General Psychology Chapter 1

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Definition of Psychology
Psychology: the science of behavior and mental processes.
* Science
* Attempt to understand people by thinking critically about careful, controlled observations. * Behavior
* Refers to all of a person’s overt actions that can be directly observed. * Mental Processes
* Refers to the private thoughts, emotions, feelings, and motives that other people can not directly observe. Goals of Psychology (4)
* Describe: Identifying and classifying behaviors and mental processes as accurately as possible. * Understand: Proposing reasons for behaviors/mental processes. * Predict: Offering predictions (or hypotheses) about how a given condition or set of conditions will affect behaviors/mental processes. * Influence: Using the results to solve practical problems that involve behavior/mental processes. Goal| Definition| Examples|

Describe| Describe behavior/mental processes as accurately as possible| Calculate average video games for males/females| Understand| Suggest causes for behavior/mental processes of interest.| Propose that males score higher on video games because they practice more than females do.| Predict| Specify conditions under which behavior/mental process is likely to occur.| Hypothesize that males/females will obtain equivalent video game scores if they practice the same amount of time.| Influence| Apply the results of a study to change a condition in order to bring about a desired real-world outcome or to prevent an undesired real-world outcome. | Use the results of video games practices studies to develop games that enhance females’ achievement in math/science.|

Two types of research help psychologists accomplish the four goals Basic Research
* Research conducted to seek new knowledge and to explore and advance general scientific understanding. * Explores such topics as the nature of memory, brain function, motivation and emotional expression. Applied Research

* Research conducted specifically to solve practical problems and improve the quality of life. * Focuses on finding methods to improve memory or increase motivation, therapies to treat psychological disorders, ways to decrease stress, and so on. * Influence: because it specifies ways and means of changing behavior. Structuralism

* Wilhelm Wundt
* Edward Titchener
-The first formal school of thought in psychology, aimed at analyzing the basic elements, or structures, of conscious mental experience -School of psychology that sought to determine the structure of the mind through controlled introspection.

Wilhelm Wundt: Structuralism
* Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) is generally thought of as the father of psychology. * Established the first psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879, an event considered to mark the birth of psychology as a formal discipline. * Wanted to identify the basic elements that make up conscious experience (pure sensations such as sweetness, coldness, or redness) and form perceptions. * They used the process of introspection to look inward at one’s own consciousness. Edward Titchner: Structuralism

* Edward Titchner (1867-1927) was Wundt’s student
* He took the field to the United States, where he set up a psychological laboratory at Cornell University. * He gave the name “structuralism” to this school of thought. * Thought that consciousness could be reduced to its basic elements; just as water (h2o) can be broken down into its constituent elements---hydrogen (h) and oxygen (o).

Functionalism
* Functionalism: An early school of psychology that was concerned with how humans and animals use mental processes in adapting to their environment. * Influence by Charles Darwin about ideas of evolution and the continuity of species. * William James (1842-1910) taught the first “Psychology” course in 1875; taught that mental processes are fluid and...
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