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Western University
Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

Chapter Notes Psychology Chapter 1The Nature of Psychology Psychology scientific study of behaviour and the mind behaviour actions and responses that we can directly observemind internal states and processes such as thoughts and feelings that cannot be seen directly and that must be inferred from observable measurable responsesPrimary goals of psychological science are to describe explain predict and influence behaviour and to apply psychological knowledge to enhance human welfare Clinical Psychology study and treatment of mental disorders diagnose and treat in clinics hospitals and private practiceCognitive Psychology study of mental processes especially from a model that views the mind as an information processor examine consciousness attention memory decision making and problem solving subarea psycholinguistics focuses on the psychology of language Biopsychology biological underpinnings of behaviour examine how brain processes genes and hormones influence our actions thoughts and feelings some try to explain how evolution has shaped our psychological capabilities Development Psychology examines human physical psychological and social development across the lifespanExperimental Psychology basic processes as learning sensory systems perception and motivational states subfield experimental psychology laboratory experimentsIndustrial organizational IO Psychology examines peoples behaviour in the workplace study leadership teamwork and factors that influence employees job satisfaction work motivation and performance Personality Psychology the study of human personality seek to identify core personality traits and hoe different traits relate to one another and influence behaviour Social Psychology examines peoples thoughts feelings and behaviour pertaining to the social world the world of other people study how people influence one another behave in groups and form impressions and attitudes study social relationships involving attraction and love prejudice and discrimination helping and aggression Psychologys Scientific ApproachScience process that involves systematically gathering and evaluating empirical evidence to answer questions and test beliefs about the natural worldEmpirical Evidence gained through experience and observation and this includes evidence from manipulating with things and then observing what happens must be systematic performed according to a system of rules or conditions so they will be as objective and precise as possibleFaulty Thinkingo Mental Shortcut example stereotypes and physical appearance o Fail to consider alternative explanations o Confirmation Bias selectively paying attention to information that is consistent with our beliefs and downplaying or ignoring information that is inconsistent with themScience is also a public affair publication enables scientists to scrutinize and challenge each others findings reduces the risk of confirmation bias in principle science ultimately is a selfcorrecting process this change represents an evolution of knowledge called scientific progressBiology scientific study of life processes Engineering and biological Anthropology Application of scientific structures Scientific study of principles to designing cultural origins evolutionmachines structures and variations and systems Psychology Economics Scientific Computer Science study of production Scientific study of distribution and Scientific study and information processing consumption of goods behaviour and mental and manipulations of data and services process Medicine Scientific study of Sociology Scientific health and the causes and study of human social treatment of diseases relations and systemsThinking Critically About BehaviourCritical Thinking involves taking an active role in understanding the world around you rather than merely receiving information how it fits in with your experiences and its implications for your life and society also evaluating the validity by asking o What exactly is the claim or assertion o Who is making the claim Is the source credible and trustworthy o Whats the evidence and how is it good o Are other explanations possible Can I evaluate them o What is the most appropriate conclusionPseudocience a field that incorporates astrology graphology rumpology dressed up to look like science and it attracts many believers despite its lack of credible scientific evidence Psychologys GoalsPsychology has 4 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 welfareIf we can control the causes then we should be able to control the behaviour successful prediction and control are the best ways for us to know whether we truly understand the causes of behaviour Psychology as a Basic and Applied Science Basic Research the quest for knowledge purely for its own sake to describe how people behave and to identify the factors that influence or cause a particular type of behaviour Applied Research designed to solve specific practical problems uses principles discovered through basic research to solve practical problemsPsychologys Broad Scope a 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 and the environmental level past and current physical and social environments to which we are exposedMindbody interactions the relations between mental processes in the brain and the functioning of other bodily systems focus our attention on the fascinating interplay between the psychological and biological levels of analysis Perspectives on Behaviour Perspectives different ways of viewing people new perspectives are engines of progress Psychologys Intellectual Roots Mindbody Dualism the belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to physical laws that govern the body Dualism no amount of research on the physical body could ever hope to unravel the mysteries of the nonphysical mind Monism mind and body are one and that the mind is not a separate spiritual entity mental events correspond to physical events in the brain a position advocated by Thomas Hobbes implied that the mind could be studied by measuring physical processes within the brain British Empiricism all ideas and knowledge are gained empirically tat is through the senses observation is a more valid approach to knowledge than pure reason because reason is fraught with the potential for error Psychophysics the study of how psychologically experienced sensations depend of the characteristics of physical stimuli Early Schools Structuralism and Functionalism Structuralism the analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements used the method of introspection looking within to study sensations which they considered the basic elements of consciousnessFunctionalism psychology should study the functions of consciousness rather than its structure The Psychodynamic Perspective the Forces Within Psychodynamic Perspective searches for the causes of behaviour within the inner workings of our personality our unique pattern of traits emotions and motives emphasizing the role of unconscious processes
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