Psyc 1010 Notes

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* One of the reasons that students and researchers are drawn to psyc is that it has much to offer in the analysis and possible prevention of such social problems (bullying) * Pyscologists seek to describe, explain, and predict the occurrence of behaviours * They can offer possible explanations for behaviours as well as suggestions about what to do about it immediately in order to cope with it and prevent its occurrence in the future * if pysc is a social science, why do psychologists study subjects such as brain chemistry and the physiological basis of vision? FROM SPECULATION TO SCIENCE: HOW PSYC DEVELOPED

* psycologys story is one of ppl groping toward a better understanding of themselves * the term psychology (the study of the mind) comes from two greek words: * psyche soul
* logos the study of a subject
A new science is born: The contributions of Wundt and Hall
* psyc intellectual parents were the disciplines of philosophy and physiology * by 1870s a small # of scholars in both fields were actively exploring qtions about the mind * Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) who mounted a campaign to make psyc an indp discipline rather than a stepchild of philosophy or physiology * 1879, Wundt succeeded in est the first formal lab for research in psyc * This is why 1879 is christened as psyc’s “date of birth” * 1881, Wundt est the first journal devoted to publishing research on psyc * All in all, Wundt is characterized as the founder of psyc * Wundt’s conception of psyc was influential for decades * He believed that psyc primary focus was consciousness- the awareness of immediate experience and thus it became the scientific study of conscious experience * Between 1883 and 1893 some 24 new psyc research labs sprang up inside the US * G. Stanley Hall (1846-1924) who studied briefly with Wundt, was a particularly impt contributor to the rapid growth of psyc in America * Hall reeled off a series of “firsts” for American psyc * 1892, he was the driving force behind the est of the american psyc association (APA) The battle of the “schools” begins: Structuralism vs Functionalism * While reading about how psyc became a science, you might have imagined that psychologists became a unified group of scholars who busily added new discoveries to an uncontested store of the “facts” * Competing schools of thought exist in most scientific disciplines * In psyc, the first two major schools of thought , structuralism and functionalism were entangled in the field’s first great intellectual battle * Structuralism emerged through the leadership of Edward Titchener * Structuralism was based on the notion that the task of psyc is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related * Structuralists wanted to identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience, such as sensations, feelings and images * Most of structuralists work concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing and touch * Depended on the method of introspection, the careful systematic self-observation of ones own conscious experience * Required training to make the subject the person being studied- more objective and more aware * Once trained, subjects were typically exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions under carefully controlled and systematically varied conditions and were asked to analyze what they experienced * Functionalism took a different view of psyc’s task

* It was based on the belief that psyc should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure * William James work was the chief for the emergence of functionalism * He illustrates how psyc like any field, is deeply embedded in a network of cultural and intellectual influences * Natural selection, heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive...
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