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Chapter 1

Psychology1010 - Chapter 1: The Evolution of Psychology

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PSYC 1010
Aviva Goldberg

CHAPTER 1: The Evolution of Psychology Introduction: Bullying by physical aggression thought to be the actions of only young men In many cases, involves young girls (Reena Virk and Dawn-Marie) Traditional bullying and electronic bullying Possible preventions of social problems - to explain and predict behaviour From Speculation to Science: How Psychology Developed Philosophy, Physiology, and Psychology: Psyche: soul, spirit, mind - diff. from the body Logos: study of a subject Psychology: study of the mind Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle: Studied separation of mind and body Knowledge: born with or gained (nativism or empiricism) Aristotle: theories of memory - 3 principles of association: similarity, contrast and contiguity Periods of Renaissance (Descartes), post-Renaissance (Hobbes, Locke), Associationism (Hume, J.S. Mill) Descartes' dualism - mind and body are separate and different; humans are a part of nature Mind (soul): immaterial 'Properties' of the body: functions of memory, perception, dreaming, emotions William Harvey (1682): blood circulation operates the heart A New Science: The Contributions of Wundt and Hall Relation between bodily sensations and mental awareness of outside world Wundt (founder of psych): establish first formal lab for psych research (1879 is psychology's 'date of birth') Believed psych should be modelled after physics and chemistry Psych = scientific study of consciousness - awareness of immediate experience Hall: studied with Wundt, large contributor; founded the American Psychological Association (APA) - largest psych organization in the world today Battle of the "Schools": Structuralism vs. Functionalism Competing schools of thought in most scientific disciplines Structuralism: emerged through Edward Titchener Based on notion that psych is to analyze consciousness into basic elements + examine how these elements are related To identify fundamental components of conscious experience (sensations, feelings, images) Method of introspection: careful self-observation of one's conscious experience Introspection requires training - makes the subject more objective and aware Subjects are then tested under controlled experiments (optical illusions, visual stimuli, etc.), then asked to analyze what they experienced Cannot solely rely on indiv.'s reflection of exp. Functionalism: based on belief that psych should investigate function/ purpose of consciousness (rather than its structure) William James - huge contributor, trained in meds.; wrote one of psych's most influential text James: psych is under cultural + intellectual influences Natural Selection: heritable characteristics for survival/ reproduction advantages James: consciousness important to species, should be studied James argued structuralists missed the real nature of conscious experience - consciousness consists continuous flow of thoughts Structuralists: studies the static points in flow (labs) Functionalists: wants to study the flow - the stream of consciousness (study from real world) Studied mental testing, patterns of development in children, educational practices, diff. behaviour in sexes Two descendants of Functionalism: behaviourism and applied psychology Watson Alters Psych's Course: Behaviourism Makes Debut Behaviourism: scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour founded by John B. Watson (1878-1958) Watson suggested abandoning study of consciousness, focus on observable behaviour - redefining scientific psych Reasoned: consciousness = mental/ opinion, is unreliable - still private areas Behaviour: observable response to activity by an organism Watson: can study actions/words, but not scientifically the thoughts/feelings Also, Watson brought up the issue of nature vs. nurture - he argued for nurture Nature: genetic inheritance Nurture: environment, experience New mission: relate overt behaviours (responses) with observable events in env. (stimuli) Stimulus: any detectable input from the env. The behaviourist approach became: Stimulus-Response (S-R) Psychology Rise of animal research - do not need human feedbacks on mental processes Animals - more control over them (humans - influenced by years of uncontrolled experiences) Gestalt Psychology: argued that psych should continue studying conscious experience rather than behaviour Freud and the Unconscious Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): studied the unconscious mental processes Unconscious: unawareness, greatly influences behaviour Psychoanalytic Theory: attempts to explain personality, motivation, mental disorders - focuses on unconscious determinants of behaviour o Psychoanalysis: study of fears, obsessions, anxieties, desires The theory gaining controversy: early psychologists shifting from conscious experience to observable behaviour - therefore, unconscious experience even more unscientific/ harder to study Skinner Questions Free Will, Behaviourism Flourishes B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) Radical Behaviourism: departure from earlier forms of behaviourism and neo- behaviourism Skinner: the existence of internal/ mental events - these are private events, do not need to be given to explain behaviour Public observable events are enough Ex. stimulus of food followed by response of eating - can understand animal is experiencing hunger without animal confirming Environmental factors (external stimuli) influences behaviour Fundamental principle of behaviour (Skinner): organisms repeat responses leading to positive outcomes; do not repeat those leading to neutral or negative outcomes Actions of people are controlled by their environment - free will is an illusion
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