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Chapter 1 - Introductory Psychology Psychology The...

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Introductory Psychology Psychology : The systematic study of behavior and mental processes.
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Behavior : we can see and measure Aggression : Six-year old Billy shoves five-year old Bobby on a playground. Bobby becomes angry and hits Billy. We can see the hitting behavior. Mental Processes : we can’t see mental events (for the most part), so they are hard to measure. There may be a lot of error in the measurement of mental events Aggression : Six-year old Billy shoves five-year old Bobby on a playground. Bobby becomes angry, but since he knows Billy can hurt him really bad, he does not show anger or do anything. He does not cry because he fears he may be called a cry-baby. We can’t always see the anger. Think about maintaining a “Poker-face” in a Card game… or, if someone hurts your feelings but you don’t want them to know. We can ask…. But, there is a lot of error .
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Historical Aspects of Psychology : 1. Rationalism : Knowledge should come from rational thinking: i.e., reason, logic, & common sense. Socrates/Plato talked of individual differences in reasoning ability, courage, motivation, etc. Pythagoras felt that God was a mathematician Even in galaxies far away, A2 + B2 = C2 and π = 3.14159 Music of the Spheres = pentatonic
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Galen said that humors (body fluids)are related to psychological characteristics: Yellow Bile Choleric – leaders, doers, ambitious, dominant, extrovert Black Bile – Melancholic – kind, creative, depressed, perfectionist, low self-image Blood Sanguine – fun loving, life of the party, drama queens, empathetic. Phlegm Phlegmatic – lacks enthusiasm, introvert, shy, easy going, dull.
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Rationalism allows us to explain things after they occur, but only in the general sense; typically rationalism can’t accurately predict behavior. Explanations after a phenomenon occurs are
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2. Renaissance: Knowledge can be gained from observation. Aristotle – if we want to know, we have to observe.
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Galileo saw the world as lawful, and mechanistic, therefore he said we can predict and identify causality (cause and effect).
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If you have observed a close friend in many situations, you can probably predict what they will do in a given situation. For people in general , you would predict based on your observations of lots of people (aka social norms).
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3. Pre-scientific : mechanistic, pre-ordained (pre-wired) Descartes - “ Dualism” - the idea that the body and the mind were separate entities that interact at a brain site called the Pineal Body (gland). Descartes said that the mind consists of both innate ideas (present at birth) and derived (learned) experiences.
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4. Scientific: The start of what we today call psychology W. Wundt - In 1879 at Leipzig, Germany- established the 1st laboratory for the study of psychology. His method of study (research) was
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What resulted was a kind of “Mental Chemistry” If we look at something, our eyes and brains break it down into elements
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Gestalt Psychology Wertheimer, Koffka, & Kohler : Argued against Wundt- said that perceptions are greater than the sum of sensations.
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5.
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