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Chapter 1


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Wilfrid Laurier University
Lawrence Murphy

CHAPTER ONE: The Evolution of Psychology - high-profile events, such as bullying, served to motivate and energize researchers in psychology to attempt to document and understand such acts, in hopes of reducing the occurrence Psychology: Greek for psyche; “the study of the mind” The science that studies behaviour and the physiological and cognitive processes that underlie it, and it is the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems. Wilhelm Wundt- a German professor, mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy and physiology - his proposals were received by the academic community, and he established the first formal laboratory for research in psychology (University of Leipzig, Germany) - this is when the birth of psychology was dated (1879) G. Stanley Hall- studied briefly with Wundt; - 1883: responsible for the birth of American psychology (Johns Hopkins University) - 1892: established American Psychological Association (APA), and elected first council President SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT or THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES… 1. STRUCTURALISM: …based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related - identify and examine fundamental components of a conscious experience (sensations, feelings) - laboratory investigation Introspection- the careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience - trained subjects were exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions and visual stimuli and analyzed what they experienced o no independent objective evaluation (solely evaluated on individual’s reflection) 2. FUNCTIONALIAM: …based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than structure - how people adapt to their behaviour to demands of the real world around them - chief force was William James - the consciousness is an important characteristic of our species  natural selection Natural Selection- heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics, to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus come to be “selected” over time 3. BEHAVIOURISM: …a theoretical orientation, based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour Behaviour- refers to any observable response or activity by an organism - psychology’s mission: relate observed behaviours (responses) to observable events in the environment (stimuli) o Stimulus- any detectable input from the environment o this is how behavioural approach became known as  stimulus-response (S-R) psychology o this contributed to animal research (because their concern was not related to conscious evaluation)  brought control over subjects - B.F. Skinner- developed a system called radical behaviourism (derived as a median between behaviourism and neo-behaviourism) o seen as most important contributor to schools of psychology o environmental factors mould behaviour o resort to physiology o “Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to neutral or negative outcomes” o free will is an illusion 4. PSYCHOANALYTIC: …attempts to explain personality, motivation and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour Sigmund Freud- explored the unconscious through his patients (psychiatric) and self reflection - unconscious- contains thoughts, memories and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness, but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour - people are fully aware of the forces affecting their behaviour (people are not masters of their own mind) - known for controversial theory: behaviour is influenced by people’s sexual urges 5. HUMANISTIC: …emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth - optimistic view of human nature; humans are free, rational beings - Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow- argued that human behaviour is governed primarily by each individual’s sense of self or “self-concept”  animals lack 6. COGNITIVE: …refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge - thinking or conscious experience - psychology must study internal mental events to fully understand behaviour - people’s manipulations of mental images surely influence how they behave  put the psyche back into psychology Donald Hebb- psychology professor at McGill, whose ideas are credited with highlighting the importance of physiological and neuropsychological perspectives - emphasized the importance of the brain on behaviour (locus of behaviour = brain) - cell assemblies (re
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