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Pace PSY 112 - Psychology notes

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Introduction to Psychology Chapter 1: Evolution of a science- Psychology- scientific study of mind and behavioro Mind- private inner experience of perceptions, thoughts, memories, and feelingso Behavior- observable actions of human beings and nonhuman animals The things that we do in the world, by ourselves or with others1. What are the bases of perceptions, thoughts, memories, and feelings, or our subjective sense of self?a. Psychologists know that all of our subjective experiences arise from the electricaland chemical activities of our brainsb. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows scientists to scan brain to determine which parts are active when person reads, sees, learns new skill, or remembers a personal experience2. How does mind usually allow us to function effectively in the world?a. If we want to understand how something works, we need to know what it is working forb. Psychological processes are said to be adaptive, means that they promote welfare and reproduction of organisms that engage in those processes3. Why does the mind occasionally function so ineffectively in the world?a. Mind often trades accuracy for speed and versatility b. We are all prone to a variety of errors and illusionsPsychology’s roots: the path to a science of mind- Psychology divided into 2 schools of thought:o Structuralists: tried to analyze the mind by breaking it down into its basic componentso Functionalists: focused on how mental abilities allow people to adapt to their environmentsPsychology’s Ancestors: the great philosophers - Plato and Aristotle were among the first to struggle with fundamental questions about how the mind works. - Nativism- philosophical view that certain kinds of knowledge are innate or inborno Plato argued in favor of nativism- Philosophical empiricism- view that all knowledge is acquired through experience o Aristotle argued for thiso Aristotle believed that the child’s mind was a tabula rasa (blank slate)From brain to the mind: the French connection- René Descartes argues that body and mind are fundamentally different thingso Body is made of substance, whereas the mind (soul) is made of an immaterial or spiritual substance- Dualism- how mental activity can be reconciled and coordinated the physical behavior - Descartes suggested that the mind influences the body through a tiny structure near the bottom of brain called pineal gland- Franz Joseph Gall also though that brains and minds were linked, but by size than by glandso Phrenology- now a defunct theory that specific mental abilities and characteristics, ranging from memory to the capacity for happiness, are localized in specific regions of the brain.Structualism: applying methods from physiology to psychology- Physiology- study of biological processes, especially in the human bodyHelmholtz measures the speed of response- Helmholtz had developed a method for measuring speed of nerve impulses in a frog’s leg, which he then adapted to study of human beings- Helmholtz trained participants to respond when he applied a stimulus to diff parts of leg.o Stimulus- sensory input from the environmento Reaction time- amount of time taken to respond to specific stimulusWundt and development of structuralism- Wundt believed that scientific psychology should focus on analyzing consciousnesso Consciousness- a person’s subjective experience of the world and the mind- Structuralism- analysis of the basic elements that constitute the mindo Involved breaking down consciousness into elemental sensations and feelings- Introspection- subjective observation of one’s own experience James and the functional approach- James believed that trying to isolate and analyze a particular moment of consciousness (as structuralists did) distorted the essential nature of consciousness- Functionalism- study of the purpose mental processes serve in enabling people to adaptto their environmento In contrast with structuralism which examined the structure of mental processes,functionalism set out to understand the functions those mental processes served- James’s thinking was inspired by ideas of Charles Darwino Natural selection- features of organism that help it survive and reproduce are more likely than other features to be passed on to subsequent generationso From this perspective, James reasoned, mental abilities must have evolved b/c they were adaptive, they helped people solve problems and increased their chances of survivalThe Development of Clinical PsychologyPath to Freud and psychoanalytic theory- French physicians Jean-Martin Charcot and Pierre Janet reported striking observations when they interviewed patients who had developed a condition known then as hysteriao Hysteria- temporary loss of cognitive motor functions, usually as result of emotionally upsetting experiences- Freud theorized that many of the patients’ problems could be traced to the effects of painful childhood experiences that person couldn’t remember; and he suggested that the powerful influence of these seemingly lost memories revealed the presence of an unconscious mindo Unconscious- part of the mind that operates outside of conscious awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings, and actionso This led Freud to develop a new theory- Psychoanalytic theory- approach that emphasizes the importance of unconscious mental processes in shaping feelings, thoughts, and behaviorso From this perspective, important to uncover person’s early experiences and to illuminate a person’s unconscious anxieties, conflicts, and desires- Psychoanalysis- bringing unconscious material into conscious awareness to better understand psychological disorderso Psychoanalytic theory formed basis for this therapy that Freud calledo Patience recalled past experiences and related their dreams and fantasieso Psychoanalysts used Freud’s theoretical approach to interpret what their patientssaidInfluence of psychoanalysis and humanistic response- Psychoanalysis had its greatest impact on clinical practice but that diminished over that past 40 yearso Partly b/c Freud’s vision of human nature was a dark one, emphasizing limitations and problems rather than possibilities and potentials- Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers pioneered a new movement called humanistic psychologyo Humanistic psychology- approach to understanding human nature that emphasizes the positive potential of human beingso Focused on highest aspirations that people had for themselveso Rather than


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