Chapter 1 - Chapter 1 The Field of Psychology What it is...

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Chapter 1 The Field of Psychology: What it is and How it Started Psychology – The science of behavior and cognitive processes. This implies that psychology is scientific in nature, yet very broad in scope. It concerns everything we do, think, feel, or experience. Behavior – Any observable action or reaction by a living organism including overt actions (things we say or do) to changes in the electrical activity occurring in our brains. Cognitive Processes – Every aspect of our mental live including thoughts, memories, dreams, fantasies, and reasoning. All aspects of the human mind. Major battles were fought among early psychologists who disagreed about what the focus of psychology should be. Structuralists – argued that psychology should focus on the human mind including its contents and structure. They suggested using a method called introspection where individuals reported on their own mental processes. (basic elements of consciousness) Behaviorists – Very important to shaping modern psychology. The most famous proponent was John B. Watson who stated that if something can’t be observed directly (eg: an ideal, a mental image), it can’t be included as a part of psychology. Modern tools are providing more and more capabilities to observe the cognitive processes. The origins of modern psychology come from philosophy (more specifically, the philosophy of science) which suggested that the methods of science can be applied to virtually anything in the natural world. Another important foundation was provided by the fields of biology and physiology, whose findings shed
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2008 for the course PSYC 1200 taught by Professor Hubble during the Fall '08 term at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Chapter 1 - Chapter 1 The Field of Psychology What it is...

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