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Chapter 1

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Don Morgenson

Chapter 1 September 23, 2013 2:29 PM  One of the reasons that students and researchers are drawn to psychology is that it has much to offer in the analysis and possible prevention of social problems such as bullying From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed Philosophy, Physiology, and Psychology  Psychology comes from two Greek terms o Psyche, meaning the soul o Logos, referring to the study of the subject  In the early 18th century, psychology became its literal definition (the study of the mind)  A little over a century ago psychology emerged as a scientific discipline  The first ideas about psychology were established by early philosophers o Ex; Aristotle's theory of memory is still used today A New Science is born: The Contribution of Wundt and Hall  Wundt started the campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather than part of philosophy or physiology  His proposals were well received from the academic community  In 1879 he made the first formal laboratory for research in psychology  In 1881 he established the first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology  He is widely considered the founder of psychology  He thought that psychology should be modeled after fields like physics and chemistry  Psychology became the study of conscious experience  G Stanley Hall made many of the firsts for the USA o First laboratory o First psychological journal o First president of the American Psychological Association (APA) The Battle of the "Schools" Begins: Structuralism versus Functionalism  Structuralism started through the leadership of Edward Titchener  Structuralism was based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related  Structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience (sensations, feelings, and images)  Depended on the method of introspection  Introspection- the careful, systematic self-observation of one's own conscious experience  Introspection required training to make the subject more objective and more aware  Subjects were typically exposed to auditory tones, optical allusions, and visual stimuli  Functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure  Started with William James  James said that psychology is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences  He liked the idea of natural selection- Darwin said that the typical characteristics of a species must serve some purpose so James applied that to humans  He contended that psychology should investigate the functions rather than the structure of consciousness  He argued that consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts  Structuralists were more drawn to the laboratory, functionalists were more interested in how people adapt their behaviour to the demands of the real world around them Watson Alters Psychology Course as Behaviourism Makes Its Debut  John B. Watson founded behaviourism  Behaviourism- a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour  He was proposing that psychologists abandon the study of consciousness altogether and focus only on behaviours that they could observe directly o Redefining what scientific psychology should be about  Mental processes were not a proper subject for scientific study because they are ultimately private events o No one can see or touch another person's thoughts  Behaviour- refers to any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism  He argued that psychologists could study anything that people do or say- shopping, playing games, eating, talking, etc.- but they could not scientifically study the thoughts, wishes, and feelings that might accompany these observable behaviours  He argued the question of nature vs. nurture o He said that it is nurture that creates people into what they are o Downplayed the importance of heredity, maintaining that behaviour is governed primarily by the environment  Stimulus- any detectable input from the environment  Behaviourism is often referred to as stimulus-response psychology  Behaviourism's stimulus-response approach contributed to the rise of animal research in psychology o They were able to gain control over the subjects  The opposition of behaviourism came from Gestalt psychology  They argued that psychologists should continue to study conscious experience rather than overt behaviour  Another alternative idea came from Sigmund Freud o He contemplated the mysteries of unconscious mental processes  Watson became the first 'pop' psychologist CONCEPT CHECK 1.1 (page 8) Freud Brings the Unconscious into the Picture  Freud treated people with psychological problems such as irrational fears, obsessions, and anxieties with a procedure called psychoanalysis  The Unconscious- contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour  He used a variety of observations as his arguments o Certain slips of the tongue appear to reveal a person's true feelings o Dreams often seemed to express important feelings that we are unaware of  Psychoanalytic theory- attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinates of behaviour  In arguing that behaviour is governed by unconscious forces, Freud made the suggestion that we are not masters of our own minds  Most psychologists viewed psychoanalytic theory as unscientific speculation that would eventually fade away Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviourism Flourishes  Skinner developed a system based on his own philosophy of radical behaviourism  Skinner said, if the stimulus of food is followed by the response of eating, we can fully describe what is happening without making any guesses about whether the animal is experiencing hunger  He argued that psychology could understand and predict behaviour adequately without resorting to physiological explanations  Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to neutral or negative outcomes  Skinner said that all behaviour is fully governed by external stimuli o Your behaviour is determined in predictable ways by lawful principles o Your actions are not the result of a conscious decision  People are controlled by their environment o Free will is an illusion The Humanists Revolt  Psychoanalytic theory was attacked for its belief that behaviour is dominated by primitive, sexual urges  Behaviourism was attacked for its preoccupation with the study of simple animal behaviour  Both theories were attacked because they suggest that people are not masters of their own destiny  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 o Maintain that people are not pawns of either their animal heritage or environmental circumstances o Humans are fundamentally different from animals so research on animals has little relevance to the understanding of human behaviour  Carl Rogers argued that human behaviour is governed primarily by each individual's sense of self o Which animals presumably lack  Rogers and Maslow said that to fully understand people's behaviour, psychologists must take into account the fundamental human drive towards personal growth  Humanists' greatest contribution to psychology has probably been their innovative treatments for psychological problems and disorders CONCEPT CHECK 1.2 (page 13) Psychology in Canada  G Stanley Hall established the first experimental laboratory for psychology in North America  James Mark Baldwin created the first experimental laboratory in Canada in 1891  In many cases the first psychology courses were taught through the philosophy department Psychology Comes of Age as a Profession  Applied Psychology- the branch of psychology concerned with every day, practical problems  Clinical Psychology- the branch of psychology concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders  Very few psychologists in 1937 had an interest in clinical psychology  During WWII, academic psychologists were pressed into services as clinicians o They needed to screen military recruits and treat soldiers suffering trauma  Clinical psychologists became very high in demand so they had to start training more  Research psychologists didn’t like this because they said the energy and resources that were once devoted to research would be diluted  Despite the conflicts, the professionalization of psychology has increased at a steady pace Psychology Returns to its Roots: Renewed Interest in Cognition and Physiology  Today, psychologists are showing renewed interest in consciousness (cognition) and the physiological base of behaviour  Cognition- the mental process involved in acquiring knowledge  Jean Piaget focused on the study of children's cognitive development  Noam Chomsky elicited new interest in the psychological underpinnings of lan
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