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Chapter 1

Psychology Frontiers and Application Chapter 1 The Science of Behaviour September 12.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Peter Pada...

Psychology: Frontiers and Application Chapter 1 September 11,2013  jumbled words with first/last letters intact that humans are still able to read - shows how we recognize words, acquire knowledge, form beliefs about our world The Nature of Psychology  Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the mind  behaviour refers to actions, mind refers to internal states such as thoughts/feelings that cannot be seen have to be inferred observable, measurable responses  clinical psychology: the study and treatment of mental disorders, diagnose/treat people with psychological problems in clinics, hospitals, and private practice - conduct studys of mental disorders and how effective various treatments are  cognitive psychology: specialize in the study of mental processes from a model that views the mind as an information processor -study topics consciousness, attention, memory, decision making, and problem solving -psycholinguistics: psychology of language : jmulebd word problem  Biopsychology: biological underpinnings of behaviour, examine how brain processes, genes, hormones influence our actions/thoughts/feelings - how evolution shaped our psychological capabilities such advanced thinking, and language, behaviour tendencies  Development Psychology: human physical, psychological, and social development accross the lifespan  Experimental Psychology: focuses on basic processes like learn, sensory systems, perception, motivational states, (sexual, hunger, thirst) - involve laboratory experiments with non human animals: subfield is called experimental psychology  Industrial Organizational Psychology: peoples behaviour in the work place, study leadership, teamwork, factors that influence employee job satisfaction, work motivation and performancee - employed judge best job applicants  Personality Psychology: study of human personality, personality psychologist seek to identify core personality traits and how different traits relate to one another and influence behaviour - used to measure behaviour  Social Psychology: examine peoples thoughts, feelings, behaviours pertaining to the social world (world of other people), how people influence one another, behaviour in groups, form impressions and attitudes, - study social relationships: love, attraction, prejudice, discrimination, helping, aggression  Psychologist not only used for therapy, study disorders but for interests and research span the entire realm of behaviour Psychology's Scientific Approach:  researchers use common scientific approach to study behaviour, - science refers to process that involves systematically gather and evaluating empiral evidence to answer questions and test beliefs abbout the natural world  Empirical evidence is evidence gained through experience and observation, this includes evidence from manipulating or working with things, and seeing what happens  Empirical data must be systematic: performed according to systems of rules and conditions, so that they will be objective and precise Understanding Behaviour: Some pitfalls  everyday life ( intution/conventional and folk wisdom) help use develop our beliefs  these sources can provided misconceptions and inaccurate information, everyday observation are casual not systemic, not represetnative of most personal experience  Our Fault Thinking - mental shortcuts when forming judgments, judging based solely on stereotypes about physical appearance -many factors acts simulataneously to influence bhaviour, we may fail to consider alternative explanation as to why the behaviour occurred and assume one factor caused it , whereas there are many less obvious factors was the true cause  we fail to test beliefs, confirmation bias is diplayed by selectively pay attention to info that is consistent wit hour beliefs, or downplaying ignoring info that is inconsistence with them Using Science to Minimize Everyday Pitfalls:  scientific approach = avoided/minimize biases and problems that can lead to inaccurate conclusions  to avoid perceiving illusory correlations, psychologist use statistics; minimize drawing erroneous conclusions about what has caused what  psychologist examine behaviour in highly controlled experimental conditions; in which they intentionally manipulate one factor to keep other factors constant, and see how manipulated factor influences behaviour  psychologist publish findings: publications enable scientist to scrutinize and challenge each others finding. -reduces the risk of confirmation bias  new studies conducted, old ones are put to the test and may be contradicted, forcing scientist to mody beliefs and conduct further research to sort out contradictory results  examining testable question about the natural world, poorly executed studies = misleading data  false statrt: other researchers later studies do not duplicate original researchers findings, new research then modifies/overturns existing scientific beliefs Thinking Critically About Behaviour:  become familiar with kinds of evidence necessary to validate scientific conclusions, the ability to distinguish between valid and invalid claims  Critical Thinking: invovles taking an active role in understanding the world around you rather than merely receiving information: reflect on what that info means, how it fits with experiences, its implications in your life/soceity -evaluate the validity of something presented to you as fact - ask questions regarding the "fact" : what is the claim or assertion? - who is making the claim? is the source credible and turstworth? -whats the evidence and how good is it/ any other explanations possible/whats most appropriate conclusion Jumbled Word Challenge:  "whats the claim" (1) people can read jumbled words without a problem if 1st/last letters stay in place. (2) that people have no problems because we read words as whole vs individual letters (3) finding is based of Cambridge University - Who is making the claim!!! : anon author= cannot evaluate authors credibility/trustworthiness: cation flag 1 ! -whats the evidence/how good? :unsubstantiated claim at Cambridge with not reference number = caution flag 2 -other explanations: 65% of words arent jumbled, minimal transposition makes unscrambling easy Of Astrology and Asstrology : Potential Costs of Uncritical Thinking  misconceptions can add up and contribute to an increasingly misguided view of how the world operates  accepting misconceptions have concrete harmful consequences  Baby Einstein Videos: claimed to education, were not, consumers paid 200 million for them  waste of money on astrologers/tea leaf