Psychology and Its Roots

Topics: Psychology, Evolutionary psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 8 (2290 words) Published: July 22, 2013
What is psychology?
The scientific study of mental processes and behaviour
To understand a person a psychologist must investigate an individual’s...? Biology, psychological experiences, and cultural context.
What are two aspects which create possibilities and limitations to an individual’s psychology? Biology and cultural experience. Biologically the structure of the brain sets the parameters or limits of human potential. Cultural experience shapes the groundwork for different kinds of thinking, reasoning and acting. What is biopsychology?

Biopsychology or behavioural neuroscience investigates the physical basis of psychological phenomena. It investigates the electrical and chemical processes in nervous system that underlie mental events, aiming to link mind and body. Localisation of function is a study which tries to link areas of the brain to different psychological functions. What is anthropology and cross-cultural psychology?

Anthropology is the study of cultures. Anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict were interested in the relationship between culture and personality. They argued that individual psychology is fundamentally shaped by cultural values, ideals and ways of thinking, as we learn ways that conform to the cultural standards. What are three philosophical questions which have influenced the study of psychology? Free will or determinism: do we freely control our actions or are our behaviours determined by things outside our control. Mind-Body problem: the question of how mental and physical events interact. Nature vs Nurture: To what extent do psychological processes reflect biological or environmental influences? Who is Wilhelm Wundt?

He is seen as the father of psychology and started the first psychology laboratory in 1879, germany. What was Wundt’s goal?
Wundt wanted to discover the elementary units of human consciousness that combine to form more complex ideas. What did he deem the basic elements of consciousness?
Sensations and feelings
What view did the next generation of psychologists take?
They aimed to separate themselves from philosophical speculation and establish a fully scientific approach to psychology. What were the two original prominent schools of thought?
Structualism initiated by Edward Titchener which tried to uncover the basic elements of consciousness using introspection. And functionalism which tried to explain psychological processes in terms of it’s role or function it served to help people to adapt to their environment. William James one of the founders believed that knowledge about human psychology could come from many sources, including not only introspection and experimentation but also through the study of children, other animals and people who are mentally ill. What was Titchener’s view on method?

Unlike Wundt Titchener believed experimentation was the only appropriate method for a science of psychology. What are Rene Descartes two main ideas?
Free will or determinism: He believed that human actions follow human intention. That we choose a course of action and then act on it. Mind – Body problem: He suggested the idea of dualism which means the body and the mind are separate but can influence each other. What is a paradigm?

A paradigm is a broad system of theoretical assumptions that a scientific community uses to make sense of its domain of study. It has a model or abstract picture of the object of study, includes shared metaphors and methods that a scientific community agree on. Perspectives

What are the five main perspectives in psychology?
-The psychodynamic perspective
-The behaviourist perspective
- The cognitive perspective
-The humanistic perspective
-The evolutionary perspective

Psychodynamic perspective
What are the key premises behind the psychodynamic perspective? * Peoples actions are determined by the way thoughts, feelings and wishes are connected in their minds. * Many of these mental events occur outside...
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