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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Christopher Anderson

Chapter 1: THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIETY -developed from philosophical speculations about the mind into a modern science -psychology (16 century) =psyche “soul”, and logos “study of a subject “ -(18 century)= “the study of the mind” -psychology as old as the human race, but just over 100 years ago emerged as a scientific discipline -(by the 1870s) psych’s intellectual parents were the disciplines of philosophy and physiology -WILHELM WUNDT (“founder of psychology”): mounted a campaign to make psych an independent discipline and in 1879 succeeded in establishing first formal laboratory for research in Germany. 1879=psych’s date of birth. -psych’s primary focus was consciousness- the awareness of immediate experience thus psych became the scientific study of conscious experience (mind and mental process, scientifically) -G. STANLEY HALL- important contributor to rapid growth of psych in America -two major schools of thought: STRUCTURALIM and FUNCTIONALISM -Structuralism (Edward Titchener): based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related. Concerned with sensation and perception in vision, hearing, touch through the method of inspection (the careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience) -demise: no independent objective evaluation of a claim -Functionalism (William James, “Principles of Psychology”): based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure. -psychology deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences -natural selection: heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely that alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus “selected” over time -consciousness is an important characteristic of our species therefore psych should investigate its functions rather than its structure -examines stream of consciousness where as structuralism looks at static points -lead to two descendants dominating modern psychology: behaviourism and applied psychology -Behaviourism (John B. Watson, early 1900s): theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour. -instead of focusing on consciousness, focus exclusively on observable behaviours -verifiable, objective, a science -behaviour= any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism -on “Nature vs. Nurture”: NURTURE, Watson downplayed importance of heredity, behaviour governed primarily by environment -psych’s mission: an attempt to relate overt behaviours (responses) to observable events in the environment (stimuli: any detectable inputs from the environment. ex: sound, ads, sarcastic remarks) -aka stimulus-response (S-R) psychology -contributed to rise of animal research in psychology, (can exert considerable control over subjects) -Gestalt: school of thought primarily concerned with perception, psychology should continue to study conscious experience rather than overt behaviour -SIGMUND FREUD: -treated people with psychological problems through 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 -psychoanalytic theory: attempts to explain personality, motivation, mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour, originally viewed by most as “unscientific speculation that would eventually fade away”, very controversial, “dehumanizing” -proposed that behaviour is greatly influenced by how people cope with their sexual urges -lead to study of personality, motivation and abnormal behaviour -B.F. SKINNER: radical behaviourism= a departure from earlier forms of behaviourism and neo- behaviourism -organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend to not repeat responses that lead to neutral or negative outcomes. -all behaviour fully governed by external stimuli, behaviour determined in predictable ways by lawful principles, people controlled by their environments and not by themselves, “free will is an illusion” -behaviourism flourished as dominant school of thought in psych during 50s and 60s -“dehumanizing” -Humanism (Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow)= a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth. -optimistic view of human nature -human behaviour governed primarily by each individual’s sense of self-which animals lack -greatest contribution to psych: innovative treatments for psychological problems and disorders -James Mark Baldwin: establishe
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