General Psychology: Ch. 1

  1. The psychology you are about to study is real psychology and bears little relation to "pop psych". It is more complex and more informative because it is based on scientific research and empirical evidence.

    What does empirical mean?
    Empirical means relying on or derived from observation, experimentation, or measurement.
  2. What is psychology?
    Psychology can be defined generally as the discipline concerned with behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism's physical state, mental state, and external environment.
  3. Critical thinkers are able to look for flaws in arguments and to resist claims that have no support. They have the ability to think creative and constructive--the ability to come up with alternative explanations for events, think of implications of research findings, and apply new knowledge to social and personal problems.

    What is critical thinking?
    Critical thinking is the ability and willingness to asses claims and make judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence rather than emotion or anecdote.
  4. What are the eight essential critical thinking guidelines?
    • 1. Ask Questions; Be Willing to Wonder
    • Example: "Can I recall events from my childhood accurately?
    • 2. Define Your Terms
    • Example: By "childhood" I mean ages 3-12; by "events" I mean things that happened to me personally, like a trip; by "accurately" I mean the event  happened the way I think it did.
    • 3. Examine the Evidence
    • Example: "I feel I recall my fifth birthday party perfectly, but studies that show that people often reconstruct past events inaccurately"
    • 4. Analyze Assumptions and Biases
    • Example: "I've always assumed that memory is like a tape recorder--perfectly accurate for every moment of my life--but maybe this is just a bias, becasue it's so reassuring."
    • 5. Avoid Emotional Reasoning
    • Example: "I really want to believe this memory is true, but that doesn't mean it is."
    • 6. Don't Oversimplify
    • Example: "Some of my childhood memories could be accurate, others mistaken, and some partly right and partly wrong."
    • 7. Consider Other Interpretations
    • Example: "Some 'memories' could be based on what my parents told me later, not on my own recall."
    • 8. Tolerate Uncertainty
    • Example: "I may never know for sure whether some of my childhood memories are real or not."
  5. Without empirical methods, the forerunners of psychology also commited terrible blunders such as the theory of phrenology. Greek for "study of the mind," phrenology became popular in Europe and America in the early 1800s.

    What is phrenology?
    Phrenology is the now-discredited theory that different brain areas account for specific charactor and personality traits, which can be "read" from bumps on the skull.
  6. In 1879, the first psychological laboratory was established i n Leipzig, Germany. The person who established this laboratoy  is especially revered by psychologists because he was the first person to announce (in 1873) that he intended to make psychology a science and because his laboratory was the first to have its results published in a scholarly journal.

    Who was this psychologist?
    William Wundt (1832-1920)
  7. A modified form of Wundt's ideas by one of his students, E. B. Titchener (1867-1927).

    Analyze sensations, images, and feelings into basic elements.

    Defined as  an early psychological approach that emphasized the analysis of immediate experience into basic elements.

    Lost favor despite its ability to generate an intensive program of research. Years after its demise, Wolfgang Kohler (1959) recalled how he responded to it as a student. "What had disturbed us was...the implication that human life apparently so colorful and so intensely dynamic, is actually a fireghtful bore."

    Which school of psychological thought does this describe?
  8. An early psychological approach that emphasized the function or purpose of behavior and consciousness.

    One its leaders was William James (1842-1910), an American philosopher, physician, and psychologist who argued that searching for building blocks of experience was a waste of time because the brain and the mind are constantly changing.

    Inspired by the theories of British naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

    Broadened the field of psychology to include the study of children, animals, religious experiences, and what James called the "stream of consciousness"--a term still used because it so beautifully describes the way thoughts flow like a river, tumbling over each other in waves, sometimes placid, sometimes turbulent.

    The emphasis on the causes and consequences of behavior was to set the course of psychological science.

    Which school of psychological thought does this describe?
  9. A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts.

    In Vienna, Austria Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), an obscure neurologist, would listen to his pateints' reports of depression, nervousness, and obsessive habits. He was convinced symptoms were from mental causes rather than physical ones. He concluded thier distress was due to conflicts and emotional traumas that had occured in early childhood and that were too threatening to be remembered consciously.

    Freud argued that beneath lies the unconscious part of the mind, containing unrevealed wishes, passions, guilty secrets, unspeakable yearnings, and conflicts between desire and duty.

