TOPHAT notes (1).pdf - Week 1 Module 1 What is Psychology...

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Week 1: Module 1 What is Psychology? Prior to the mid 19th century, most of what we knew about psychology was taken from philosophy, theology, and anatomy. It is now known as the study of behaviour and mind. Said to be a combination of physiology and philosophy. Early Work in Psychology Greek Philosophers, including Plato and Aristotle were some of the first to record on the topic. Aristotle introduced the nature of thought and “the blank slate” indicating that the mind was a place for potential experience. Rene Descartes argued that Dualism/the mind is inherently immaterial. He also gave us the idea of reflex which is when the body reacts without conscious action. Empiricism: the view that knowledge arises directly from what we observe and experience. Basic Psychology: Basic research in psychology means an attempt to understand the fundamental principles that govern behaviour and mind. Fields of Basic Research Areas of Focus Example Abnormal Psych How and why emotional/behaviour thought patterns develop. How depression might affect someone after a trauma. Behavioural Genetics Linking behaviour to genetic factors. Searching for genetic markers for autism, schizophrenia. Comparative Studying non-human and human behaviours in comparison. Testing how a chemical affects a mouse before using it on humans. Cognitive Understanding mental processes and how people process information. How people take images from their eyes and produce an understandable image. Developmental Describing how and why behaviour changes throughout the lifespan. Looking at how children learn to speak, or why memory declines at old age. Behavioural Neuroscience Linking behaviour patterns with activities in the brain. Linking the processing of faces to an area of the brain cortex. Personality Understanding how and why people differ and how this influences behaviour. How some people are extroverted, and how that predicts behavioural patterns.
Social Psych How people understand themselves and how they can be influenced by other people. How and why people are persuaded by advertisements. Applied Psychology : changing behaviour to solve some practical problems (i.e. mental health issues). - This can be divided into research and practice. - Research is done to find a more effective way to solve a problem. - Practice is the application of techniques to the problems. - Translational research is the use of basic findings to guide research on applied solutions. - Basic research is to problems as applied research is to solutions. Biological Determinism - the view that human behavior is controlled by genetic and biological influences. Technological Advances - The computer shifted how psychologists thought about making inferences in the mind. - The cerebral angiography (mapping of blood vessels in the brain) - Computerized Tomography (CT) scans - Radioactive neuroimaging such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Eclectic Approach - Choosing the most effective therapeutic technique in the given circumstances -

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