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A 3-hour Tour

Ok, so not quite 3 hours just a (VERY


BRIEF) History of Psychology
First things first . . .
What is psychology?
The scientific study of behavior & mental processes
Science: making verifiable, objective predictions
Behavior: observable acts
Mental Processes: storing, recalling, using info/feelings
How is it different from other social sciences?
Focus on individual behavior
Where did it come from?
Philosophy
Physiology
Psychology is born (roughly) in 1879
Historical Origins of from
Philosophy
Rene Descartes (1596 1650)
Historical Origins of from
Philosophy
Rene Descartes
Beliefs
Rationalist: True knowledge comes through
reasoning
Nativist: Heredity provides individuals with inborn
knowledge and abilities and we use this to reason
We are to doubt everything thats the only
way we can be certain about anything
I think, therefore I am.
Historical Origins of from
Philosophy
John Locke (1632 1704)
Historical Origins of from
Philosophy
John Locke
Saw the mind as receptive and passive, with its
main goal as sensing and perceiving
Tabula rasa we are born as a blank slate,
everything we know is learned
This is in direct contrast to the rationalist
Descartes
Psychology Becomes More
Scientific
Hermann Helmholtz (1821 1894)
Psychology Becomes More
Scientific
Hermann Helmholtz
He was a mechanist he believed that
everything can be understood with basic
physical and chemical principles
He pushed for the need to test and demonstrate
things.
Psychology Becomes More
Scientific
Gustav Fechner (1801 1887)
Psychology Becomes More
Scientific
Gustav Fechner
Psychophysics he pushed to investigate the
relationship between the physical world and our
conscious psychological world
He thought it possible to measure the perceived
as well as the physical intensities of sensory
stimuli and to determine a mathematical
relationship
Just noticeable difference (JND) approach
The Father of Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt
The Father of Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt
1
st
lab (1879)
University of Leipzig, Germany
Focus on consciousness
Find basic elements of conscious processes
Discover how elements (sensations and feelings) are
connected
Specify laws of connection
Introspection
Self-observation: seeing mental processes in immediate
experience
The First Schools of
Structuralism
Lots of work on sensation & perception and breaking
those down into minute detail
Three basic mental elements
Images, feelings & sensations
Titchner
Found 43,000 elements associated with sensory experiences
30,000 associated with visual
11,000 associated with auditory
4 associated with taste (was correct with this one)
The First Schools of
Functionalism
Focus on adaptation
Applying Darwins theory of natural selection to mental
processes
William James
Stream of consciousness
Consciousness is personal/selective, continuous (cant be cut up
for analysis), and constantly changing
Structuralism was foolish to search for common elements to all
minds
The First Schools of
Behaviorism
Focus on observable behavior
J. B. Watson
Felt that the main goal of psychology should be the prediction
and control of behavior
Stimulus-response theory
We respond to stimuli with our behavior, not thoughts
Pavlovs dog studies
Reinforcement for behavior
If our behavior produces rewarding consequences, then we
will do it again
Subsequent Schools of
Gestalt psychology
Wholes vs. multiple individual elements
You shouldnt dissect an experience into separate
elements to discover truths instead, look at the
whole
Max Wertheimer
Phi phenomenon
Subsequent Schools of
Freuds Psychodynamic Theory
Conscious vs. unconscious conflicts
Unconscious: motivations and memories of which we
are not aware
Mental illness arises from being overwhelmed by
which of these is in control
Psychoanalysis as therapy: tell me about your
childhood.
Todays Theoretical Perspectives
Behavioral
Observable S-R relationship
Psychodynamic
Unconscious forces motivating behavior
Humanistic
Self-actualization, free will
Cognitive
Thought processes
Psychobiological
Genes, brain function
Evolutionary
So what is it you do?
Basic vs. applied
Areas of psychology:
Developmental
Personality
Clinical
Cognitive
Social
Experimental/biological
Quantitative