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Major Concepts Unit 1- Ch.

1 Part 1
1. Describe the central themes of this course (7). Apply Examples.
1. Experience is subjective- Everyone perceives the world in their own way.
This is a nurture issue. No one has the same depression, so be cant just
study one person.
2. Psychology is a science above all else- We must be very objective and
careful when observing humans thought feeling and behavior. We must
illuminate bias when researching other people. There cannot be opinion or
belief in a conclusion.
3. There are multiple competing theories- From the 1800s til now there have
been 10 major theories to explain thought feeling and behavior. All of
these theories have be proven true through detailed research. All of these
theories seem to be at odds with one another, some are biological and
some are nurture. There will always be multiple influences.
4. No one theory explains it all- there are multiple causes for behavior and
mental processes. Intelligence, personality, and thoughts all have multiple
5. Nature and Nurture interact in ways that affect functioning
6. Psychology is an evolutionary science- The basic theory that formed
psychology was functionalism by William James. It is based off of natural
selection. Every psychologist believes the human abilities are constantly
evolving. As the environment changes, we change as well. Technology
changes the way the brain grows. We are more technologically advanced
than passed generations.
7. Psychology evolves in a sociohistorical context- Culture and History effect
the science and development of psychology; researchers and scientific
advances effect culture and history. WWII had the biggest impact on
psychology because post WWII was the invention of the computer. Social
psychology came from the Nazis. Sigmund Freuds theory of mental illness

changed the way we look at people that have mental illness. The modern
education system changed culture; reward and punishment changed the
way we learn and how we raise kids.
2. Define psychology. How does this term relate to the concepts of science,
mind, and behavior?
Psychology is the science of mind and behavior (mental processes).
Science strives to know facts by using objective evidence. It avoids
opinion, intuition, guesses, and human biases. It uses math and logic
to reason about the possible causes of thought feeling and behavior. It

tests ideas through observation and manipulation of data.

The mind is the mental processes. It involves the brain and all of its
activities such as thought, emotion, memory, intelligence, and
attention. 200 years ago all of our beliefs came from religious
education, but science doesnt believe something is true without proof.
The mind was thought to be a divine gift, but science shows that the

mind controls the rest of the body.

Behavior is based on heart rate and blood pressure. Psychology uses
science to study the way we behave. One you know how to describe,
explain, and control behavior you can treat it.
3. Describe Platos view of nativism as it relates to psychology. Describe
Aristotles view of philosophical empiricism as it relates to psychology. How
do these views relate to the nature vs. nurture debate?
Plato argued for nativism, the view that certain traits are inherited or
inborn. Innate knowledge. Nature.
Aristotle argues that traits and abilities are inherited through
experience. He believed that human beings were born as a blank slate
(tabula rosa). Philosophical empiricism. Nurture.
4. Compare and Contrast dualism and monism as they relate to the
philosophical roots of psychology.

Body is made of philosophy, but the
soul is the mind
Deadly religious
Mind and body are separate
Mind is a divine gift

mind and body are one
brain controls our ability
Every human brain is unique
Genetics and biological function
Everyone perceives the world

5. Define and describe Galls theory of phrenology as discussed in lecture.

Galls Theory of Phrenology- first doctor to propose that mental abilities are
controlled by certain areas of the brain, which is true. He made the
assumption that you can tell someones personality by the bumps on their
head. This was completely incorrect but went on for 100 years. It was before
brain surgery was discovered.
6. Describe Flourens and Brocas contributions (via physical science) to the
history of psychology.
Flourens was the first to scientifically prove the connection between
brain structure and mental disability. He would cut out brain tissue
from a rat and once it healed he would observe the consequences.
Discovered that specific areas of the brain tied into mental disabilities.
Broca focused his work on people who suffered from strokes. He was
able to us science to find out the parts of peoples brains were dying
from strokes. This also led to the fact that instincts are controlled by
regions of the brain too because strokes caused people to lose general
disabilities such as speech, reading, and writing.
7. Define Wilhelm Wundts concept of structuralism and introspection and
describe Wundts contribution to psychology.
Structuralism- He made the assumption that is the body can be broken
down, then the mind can too. This was the first theory of psychology
and was proven wrong.

Introspection- means looking within. He observed events as they

happened or immediately afterwards. He employed people to exam
their own sense and write essays on it. He would then observe the
essays and look for similarities. He discovered that no two human
experience the same sense.
He set up the first lab to study psychology.
8. Define and describe Gestalt psychology. Consider examples of perception
from this perspective.
Gestalt focused most of his work on senses and how we perceive the
He discovered that humans can perceive a meaning from something
even if it doesnt exist. Things happen in front of us that we
misconceive because of expectation or psychological conclusion.
9. Define William James concept of functionalism. Describe how Darwins
concept of natural section relates to James concept.
He believed that structuralism was a bad idea because we didnt have
to ability to break down the brain
James said that we need to research how peoples minds help them
adapt to the world around them and function correctly (functionalism)
He took Darwins theory and applied it to evolution of mental abilities.
The brain grows more and more over the years; as the world changes
are mental abilities are evolving.
10.Describe Sigmund Freud and his Psychodynamic Theory. What are the basic
premises of his theory? What is the unconscious mind? How/ why do sexual
and aggressive experiences relate to the theory? Describe some of the
criticisms and lasting contributions of this theory.
Freud was very good at determining the cause of a mental problem but
he couldnt always cure it, so he set out to find cures.
He came up with the Psychodynamic Theory which is based off of the
existence of the unconscious mind.

