Prolouge - Prologue The Story of Psychology PROLOGUE...

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Unformatted text preview: Prologue: The Story of Psychology PROLOGUE PREVIEW As the science of behavior and mental processes, psychology traces its roots back to early record- ed history when scholars reflected on the relationship between mind and body. Psychologists’ ini- tial focus on the mind’s structure was later replaced by the study of its functions. As the science of behavior and mental processes, psychology has its origins in many disciplines and countries. Psychology’s most enduring issue concerns the relative contributions of biology and experi- ence. Today, psychologists recognize that nurture works on what nature endows. The biopsychoso- cial approach incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis. Al- though different perspectives on human nature have their own purposes and questions, they are complementary and together provide a fuller understanding of mind and behavior. Some psychologists conduct basic or applied research; others provide professional services, including assessing and treating troubled people. With its perspectives ranging from the biological to the social, and settings from the clinic to the laboratory, psychology has become a meeting place for many disciplines. Mastering psychology requires active study. A survey-question-read-recite-review study method boosts students’ learning and performance. CHAPTER GUIDE > Introductory Exercise: Fact or Falsehood? l . Define psychology. Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. As a science, psychology evaluates competing claims with systematic observation and rigorous analysis. Behavior is any— thing an organism does. Mental processes are the internal, subjective experiences we infer from behavior, for example, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. Psychology’s Roots > Lectures: Aristotle’s Psychology; Psychology‘s First Experiments; History of Psychology: William James—Founding Father of American Psychology > Exercises: Psychologist as Scientist; Psychology as Science (PAS) Scale; Eminent Psychologists; The Dualism Scale > PsychSim 5: Psychology‘s Timeline 2 Prologue The Story of Psychology > Videos: Discovering Psychology, Updated Edition: Past, Present, and Promise; Discovering Psychology, Updated Edition: Applying Psychology in Life > Project: Interviewing a Psychologist > Project/Lecture: The Twentieth Century’s Most Eminent Psychologists . Trace psychology ’3 prescientific roots, from early understandings of mind and body to the beginnings of modern science. In their attempt to understand human nature, early scholars examined how our minds work and how our bodies relate to our minds. Buddha and Confucius focused on the power and origin of ideas. Socrates and Plato viewed mind as separable from body and argued that some ideas are innate. In contrast, Aristotle maintained that knowledge grows from our experience and believed that the mind and body are connected. He derived principles from careful observations. In the 1600s, the Frenchman Rene Descartes agreed with Socrates and Plato regarding the exis— tence of inborn knowledge and the mind’s “being entirely distinct from the body” and thus able to survive its death. In Britain, Francis Bacon, one of the founders of modern science, anticipated later discoveries regarding the human mind. British philosopher John Locke argued that at birth the mind is a blank slate on which experience writes. This idea helped formed modem empiricism, the View that knowledge originates in experience and thus that science should rely on observation and experimentation. . Explain how the early psychologists sought to understand the mind’s structure and functions, and identify some of the leading psychologists who worked in these areas. Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychological laboratory in 1879 in Leipzig, Germany. He sought to measure the fastest and simplest mental processes. His student Edward Titchener introduced structuralism, which used introspection to search for the basic elements of the mind. However, self-reports proved somewhat unreliable, varying from person to person and from situation to situation. William James thought it more fruitful to study how consciousness serves a purpose. Thus, functionalism focused on how mental and behavioral processes enable the organ— ism to adapt, survive, and flourish. James also wrote a textbook for the new discipline of psychol- ogy. He mentored Mary Whiton Calkins, the first female president of APA. Margaret Floy Washburn was the second female president of APA. 4. Describe the evolution of psychology from the 1920s through today. Psychology developed from the more established fields of philosophy and biology. Its pioneers included Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, Austrian personality theorist Sigmund Freud, and Swiss biologist Jean Piaget. Until the 19203, psychology was defined as the science of mental life. From the 1920s through the 19608, American psychologists, led by John Watson and later by B. F. Skinner, redefined psychology as the science of observable behavior. In the 1960s, psychology began to recapture its interest in mental processes, and today is defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Contemporary Psychology > Exercises: Self—Assessment on Psychology‘s Big Issues; Incremental Versus Entity Theorists; The Scientific Approach > Lectures: The Case of Andrea Yates; The Biopsychosocial Approach and Obesity; Complementary Perspectives; Social Cognitive Neuroscience; A Psychology of Human Agency; Psychology's Important Role in Basic Scientific Research; Psychology’s Applied Research; Challenges to Psychology‘s International Development > Videos: The Many Faces of Psychology; Psychology: The Human Experience, Module 42: Psychological Principles in Everyday Life > Transparency: l Biopsychosocial Approach 2 Psychology’s Current Perspectives Prologue The Story of Psychology 3 5. Summarize the nature-nurture debate in psychology, and describe the principle of natural selection. Psychology’s biggest and most enduring debate concerns the nature-nurture issue: the controver— sy over the relative contributions of genes and experience to the development of psychological traits and behavior. Included in the history of this debate is Charles Darwin’s concept of natural selection, which states that among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations. Evolution has become an important principle for twenty-first‘century psychology. Today, contemporary science recognizes that nurture works on what nature endows. Our species is biologically endowed with an enormous capacity to learn and to adapt. Moreover, every psychological event is simultaneous— ly a biological event. . Identify the three main levels of analysis in the biopsychosocial approach, and explain why psy— chology’s varied perspectives are complementary. The different systems that make up the complex human system suggest different levels of analysis: biological, psychological, and social—cultural. Together, these levels form an integrated biopsychosocial approach. Psychology’s varied perspectives therefore complement each other. Someone working from the evolutionary perspective considers how evolution influences behavior tendencies. behavior genetics perspective considers how evolution influences behavior tendencies. neuroscience perspective studies how the body and brain work to create emotions, memories, and sensory experiences. psychodynamic perspective views behavior as springing from unconscious drives and conflicts. behavioral perspective examines how observable responses are acquired and changed. cognitive perspective studies how we encode, process, store, and retrieve information. social-cultural perspective examines how behavior and thinking vary with the situation and GUI» ture. . Identify some of psychology ’s subfields, and explain the difi‘erence between clinical psychology and psychiatry. Some psychologists conduct basic research. For example, biological psychologists explore the link between brain and behavior, developmental psychologists study our changing abilities from womb to tomb, and personality psychologists investigate our inner traits. Other psychologists conduct applied research. For example, industrial/organizational psycholo- gists study behavior in the workplace and suggest ways of improving conditions and performance. Psychology is also a helping profession. Counseling psychology assists people with problems in living and in achieving greater well-being. Clinical psychology involves mental health profession- als who study, assess, and treat people with psychological disorders. Psychiatry sometimes involves medical treatments as well as psychological therapy. Psychology relates to many disciplines, by connecting with fields ranging from mathematics to philosophy and by aiding those disciplines. 4 Prologue The Story of Psychology (Close-Up) Your Study of Psychology > Exercise: Eliciting “Metaphors” for Learning and Teaching 8. State five eflective study techniques. To master information, one must actively process it. People learn and remember material best when they put it in their own words, rehearse it, and then review and rehearse it again. An acronym for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review, SQ3R is a study method that encourages active processing of new information. Distributing study time, listening actively in class, over- learning, focusing on big ideas, and being a smart test—taker will also boost learning and perform- ance. ...
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