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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Background.doc

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PSYCH 1101
David Pizarro

Chapter 1 - Background Thursday, August 29, 2013 6:30 PM • Psychological science: The study of mind, brain, and behavior • Culture: The beliefs, values, rules, and customs that exist within a group of people who share a common language and environment and that are transmitted through learning from one generation to the next • Nature/nurture debate: The arguments concerning whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate or acquired through education, experience, and culture • Mind/body problem: A fundamental psychological issue: Are mind and body separate and distinct, or is the mind simply the physical brain's subjective experience? • Dualism: The idea that the mind and the body are separate yet intertwined History of psychology • Throughout the 1800s, psychologists increasingly studied mental activity through careful scientific observation • In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory • Introspection: A systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that requires people to inspect and report on the content of their thoughts o The problem with introspection is that experience is subjective; it is difficult for researchers to determine whether each participant in a study is employing introspection similarly • Structuralism: An approach to psychology based on the idea that conscious experience can be broken down into its basic underlying components o The problem with structuralism is that the mind is much more complex than its elements and therefore cannot be broken down • Stream of consciousness: A person's continuous series of ever changing thoughts • Functionalism: An approach to psychology concerned with the adaptive purpose, or function, of mind and behavior • Gestalt theory: A theory based on the idea that the whole of personal experience is different from simply the sum of its constituent elements • Mary Whiton Calkins was a woman who completed all the requirements for a Ph.D. from Harvard, but was denied the degree because she was a girl • Margaret Floy Washburn was the first woman to get a Ph.D. in psychology (she got it at Cornell!!) • From 1920-1974, most women obtained their degrees in developmental psychology and school psychology ("women's fields") Sigmund Freud • Famous psychologist in the 20th century • Unconscious: The mental processes that operate below the level of conscious awareness • Psychoanalysis: A method developed by Freud that attempts to bring the contents of the unconscious into conscious awareness so that conflicts can be revealed • Behaviorism: A psychological approach that emphasizes the role of environmental forces in producing behavior • Free association: A technique where a patient talks about whatever they want for as long as they want - this reveals the unconscious conflicts that cause psychological problems Behaviorism • Developed by John Watson in 1913 • Behaviorism: A psychological approach that emphasizes the role of environmental forces in producing behavior • Believes fully in nurture (as opposed to nature) • Watson believed that people needed to study the environmental stimuli in situations in order to predict behavioral responses in those situations • B.F. Skinner was a behaviorist who argued that concepts about mental processes were of no scientific value in explaining behavior (this has been proven to be incorrect) Cognitive approaches (basically, the opposite of behaviorism) • During the first half of the 20th century, psychology was focused on studying observable behavior • But then scientists realized that men
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