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Unit 1: The Basics
-Origins of Psychology
-Roots in ancient philosophy
-Socrates – “ know thyself”
-Plato – rely on thought and reason
-Aristotle – rely on experience, observation
-Confucius – concerned with nature of the human
-Influences on modern psychology
- Fechner – psychophysics
- Helmholtz – perceiving color
-Wilhelm Wundt – 1879 – transition from philosophy to science
-Founder of modern psychology
-First actual psychology lab
-Major Early Schools of Psychology
-Introspection – the pieces of what make you who you are
-Components or building blocks of the mind
-William James – United States
-The mind adapts us to our environment
-Understand the mind by understanding how it functions
-John Watson – early 1900’s
-Study only overt behavior
-Experience, environment mold us
-B.F. Skinner – operant conditioning – consequences are
crucial to learning
-Reinforcer – pleasant consequence; increases
-Punishment – unpleasant consequence; decreases
-Gestalt psychology
-Max Wertheimer – contemporary of Watson
-Unified, organization patterns
-“Whole is greater than the sum of the parts”
-Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis “Talk it out therapy”
-Austrian physician
-Focus on the unconscious
-Sexual and aggressive impulses motivate
-Importance of early childhood experience
-Dynamic conflict between unconscious desire and
acceptable behavior
Modern Views in Psychology
-Behavioral perspective
-Modeled after school of behaviorism
-Observable behavior; emphasis on experience and
-Broader variation: social-cognitive theory “If I do X , Y
will happen”
-Environment and cognitive factors
-Values, goals, and expectations important
-Behavior therapy – applying learning principles to treat
psychological problems
-Psychodynamic Perspective
-Neo-Freudians include emphasis on self-awareness
and choices
-Focus remains on unconscious drives and early
childhood experience
-Criticized because scientific study is difficult
-Humanistic perspective
-Carl Rodgers key player in this idea
-Known as “third force” in psychology, started in 1950’s
-Combined Freud’s ideas with behaviorism
-Each human has unique abilities and potential
-Free will, personal choice; crucial aspects of this
-We are our own architects
-Physiological perspective
-Biological processes influence behavior
-Nervous system and body chemicals at root
of human functioning
-Heredity an important consideration
-Subfield: Evolutionary psychology
-Study non-human species as well as
-Genetic programming creates behavioral
tendencies, predispositions
-Cognitive perspective
-Wilhelm Wundt
-Cognition means knowledge
-Study of mental processes; acquiring
knowledge of ourselves and the world
-How we learn, think, reason, remember, and
use language
-Criticized by behaviorists as being beyond
scientific study, cannot see people think
-Sociocultureal Perspective
-Behavior and attitudes are influenced by culture
-Social and economic experiences have impact
-Ethnicity , age, gender, and lifestyle are
The Many Fields of Psychology…
-Traditional Specialty Areas of Psychology
-Experimental psychologists: use the
experimental research method to study
behavior and mental processes
-Clinical psychologists: study individuals with
psychological disorders
-Counseling psychologists: treat individuals
with less severe disorders
-School psychologists: work directly with
children to aid in school experience
-Educational psychologists: research/apply
best learning environments
-Developmental psychologists: study human
growth and changes over their lifetime
-Personality psychologists: study unique personal
characteristics and behaviors
-Social psychologists: focus on the individual as a
member of a group
-Environmental psychologists: study the
relationship between people’s behavior and their
environment (color of the room)
-Industrial / Organizational psychologists:
research/apply ways to make the work setting
-Health psychologists: study the relationship
between psychological factors and physical wellbeing
-Consumer psychologists: look at people’s
purchases and reaction to advertising