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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology I. What is Psychology? a. Psychology: the scientific study of behavior and mental processes i. Behavior: any outward actions/reactions 1. Physical environment 2. Easy to observe ii. Mental processes: the internal activity of our mind 1. Psychological environment 2. Less predictable 3. Part of what makes psychology unique iii.Scientific study: precise, objective manner II. Goals of Psychology a. Description: observing a behavior and noting everything about it (what is happening, where it happens, to whom it happens, under what circumstances does it happen) b. Explanation: now that it is known what is going on, why is it happening i. Theory: a general explanation of our observation of a situation c. Prediction: when will it happen again d. Control: some modification of behavior i. Undesirable ----> Desirable e. *Not all studies utilize all these steps III. The History of Psychology a. Aristotle (384-322 BC): connection between body and soul i. Aspects of the same underlying structure b. Plato (427-347 BC): dualism – body and soul separate but interrelated i. One influences the other c. Rene Decartes (1596-1650): mind and body have reciprocal interaction via pineal gland i. Modified dualism d. Wihelm Wundt (1832-1920): “Father of Psychology” i. First psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany (1879) 1. Start of psychology as a science ii. Contributions: 1. Studied nonphysical structure of human mind 2. Mind consists of basic elements analyzed via objective introspection a. Objective introspection: process of examining and measuring one’s own thoughts and mental activities b. Used o.i. to study processes that were a result of physical sensations 3. First attempt at bringing objectivity and measurement to psychology e. Structuralism i. Edward Titchener (1867-1927) 1. Brought Wundt’s ideas to U.S. 2. Focus is the structure of basic elements of the mind 3. Introspect about physical objects AND thoughts 4. “Tell me about things that are yellow” a. Expansion of Wundt’s ideas f. Functionalism: focus of study is how the mind allows people to adapt, live, work, and play i. William James (1842-1910): “Father of American Psychology” 1. “Stream of thought” vs. elements of mind 2. Focus on adaptation, living, working, playing a. Functioning in the real world 3. Influenced by Darwin’s natural selection (behavioral traits) g. Gestalt Psychology: early perspective; focus on perception and sensation, particularly patterns and whole figures i. Gestalt: “an organized whole” ii. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” iii.Gestalt psychologists: people naturally seek out patters (“wholes”) in available sensory information iv. Max Wertheimer 1. Leader of this movement h. Freud’s Psychoanalysis: theory and therapy based on Freud’s work i. Sigmond Freud 1. Neurologist in Austria 2. Patients with “nervous disorders” – no physical cause 3. Focus on unconscious and early childhood a. Early childhood: realized early experiences were important 4. *Theory developed from small group of individuals that were not representative of the whole i. Behaviorism: focus on observable behavior only i. Ian Pavlov 1. Conditioning ii. John B. Watson 1. All behavior is learned (compare to Freud) a. Example: fears are learned via experience 2. “Little Albert” iii.Mary Cover Jones 1. “Little Peter” – counterconditioning IV. 7 Modern Perspectives *Not one single perspective used to explain all human behavior and mental processes* a. Psychodynamic i. Continued focus on the unconscious and early development 1. Freud – remained the same ii. Development of sense of self and interpersonal relationships 1. New b. Behavioral i. Past: Watson and Pavlov 1. Classical conditioning 2. Involuntary behavior ii. B.F. Skinner 1. Focus on operant conditioning to explain how voluntary behavior is learned 2. Punishment and reinforcement c. Humanistic i. Developed as a reaction to psychoanalysis and behaviorism ii. People have the freedom to choose their own destiny iii.Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers d. Cognitive i. Process of thought ii. Includes: memory, intelligence, perception, problem solving, learning iii.Cognitive neuroscience (fMRI) 1. See structure and functioning of the brain e. Sociocultural i. Relationship between social behavior and culture ii. Effect that people have on one another iii.Bystander effect f. Biopsychological i. Attributes human and animal behavior and mental events to biological factors ii. Hormones, heredity, brain chemicals, etc. iii.AKA: physiological psychology, behavioral neuroscience g. Evolutionary i. Biological mental traits shared by all humans ii. “Adaptive” for survival of self or offspring iii.Example: (from text) relationships 1. Men: more willing to forgive emotional infidelity a. Need to know baby is theirs 2. Women: more willing to forgive sexual infidelity a. Need emotional stability for child V. Psychological Professionals and Areas of Specialization a. Psychologist i. Cannot prescribe medication ii. Goes to graduate school iii. Psychological testing 1. Example: IQ testing b. Psychiatrist i. Can prescribe medication ii. Goes to medical school iii. Less therapy and intervention iv. Medical centers, private practice c. Psychiatric Social Worker i. Helping individuals with mental health problems deal with social issues VI. Scientific Method a. Scientific method: a system for reducing bias and error in the measurement of data b. Steps in the Scientific Method i. Perceiving the question: notice something interesting happening in our environment that you would like to have an explanation for 1. Description ii. Form a hypothesis: tentative expla
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