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Chapter 1

Psychology Chapter 1.docx

6 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 1000
Professor
Shelley Cross- Mellor

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Psychology Chapter 1 September 20, 2011 Chapter 1 – The Science of Behaviour  The Nature of Psychology o Scientific study of behaviour and mind  Behaviour – actions and responses that we observe directly  Mind – internal states and processes (feelings, thoughts) that we can’t see o Psychologist does not necessarily mean therapist o Different fields in psychology  Clinical Psychology  Most psychologists are this type  Study and treatment of mental disorders  Cognitive Psychology  Looks at mental processes  Views mind as information processor  Examine consciousness, attention, memory, decision making/problem solving o Psycholinguistics: use the jumbled word exercise  Biopsychology  Biological reasons behind behaviour  How genes, hormones, and brain processes affect our behaviour  How has evolution shaped our capabilities?  Developmental Psychology  Examines our development over our lifespan  Example: emotional world of infants, different parenting styles affect children  Experimental Psychology  Examines basic processes like learning, perception, senses, and motivation  Use non-human animals for experiments  Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychology  Behaviour in work place  How work environment affects motivation and performance  Help employers find best employees from applicants  Design tests to evaluate employee performance  Personality Psychology  Studies human personality  How do different traits relate to one another?  Develop tests to measure personalities  Social Psychology  Examine thoughts, feelings, and general behaviour that associates with social aspect of life  How do people influence one another?  Study relationships o Different fields often overlap with one another  Decision making is covered in all fields o Psychology research spans the all aspects of behaviour  Psychology’s Scientific Approach o Some psychologist’s take a scientific approach to behaviour  Science gathers empirical evidence to solve problems  Empirical evidence is gained through experience and observation  Systematic means performed against a set of rules o Want findings to be as accurate as possible o Many things provide us with information about human nature o Often take mental shortcuts o Fail to consider alternative explanations as to why we behaved in such a way o Many biases around the world o Psychologist use science to make concrete steps to minimize biases and inaccurate conclusions o Psychologists use casual observation and instruments to come to conclusions o Psychologists compare observations when many observe one group of people o Use statistics to analyze data o Use very highly controlled experiment conditions o Psychologists publish findings to enable scientists to challenge their findings o New studies cause old experiments to be modified o Poorly executed studies produce inaccurate information which leads to invalid conclusions o Science represents how the world operates  Thinking Critically About Behaviour o Behaviour is complex, poses complicated challenges o Take an active role in understanding world, rather than absorb information  Evaluate validity o Misconceptions can lead to increasingly misguided views of the world and how it operates o People accept misconceptions  Spend money on fortune tellers and other such people that read personalities  These are dressed up to make people believe them, outward appeal  Psychology’s Goals o Describe how people and other animals behave o Explain and understand the causes of these behaviours  May be able to predict future of when these behaviours will occur o Predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions o Influence/control behaviour through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare  Control causes = control behaviour  Psychology as a Basic and Applied Science o Goals of basic research: describe how people behave, identify factors that influence that particular behaviour o Goals of applied research: solve practical problems with the use of discovered principles  Psychology’s Broad Scope: A Simple Framework o Behaviour is examined at:  Biological level: brain processes, genetics  Psychological level: thoughts, feelings  Environmental level: past and current physical and social environments o Example: Eating  Biological: chemicals, neural circuits tell brain you are hungry  Psychological: moods and food preferences  Environmental: stress levels, boredom, aroma of fresh bread o Positive thoughts reduce stress, dwell on negative thoughts and stress rises o Mind-Body Interactions: relationship between mental processes and bodily systems o Is behaviour shaped by nature or nurture?  Perspectives on Behaviour o Psychology has roots in many sciences and philosophies o Perspectives are engines of progress o Contrasting perspectives merge into new frameworks, which will be contrasted by other perspectives  Psychology’s Intellectual Roots o Dualism: no amount of research on physical body (including body) could ever hope to unravel the mysteries of the nonphysical mind o Monists believe mental events correspond to physical happenings in the brain o Monism is the foundation to psychology today, helped build it o Empiricists believe observation is more valid than pure reason, reason has the potential for error o Physiology and medicine has also pushed the discovery of psychology o Medical reports linked damage to parts of the brain to certain behaviours o Psychophysics: study of how psychologically experienced sensations depend on the characteristics of physical stimuli o Evolution implies that mind was not spiritual, product of biological continuity between humans and other species  Early Schools: Structuralism and Functionalism o Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener believed the mind could be studied by breaking it down into basic components (structuralism) o Introspection: looking within o Studied sensations as they exposed the sensory areas to light, sounds, and tastes o Eventually became functionalism o Example: Hands
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