PSC 1 Spring 2009
Section 3 – Post
Terms in italics indicate topics that were not covered in lecture but are covered in the text.
Introduction to Psychology
scientific study of mind and behavior
The scientific study of mental processes and behavior and its application to practical problems=definition of
role of evolutionary theory
Darwin’s evolutionary theory suggested that the typical characteristics of a species must serve some purpose.
James (functionalists) used this approach to psc. Evolution: variation/heritability of trait, different reproductive
fitness. Behavior and mental processes are shaped by evolution.
nature vs nurture debate
environment (inc. biological i.e. stress hormones, etc)
Is behavior determined by genetic inheritance or by environment and experience? Is the pianist born or
the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how
these elements are related. Fundamental components of conscious experience (sensations, feelings, images,
the careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience
based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of
consciousness, rather than its structure (culture, intellectual influences, natural selection.) aka more interested in
how people adapt their behavior to the world around them.
Both Early psc.
“founder of psc”, established first lab for studying psc in 1979 Leipzig,
Germany. Influenced by
, defined psc as the study of the structure of conscious experience
Influenced by Darwin, wanted to understand the continuous flow of thoughts
(stream or consciousness), noted that consciousness is obviously important to species, started
Both Later psc.
Austrian physician, used psc to treat mental disorders, concluded that psc
disturbances are caused by personal conflicts at an
level (dreams, slips of tongue),
developed psychoanalytic theory (attempts to explain personality, motivation, mental disorders by
focusing on unconscious behavior).
(a theoretical orientation based on
the premise that scientific psc should study only observable behavior), wanted to change psc meaning to
the study of behavior, believed in use of scientific method, and being able to
the study of consciousness altogether. Believed in nurture/environment over nature/genes.
perspectives in psychology