Psychology [study of the mind]—study of behavior and mental processes
Wilhelm Wundt—founded the first psych lab in 1879 at University of Leipzig.
Generally credited as the founder of Psychology
One of his major goals was to analyze the contents of
o Method: Introspection—looking into your own consciousness
(describe an orange)
o Topics of research: social, language, sensation, perception,
o Not particularly interested in application
Superb educator (father of psychology).
Structuralism—goal was to analyze the basic elements of the conscious
B. Titchener (1867-1927)—associated with Structuralism. Student
of Wundt. Brought psychology to the USA
Cognitive Psychology—study of higher mental processes such as
thinking, knowing, and deciding. Focuses on how thoughts occur,
how memories work, and how information is organized and stored.
(Grew from Structuralism)
Functionalism—approach that focuses on the purposes of consciousness
William James (1842-1910)—“stream of consciousness”. You can’t
pick it apart, or it will lose its reality
James Rowland Angell
Earliest applied psychology
Gesalt Psychology—our perception of a whole is different than the sum of all
Max Wertheimer (1880-1943)
Wolfgang Kohler (1887-1967)
Kurt Koffka (1886-1941)
Behavioral Perspective—view that behavior and mental processes can be
understood and explained by underlying physiology, like functioning of the
brain’s neurons and neurotransmitters
Evolutionary Perspective—interested in the role a physiological structure or
behavior plays in helping an organism adapt to its environment
Psychodynamic Perspective—normal and abnormal behaviors are determined
primarily by unconscious forces Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)—Analysis of dreams, slips of the
tongue, effect of childhood experiences
o People (even children) are driven by sexual motives
o Psychoanalytical therapy—treatment for maladaptive behavior
Goal: bring unconscious causes of behavior to a
Humanistic Perspective—Emphasizes free will and control over behavior
Carl Rogers (1902-1987)
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)
Humans have a basic need to grow to their full potential
Environmental, Population, and Conservation Perspective—concerned with
the interaction among human behavior, the population, and the environment
Cultural and Diversity Perspective—focuses on influence of different cultures
Eclectic Approach—view of psychology that combines several approaches.
Common among present-day psychology
Who is making the claim? Identify bias.
o Bias—beliefs that interfere with objectivity
Is the claim based on casual observation or scientific testing?
Understand statistics and whether or not they are significant
Law of Parsimony—the simplest explanation (that requires less
assumptions) is most often correct
Placebo effect—positive effects associated with a person’s beliefs
and attitudes about a drug
Research Methods in Psychology
Scientific Method used
Case Study—(a.k.a. Clinical Study) in-depth analysis of one person.
Often used when not many subjects are available (ex. Ted Bundy)
o Popularized by Freud as he developed his psychoanalytical
theory of personality
o Advantage: lots of detailed information
o Disadvantage: May not generalize
Naturalistic Observation—study of behavior in its typical setting.
Observers must be careful not to alter behavior. (non-reactive,
unobtrusive) Correlation research—understand that a correlation between two
variables doesn’t mean one caused the other. Consider the
possibility of a