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Psychology 1000

Chapter one Psychology: The Science of Behaviour - Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the mind - Behaviour refers to actions and responses that we can directly observe - Mind refers to internal states and processes, thoughts and feelings - Clinical psychology is the study and treatment of mental disorders - Cognitive psychology specializes in the study of mental processes, how information is processed in the mind - Biopsychology focuses on how the brain processes, genes, and hormones affects our decisions, thoughts and actions - Developmental psychology examines human physical, psychological and social development over their lifespan - Experimental psychology involves the idea of studying basic processes such as learning, motivational states (hunger, thirst), where psychologists perform experiments on animals - Industrial-organizational psychology studies people’s behaviour in a workplace environment, what incentives motivates them, how they work as a group/as an individual - Personality psychology focuses on human personality and traits that differentiate one from another - Social psychology refers to people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour towards others o How people influence each other o Behave in groups o Attitudes, relationships - Traits such as decision making can be applied to all the different types of psychology o Cognitive: how different wordings affect people o Social: how people work as groups o Developmental: how maturity helps with it - Science is a process that involves systematically gathering and evaluating empirical evidence to answer questions and test beliefs about the natural world - Empirical evidence is evidence gained through experience and observation - Using Science to Minimize pitfalls o Public affair, when scientists publish their findings, others look to criticize and challenge o It cannot answer spirituality questions, meaning of life, god o Science is a self-correcting process - How to define if a fact is assertive o What, exactly is the claim? o Who is making the claim? Is it a reliable source? o What’s the evidence? Is it good? o Are other explanations possible? o What is the most appropriate conclusion? - Psychology has four central goals o To describe how people and other animals behave o To explain and understand the causes of these behaviours o To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions o To influence or control behaviour through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare - Psychology as a basic and applied science o basic knowledge: quest for knowledge purely for its own sake o applied research: which is designed to solve specific practical problems o goals of basic research are to describe how people behave and to identify the factors that influence or cause a particular type of behaviour o applied research often uses principles discovered through basic to solve practicals Levels of Analysis: biological level (e.g. brain processes, genetic influences); the psychological level (e.g. our thoughts, feelings, and motives); environmental level (past and current physical & social environments) Mind-body interactions: the relations between mental processes in the brain and the functioning of other bodily systems - perspectives: different ways of viewing people - new perspectives are engines of progress - perspectives serve as lenses through which psychologists examine and interpret behaviour - mind-body dualism: the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to physical laws that govern the body - mind and body interact through the brain’s tiny pineal gland - dualism: no amount of research on the physical body could ever hope to unravel the mind - monism: holds that mind and body are one; that it is not a separate spiritual entity - Empiricists believe that observation is a more valid approach to knowledge than is pure reason - Structuralism : the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements - Functionalism: the study that functions of consciousness rather than structure - Psychodynamic perspective: searches for the causes of behaviour within the inner workings of personality, emphasizing the role of unconscious processes - Psychoanalysis: the analysis of internal and primarily unconscious psychological forces - Freud’s theory was based a lot upon powerful inborn sexual and aggressive drives and rejections in childhood - Behavioural perspective focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions - Behaviourism: a school of thought that emphasizes environmental control of behaviour through learning
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