readers, impossible to obtain that infomration,  Pseudoscience: dressed up to look like science, attracts many people despite lack of credibility Psychology's Goal  1. describle how people and other animals behave, 2. to explain and understand the causes of these behaviours  to predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions, 4. influence or control behaviour through knowledge/ control of its causes to enhance human welfare  Scientific goals of understanding , prediction/control are linked :understand the causes of behaviour = successfully predict when itll occur = control the behaviour Psychology as a Basic and Applied Science:  variety of methods to test/develop theories about behaviour  basic research: quest for knowledge for its own sake vs applied research: designed for specific practical problems  basic research : how people behave and identify the factors that influence or a cause a particular type of behaviour such research may be caried out in a lab or real world setting  Applied: uses principles discovered through basic reseqarch to solve practical problems, Psychology Broad Scope: Simple Framework:  levels of analysis: behaviour and its causes can be examined at the biological level (brain processes, genetic influences,  psychological level (our thoughts, feelings and motives),  environmental level ( past and current physical and social environments to which we are exposed Mind - Body/ Nature-Nurture Interactions:  Mind Body Interactions: the relationship between the mental processes and the functioning of other bodily systems; focus our attention on the fascinating interplay between psychological / biological levels of analysis  behaviour shaped by nature (biological endowment) or nurture (our environment and learning history)  modern research = nature and nurture interact, and theres a balance  biological capacities affect the way we behave and experiences, our experiences influence our biological capacities. Perspectives on Behaviour: psychologist focus on biological, psychological, and environmental factors that influence our behaviour is integeral part of psychology -different ways of viewing people called perpsective became part of psychologys intellectual tradition -new perspectives are engines of progress, existing beliefs: challenged, debates ensue, new evidence to solve debates -perspective serves as a lens for how psychologist examine and interpret behaviour Psychology's Intellectual Roots:  mind body problem is the mind inner agent of consciousness and thought, spirtual entity separate from the body or is it part of the bodys activity  mind body dualism: mind is a spirtual entity not subject to physical laws that govern body -Descartes: mind body interact through pineal gland, mind within the brain, maintained that the mind was spiritual.non matieral entity  Dualism : no research on physical body could unrvael the mysteries of the non physical mind  Monism: mind body one, mind is not separate entity,  Thomas Hobbes: mental events correspond to physical event in the brain,  Monism set stage for psychology cause it believe mind could be studied by measuring physical processes within the brain  John Locke : school of British empiricism: which held that all ideas. knowledge gained empirically through the senses  Empiricist believe observation is more valid approach to knowledge than pure reason, reason is fraught with the potential for error -- medical reports linking brain damage with various behaviour/mental impariment support view that empirical methods could be used to study mental processes  psychophysics : study of how psycholoigcally experienced sensations depend on the chracteristics of physical stimuli  Darwins theoy: evolution implied that mind was not spiritual but product of biological continuity between humans and other species, theory also suggested gained info from studying other species Structuralism: Willhelm Windt and Edward Tichener the mind could be studied by breaking it down into basic components, analysis of the mind  structuralist use introspection "looking within" to study "sensations"; basic elements of consciousness - left an important mark establishing scientific traditon for studying congitive processes  Structuralism gave way to functionalism: which held that psychology should stdy the functions of consciousness rather than its structure - influenced by Darwins theory: which stressed the impotance of adaption in helping organisms survive and reporudce i ntheir environemtn  William James: include study of biological and mental processes and over behaviour:  Mary Whiton Calkins, female president of APA, functionalism only exists in modern day fields of cognitive psych (mental processes) and evolutionary psych (adaptiveness of behaviour  Psychodynamic Perspective: causes of behaviour within the inner workings of our personality(pattern traits, emotions,motives) emphasizing role of unconsious process: Sigmund Freud: developed the first/most influential psychodynamic thoery - Psychoanalysis: analysis of internal and primarily unconscious psychological forces; proposed that humans have powerful inborn sexual/aggressive drives that becomes their punishable during childhood we fear and get anxious towards their presence: - anxiety = defence mechanism: techniques that help us cope with anxiety and pain of traumatic experience -repression : primary defence mechanism: protects us from unacceptable ` impulses/feelings/memories in unconsious depths of the mind -all abnormal/normal behaviour reflects unconsious conflict betwen the defences and internal pulses: conflict forces in dynamic = psychodynamic hence the name blindness, paralysis, pain, phobias, that werent caused by bodily malfunction were reasoned that causes must be psycholoigcal: FREUD - causes hidden from awareness, unconsious, - Freud came up with free association : patients expressed any thoughts that came to mind - patients reveals painful/childhood memories often sexual, which lead to mentally relieved - Unconsious part of mind influences behaviour Modern Psychodynamic: downplay role of hidden sexual/aggressive motives  focus early relations shape view that people form of themselves/others  unconsiously influence person relations with other people Behaviour Perspective: focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions, behaviour deterimined habits learned from previous life experiences/stimul of immediate environment Origin of Behavioural Perspective:  British empiricism, John Locke Tabu Rasa: blank slate of human mind at birth, and experience are written later, human nature shaped purely by environment  Ivan Pavlov: events are associated with each other  Edward THrondike: organism learn through consequ
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