Psych Midterm 1 Study Guide

Psych Midterm 1 Study Guide - Seven Themes of Psychological...

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Seven Themes of Psychological Science 1. Psychology is an empirical science. a. Scientists use scientific method to understand how people, think, feel, and act. b. Involves careful observations of the natural world to examine how things work. 2. Nature and nurture are inextricably entwined. a. Nature/nurture debate. b. Psychological characteristics are biologically innate (genes) AND acquired through education, experience, and culture (beliefs, values, rules, norms, and customs existing within a group of people who share a common language and environment). 3. The brain and mind are inseparable a. Mind/body problem – fundamental psychological issue that considers whether mind and body are separate and distinct or whether the mind is simply the subjective experience of the physical brain. b. Dualism (Rene Descartes) – mind and body are separate yet intertwined: memory and imagination resulted from bodily functions. c. Mind is what the brain does. 4. A new biological revolution is energizing research. a. Understanding brain’s chemical processes provided many insights into mental activity and behavior – brain works through neurotransmitters , chemicals that communicate messages between nerve cells. b. Human genome – developed various techniques for discovering links between genes and behavior. c. Watching the working brain – neuroscience – address questions such as how different brain regions interact to produce perceptual experience, how various types of memory are similar or different, and how conscious experience involves changes in brain activity. c.i. Localization of function – some areas of the brain are important for specific feelings, thoughts, and actions. 5. The mind is adaptive. a. Adaptations – physical characteristics, skills, abilities that increases chance of survival and reproduction. b. Natural selection – Darwin’s theory that those who inherit characteristics that help them adapt to their particular environments have a selective advantage over those who do not. b.i. Those better adapted to environments will survive (survival of the fittest) c. Many human behaviors and attitudes can also be considered adaptive solutions to recurring human problems. c.i. Humans have a fundamental need to belong to a group; societies discourage behavior that may lead to social exclusion. d. Culture provides adaptive solutions d.i. Dependency on group living is not unique to humans, but the nature of relations among and between ingroup and outgroup members is especially complex in human societies, which gives rise to culture. d.ii. Dramatic cultural evolution – culture plays a foundational role in shaping how people view and reason about the world around them. d.iii.
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course PSYCH 110 taught by Professor Finkel during the Spring '08 term at Northwestern.

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Psych Midterm 1 Study Guide - Seven Themes of Psychological...

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