Chapter 1 Notes - Chapter 1 Introduction to Psychological...

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychological Science Developments Brain imaging: assessing changes in metabolic activity in brain Functional magnetic resonance imagining (fMRI): scans the brain Implicit attitudes test (IAT): computer program that indirectly assesses how people associate positive and negative words with certain people Amygdala : structure in brain involved in detecting threat Psychological Science: study of mind, brain, and behaviour Mind: mental activity (thoughts, feelings), perceptual experiences (sight, smell), memories Brain: has biological processes that result in mental activity “Mind is what the brain does”…physical brain enables the mind Behaviour: wide variety of actions Four Major Themes of Psychological Science 1. The Principles of Psychological science are Cumulative Research in mind, body, behaviour accumulated over the years to produce the principles of Psych Sci 2. A New Biological Revolution is Energizing Research A new biological revolution is in progress in 21 st century 3 developments in bio rev Brain chemistry : identifying neurotransmitters and their functions Human genome: the basic genetic code/blueprint of body; link between genes and behaviour; how specific genes affect thoughts, actions, feelings, disorders Watching the working brain: now know there is localization of function 3. The Mind is Adaptive Mind has been shaped by evolution (biological and cultural) Brain has evolved over millions of years 1 Research: Brain Imaging to Study Racial Attitudes o For some, unfamiliar black faces activated amygdala, these students also showed holding negative attitudes toward blacks Second study white students shown familiar black and white faces o Amygdala not activated CONCLUSION: increasing familiarity reduces fear response reduction in prejudice/discrimination
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Many modern behaviours are by-products of adaptation (reading, driving) Evolutionary theory: in psych sci, a theory that emphasizes the inherited, adaptive value of behaviour and mental activity throughout the entire history of a species Natural selection: Darwin’s theory that those who inherit characteristics that help them adapt to their behaviour environment have a selective advantage over those who do not Adaptations: in evolutionary theory, the physical characteristics, skills, or abilities that increase the chances of reproduction or survival and are therefore likely to be passed along to generations 3 aspects of evolutionary theory Solving adaptive problems: brain has evolved specialized circuits/structures that solve adaptive problems (calluses to protect skin); according to evolutionary theory solutions to adaptive problems have been built into our brains Modern minds in stone age skulls: we must understand the challenges of our ancestors to understand out behaviour Culture provides adaptive solutions:
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Chapter 1 Notes - Chapter 1 Introduction to Psychological...

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