lec 1 - General Psychology PSC 1(4) Aaron Rundus Syllabus...

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Unformatted text preview: General Psychology PSC 1(4) Aaron Rundus Syllabus What is Psychology/ Psychological Methods Lectures 1 & 2 What is Psychology? What is Psychology? • The discipline concerned with behavior and mental processes and how they are effected by an organisms physical state, mental state and external environment • Behavior- anything an organism does • observable • Mental processes- internal subjective experiences • What do Psychologists do? • Basic research • Applied psychology- application of basic research • I/O psychologists • Psychological practitioners • counseling psychologists, school psychologists • clinical psychologists • psychiatrists History of Psychology • Psychology is a relatively young field • only a few centuries old • Has its roots in philosophy and physiology • Philosophers like Socrates and Plato (450 BC) • wrote about aspects of human nature • e.g. pleasure, pain, desire, imagination • speculated about motivations like good/evil • not empirical • Science of Psychology- roots in physiology and medicine History of Psychology • Gustov Fechner (1800’s) • Psychophysics – he pushed to investigate the • JND- just noticeable difference relationship between the physical world and our psychological world History of Psychology • Two additional developments in the 1800’s • Emil Kraeplin- German doctor • linked mental illness to physical illness • Jean Charcot- French doctor • patients suffering from certain disorders helped through hypnosis • furthered the link between mental and physical world History of Psychology • Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) • First laboratory for the study of the mind (1879) • often credited as the • Examined sensation, birthplace of modern psychology perception, attention Schools of Psychology • Structuralism • Titchener (1867-1927)- student of Wundt’s • hoped to analyze sensations, images, and feelings into basic elements, (the structure of consciousness) • Ex. components of taste when biting an orange • much like chemical processes and chemical elements • relied on introspection Schools of Psychology • Structuralism • Introspection- “looking within” • required intensive training • record your own mental processes as they happen or right afterward in the most simplistic way • methodology is too subjective • depends entirely on the introspective individuals interpretation • Functionalism • William James (1842-1910)- “Father of American Psychology”, Harvard University Schools of Psychology • emphasized the function or purpose of behavior; how do specific mental processes help us adapt to our environment • heavily influenced by the works of Darwin • Stream of consciousness • Consciousness is personal/selective, continuous (can’t be ‘cut up’ for analysis), and constantly changing • Behaviorism • John Watson & B.F. Skinner • Mind not appropriate to study, need to focus on observable behavior Schools of Psychology • no way to directly observe mental processes • studied not only humans but a wide variety of animals as well • developed many principles to describe how we respond to stimuli • Gestalt Psychology • ~50 years after structuralism, also focused on consciousness, but not elements Schools of Psychology • “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” • looking at elements is like looking at pieces of a puzzle to understand it, but the whole puzzle has much more meaning • focused a lot on perception • our brains perceive the world more as a whole • Gestalt Psychology • Ex. Phi Phenomena • Max Wertheimer- considered the founder of this school of thought Schools of Psychology • Phi phenomena • Psychodynamic Theory • Sigmund Freud- (1856-1939) • helped develop a different approach to psy., a more clinical one Schools of Psychology • believed that many of his patients symptoms had mental not physical causes • so began to treat them from a psychological perspective- psychoanalysis Schools of Psychology • Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory • Conscious vs. unconscious conflicts • Unconscious: motivations and memories of which we are not aware • Mental illness arises from being overwhelmed by which of these is ‘in control’ • Psychoanalysis as therapy: tell me about your childhood…. • Humanist movement (1960’s) • Rejected psychoanalysis- too pessimistic a view of human nature overlooking human resilience Schools of Psychology • Rejected behaviorism- too mechanistic and “mindless” a view of human nature that ignores human hopes and aspirations leading to personal growth • Emphasized free will; ability to choose life-fulfilling paths • Cognitive psychology- result of technological innovation of the computer Schools of Psychology • Evolutionary psychology- recent and controversial addition • not controversial because of evolution • hard to study human evolution • long time between generations • gaps in historical record • mental processes like a computer • how is information processed and stored • cognitive neuroscience • modern psychology is a very diverse science • Biological perspective- how bodily events affect behavior, feelings and thoughts Modern Perspectives • neuroscience- how the brain and body create environment in influencing who we are emotions, memories, and sensory experiences • behavioral genetics- interplay between genes and • evolutionary- how behavior that was functional or adaptive in our evolutionary past is reflected in our present behavior • Learning perspective- how the environment and experience affect an individual’s actions maintain or discourage specific behaviors Modern Perspectives • behavioral- environmental rewards or punishers that • social-cognitive- combine behavioral approach with research on thoughts, values and expectations events happening around them • people also learn by imitation and thinking about • Cognitive- how we process, store, and retrieve information • focus on issues such as memory, information processing, problem solving and decision making Modern Perspectives • Sociocultural- focuses on social and cultural the individual cultures • infer mental processes from observable behavior forces outside • how thinking and behavior vary across situations and • social rules and roles, group dynamics, culture • Psychodynamic- unconscious dynamics within the individual such as inner forces, conflicts, and instinctual energy Modern Perspectives • Clinical- assessment and treatment of clinical disorders and abnormal behavior • try and find the unconscious roots of behavior • often non-empirical and more philosophical • what causes these disorders • prevention and treatment Modern Perspectives • Why all the perspectives? • Psychology benefits from understanding phenomena from all perspectives Top Side • So why take Psychology? • Since Psychology is about behavior and mental processes • we are all thinking and behaving beings • so....given our own intuition are we not already experts? • but our intuitions often occur after the fact • often after an outcome it seems obvious that this outcome was inevitable Hindsight and Conformation Bias • • • “I knew it all along” phenomena • Ex. research has found that people are generally attracted to those who are similar confirmation bias- when we ignore contradictory information • • focus only on info that supports our beliefs problem with Wundt and introspection So unfortunately intuition often fails us Problems with intuition • “the human intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument” (Madeline L’Engle) • • • If you fold a piece of paper 100 times how thick will it be if the paper is 1/10th of a millimeter? How confident are you in your answer? Answer ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2010 for the course PSC 1 taught by Professor Prokosch during the Fall '08 term at UC Davis.

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lec 1 - General Psychology PSC 1(4) Aaron Rundus Syllabus...

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