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Chapter 1

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Lawrence Murphy

What is Psychology?  Concerned with behaviour and mental processes & how they are affected by an organism’s physical & mental state, & external environment  Empirical  scientific, challenges opinions, backed by evidence gathered by careful observation, experimentation or measurement Critical Thinking  The ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgements on the basis of well- supported reasons & evidence, rather than emotion or anecdote (1 true experience/ observation) Guidelines  Ask questions: be willing to wonder  Define your terms  Examine the evidence  Analyze assumptions and biases  Avoid emotional reasoning  Don’t oversimplify  Consider other interpretations  comparing diff results  Tolerate uncertainty Psychology’s Past  Did not rely on empirical methods & evidence  psychobabble  Phrenology  discredited the theory that diff brain areas account for specific personality traits Birth of Psychology Wilhelm Wundt st  Established 1 psychological lab in 1879 at UNI. Of Leipzig  Goal: make psychology science Structuralism  Early approach that emphasized the analysis of immediate experience into basic elements (Wundt & Titchener)  Interested in what happens  Introspection: observe, analyze & describe your own sensations, mental images and emotional rxn Functionalism  Emphasized the fn or purpose of behaviour and consciousness (James & Darwin)  How and why things happen  Included the study of children, animals, religious experiences and stream of consciousness Psychoanalysis  an approach of theory  A theory of personality & method of psychotherapy (Freud)  Physical symptoms were due to emotional trauma/ conflicts from early childhood  Freud: childhood affects adulthoods  Emphasized unconscious motives & desires o True: unconscious thoughts exist Present Biological perspective: emphasized how bodily/ physical events affect behaviour, feelings & thoughts  Involves hormones, brain chemistry, heredity, evolution psychology (there are things such as relations etc, that have also evolved)  How past behaviour affects present ones Learning perspective: how the environment and experience affects a person (or animals) actions  Includes behaviourism & social-cognitive learning theories Cognitive perspective: emphasized mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem solving and reasoning  Involves computer models of cognition, infant thinking, intelligence testing Socio-cultural perspective: emphasizes social and cultural influences on behaviour  Involves: o Social psychology: study of rules, roles, groups & relationships o Cultural psychology: study of cultural norms, values, and expectations Humanist Psychology  Emphasized personal growth and the achievement of human potential  Rejected psychoanalysis and behaviourism  Emphasized creativity, free will, resilience o Behaviourists say that free will doesn’t exist  Linked to the development of positive psychology o Focuses on happiness, optimism, and resilience on humans  Found: children only need to have 1 supportive individual to become successful Feminist Psychology  Analyzed the influence of social inequalities on gender relations and on the behaviour of the 2 sexes  Recognized male bias in research methods  assumes the results the male sex generates is the “norm”, compares the female sex’s results to theirs  researched mostly on males  Broadened research focus (eg. Gender roles)  exploring in more detail  Questioned research used to justif
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