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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 psychology.docx

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Holly Smith

Chapter 1 psychology - Socrates Aristotle and Plato considered and debated issues of relevance of psychology, including such subjects as the separation of mind and body and whether knowledge is inborn [nativism] or gained through experience [empiricism]. - Aristotle’s theory of memory suggested that memories are the result of three principles of association, similarity, contrast and contiguity. - Descartes famously argued for the dualism of mind and body, that the mind and body were separate and fundamentally different, with the mind being immaterial and the “province of God”. He also believed that processes and functions such as memory, perception, dreaming and emotions were “properties” of the body Wundt [“founder of psychology”] - psychology’s intellectual roots were the disciplines of philosophy and physiology - in 1879 Wundt succeeded in establishing the first formal laboratory for research in psychology [historians christened this date as psychology’s date of birth] - Wundt mounded a campaign to make psychology an independent study rather than a branch of philosophy and physiology. - According to Wundt, psychology’s primary focus was consciousness- the awareness of immediate experience G. Stanley Hall: - Studied briefly with Wundt and was an important contributor to the rapid growth of psychology in the US. - Established many laboratories across the united states and he was the driving force behind the American Psychology Association [elected the first president] Structuralism versus functionalism: - Entangled in the fields first intellectual battle - Structuralism emerged through the leadership of Edward Titchener. Earned his degree in Wundt’s laboratory and expressed great admiration for his work but he brought his own version of Wundt’s psychology to America. - Structuralism was based on the notion that the task of psychologist to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how there elements is related. - Structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience, such as sensations, feelings and images. [most of their work was concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing and touch. - Depended on method of introspection to examine the contents of consciousness, which was the careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experiences. [Required subjects to be trained] - Once subjects were trained the subjects were exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions and visual stimuli under carefully controlled and systematically varied conditions and were asked to analyze what they experienced [You cannot depend solely on the subjects response to a phenomenon because there is no independent objective evaluation of that claim] - Functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness rather than its structure. - Natural selection is that heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations - James said that psychology should investigate the functions rather the structure of consciousness - He also argued that structuralists missed the real nature of conscious experience. He argued consciousness consists of continuous flow of thoughts. Structuralists were looking at static points of flow whereas James wanted to understand the flow itself [stream of consciousness] - Structuralists were more interested in the laboratory whereas functionalists were more interested in how people adapt their behavior to the demands of the real world around them. [Because of this functionalists started to focus more on investigating mental testing, patterns of development in children, the effectiveness of educational practices, and behavioral differences between the sexes rather than focusing on sensation and perception - Led to attracting woman to psychology. [Margaret Floy was the first woman in the US to receive a psychology Ph.D.] - Most historians claim that functionalism beat structuralism because functionalism fostered the development of two descendants that have dominated modern psychology [behaviorism and applied psychology] Watson alters psychology’s course as behaviorism makes debut - Founded by John B Watson - Behaviorism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior - Behavior refers to any observable response or activity by an organism - Watson said that you could study anything a human does but you cannot scientifically study their thoughts, wishes and feelings that might accompany their behaviors. - Nature vs. Nurture. Debate on whether behavior is determined mainly by genetic inheritance or by environment and experience. [Watson said to give him a dozen healthy infants and he can raise them to become any type of specialists he selects] - [Behaviorists attempted to relate overt behaviors to observable events in the environment]: A stimulus is any detectable input from the environment - Behavioral approach is often referred to as stimulus-response strategy (S-R) psychology - Behavioral S-R approach contributed to the rise of animal research in psychology. [Researchers can exert more control over animals rather than humans] - Gestalt theorists were primarily concerned with perception, argued that psychology should continue to study conscious experience rather than over behavior. Freud brings the unconscious into pictures - Dreamed of achieving fame by making an important discovery - He treated people with irrational fears, obsessions and anxieties with a procedure called psychoanalysis. [He also gathered material by looking into his own problems and desires] - According to him the unconscious contains thoughts, memories and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior - He noticed that when people slip in their sentences it’s a reveal of their true feelings, he also noted that his patients dreams are an express of feelings they are not aware of - Concluded that psychological disturbances are largely caused by personal conflicts existing at an unconscious level. - Psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior - He proposed that people behavior is influenced by their sexual urges. Skinner questions free will as behaviorism flourishes - He did not deny the existence of internal mental events but he redefined them as private events and did not think that they should be given special status when explaining behavior [private events are harder to study because behavioral analysis is based on public observable events] - Psychology could predict behavior adequately without resorting to physiological explanations. - He also said that environmental factors mould behavior. - Fundamental principle of behavior documented by Skinner: Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes rather than the ones that lead to negative outcomes. [idea of reward and punishment] - People are controlled by their environment not by themselves. [all behavior is fully governed by external stimuli] - Came to the conclusion that free will is an illusion. - Behaviorism was flourished as the dominant school in 1950s and 1960s The humanist revolt - The diverse opposition to behaviorism and psychoanalytic theory blended into a loose alliance that eventually became a new school [humanism] - Humanism is a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth - Humanists take an optimistic view of human nature. They say because humans are different than animals, research on animals has little relevance to the understanding of human behavior. - Rogers argued that human behavior is governed primarily by each individual’s sense of self which animals presumably lack - Rogers and Maslow maintained that to fully understand people’s behavior psychologists must take into account the fundamental human drive towards personal growth Psychology comes of age as a profession - Applied psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with everyday practical problems - Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders - During World War 2 many of these psychologists were asked to assess and treat the soldiers from trauma. - After the war ended allot of soldiers went to the veteran administration to treat their problems after war, which opened a door for psychologists to get more jobs and more clinical training was offered - during the 1950s applied/professional psychology rapidly grew and developed [in comparison to before the war] Psychology returns to its roots: renewed interest in cognition and physiology - Cognition refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledg
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