PSYC 1010 Chapter Notes -Abraham Maslow, Wilhelm Wundt, Positive Psychology

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
York University
PSYC 1010
of 3
The Evolution of Psychology (6-7)
Wilhelm Wundt Structuralism
o Campaigned to make psychology an independent discipline
o Founder of psychology
o Believed psychology should be modelled after fields such as physics and chemistry
o Primary focus of psychology was consciousness awareness of immediate experience.
o Work concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing, and touch.
William James Functionalism
o Functionalism based on a belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of
o Consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts
o James wanted to understand the stream of consciousness
o Interested in how people adapt their behaviour to the demands of the real world
John B. Watson Behaviourism
o Behaviourism means that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour
o Watson believed that mental processes were not an appropriate thing to study because these
are private events
o Scientists could study anything people do or say but they cannot study the thought process
Sigmund Freud Psychoanalysis and the unconsciousness
o Unconsciousness has thoughts, memories, and desires that are below the conscious awareness
but are still a great influence on behaviour
o Psychological disturbances are mainly caused by personal conflicts existing in the unconscious
o Freud said that people are not masters of their own mind and behaviour is greatly influenced on
how people cope with their sexual urges
o Freud studied personality, motivation, and abnormal behaviour
B.F. Skinner Behaviourism
o Private events are much more difficult to study
o His science of behaviour is based on public observable events
o Environmental factors mould behaviour
o Skinner said that organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and not
o People are controlled by their environment, not themselves
Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow Humanists Revolt
o Humanism is a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans
o Humanists take an optimistic view of human nature
o They say that because humans are very different from animals, experimenting on animals has
little relevance to understanding human behaviour
o Rogers and Maslow argued that human behaviour is governed by each individual’s sense of self
Return to the Cognition and Physiology
The Cognitive Perspective
o People’s manipulations of mental images influence how they behave
o Investigating decision making, reasoning, and problem solving have shown that methods can be
devised to study cognitive processes scientifically
o Jean Piaget: Focused on the study of children’s cognitive development
o Noam Chomsky: Had new interest in psychological underpinnings of language
Biological Perspective
o James Olds: Demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the brain could evoke emotional
r3sponses in animals
o Roger Sperry: Found that the right and left halves of the brain are specialized to handle different
types of mental tasks
o David Hubel & Torsten Wiesel: Had prize-winning work on how visual signals are possessed in
the brain
o Donald Hebb
o His ideas dealt with highlighting the importance of physiological and neuropsychological
o Put emphasis on the importance of the brain in behaviour
o Argued that locus of behaviour should be sought in the brain
o Suggested that repeated stimulation leads to development of cell assdemblies which
facilitate behaviour
Evolutionary Psychology
o Basic premise is that natural selection favours behaviours that enhance organisms’ reproductive
Irwin Silverman
o Believed that the reason for male and female difference were due to human evolution as a
result of the sex-based division of labour in ancient hunting and gathering societies
o males’ superiority in mental rotation and navigation developed because the chore of hunting
was largely assigned to men over the course of human history
David Buss
o published studies on many topics such as aggression, sexual behaviour, language, jealousy, etc
Positive Psychology
Martin Seligman
o experienced an insight he called an ‘epiphany’
o the source was his 5 year old daughter
o she would scold her father for being too grumpy most of the time
o argued that the field of psychology had devoted too much attention to the negative (pathology,
weakness, damage, and ways to heal suffering)
o positive psychology has three areas of interest
o study of positive subject experiences
o positive individual traits
o positive institutions and communites