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Chapter 1

PSYC 107 Ch. 1.docx

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Texas A&M University
PSYC 107

Chapter 1 I. Why Study Psychology? a. It’s about You and ME b. Fascination with own mental activity c. Many participants in studies are college aged d. Findings can be applied to cultures and across societies e. Covers brain, genetics, memories, etc. f. Psychologists explain human behaviors in real life contexts i. Social interactions for impressions ii. Why do people forget things? Self-harm? Etc. iii. Psychological science= study of mind, brain, behavior 1. Mind=mental activity 2. Brain= enables mind 3. Behavior= observable actions iv. Technology allows for brain study v. Goals: understand mental activity, social interactions, and how people acquire behaviors vi. Results are often surprising and uncommon vii. Unconscious influences DO happen 1. People who thought about teachers had higher trivial pursuit scores than those who thought about soccer players 2. Someone holding hot coffee is a “warmer” person g. Psychological knowledge is used in many professions i. 12% growth of psychologists by 2018 ii. You can do almost anything with a psych degree iii. Politicians use psychological techniques h. Psychological science teaches critical thinking i. Humans try to predict other’s behavior ii. Learn to separate fact and fiction iii. Media distorts things iv. Good scientist 1. Amiable skepticism 2. Open to new ideas 3. Wary of new ideas with good evidence 4. Critical thinking v. How critical thinking 1. Does sugar make hyperactive kids a. Research says no 2. Mozart effect in 1993 a. Mozart led to an increase on intelligent tests b. Maybe because music is uplifting c. Studies used college kids, but the research was done on babies II. What are the scientific foundations of psychology a. Originated in philosophy th b. 19 century France, psych became a discipline c. “schools of thought” are ways of thinking i. The nature/nurture debate has a long history 1. Aristotle/Plato debated it 2. Are things biologically innate or are they acquired 3. Both are important to psychological development d. The mind body problem also has ancient roots i. Historically, mind was viewed in many organs ii. Greeks and romans knew brain was important iii. Davinci dissected the body to make his art accurate 1. Theorized senses= brain= 1 location iv. 1
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