Psychology Module 1 notes

Topics: Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Cognition Pages: 6 (1058 words) Published: September 18, 2014
Module 1
Definition of Psychology
What do phycologist study?
The systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes Behaviors
Observable actions or responses in both human and animals
Mental Processes
Not directly observable; refer to a world wide range of complex mental processes, such as thinking, imagining, studying, and dreaming Goals of Psychology
First goal of psychology is to describe the different ways that organisms behave Explain
Second goal is to explain the cause of behavior
Third goal is to predict how organisms will behave in certain situations Control
Fourth goal is to control an organism’s behavior
Answering Questions
How do psychologists answer questions?
Approaches to understanding behavior include:

Biological Approach
Focuses on how our genes hormones, and nervous system interact without environment to influence learning, personality, memory, motivation, emotion, and coping techniques Example) Autism
Autism runs in families; supported by the finding in identical twins If one twin has autism, there is a high chance (90%) the other twin will exhibit signs of autistic behavior Cognitive Approach

Examines how we process, store, and use information and how this information influences what we attend to, perceive, learn, remember, believe, and feel Cognitive Neuroscience
Involves taking pictures and identifying the structures and functions of the living brain during performance of a variety of mental or cognitive processe such as thinking, and planning Behavioral Approach

Studies how organisms learn new behaviors or modify existing ones, depending on whether events in their environments reward or punish these behaviors
Some behaviorists, such as Albert Bandura, disagree with strict behaviorism Formulated a theory that includes mental or cognitive processes in addition to observable behaviors Social Cognitive Approach

Behaviors are influenced not only by environmental events and reinforces but also by observation, imitation, and thought processes Psychoanalytic Approach
Based on the belief that childhood experiences greatly influence the development of later personality traits and psychological problems Stresses the influence of unconscious fears, desires, and motivations on thoughts, behaviors, and the development of personality traits and psychological problems later in life Humanistic Approach

Emphasizes that each individual has great freedom in directing his or her future, a large capacity for personal growth, a considerable amount of intrinsic worth, and enormous potential for self-fulfillment Because of its free-will concept of human nature and lack of experimental methods, many behaviorists regard the humanistic approach as more of a philosophy of life than a science of human behavior Cross-Cultural Approach

Studies the influence of cultural/ethnic similarities and differences on psychological and social functioning Differences in how countries diagnose autism:
Symptoms described 60 years ago
First thought to be caused by environmental factors (cold parents) Researchers believe that probable causes of autism include environmental approach South Korea
Number of people with autism is unknown
Once a terrible stigma; children with autism often kept home from public Doctors in South Korea usually diagnose as a reactive attachment disorder ot “Lack of love” Evolutionary Approach
Studies how evolutionary ideas, such as adaptation and natural selection, explain human behaviors and mental processes
Eclectic approach
Uses different approaches to study the same behavior
Historical Approach
How did psychology begin?
Structuralism: elements of the mind
Functionalism: functions of the mind
Gestalt approach: sensations versus perceptions
Behaviorism: observable behavior
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)...
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