Chapter 1 The dates are clearly wrong. I cant remember what date I took the note on. Its inclusive of the book and lecture.
Psychology- scientific study of the human behavior and the factors that influence it.
o What kinds of behaviors does psychology study?
To actions that we can observe directly and to inner processes (mental events)
such as thought s, feelings, images, and physiological reactions. While studying
these behaviors, they take into account biological, individual, and
Basic Research- the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake.
o Goals are to describe how people behave and to identify the factors that influence or
cause a particular type of behavior.
Applied Research- designed to solve specific practical problems.
o Often uses principles discovered in basic research to solve practical problems.
Jigsaw Program- this program requires children to cooperate with each other
rather than compete against one another in order for any of them to succeed.
Illustration for the relation between basic and applied science.
4 goals of psychologists:
o To describe how people and other animals behave
o To explain and understand the causes of these behaviors
o To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions
o To influence or control behavior through knowledge and control of its causes to
enhance human welfare.
Related in the sense that: if we understand the causes of a behavior and know
when the causal factors are present or absent, then we should be able to
successfully predict when the behavior will occur. Moreover, if we can control
the causes, then we should be able to control the behavior.
Perspectives- diverse viewpoints that are vantage points for analyzing behavior and its
biological, psychological and environmental causes.
Mind-body dualism- the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to the physical laws
that govern the body. This research implies that no amount of research on the body could ever
hope to unravel the mysteries of the mind.
Monism- (in the materialist form) holds that the “mind” is not a separate spiritual entity. Mind
and body are one, and mental events are simply a product of physical events.
Biological Perspective- focuses on the physical side of human nature. It emphasizes the role of
our highly developed brain; the biochemical processes that underlie our every thought,
emotion, and action; and the manner in which genetic factors influence the development and
behavior of human organisms.
Natural Selection- any inheritable characteristic that increases the likelihood of survival will be
maintained in the species because individuals having the characteristic will be more likely to
survive and reproduce.
Structuralism- the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements. The structuralists
believed that sensations are the basic elements of consciousness, and they set out to study
sensations through the method of introspection (“looking within”).
Functionalism- psychology should study the functions- the whys- of consciousness, rather than
its structure- the whats.
Gestalt Psychology- concerned with how elements of experience are organized into wholes. The
Gestalt psychologists argued that our perceptions and other mental processes are organized so
that the whole is not only greater than, but also quite different from, the sum of its parts.
Insight- sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problem- a kind of “aha!”
Artificial Intelligence- develops computer models of complex human thought, reasoning, and
problem solving. By developing computer models that seem to duplicate natural cognitive
processes, one will have a better knowledge of how humans think.
Social Constructivism- highly influential viewpoint within the cognitive perspective. Its
proponents maintain that we consider “reality” is in large part our own mental creation. Little
shared reality exists apart from what groups of people socially construct through the subjective
meaning they give to their experiences.
Psychodynamic perspective- searches for the causes of behavior within the workings of our
personality, emphasizing the role of unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts from the
Hysteria- a psychological disorder in which physical symptoms such as blindness, pain, or
paralysis develop within any apparent organic cause.
Repression- protects us by keeping anxiety-arousing impulses, feelings, and memories in the
unconscious depths of the mind. There they remain as sources of energy, continually striving for
Psychodynamic- the ongoing psychological struggle between conflicting energy forces.
Behavioral Perspective- focuses on the role of the external environmental in shaping and
governing our actions. From this perspective, people’s behavior is jointly determined by learned
habits fashioned by their previous life experiences and by stimuli in their immediate
British empiricism- all ideas and knowledge are gained empirically- that is, through our senses.
Behaviorism- a school of thought that emphasizes environmental control of behavior through
learning emerged as an outspoken alternative to the cognitive and psychodynamic perspectives.
Behavior Modification- collective powerful techniques of behavior change. To be affective in
altering problem behaviors and increasing frequency of positive behaviors through alterations in
environmental factors that control the behaviors.
Cognitive behaviorism- attempt to bridge the gap between the behavioral and cognitive
perspectives and to combine them in a more comprehensive theory.
Humanistic perspective- arose largely out of philosophical schools that emphasize free will,
innate tendencies toward growth, and the attempt to find ultimate meaning in one’s existence.
Humanistic theorists emphasize the role of internal personality processes, but in contrast to the
psychoanalytic emphasis on unconscious determinants of behavior, humanists stress the
importance of conscious motives, freedom, and choice. They believe that in every human there
is an active force of growth and self-actualization.
Self-actualization- the reaching of one’s individual potential.
Terror management theory- innate desire for continued life, combined with the uniquely
human awareness of the inevitability of death, creates an anxiety called existential terror.
Sociocultural perspective- focuses on the manner in which culture is transmitted to its members
and on the similarities and differences that occur among people from diverse cultures.
Culture- refers to the enduring values, beliefs, behaviors, and traditions that are shared by a
large group of people and are passed on from one generation to the next.
Norms- rules that specify what acceptable and expected behavior is for members of that group.
Individualism- an emphasis on personal goals and a self-identity based primarily on one’s own
attributes and achievements.
Collectivism- individual goals are subordinated to those of the group, and personal identity is
defined largely by the ties that bind one to family and other social groups.
Physiological psychologists- study brain processes and other physiological functions that
underlie our behavior, sensory experiences, emotions, and thoughts.
Behavior geneticists- study how behavior is influenced by our genetic inheritance.
Evolutionary psychologists- examine behavior in terms of its adaptive functions and seek to
explain how evolution has biologically predisposed modern humans toward certain ways of
Psychology’s intellectual roots lie in philosophy, biology, and medicine.
Structuralism and functionalism were psychology’s two earliest schools of thought.
Three level of analysis for describing various aspects of behavior and classifying causal factors
are: biological, psychological, and environmental.
Biological level of analysis- everything psychological is at the same time biological, reflecting
the activities of the physiological processes that underlie behavior. Thus we can analyze
behavior and its causes in terms of how brain processes, hormones, and genetic factors
contribute to it.
Psychological level of analysis- here, we can take a cognitive perspective, and analyze the role
of thought, memory, planning, and problem solving in the behavior of interest. The
psychodynamic and humanistic perspectives also lead us to the psychological level of analysis,
and beckon us to take account of the motivational, emotional, and personality processes that
influence how people respond to their environment.
Environmental level of analysis- an understanding of behavior requiring to take into account of
the environment, the past and present, personal and cultural, that helps shape and stimulate
Interaction- the presence or strength of one factor can influence the effects of other factors.
As a science, psychology is empirical, meaning that it favors direct observation over pure
intuition or reasoning as a means of attaining knowledge about behavior.