unit 1

what is psychology?
- psychology is the science of behavior and mental process
- a psychiatrist is a medical doctor specializing in mental health and often provides
a psychoanalyst (freudian kids) trying to use ur subconscious to diagnose u
- a psychologist is a mental health professional w a PhD
prescientific psychology
- early thinkers wondered: “how do our minds work”
- india: buddha wondered how sensations and perceptions combine to form ideas
- china: confucius believed that ideas and education are powerful
- ancient isreal: hebrew scholars believed the linking of the mind and emotion of the
- ancient greece:
• socrates and his student plato: “concluded that the mind is separable from the
• aristotle loved data: “knowledge is not preexisting, instead it grows from the
experiences stored in our memories”
- 1600’s when modern science began to flourish (new theories of human behaviour)
- rene descartes
• frenchman who believed in the existence of innate ideas and the mind being
separate from the body
• he wondered “how the immaterial mind and physical body communicate”
• dissected animals and concluded that brain cavity fluid contained “animal
spirits” (nerves)
- francis bacon
• one of the founders of modern science
• fascinated by the human mind and its failings
john locke
• british political philosopher
• wrote an essay concerning human understanding
• argued for a blank slate (tabula rasa)
• knowledge originates in experience and science should rely on observation and
psychological science is born
- wilhelm wundt
• experiment seeking to measure “atoms of the mind” (the idea of mental processes)
• father of psychology
thinking about the minds structure
- structuralism
• edward bradford titchener
• engage people in self-reflective introspection so that they could report
elements of their experience as they did something
• introspection is unreliable
- varying results from person to person// experience from experience
thinking about the minds functions
- functionalist
• william james (wrote the principles of psychology)
• james assumed that we develop with adaption to our environment
• encourages explorations of emotions, memories, willpower, habits, and
- margaret flow washburn
book: the animal mind
second female app president in 1921
first female psychology phd
could not join the organization of experimental psychologists (people who
explore behavior and thinking with experiments)
psychological science develops
- important people
• wilhelm wundt: psychologist and philosopher
• william james: philosopher
• ivan pavolv: psychologist (pioneered the study of learning)
- doggy salivating
- classical conditioning
• sigmund freud: physician (psychoanalytic theory of personality)
• jean piaget: biologist (most influential observer of children in the last century)
- important ideas
• in the early days up till the 1920’s
- psychology= “the science of mental life”
- psychoanalysis
• the subconscious mind affects how u think and behave
typical coach and tell me abt ur life
sigmund freud (founding father)
sex and aggression
introspection approach
• 1920’s to 1960’s
- psychology= “the scientific study of observable behaviour”
- behavourism
• what u do is because of past events
• natural instincts and behaviour
• 1960’s to now
- important of current environmental influences on ur growth potential
- humanistic psychology
• importance of studying environment influences on ones growth and potential
• now
- psychology= “the science of behaviour and mental process”
- schools of psychology
• behaviorists
- john b watson
• little albert experiment
• bunny loud clap behind (classical)
- b f skinner
• skinner box reward punishment
• punishment and reward (operant)
- science is rooted in observation
- you can observe and record people’s behavior as they respond to different
- carl rogers
- abraham maslow
- emphasized the important of current environmental influences & having our
needs for love and acceptance satisfied
cognitive neuroscience
- study of brain activity linked with mental activity
- explore scientifically the ways we perceive, process, and remember information
psychology’s biggest question
- nature v nurture issue
• the debate over the relative contributions of biology and experience
- natural selection
• charles darwin
• book: on the origin of species
• nurture works on what nature endows
psychology’s three main levels of analysis
- biopsychosocial approach MOST IMPORTANT ANALYTICAL
• biological psychological and social-cultural factors
- biological approach
• might study brain circuits
- natural selection of adaptive traits
- genetic predispositions responding to environment
- brain mechanisms
- hormonal influences
• focus: how the body and brain enable emotions, memories, and sensory
experiences; how genes combine with the environment to influence individual
- evolutionary approach
• might analyze how anger facilitated the survival of our ancestors
• focus: how the natural selection of traits promoted the survival of genes
- psychodynamic approach
• might view an outburst as an outlet for unconscious hostility
• focus: how behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts
- behavioral approach
• might attempt to determine which external stimuli trigger angry responses or
aggressive acts
focus: how we learn observable responses
- cognitive approach
• might study how our interpretation of a situation affects our anger and how our
anger affects our thinking
focus: how we encode, process, store and retrieve information
- humanistic approach
• might have been interested in understand how angry feedings affect a person’s
potential for growth and personal fulfillment
focus: how we meet our needs for love and acceptance and achieve self fulfillment
- social-cultural approach
• might explore how expressions of anger vary across cultural contexts
- presence of others
- cultural, societal and family expectations
- peer and other group influences
- compelling models
• focus: how behavior and thinking cary across situations and cultures
psychology’s subfields
- psychometrics
• studies the measurement of human abilities, attitudes and traits
- biological psychologists
• link between the brain and mind
- developmental psychologist
• changing abilities from birth to death
- educational psychologists
• studies the includes on teaching and learning
personality psychologists
• investigating our persistent traits
social psychologists
• how we view and affect one another
human factor psychologists
• integration of people, machines, and physical environments
counseling psychologists
• help people cope with challenges and crises
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