Vocabulary - Chapter 1 Themes in Psychological Science 1...

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Chapter 1 Themes in Psychological Science: 1. The principles in psychological science are cumulative: Psychological science relies on empirical evidence and builds on previous discoveries in a dynamic way. o Research on mind, brain, and behavior has accumulated over time to produce the principles of psychological science . 2. The new biological revolution is energizing research: Discoveries in brain activity have been enhanced by the discoveries of neurotransmitters (brain chemistry). Mapping of the human genome has furthered the role of genetics in analyzing disease and behavior. Tremendous advances in brain imaging have revealed the working brain. o Deeper understanding of the brain, its functions, and how it functions has led to a deeper understanding of the mind and behavior. 3. The mind is adaptive: The brain has evolved to solve survival problems and adapt to environments. Many modern behaviors are by- products of adaptation. Three aspects of evolutionary theory are particularly helpful in understanding aspects of mind and behavior: o Solving adaptive problems: the body contains specialized mechanisms that have evolved to solve problems that required adaptation. o Modern minds in stone age skulls: the human mind retains many of its ‘caveman’ propensities. o Culture provides adaptive solutions: the complexity of living in groups gives rise to culture. Successful methods of hunting and gathering, beliefs about supernatural forces that shape behavior, and the capacity to communicate with other group members reflect knowledge that is handed down through the generations, helping future generations solve recurring adaptive problems. Culture plays a foundational role in shaping how people view and reason about the world around them Different cultures possess (and produce) strikingly different minds. E.g., forest for the trees theory The accumulating evidence indicates that the human mind is adaptive in both biological and cultural terms, providing solutions to survival and reproductive challenges as well as a strong framework for a shared social understanding of how the world works. A true understanding of mind, brain, and behavior requires careful consideration of the evolution of biology and culture.
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4. Psychological science crosses levels of analysis: The mind and behavior can and must be studied on many levels of analysis. Psychological scientists study three basic categories of behavior and mental life: social , individual , and biological . Categories of Analysis: o Social: Cultural: norms, beliefs, values, symbols, ethnicity Interpersonal: groups, relationships, persuasion, influence, workplace o Individual: Individual differences: personality, gender, developmental age groups, self-concept Perception and cognition: thinking, decision making, language, memory, seeing, hearing Behavior: observable actions, responses, physical movements o Biological: Brain systems: neuroanatomy, animal research, brain imaging Neurochemical: neurotransmitters and hormones, animal studies, drug studies.
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