The unconscious mind influences personality, emotions, and mental

abilities. It is not under our control. The unconscious mind influences
sexual and aggressive experiences.
He was one of the first to theorize that the first 3-5 years are the most
important in forming personality.
11.Describe the theory of Behaviorism. What are the basic premises of this
theory? How did it define psychology and behavior? What did John Watson
propose as the basic goals of scientific psychology? How did his approach
change the field of psychology?
Behaviorist were scientist who believed you can only study what you
directly observe and measure. Most focused on studying behavior and
the conditions in the environment that influence them.
The founder of behaviorism was John Watson. He came up with the
idea that environmental stimuli evokes behavior.
The goal is to predict and control behavior.
12.What is stimulus response? Describe stimulus response as they relate to
behaviorism. How does animal research relate to behaviorism?
Stimulus- any input from the external environment from a person,
object, or event
Response- is a behavior in reaction to an environmental stimulus.
Its easier to do stimulus response on animals. Training pets is just like
raising kids.
13.Describe how Skinner contributed to behaviorism. Define reinforcement.
Skinner was the first person to apply science to study reward and
You can use reward and punishment to alter behavior
Reinforcement- Consequence in that behavior will influence the future
likelihood of that behavior. Reward is more effective than punishment.
14.What limitation do psychodynamic theory and behaviorism share in common?
They both involve that human beings did not have free will
o Psychodynamic Theory says that the unconscious mind controls

who we are
Behaviorism says that the environment controls our lives

15.Describe the theory of Humanistic Psychology. What are they basic premises
of this theory? Describe the contribution of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.
Humanism states that we are unique and free will is a huge part of who

we are, and we strive to do any potential ability (self-actualization).

Carl Rogers was a therapist who created a treatment based off of
humanism. He taught people how to heal themselves by self-

Abraham Maslow was a researcher who spent his time studying
extraordinary people. Discovered that motivation is they key that

predicts success in human life.

16.Describe the sociohistorical evolution of clinical psychology. What major
historical event had the most profound influence on psychology of any even
in the history of science?
WWII was a water shed for all sciences because there were many

advances after it.

Post-Traumatic stress disorder came after the war, and this is when
psychologist got their clinical field because they were the only ones

who knew how to treat it. They studied ALL illnesses.

17.Describe how the invention of computers and information processing systems
related to the development of cognitive psychology, and define the approach.
How does the human mind function like a computer? Compare the mind and
brain to the hardware and software of a computer system. How did cognitive
psychology refute the claims of behaviorist regarding the scientific approach
to mental processes in psychology?
Smart machines and computers led to way to look at the brain. We

invented a model for the flow of human processes through the mind.
Because of the computer we think of the brain as the computer

hardware and the mental events as the software.

Cognitive psychologist- just study the software of the mind

Cognitive neuroscientists- study both the hardware and software.

Theres a connection between the brain and the mental events it
makes. This exist because of brain scanning.
This changed behaviorism because they could now look at the brain.
18. See above
19.Describe Evolutionary Psychology. What are the basic premises of this theory?
How does it relate to Darwins natural selection? How is this theory tested?
Define cultural universality as it relates to this theory.
Evolutionary Psychology studies how evolution and evolution forces
alter the function and structure of the human mind.
Evolutionary Scientist spend most of their time studying differences
between us and humans. The goal is discovering what mental abilities
produce adaptive success. For example we have a more diverse
language than any other organism and adaption to technology
changes our minds. Minds are constantly growing.
20. None
21.Define culture and cultural psychology. Describe how the concepts of
absolutism and relativism relate to the field of cultural psychology.
Culture- Language, beliefs, values, norms and behaviors shared among
members of a group past down from generation to generation.
Cultural Psychology- The study of how cultures reflect and shape the
psychological professes of their members.
Absolutism- culture makes no difference for some psychological
Relativism- doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in
relation to culture.
22.Describe the difference between a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist.
Psychologist use talk therapy and dont go to med school. They know
the background and where it comes from
Psychiatrist go to med school and medicate people
23.Describe the difference between an academic psychologist and an applied

Academic psychologist Teach classes, conduct researches; Biological,

Evolution, Social, personality

Applied psychologist solve problems in practical areas; Clinical,
counseling, sports, school