatever comes to mind, improves symptoms
-psychoanalysis: analysis of internal and mostly unconscious psych. Forces
-sexual and aggressive drives punished in childhood cause anxiety and try to defend against them by
Modern Psychodynamic Theory: super imp for half of 20th century
-still focus on unc and con personality affects behaviour
-focus more on how early relationship with caregivers shape views of self and others than sexual & aggressive
Ex. Shy teenager caused by fear of parental rejection as child
-Freud’s specific version largely unaccepted nowadays, but unc processing proven by research
2)Behavioural Perspective: opposes mentalists perspectives
-role of external environment on governing actions:
1) stimuli in immediate environment 2)habits from previous life exp.
-John Locke empiricist, at birth human mind is blank tablet “tabula rasa” upon which exps are written
-Ivan Pavlov 1900s: learning occurs when events associated with each other (ex. Dogs learn to salivate on
sound of food bell)
-Thorndike: learn from consequences of actions: law of effect
Behaviourism: (laws of learning, applies to all organisms)
-*Watson 1913: environmental control of behaviour through learning experiences
-observable behaviour not inner consciousness (opposed mentalists like structuralists, functionalists,
-said he could raise any child to be whatever he wants by training it
-behaviour influenced by outside world only
-Ex. Shy guy got rejected by girls in past, but girl asks Ray out, nice date = positive consq. reinforced
their behaviour
-social engineering aka radical behaviourism, harnesses power of envirnm to shape behaviour IN
-1960s behaviour modification decrease bad behave and vice versa by manipulating envirmental factors
-waned out by 70s but still super imp today
-Cognitive Behaviourism:
- Albert Bandura: environment effects behaviour by affecting our thoughts
-learning exp. and environments affect behaviour by telling us how to behave effectively
3)Humanistic Perspective:
-free will, personal growth, find meaning in one’s existence
-rejects idea of unconscious control and humans as reactors to environment
-*Abraham Maslow:
-proposed that we search for self-actualization: reaching our potential
-belongingness: basic human need for social acceptance and companionship
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