    Which school of psychological thought does this describe?
  10. A field of psychology emphasizing evolutionary mechanisms that may help explain human commonalities in cognition, development, emotion, social practices, and other areas of behavior.
    Evolutionary Psychology
  11. A psychological approach that emphasizesbodiily events and changes associated with actions, feellings, and thoughts.
    Biological Perspective
  12. A psychological  approach that emphasizes how the environment and experience affect a person's or animal's actions; it includes behaviorism and social-cognitive learning theories.
    Learning Perspective
  13. Focus on the environmental rewards and punishers that maintain or discourage specific behaviors. Stick to what they can observe and measure directly.
  14. Combine elements of behaviorism with research on thoughts, values, expectations, and intentions. They believe people learn not only by adapting thier behavior to the environment, but also by imitating others and by thinking about the events happening around them.
    Social-Cognitive Learning Theorists
  15. A psycholgical approach that emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem-solviong and other areas of behavior.
    Cognitive Perspective
  16. A psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural influences on behavior.
    Sociocultural Perspective
  17. Focuses on social rules and roles, how groups affect attitudes and behaviors, why people obey authority, and how each of us is affected by other people.
    Social Psychologist (Sociocultural Psychologist)
  18. Examine how cultural rules and values, both explicit and unspoken, affect people's development, beahvior, and feelings.
    Cultural Psychologist (Sociocultural Psychologist)
  19. A psychological approach that emphasizes unconscious dynamics within the induvidual, such as inner forces, conflicts, or the movement of instinctual energy.
    Psychodynamic Perspective
  20. A psychological approach that emphasizes free will, personal growth, resilience, and the achievment of human potential.

    Movement emerged in the 1960s.
    Humanist Psychology
  21. Major Topics of Study:
    The Nervous System, Hormones, Brain Chemistry, Heredity, Evolutionary Influences

    Sample Finding on Violence:
    Brain damge caued by birth complications or child abuse might inclline some people toward violence.
  22. Major Topics of Study:
    Environment and Experience
         Environmental determinants of observable behavior
         Environmental influences, observation and imitation, beliefs and values

    Sample Finding on Violence:
         Violence increases when it pays off
         Violent role models can influence some children to behave aggressively
    • Learning
    •      Behavioral
    •      Social-Cognitive
  23. Major Topics of Study:
    Thinking, memory, language, problem solving, perceptions

    Sample Finding on Violence:
    Violent people are often quick to perceive provocation
  24. Major Topics of Study:
    Social and cultural context
         Social rules and roles, groups, relationships
         Cultural norms, values, and expectations

    Sample Finding on Violence:
         People are often more aggressive in a crowd than they would be on thier own
         Cultures based on herding rather than agriculture tend to train boys to be aggressive
    • Socioculture
    •      Social Psychology
    •      Cultural Psychology
  25. Major Topics of Study:
    Unconscious thoughts, desires, and conflicts

    Sample Finding on Violence:
    A man who murders prostitutes may have unconscious conflicts about his mother and about sexuality.
  26. A psychological approach that analyzes the influence of social inequities on gender relations and on the behavior of the two sexes.

    Important movement which emerged in the early 1970s.
    Feminist Psychology
  27. A contemporary research specialty that focuses on the qualities that enable people to be happy, optimistic, and resilient in times of stress.
    Positive Psychology
  28. The study of psychological issues in order to seek knowledge for its own sake rather than for its practical application
    Basic Psychology
  29. The study of psychological issues that have direct prcatical significance; also, the application of psychological findings
    Applied Psychology
  30. The professional activities of psychologist generally fall into three broad categories.. What are they?
    • 1. Teaching and doing resaerch in colleges or universities
    • 2. Providing health or mental health services, often referred to as psychological practice
    • 3. Conducting research or applying its findings in nonacademic settings, such as business, sports, government, law, and the military
  31. Conduct laboratory studies of learning, motivation, emotion, sensation and perception,physiology, and cognition.
    Experimental Psychologist
  32. Study psychologcal principles that explain learning and search for ways to improve educational systems.Range from the application on findings on memory and thinking to the use of rewards to encourage achievement
    Educational Psychologist
  33. Study how people change and grow over time physically, mentally, and socially.
    Developmental Psychologist
  34. Study behavior in the workplace
    Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
  35. Design and evaluate test of mental abilities, aptitudes, interest, and personality.
    Psychometric Psychologist
  36. Practitioners who generally help people with problems of everyday life
    Counseling Psychologist
  37. Practitioners who work with students, paretns, and teachers to enhance student preformance and resolve emotional difficulties
    School Psychologist
  38. Practitioners who diagnose, treat, and study mental or emotional problems. Has a Ph. D., Ed. D., or Psy. D.
    Clinical Psychologist
  39. A person who does psychotherapy; may have anything form noe degree to an advanced professinal degree; the trem is unregulated
  40. Practices psychoanalysis; has specific training in this approach after an advacned degree
  41. Does work similar to that of a clinical psychologist, but is likely to take a more biological approach. Has a medical degree (M.D.) with a specialty.
  42. Typiclly treats common individual and family problems, but may also deal with more serious problems such as addiction or abuse. Licensing requirements vary, but generally requires an M.A. in psychology or social work.
    Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW); Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor (MFCC)
Card Set
General Psychology: Ch. 1
What is Psychology?