PS101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-2: American Psychological Association, Psychometrics, Circulatory System

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14 Apr 2016

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Psychology – Textbook Notes
PG 24 for Illustrated overview
1.1 – Summary on PG 9
Psychology comes from two greek words:
Psyche – soul
Logos - study of a subject
16th Century – psyche was referred to as soul, spirit, mind
18th Century – the study of mind
Early Psychology
Heavily influenced by philosophy and physiology
oSocrates, Aristotle, Plato talked about issues related to psychology such
as the separation of mind and body, whether knowledge is inborn
(nativism) or gained through experience (empiricism)
Aristotle’s theory of memory is still foundational to many theories of memory
oTheory: memories are the result of 3 principles of association; similarity,
contrast and contiguity
Philosophy impacted the development of ideas about mind, behaviour and
human nature
oDescartes believed in dualism of mind and body
Mind and body were separate and fundamentally different, with
the mind (soul) being immaterial and the “province of God”
Processes and functions such as memory, perception, dreaming
and emotions were “properties” of the body
oMain idea: Humans are part of nature and are understandable in terms
Physiology and medicine
oWilliam Harvey’s empirical demonstration in 1682 – Blood circulation
was a function of the operation of heart
oRobert Whyte, Franx Gall, Paul Broca, Johannes Muller – showed
insight could be gained into the workings of the body and brain thought he
application of systematic, empirical methods
oHermann Von Helmholtz – 1st experimental examination of human
reaction time
oSeparation of sensation and perception as topics of study
Contributions of Wundt and Hall
Wundt mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent
discipline, rather than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology
o1879 – established first formal laboratory for research in
psychology at the University of Leipzig.
Aka Psychology’s date of birth
o1881 – established first journal devoted to publishing research on
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trained in physiology, Wundt declared that new psychology should be a
science modelled after fields such as physics and chemistry
psychology – scientific study of conscious experience (awareness of
immediate experience)
1883 and 1893 – 24 new psychological research laboratories sprang up
in the United States and Canada
Hall (1846 – 1924)
Reeled off a series of “firsts” for American psychology
o1883 – established America’s first research laboratory at Johns Hopkins
o1887America’s first psychology journal
o1892 – driving force behind establishment of the American Psychological
Association (APA), was also first president
Structuralism VS Functionalism
Edward Titchener
Structuralism – based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze
consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are
Identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience (ie
sensations, feelings, images, perception in vision, hearing, touch)
oUsed introspection to examine the contents of consciousness
Introspection –systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience
oTraining required making subject, the one being studied, more objective
and more aware
oOnce trained, subjects were exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions,
and visual stimuli
oCarefully controlled and systematically varied conditions, and were asked
to analyze what they experienced
oLimitations of the use of introspection contributed to the demise of
oIf you depend solely on an individual’s reflection to document a
phenomena, there is no independent objective evaluation of that claim
William James, believed that psychology should investigate the functions rather
than the structure of consciousness
Functionalism - based on the belief that psychology should investigate the
function or purpose of consciousness, rather than it’s structure
Principles of Psychology (1890)
Principle of 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
Stream of Consciousness, James argued, were a continues flow of thoughts
oUsing structuralism (elements), they would be looking at static points in
the flow
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James Mckeen Cattell, John Deway – investigated mental testing, patterns of
development in children, effectivesness of educational practices, and behavioural
differences between the sexes
Magaret Floy Washburn – The Animal Mind (1908), a precursors to
Leta Hollingworth – children’s intelligence, influential in debunking why women
were “inferior” to men
Functionalism helped the development of behaviourism and applied psychology
which is dominating modern psychology
Behaviourism – theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific
psychology should study only observable behaviour
Watson tried to redefine what scientific psychology should be about (dump study
of consciousness, focus on behaviour and what can be observed)
Behaviour – any observable response or activity by an organism
oCannot study scientifically the thoughts, wishes, and feelings that
accompany observable behaviour
Nature vs nuture – is behaviour determined mainly by genetic inheritance or by
environment and experience
oWatson believed that hereditary is not important, maintaining that
behaviour is governed primarily by the environment
Stimulus – any detectable input form the environment (eg: light, sound waves,
ads on TV, remarks made by a friend, etc)
Behaviourism Stimulus Response psychology – response approach
contributed to the rise of animal research in psychology
Experimental research is more productive if experimenters can exert
considerable control over their subjects
1.2 – P12 for 6 Contemporary Theoretical Perspectives, P15 for REVIEW
Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939)
Approach to psychology grew out of his efforts to treat mental disorders
Treated people troubled by psychological problems such as irrational fears,
obsessions and anxieties through psychoanalysis (innovative procedure he
Unconscious – contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well
below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great
influence on behaviour
Concluded that psychological disturbances are largely caused by personal
conflicts that exist an the unconscious level
Psychoanalytic theory – attempts to explain personality, motivation, and
mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour
oTheory was attacked due to belief that behaviour is dominated by
primitive, sexual urges
Harvard B.F Skinner
Developed a system based on his own philosophy of radical behaviourism that
represented a departure from earlier forms of behaviourism and neo-
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