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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: The Evolution of Psychology; Textbook & Lecture

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PSYC 1010
Jill Bee Rich

Chapter 1: The Evolution of Psychology From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed A New Science Is Born: The Contributions of Wundt and Hall • The term psychology comes from two Greek words, psyche, meaning the soul and logos, referring to the study of a subject th th • First put together in the 16 century and was not until the 18 century that the term acquired its literal meaning, “the study of the mind” • Psychology’s intellectual parents were 19 century philosophy and physiology • Psychology was born as an independent discipline when Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychological research lab in 1879 at Leipzig, Germany • Wundt declared that the new psyc should be science modelled after fields such as physics and chem, he wanted its primary focus on consciousness • G. Stanley Hall established America’s first research lab in psyc, launched America’s first psyc journal and was the driving force behind the establishment of the American Psychological Association (APA) o Important to the growth of psychology in America. 3 Components of Psychology: 1. Body of knowledge 2.Set of skills 3.Way of thinking The Battle of the “Schools” Begins: Structuralism vs. Functionalism • Structuralism emerged through the leadership of Edward Titcherner which was based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into basic elements and investigate how these elements are related such as sensations, feelings and images o To examine the contents of consciousness, the structuralists depended on the methods of introspection, the careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience • Functionalists took a different view, was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure, established by William James • James (1980) contended that psychology should investigate functions rather then structure o Argued that structuralist approach missed the real nature of the conscious experience as consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts. • Functonalists are interested in how people adapt their behavior to the demands of the world. • According to the principal of natural selection, heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristic to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus come to be “selected” over time Watson Alters Psychology’s Course as Behaviourism Makes its Debut • Founded by John B Watson, behaviourism is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior, thus they campaigned to redefine psychology as the science of behaviour o Overt: behavior or actions we can observe/measure o Covert: behavior/actions that cannot be observed directly like thoughts/feelings • Behavior: any overt response or activity from an organism. • Watson spoke about nature vs nurture: o Concerned with whether behavior is determined mainly by genetic inheritance or by environmental experience o Watson strongly believed in nuture (environment) • Stimulus: any detectable input from the environment so they began to explore stimulus-response relationships, often using laboratory animals as subjects (S-R psychology). • Margaret Floy Washburn, first woman psychologist in the U.S. • Gesalt Psychology is primarily concerned with perception & argued that psychology should continue to study conscious experience rather then overt behavior. Freud Brings the Unconscious into the Picture • According to Sigmund Freud, the unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behaviour • His psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior o Made the suggestion that people are not masters of their own mind, he proposed that behavior is greatly influenced by how people cope with sexual urges. Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviourism Flourishes • Behaviourism continued as a powerful force in psychology, boosted greatly by B. F. Skinner’s research • In his research, Skinner emphasized observable behaviour, and he generated controversy by arguing that free will is an illusion o Stated that organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to a neutral or negative outcome. The Humanists Revolt • Finding both behaviourism and psychoanalysis unsatisfactory, advocates of a new theoretical orientation called humanism became influential in the 1950s • Led by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, humanism is a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth Psychology in Canada • The first experimental laboratory in Canada was established in 1891 at the university of Toronto by James Mark Baldwin • Rapid growth in Canadian psychology has been evident over the last century Psychology Comes of Age as a Profession • Applied psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with everyday, practical problems • Clinical psychology is the branch concerned with the diagnosis and trea
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