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Introduction To Psychology - Notes: Module 1, 2, 3, 4

Introduction To Psychology - Notes: Module 1, 2, 3, 4 -...

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Introduction to Psychology Module 1 (pp. 2-25) Psychology ( Ψ ) -- what is it? General definition: “The systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes” (p. 4) 4 general goals: - description (answering “what?” & “how?“) - explanation (answering “why?“ - giving a causal account) - prediction (of future behavior & mental processes) - controlling (problematic behavior & mental processes) But is that all? - could it be that the real point of understanding ourselves is: -- to begin to live better lives? -- eventually to find ourselves more full of life’s fundamental vibrancy, passion and magic? (this is not in your book) Modern approaches in psychology 1. Biological Ψ - a focus on the bodily, physiological aspects of psychological phenomena. Esp. brain, neurology (as in neuroscience), genetics, endocrine system. 2. Cognitive Ψ - a focus on cognition, i.e., how people think -- e.g., logic, memory, perception, learning, using language, etc. 3. Behavioral Ψ - a focus on directly observable behaviors as an attempt to be true to the empirical nature of science (empirical = based on direct observation).
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4. Psychoanalytic Ψ (a.k.a., psychodynamic) -- Freud -- a focus on the unconscious (dynamics, impulses and memories of which we're not consciously aware). Usually with an emphasis on childhood experiences. 5. Humanistic Ψ -- a focus on people's fundamental freedom to find meaning and value in their lives, and to move toward growing and fulfilling their unique potentials in life. 6. Cross-cultural Ψ - a focus on the social aspect of psychological phenomena -- how our psychologies are shaped by our culture (and vice versa). <end of modern approaches> Psychology’s historical approaches Antecedents (not in book): Philosophy - considered psychological questions & issues (e.g. the nature of emotions, thought, values, etc.) via introspection and inference Biology - studied life in general, including human life, via scientific, empirical investigation Psychology - arose out of a marriage of biology's empirical attitude and philosophy's interest in psychological phenomena. Structuralism : Ψ that looks for the basic elements of conscious experience. -- Wilhelm Wundt (the father of Ψ ) -- first Ψ laboratory established in 1879 -- had people have experiences in his lab., and then asked them to report on them -- a mixture of empirical and introspective approaches (introspection = looking at & reporting subjective experience) Functionalism : Ψ that looks at what consciousness does , rather than its elements.
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-- William James -- studied how our minds adapt to changing environmental conditions. Gestalt : Ψ that looks for how consciousness perceives meaningful wholes that are more than the sum of their component parts. -- Max Wertheimer Behaviorism (early forms) : Ψ that looks only at directly observable behaviors to discover the principles that explain how organisms learn behaviors.
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