c1notes - Portia Mellott Intro to Psychology I Chapter 1...

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Portia Mellott Intro to Psychology January 25, 2009 Chapter 1 Notes What is Psychology? I. How Accurate is the Image of Psychology? a. Humans have replaced rats as the most common participants in psychology research and learning is only one of many areas of study for psychology researchers. b. The people who hold the view that “everyone is a psychologist” overlook how many times common sense fails to make correct predictions about behavior. c. Defining Psychology i. Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes. 1. Behavior includes a variety of overt actions such as walking and gesturing, social interactions such as talking to someone, and emotional reactions such as laughing or frowning. Certain physiological reactions, such as heart rate and patterns of brain activity, must be measured with instruments, but they still fit within the category of behavior. 2. Mental processes include thoughts and ideas as well as more complex aspects of reasoning. 3. Psychologists make inferences about mental processes by studying behavior. II. How Did Psychology Begin? a. Beginning in the last 19 th century, inquiry in philosophy evolved into psychology. b. The Early Traditions i. Structuralism 1. Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) intended to found a new science, and he did so by establishing a laboratory devoted to research on psychological topics. 2. Edward B. Titchener (1867-1927) helped popularize Wundt’s initial ideas, along with his own, in the United States and the rest of the English-speaking world. Titchener espoused structuralism. 3. Structuralism is the school of psychological thought that considered the structure and elements of immediate, conscious experience to be the proper subject matter of psychology. 4. To discover these elements, structuralists used the technique of introspection, or self-examination of one’s mental processes. Using introspection, an individual describes and analyzes thoughts as they occur. ii. Functionalism
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1. Functionalism was the school of psychological thought that tried to explore not just the mind’s structures but how the mind functions and how this functioning is related to consciousness. 2. With William James (1842-1910) at its head, this lively new school of psychological thought was the first American attempt to research the mind. 3. In 1890 James published Principles of Psychology , in which he described the mind as a dynamic set of continuously evolving elements. a. In this work, he coined the phrase “stream of consciousness” iii. Gestalt Psychology 1. Gestalt psychology is the school of psychological thought that argued that it is necessary to study a person’s total experience, not just parts of the mind of behavior. 2. Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) and Kurt Koffka (1886- 1941) suggested that conscious experience is more than simply the sum of its individual parts.
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