PsychologyOutlineforChapters1-3

PsychologyOutlineforChapters1-3 - Psychology Outline for...

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Psychology Outline for Chapter 1 I. German professor, Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) a. Attempted to make psychology an independent discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology. b. Favored a scientific approach to psychology and established the first journal devoted to publishing psychological research. c. Proposed that it was consciousness -the awareness of immediate experience-that was the subject matter of psychology. d. Studies in his lab focused on: i. attention ii. memory iii. sensory processes iv. reaction-time experiments-provided estimates of the duration of various mental processes. II. Battle of the “Schools”: Structuralism vs. Functionalism a. Edward Titchener -English immigrant to the U.S. who taught at Cornell University and introduced the concept of Structuralism . b. Structuralism -based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related. i. Structuralists wished to identify the fundamental components of conscious experiences such as sensations, feelings, and images. ii. Structuralists depended on the method of introspection -the careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience.
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1. Introspection required training to make the subject more objective and more aware. c. Functionalism : based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure. i. William James (1842-1910) : the chief architect of functionalism whose formal training was in medicine. ii. James had become impressed with Darwin’s theory of natural selection- inherited characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus come to be “selected” over time. iii. Applying the natural selection theory to humans, James noted that consciousness is obviously important to the human species. Thus, he contended that psychology should study the functions rather than the structure of consciousness. iv. James believed that consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts-what he termed the “stream of consciousness.” v. Functionalists were more interested in how people adapt their behavior to the demands of the real world around them. vi. This practicality led Stanley Hall, James McKeen Cattell, and John Dewey to investigate topics which may have attracted women to the field: 1. mental testing 2. patterns of development in children, the effectiveness of educational practices, and behavioral differences between the sexes.
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vii. Modern Products of Functionalism 1. Behaviorism-founded by John B. Watson, it is a theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior. It flourished as the dominant school of psychological thought during the 1950s and 1960s. a.
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2009 for the course PSYC 101 taught by Professor Loeb during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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PsychologyOutlineforChapters1-3 - Psychology Outline for...

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