Intro to Psychology: Chapter One
Empirical: Relying on or derived from observation, experimentation or measurement.
Psychology: the discipline concerned with behaviour and mental process and how they are affected by
an organism’s physical/mental state, and external environment.
Psychobabble: Quackery of psychological and scientific-sounding language (pop culture of science)(pop-
Media has twisted serious, research evidence psychology into popular opinion/ pop-psych.
Common sense= not reliable guides to human behaviour
Pyschobable confirms our existing beliefs and prejudices and psychology challenges them.
Thinking Critically and Creatively about Psych.
Critical Thinking: The ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgements on the
basis of well-supported reasons and evidence, rather than emotion or anecdote.
Opinions are equal to other but not if the ignore reality or do not have facts/info to back it up.
(“I like a car instead of a truck” – “Cars are better” – “Cars are the best and trucks are actually
Using critical thinking you can determine the difference between psych. And psycho-babble
o Ask Questions; be willing to wonder
o Define your terms
o Examine the evidence
o Analyze assumptions and biases
o Don’t oversimplify
o Avoid emotional reasoning
o Tolerate uncertainty consider other interpretations
Psychology’s Past: from the armchair to the laboratory
Psych wasn’t a discipline until the 19 century
Early psych was based on anecdotes or descriptions of specific cases
Hippocrates (founder of modern medicine)
Locke – emotions are connected to experiences (notion still used today)
Phrenology: now discredited, different areas of the brain account for specific character and personality
First psych lab established by Willhelm Wundt (Trained in medicine and philosophy) and first
person to announce he intended to make psych a science
Focused on sensation, perception, reaction times, imagery and attention – avoided leaning,
personality and abnormal behaviour
3 early Psychs
o Structuralism: An early psychological approach that emphasize the analysis of
immediate experiences into basic elemenst
Titcher gave Wundts approach the name Structuralism
o Functionalism: an early psychological approach that empahsizes the function or purpose
of behaviour and conciosuness.
William James and Darwin
o Psychoanalysis: A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally
formulated by Freud, that emphasizes unconscious motives a