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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 PS101.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

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PS101 Chapter 1 The Evolution of Psychology Week 1 -As a science, psychology demands that researchers ask precise questions about such issues and that they test their ideas through systematic observation From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed Philosophy, Physiology, and Psychology -The term psychology comes from two Greek words: psyche meaning the sol, and logo referring to the study of a subject -These two Greek words were put together to define a topic of study in the 16 century -Not until the early 18 century did the term psychology gain more than rare usage among scholars it then meant the study of the mind -Ancient Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle considered and debated issues of relevance to psychology, including such subjects as the separation of mind and body and whether knowledge is inborn or gained through experience -Aristotle created the theory of memory memories are the result of three principles of association: similarity, contrast, and contiguity -The impact of philosophy on the development of ideas about mind, behaviour, and human nature continued as classic philosophy itself developed through the periods of Renaissance -Descrates argued for the dualism of mind and body, that the two were separate and different memory, perception, dreaming and emotions were properties of the body A New Science is Born: The Contributions of Wundt and Hall -German professor, Wilhelm Wundt mounted a campaign to make psychology an independent discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology -In 1879, Wundt established the first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology -Wundt is considered the founder of psychology -In 1874 Wundt declared that the new psychology should be a science modelled after fields such as physics and chemistry -Wundt said psychologys primary focus was consciousness - the awareness of immediate experience -Between 1883 and 1893, some 24 new psychological research laboratories sprang up in the US and Canada -In 1892, he was the driving force behind the establishment of the American Psychological Association (APA) and was elected its first president today it is the worlds largest psychology organization with over 154 000 members The Battle of the Schools Begins: Structuralism versus Functionalism -In psychology, the first two major schools of thought, structuralism and functionalism, were entangled in the fields first great intellectual battle -Structuralism emerged 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 -Just as physicists were studying how matter is made up of basic particles, the structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experiences, such as sensations, feelings and images -Structuralists work concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing, and touch. To examine thePS101 Chapter 1 The Evolution of Psychology Week 1 contents of consciousness, the structuralists depended on the method of introspection, the careful, systematic self-observation of ones own conscious experience -Functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure -This is the work of William James -James thinking illustrates how psychology like ay field, is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences James was impressed with Charles Darwin and the concept of natural selection -Natural selection, heritable characteristics that provide 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. -James argued that the structuralists approach missed the real nature of conscious experience James wanted to understand the flow itself, which he called the stream of consciousness -Functionalists were interested in how people adapt their behaviour to the demands of the real world around them -Both schools of thought gradually faded away, functionalism fostered the development of two descendants that have dominated modern psychology: behaviourism and applied psychology Watson Alters Psychologys Course as Behaviourism Makes its Debut -In the early 1900s another school of thought entered -Behaviourism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour -This, founded by John Watson was redefining what scientific psychology should be about -In principle, scientific claims can always be verif
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