AP Psychology 120 – 2011/2012 Unit 1 - Introduction and Evolution of Psychology Section 1 – Introduction Psychology – is the science that studies behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes that underlie it, and it is the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems. Summary of the six Contemporary Approaches (text pg.11) 1. Behaviorism (Watson, Skinner) studies the effects on the environment on behavior. Only observable events are studied scientifically. Sometimes called stimulus-response (S-R) psychology. 2. Psychoanalytic Theory (Freud) studies the influence of the unconscious on behavior. 3. Humanism (Rogers, Maslow) studies the unique aspects of humans. Humans are free, rational and potential for personal growth. 4. Cognition (Piaget, Chomsky, Simon) studies mental processes. 5. Biological (Olds, Sperry) studies the biological bases of mental processes and behavior. 6. Evolutionary (Buss) studies the evolutionary bases of mental processes and behavior. Behavior has evolved to solve adaptive problems. Section 2 – Psychology Today Ref: pg. 21 Research Areas in Psychology Ref: pg.24-Fig.1.6 Cognitive Psychology focuses on higher mental processes such as memory, reasoning, problem solving, decision making, creativity, language, and information processing. Developmental Psychology studies human development across the lifespan. Experimental Psychology focuses on sensation/perception, motivation, emotion, and learning. However, psychologists in all areas of research do experiments. Personality studies individual’s consistency in behavior and factors which shape personality. Physiological Psychology (Biological) studies genetics, chemistry, and the role of the nervous systems in behavior. Psychometrics is the measurement of behavior and mental processes, usually through the use and development of psychological tests. Social Psychology studies interpersonal behavior and the social forces which govern behavior. Professional Specialties in Psychology Ref: pg.25 – Fig.1.7 Clinical Psychologists evaluate, diagnose, and treat people with psychological disorders, as well as less severe behavioral and emotional problems. Do not confuse a psychologist with a psychiatrist. A psychologist usually has a PhD (or at least a master’s degree) and takes a mostly non-medical approach to psychological problems (i.e.: in most jurisdictions they cannot prescribe drugs). A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (has a M.D.) and has specialized in psychiatry, which is the branch of medicine concerned with mental disorders. Counseling Psychologists do similar work as clinical psychologists, but tend to work with people dealing with more common and less severe problems (i.e.: marriage counseling). Educational Psychologists improve curriculum, teacher education, and standardized tests. School Psychologists test and counsel children with school related problems. Industrial and Organizational Psychologists work in business and industry to improve HR departments, improve staff morale, and increase worker productivity. Section 3 – Seven Key themes in Psychology Ref: pgs.26-30 1. Psychology is empirical. Knowledge is gained through direct observation, not through reasoning, beliefs, or common sense. This is the scientific method. The study of psychology requires people to become critical thinkers and maintain a healthy degree of skepticism. 2. Psychology is theoretically diverse. One of the strengths of psychology is that it has many different theoretical approaches. 3. Psychology develops in a sociohistorical context. Sciences always develop within a context of society and history. Psychology is influenced by society and influences society. Psychology has gone through phases or stages of interest. 4. Behavior is determined by multiple causes. There is usually not a single determinant for any behavior, though this is what people (using “common sense”) often believe before studying psychology. 5. Behavior is shaped by culture. Culture is the human made part of the environment, including shared beliefs, norms, and customs. Cultural heritage includes assumptions, values, and ideals which people often do not think about. 6. Heredity and environment both influence behavior. It’s not either nature or nurture, it’s both. The question psychologists look at is - how much of each is involved in a particular behavior. 7. People’s experience of the world is highly subjective. Everyone experiences the world according to their own interpretation. Science is used to counteract this and get an objective idea of a subject. Section 4 – The Development of Psychology (text 3-23) Wilhelm Wundt & Stanley Hall 1879 is often viewed as the “date of birth” for psychology. Wilhelm Wundt wanted to make psychology an independent discipline from physiology and philosophy. He opened the first psych lab in Leipzig in 1879. Wundt insisted that psychology be a science, like chemistry or physics. It would be based on scientific methods. One of Wundt’s students was G. Stanley Hall, who later opened the first psych lab in the USA (at John Hopkins University) and founded the American Psychological Association (APA). Structuralism & Functionalism (The battle of the schools begin) The first major schools of thought in psychology were structuralism and functionalism. The structuralists (led by Edward Titchener) believed the focus of psychology is to analyze consciousness and break it into its basic part. One of the methods of structuralism was introspection, which is systematic selfobservation of one’s conscious experience. Structuralists stressed the importance of laboratory study. The functionalists were led by William James and they believed psychology should investigate the purpose or function of consciousness. Functionalism was influenced by Charles Darwin’s idea of natural selection, which states that characteristics which provide an advantage to survival will be “naturally selected” (survival of the fittest). Accordingly, James believed that consciousness must be important for the survival of our species. James also stressed that consciousness was a continuous flow (“stream of consciousness”) and should not be broken down in studies. Functionalists were also interested in how people functioned in the real world, so they studied psychology in practical areas like child development and gender roles. Behaviorism: Watson &Pavlov John B. Watson promoted behaviorism, which believed that psychology should only study observable behavior. Watson’s work first asked the critical question of nature versus nature. How much of a person’s behavior is the result of heredity (nature) and how much is a result of