01.01 roots of psychology

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Psychology
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Psychology is the scientific study of an individual’s behavior and mental processes
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Behavior
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A behavior is an action of a living being that can be observed. – The way you talk and walk are examples of behaviors – Behaviors is how we interact and with each and our environment
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Mental processes
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Mental processes are internal experiences such as thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. – These processes are shaped by our experiences and how we interpret them.
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The history of psychology
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The idea of studying the mind all started with philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. They debated how the mind, body, and soul were connected as far back as 300 B.C. – Socrates and his student Plato believed that the mind was separate from the body and therefore continues on after death. They believed that knowledge was born within us. -Aristotle, who was an expert on data and observational study, disagreed with Socrates and Plato. He believed that the soul and body were not separate and that knowledge is gained from experience.
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Psychology as a science
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-Psychology as a science all started in 1879 -German professor named Wilhelm Wundt conducted what is considered the very first official psychological experiment. – His goal was to measure how long it took for people to hear and respond to a sound. -Wundt’s experiments earned him the title \”the father of psychology.\”
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Edward Titchener
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-American student of Wundt asked subjects of his experiments to look inward to describe their thoughts and feelings immediately following an experience, we call this practice introspection. -Titchener’s approach to studying psychology became known as structuralism, since he focused on exploring the structure and basic elements of consciousness.
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Introspection
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looking inward
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Structuralism
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Approach that focuses on the structure and basic elements of the consciousness
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Consciousness
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Awareness of oneself and their environment
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Structuralism vs. Functionalism
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-One group of scientists pushed psychological studies in another direction. Instead of focusing on the structure of consciousness using introspection, they decided to study the purpose of consciousness and behavior. Not everyone thought introspection was reliable. William James conducted those studies known as functionalism
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William James
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American professor William James was one of those influential scientists. He gave many lectures and published a textbook describing his approach, known as functionalism.
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Functionalism
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-Focuses on the functions of the consciousness and how it helps people adapt behaviors to their environment -This focus led to studies on topics like how children grow and develop, how males and females are different, and even how to measure intelligence.
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Gestalt psychologists
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Perspective which studies the mind and the behavior as a whole – Like functionalist disagreed with structuralist approach – They believed that instead of focusing on the structures of consciousness as separate pieces, they should be viewed together as a complete experience – \”the whole is different from the sum of its parts\” was their moto – For example, words on a page have limited meaning when they are read individually, but when they are put together, they create a unique story. *Gestalt psychologists promoted the idea that people can’t be defined by individual experiences. These separate experiences combine to form each individual’s story.
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Unconscious Mind
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Freudian slip: People use that term to describe a mistake that they think occurred because of a hidden feeling – For example, Johnny accidentally calls his kindergarten teacher \”mom\”, The slip of the tongue illustrates Johnny feels affection for his teacher, much like he does his mother.
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Freud a psychologist
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– Freud introduced the theory that thoughts, conflicts, and desires lie below a person’s conscious awareness. In other words, people have thoughts and feelings that they are not aware of but that still impact their behavior. – Freud’s interest in the field of psychology started with the desire to treat psychological disorders. Similar to introspection, his patients would look inward to describe their thoughts, conflicts, and desires. This reflection and exploration of self is called psychoanalysis – After many years of observing patients, he determined that there was an unconscious – Freud’s theory suggested that people were not in complete control of their minds – Focus on the unconscious self led to the study of personality, emotions, and motivation
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Psychoanalysis
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Approach focuses on ones unconscious thoughts, desires, and conflict that drive behavior.
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Unconscious
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Part of the mind below ones conscious awareness where are deepest thoughts, desires, and memories are found.
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Rejecting Consciousness
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– In 1906, scientist Ivan Pavlov conducted research about animal digestion. He discovered dogs could be trained to salivate. He found that he could control the behavior using a stimulus (a bell) that wouldn’t typically cause this reaction. – Soon after, psychologist John B. Watson developed the behaviorist perspective, which shifted the focus of psychology from what goes on inside the mind to behaviors that could be observed. – Both he and behaviorist B.F. Skinner believed study of consciousness was useless because it could not be done scientifically – Their studies focused on understanding how the environment influences behavior with positive and negative outcomes. – EXAMPLE: If an individual is rewarded, they are more likely to repeat the behavior. He demonstrated this concept by training animals to performing amazing tasks. – Knowledge of how rewards and reinforcement impact an individual enables the researcher to understand and predict future behaviors without the need for an underlying explanation. This concept led Skinner to declare that there is no such thing as free will, but people are controlled by their environment.
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Stimulus
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Anything is in an environment that causes a response
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Not just animals
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-Many psychologists in the 1960s rejected the idea that people didn’t have free will in their decision making. -Psychoanalysis was rejected, as well, since it focused on thoughts and desires that one couldn’t control. – Instead, psychologists concentrated on unique qualities that separate humans from other animals. – Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow became leaders in humanistic psychology, which argued that each individual’s sense of self impacts their behavior. – They also believed that healthy people desire to be loved, accepted, and reach their full potential.
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Humanistic Psychology
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Approach focuses on the conscious experience and how free will and desire for personal growth impacts thoughts and behaviors
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Back to Consciousness
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– Scientific studies began to focus on how the mind processes and stores information. Cognitive psychologist Jean Piaget used this approach to explore how children develop their thinking abilities. – Cognitivists believed that psychology must study mental processes in order to fully understand behavior. Only focusing on the behavior itself gives us an incomplete picture. Change in a person’s thinking greatly affects his or her actions. – Advancements in technology have allowed scientists to combine the cognitive and biological perspectives as well. Now, we are able to study how the body and brain change in response to mental processes. For example, Noam Chomsky used the cognitive perspective to determine how language is developed. To do that, he studied the areas of the brain that influence speech.
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Cognition
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Problem solving and decision making * Is the mental processes used to gather knowledge and information
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Six Modern Psychological Perspectives
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**Behavioral :Only observable behaviors can be studied scientifically. Focuses on how we are affected by our environment. **Psychodynamic: Unconscious motivations, thoughts, and desires influence our behavior. Previously known as the psychoanalytic perspective. **Humanistic: Humans are different than animals. They have freedom to make their own choices and desire personal growth. **Social – Cultural:The society or culture a person interacts with influences thoughts and behaviors. **Cognitive: Behaviors are understood only by studying mental processes such as gathering, storing, and processing information. ** Biological: The body’s physical structures and chemical processes explain and affect behavior.
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Eclecticism
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– Approach incorparate multiple theories, methods and perspectives

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