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Perspectives of Psychology

-an approach is a perspective (i.e. view) that involves

certain assumptions (i.e. beliefs) about human behavior:
the way they function, which aspects of them are worthy of
study and what research methods are appropriate for
undertaking this study. There may be several different
theories within an approach, but they all share these
common assumptions. (McLeod, 2007)
- scientific method to bear on the understanding of human
behavior; psychology concerned itself with observable
- behaviorism is concerned with how environmental
factors (stimuli) affect observable behavior (response).
- known behaviorist: John B. Watson; Ivan Pavlov; B.F.
(Ivan Pavlov/Russian Psychologist)
-the method of substituting another stimulus for an original
one to elicit a response.
- he managed to condition dogs to salivate to the sound of
a bell through repeated associated of the sound of the bell
and food.

(Burrhus Frederick Skinner/American Psychologist)
-learning where the organisms must operate on or do
something to the environment in order to produce result.
Unlike classical conditioning where the organism passively
waits and still be reinforced in this type of learning the
organism must be active in order to reinforced.
3 Main Behavior Shaping Techniques
1. Positive Reinforcement
2. Negative Reinforcement
3. Punishment

(Sigmund Freud/Austrian Psychologist)
-understand what is going on in the mind of an individual or
"to get in the head" of a patient to see what is going on in
the unconscious part of the mind.
-this will provide insight into how the patient views his
relationships, experiences, and the world and how that
affects his preferences, behaviors, and drives, and
therefore personality.
-developed by Sigmund Freud
-perspective that emphasizes the study of the whole
person (known as holism)
-perspective suggests that we are each responsible for our
own happiness and well-being as humans
-perspective centers on the view that each person is unique
and individual and has the free will to change at any time in
his or her lives.
-known Behaviorist: Abraham Maslow; Carl Rogers
NEEDS -physiological or psychological deficiencies that an
organism is compelled to fulfill
-a motivation theory proposed by Abraham Maslow that
arranges needs in hierarchy from lower, more basic needs
to higher-order needs
-lower order needs - needs that are satisfied externally
-higher order needs - needs that are satisfied internally

- perspective is concerned with mental functions such as
memory, perception, attention
- perspective study cognition which is the mental act or
process by which knowledge is acquired
- belief systems, value systems, thought processes, reason
and intelligence have a significant impact on why we do the
things we do and act the way we act.
-perspective that assumes that human behavior and
thought processes have a biological basis
-behavior in terms of the selective pressures that shape
-mind is therefore equipped with instincts that enabled
our ancestors to survive and reproduce
- psychologists and researchers look at human behavior
across different cultures; by looking at these differences,
we can learn more about how our culture influences our
thinking and behavior.

Scientific Methods Used in Psychology

SCIENTIFIC METHOD -an organized way of using
experience and testing ideas in an effort to expand and
refine knowledge
HYPOTHESIS -in psychology, a specific statement about
behavior or mental processes that is tested through
CORRELATION -an association or relationship among
variables, as we might find between height and weight or
between study habits and grades
THEORY -set of related assumptions from which
scientists can make testable predictions
SAMPLE -part of population
POPULATION -a complete group of organisms or events
(the group that is targeted for)
VARIABLES -behaviors, events or other characteristics
that can change or vary in some way
Research Methods in Psychology
1. ARCHIVAL RESEARCH -research in which existing data,
such as census documents, college records, and newspaper
clippings are examined to test a hypothesis
2. NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION -research in which an
investigator simply observes some naturally occurring
behavior and does not make a change in the situation
3. SURVEY RESEARCH -research in which people chosen to
represent a larger population are asked a series of
questions about their behavior, thoughts or attitudes
4. CASE STUDY -an in-depth, intensive investigation of an
individual or small group of people
5. CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH -research in which the
relationship between two sets of variables is examined to
determine whether they are associated or correlated
6. EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH -investigation of the
relationship between two or more variables by deliberately
producing a change in one variable in a situation and
observing the effects of that change on other aspects of
the situation
Ethics of Research
ETHIC -the rules governing the conduct of a person or
group in general or in a specific situation or more simply,
standards of right and wrong
Ethical Research With Humans
1. Informed Consent
-tell participants in general terms what the study is about,
what they will do and how long it will take. This information
is provided a written form and participants sign it
2. Respect for persons
-safeguard the dignity and autonomy of the individual and
take extra precautions when dealing with study
3. Beneficence
-inform the participants of costs and benefits of
4. Privacy and confidentiality
-protect the privacy of the participants, generally by
keeping all responses confidential
5. Justice
-benefits and costs must be distributed equally among
Ethical Research With Animals
1. They require researchers to ensure the animals comfort,
health, and humane treatment.
2. If a study requires euthanizing the animal, it must be
done as painlessly as possible.

The Neurons & Neurotransmitter

-nerve cells, the basic elements of the nervous system
Primary Components of Neuron:
DENDRITE -clusters of fibers at one end of a neuron that
receives messages from other neurons
AXON -part of the neuron that carries messages destined
for other neurons
MYELIN SHEATH -protective coating of fat and protein
wraps around the axon like the casing on links of
sausage; serves also to increase velocity which electrical
impulses travel through axons
TERMINAL BUTTONS -small bulges at the end of axons
that send messages to other neurons

Bridging the Gap: Where Neurons Meet

SYNAPSE-space between two neurons where the axon of
a sending neuron communicates with dendrites of a
receiving neuron by using chemical messages
NEUROTRANSMITTERS-chemicals that carry messages
across the synapse to the dendrite of a receiver neuron
Excitatory message-chemical message that makes it more
likely that a receiving neuron will fire and an action
potential will travel down
Inhibitory message-chemical message that prevents or
decreases the likelihood that a receiving neuron will fire


How Do Neurons Fire?

ALL-OR-NONE LAW-rule that neurons are either on or off
RESTING STATE-state in which there is a negative
electrical of about -70 millivolts within a neuron
ACTION POTENTIAL-an electric nerve impulse that travels
through a neurons axon when it is set off by a trigger
changing neurons charge from negative to positive
MIRROR NEURONS-specialized neurons that fire not only
when a person simply observes another individual
carrying out the same behavior

-most common neurotransmitter
-involved in our every move; transmits messages to our
skeletal muscles
-involved in memory capabilities
-diminished production may relate to Alzheimers disease
-plays a role in memory
-plays a role in eating, aggression, sleeping
-involved in movement, attention and learning
-certain drugs have significant effect on dopamine
release led to effective treatment of variety of physical
and mental ailments (e.g. Parkinsons disease)
-plays a role in mood, pain, depression, sleep
-deficiencies link to eating disorder, alcoholism, insomia
-plays a role in pain suppression, pleasurable feelings,
-accelerates the heart rate
-plays a role in learning and remembering

Afferent and Efferent Neurons

-neurons transmit messages from sensory receptors to
spinal cord and brain also called sensory neurons
-neurons that transmit messages from the brain or spinal
cord to muscles and glands also called motor neurons