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Psychology notes of chapter 1

Psychology...Chapter 1 Notes

Definition of psychology:

Psychology: the science of behavior and mental processes

Science: approach to knowledge based on systematic observation

Behavior: directly observable and measurable human actions

Mental processes: private psychological activities that include thinking, perceiving, and feeling

Theories: tentative explanation of facts and relationship in sciences

4 goals of psychology:

1. Describe: the information gathered through specific research helps psychologists describe psychological phenomena more accurately and completely.

2. Predict: psychologists are able to predict future behavior.

3. Understand: behavior and mental processes when we can explain why they happen.

4. Influence: psychologists hope to go beyond description, understanding, and prediction to influence behavior in beneficial ways.

Introspection: the process of looking inward at one’s own consciousness

Structuralism: the 19th century school of psychology that sought to determine the structure of the mind through controlled introspection.

Gestalt psychology: the school of thought based on the belief that human consciousness cannot be broken down into its elements

Gestalt: an organized or unified whole

Phi phenomenon: the perceptions of apparent movement between two stationary stimuli

J. Henry Alston: is the best known for his studies of the sensations of heat and cold. He discovered that we feel cold when one kind of nerve ending in the skin is stimulated, and we feel warm feel intense heat only when both the warmth and cold receptors in the skin are stimulated at the same time.

Functionalism: the 19th century school of psychology that emphasized the useful functions of consciousness

Cognition: mental processes of perceiving, believing, thinking, remembering, knowing, deciding, and so on.

Cognitive psychology: the viewpoint in psychology that emphasizes the importance of cognitive processes, such as perception, memory, and thinking

Hermann Ebbinghaus: he memorized lists of information and measured his memory for them after different intervals of time. He invented an entirely new set of meaningless items for his experiment called nonsense syllables such as KEB and MUZ.

Mary Whiton Calkins: was a prominent teacher and researcher who was a leader in research on memory. She developed a method to study memory that differed from Ebbinghaus. She also pioneered the scientific study of dreams.

Alfred Binet (Psychometrics): the useful functions of conscious mental processes in a very different but very practical direction. He developed a way to measure intelligence.

Psychometrics: the perspective in psychology founded by Binet that focuses on the measurement of mental functions

Behaviorism: the school of psychology that emphasizes the process of learning and the measurement of overt behavior

Social learning theory: the viewpoint that the most important aspects of our behavior are learned from other persons in society—family, friends, and culture

Unconscious mind: all mental activity of which we are unaware

Motives: internal states or conditions that activate behavior and give it direction

Psychoanalysis: the technique of helping persons with emotional problems based on Sigmund Freud’s theory of the unconscious mind

Humanistic psychology: the psychological view that human beings possess an innate tendency to improve and determine their lives by the decisions they make

Neuroscience perspective: the viewpoint in psychology that focuses on the nervous system in explaining behavior and mental processes

Sociocultural perspective: the theory of psychology that states that it is necessary to understand one’s culture, ethnic identity, and other sociocultural factors to fully understand a person

Culture: the patterns of behavior, beliefs, and values shared by a group of people

Ethnic group: a group of persons who are descendants of a common group of ancestors

Ethnic identity: each person’s sense of belonging to a particular ethnic group

Gender identity: one’s view of oneself as male of female

Cultural relativity: the perspective that promotes thinking of different cultures in relative terms rather than judgmental terms

Sociocultural factors in the history of psychology:

Laurel Furomoto and Elizabeth Scarborough, Leonard Krasner, and Ellen Kimmel have helped change our view of the role of women in the history of psychology by reminding us of some key facts. In the early days of psychology, it was extremely difficult of the most qualified women to obtain admission to graduate programs, when they receive training; they were rarely offered teaching position at the male-dominated institutions that they had the best equipped laboratories.

Basic Areas of Modern Psychology:

1.      Biological psychology: study the ways in which the nervous system and other organs provide the basis for behavior.

2.      Sensation and perception: how the sense organs operate and how we interpret incoming sensory information in the process of perception

3.      Learning and memory: the ways in which we learn and remember new information, new skills, new habits, and new ways of relating to other people are studied in this problem solving

4.      Cognition: with intelligent action: thinking, perceiving, planning, imagining, creating, dreaming, speaking, listening, and problem solving

5.      Developmental psychology: with changes that take place in people during their life span, as they grow from birth to old age

6.      Motivation and emotion: the needs and states that activate and guide behaviors, such as hunger, thirst, sex, the need of achievement, the need to have relationships with others. The nature of the feelings and moods that color human experience is also a topic of this specialty

7.      Personality: focuses on the more or less consistent ways of behaving that characterize our personalities

8.      Social psychology: the influence of other people on our behavior: the behavior of people in groups, mobs, or organizations; interpersonal attraction and intimate relationships; and attitudes and prejudice toward others

9.      Sociocultural psychology: focus on ethnic and cultural factors, gender identity, sexual orientation, and related issues.

Applied Areas of Modern Psychology:

1.      Clinical psychology: try to understand and treat emotional problems and correct abnormal behavior

2.      Counseling psychology: help people with personal or school problems and with career choices

3.      Industrial and organizational psychology: focuses on ways to match employees to jobs, to train and motivate workers, and to promote job satisfaction and good relationships among workers

4.      Educational and school psychology: is concerned with the ways children learn in the classroom and with the construction of psychological and educational tests.

5.      Health psychology: focus on the ways in which pressures, conflicts, hardships, and other factors contribute to poor health. To prevent health problems such as heart disease by teaching people to relax, exercise, control their diets, and stop high risk behaviors, such as smoking.

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