Psy105 Chapter 1

Topics: Psychology, Cognitive science, Perception Pages: 7 (1782 words) Published: April 7, 2013
* Psychology: scientific study of mind and behavior.
* Mind: our private inner experience of perceptions, thoughts, memories, and feelings. * Behavior: observable actions of human beings and nonhuman animals.

* Psychology’s Roots: the Path to a Science of Mind
* Psychology’s Ancestors: the Great Philosophers
* First people for fundamental questions about how mind works. * Plato (428 BC – 347 BC)
* Nativism: certain kinds of knowledge are innate/ inborn. * Aristotle (384 BC – 322BC)
* Philosophical empiricism: all knowledge is acquired through experience. * From the brain to the mind: the French connection
* Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650)
* Body& mind are fundamentally different things
* Body is made of material substance; mind is made of immaterial/ spiritual substance. * Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679)
* Mind& body aren’t different things; mind is what the brain does. * Franz Joseph Gall (1758 – 1828)
* Brains& minds were linked.
* Phrenology: specific mental abilities& characteristics, ranging from memory to capacity for happiness, are localized in specific regions of the brain. (See Figure 1.1). The more capacities& traits a person had, the larger the corresponding bumps on skull. * Paul Broca, surgeon (1824 – 1880)

* Damage to specific part of brain impaired specific mental function, clearly demonstrating that brain& mind are closely linked. * “Mind is grounded in material processes of brain.”
* From physiology to psychology: a new science is born
* Physiology: study of biological processes, especially in human body. (measure speed of nerve impulses& mental abilities) * Hermann von Helmholtz (1821 – 1894)
* Estimate how long it took a nerve impulse to travel to brain. * by applying stimulus (sensory input from environment) to different parts of leg, and recording participants’ reaction time (amount of time taken to respond to specific stimulus).

* Psychology’s Roots: the Path to a Science of Mind (cont.) * From physiology to psychology: a new science is born (cont.) * Wilhelm Wundt (1832 – 1920)
* Established first experimental psychology lab:1879, Germany * Scientific psychology should focus on analyzing consciousness (person’s subjective experience of world& mind. * Structuralism: analysis of basic elements that constitute mind. (Breaking consciousness down into elemental sensations& feelings) * Introspection: subjective observation of one’s own experience. * under conscious, person who doesn’t have to engage in additional step of interpretation but to concentrate on 1 thing can response faster than other who has to concentrate on more than one thing. * Edward Titchener (1867 – 1927)

* Studied w/ Wundt
* Set up psychology laboratory at Cornell University, US
* Focused on identifying basic elements themselves.
* James and the Functional Approach
* Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)
* Natural selection: features of organism that help it survive& reproduce are more likely than other features to be passed on to subsequent generations. * William James (1842 – 1910)
* Trying to isolate& analyze particular moment of consciousness distorted essential nature of consciousness. * Functionalism: study of purpose mental processes serve in enabling people to adapt to their environment. * Consciousness must serve important biological function and task for psychologists was to understand what those functions are (applying Darwin’s principle of natural selection). * Influenced many thinkers in North America.

* Wrote The Principles of Psychology in 1890.

* Errors and Illusions Reveal Psychology
* Illusions of Movement and the Birth of Gestalt Psychology * Illusions: errors of perception, memory, or judgment in which subjective experience differs from objective reality. * Max Wertheimer (1880 – 1943)

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