environment (nurture)? Watson believed very much in the shaping influence of the environment. Behaviorists looked at psychology as a series of behaviors (responses) caused by the environment (stimuli). Because of the stimulus-response focus of behaviorism, it is sometimes called S-R psychology. Ivan Pavlov first demonstrated behaviorism when he taught his dogs to drool at the sound of a bell. The popularity of behaviorism led the increase of animal research in psychology. Opposed to behaviorism was Gestalt psychology, in which the perception of the environment was the primary cause of behavior. Freud & the Unconscious Sigmund Freud developed a new approach to psychology called psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis relied heavily on understanding the unconscious, or the memories, conflicts, and desires of which we are not consciously aware. Psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain motivation, personality and mental disorders through the unconscious. Freud’s ideas were slow to gain acceptance and were considered controversial because they were very different from behaviorism, which was very popular, and often had a focus on sex, a topic scientists were uncomfortable studying at the time. Skinner & Behaviorism B. F. Skinner promoted a return to behaviorism. Skinner identified the basic principles of behaviorism – organisms tend to repeat responses which lead to positive outcomes and tend not to repeat responses which lead to neutral or negative outcomes. For Skinner, these laws of behaviorism controlled everything. Free will is an illusion. Rogers, Maslow, & the Humanists Many people revolted against the “dehumanizing’ approaches of behaviorism (people are governed by their environments) and psychoanalysis (people are governed by unconscious conflicts and desires). Behaviorism was especially criticized for its use of animal research. The humanists emphasize the unique qualities of humans, especially their individual freedom and growth potential. This is an optimistic view of people. Carl Rogers argued that human behavior is governed by the individual’s selfconcept, or sense of self. Abraham Maslow identified a “hierarchy of needs” which must be fulfilled for human growth. Many psychological problems are the result of disrupting this growth. Humanism contributed a great deal to clinical and counseling psychology. Psychology as a Profession The Second World War created a great need for clinical psychologists. Clinical psychology is concerned with the diagnosis and treats mental disorders. In the 1950’s, clinical psychology continued to grow, leading psychology to be considered not simply a science, but also a profession. Cognition & Biology Cognition refers to the mental processes involved in learning and decision making The focus on behaviorism had limited scientific interest in mental processes. The 1950’s saw advances in cognitive research with scientists like Jean Piaget (child mental development), Noam Chomsky (child language acquisition), Herbert Simon (decision making). Scientists in the 1950’s demonstrated that mental processes are not “unobservable”, as the behaviorists believed, but can in fact be studied with the proper tools. With the advancement of cognition, psychologists also began studying the brain itself. For example, James Olds demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB) could create emotional responses and Roger Sperry demonstrated that the two cerebral hemispheres are specialized to different types of mental tasks. Donald Hebb was credited with highlighting the importance of physiological and neuropsychological perspectives and as having paved the way for the recent cognitive revolution in psychology. His emphasis on the importance of the brain in behavior provided an important counterweight to that time’s dominance of the behavior models. Culture & Psychology In the 1980’s, psychologists realized that most of their research had been done in the west (North America, Western Europe, Australia). Moreover, the greatest amount of research had been done using young, white, educated American university students. Psychologists have always believed their research to be reflective of all humanity, but in recent years more cross cultural testing has taken place to determine if this is true. Evolutionary Psychology Evolutionary psychology examines behavior in terms of their adaptive value for the species. The basic premise of evolutionary psychology is that natural selection favours behaviours that enhance organisms’ reproductive success – that is passing on genes to the next generation. Evolutionary psychology has emerged in the 1990’s and its most prominent leader is David Buss. Ref: Table 1.2, pg.11 A Brief Timeline 1879 - Wundt opened the first psych lab at the U. of Leipzig. 1881 - Wundt published the first psychology journal. 1883 - Hall opened the first US psych lab at John Hopkins U. 1890 - James published – Principles of Psychology. 1892 - Hall founded the APA 1900 – Freud published his first work on psychoanalysis. 1904 – Pavlov conducted his S-R experiments. 1905 – Binet developed the first intelligence tests 1909 – Freud gave his first US lectures. 1913 – Watson argued that psychology should be the study of behavior. 1920 – Gestalt principles in psychology became very important. Watson was forced to resign because of a scandal. 1933 – Freud published -New Lectures on Psychoanalysis, advancing psychoanalysis. 1936 – Selye developed the concept of stress. 1941 – Clinical psychology began to grow in response to WWII 1951 – Rogers published Client-Centered Therapy 1953 – Skinner published Science and Human Behavior, advocating behaviorism. 1954 – Maslow published Motivation and Personality, promoting interest in behaviorism. Piaget promoted interest in cognition through his research on child development. 1956 – Miller promoted interest in cognition through his study of memory. Olds promoted interest in biology by demonstrating that ESB can create emotions. 1957 – Chomsky promoted interest in cognition through his work on language acquisition. 1961 – Sperry began his split brain research. 1962 – Milgram conducted his study on authority. 1971 – Skinner published Beyond Freedom and Dignity, a radical view of behaviorism. 1978 – Simon won the Nobel Prize for his work in cognition. 1980 – Research interest in cultural variations in psychology begins. 1981 – Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his split brain research. 1994 – Buss published The Evolution of Desire, promoting evolutionary psychology. 2002 – Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for his research on decision making.