Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts Prologue: The Story of Psychology
Important Ideas in the History of Psychology
∙ Psychology began as a theoretical study of memory and personality (first thought of by Aristotle); it was made a science when observations were measured and experiments occurred
∙ Birth of Psychology – Wilhelm Wundt in 1879 Leipzig, Germany opened the first psychology laboratory to test the atoms of the mind
∙ Structuralism – attempt to learn the structure of the human mind through introspection (“looking inward”) formed by Wundt and Titchener
o Introspection proved unreliable due to its practice of selfresponse which varied depending on person, experience, intelligence, and verbal ability
∙ Functionalism – exploration of human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how they support adaptation, survival, and flourishing; formed by James and the influences of Darwin
Psychology’s Development from the 1920s Onward
∙ Wundt and Titchener originally defined psychology as “the science of mental life” ∙ According to Watson and Skinner, psychology was “the scientific study of observable behavior”
∙ Behaviorism – belief that psychology should only study behavior without emphasis on mental processes (can only study what can be observed); formed by Watson and Skinner ∙ Freudian Psychology – how childhood experiences affect behavior through their emotional responses and unconscious thought processes (including drives, wishes, and needs); formed by Freud
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∙ Humanistic Psychology – studies how the environment can nurture (support) or inhibit growing potential; formed by Rogers and Maslow
o This form of psychology focused on the study of thriving people in society and how to treat those who were not thriving to help them reach their full potentials ∙ Cognitive Psychology – investigates how humans perceive, process, and remember information (includes thinking, memory, and intelligence)
o Cognitive Neuroscience – investigate how brain activity is related to cognition ∙ Today, psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes
o Behavior – anything a creature acts
o Mental processes – internal, personal experiences individuals infer from behavior Contemporary Psychology
∙ Nature vs. Nurture Issue – debate over the influence genes and experience have on the development of traits and behaviors
o Do traits come from genes at birth or do they develop from one’s environment?
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∙ Natural Selection – nature creates traits that maximize an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in their given environment
∙ Evolutionary Psychology – study of how behavior and the mind has evolved from natural selection
∙ Behavior Genetics – studies the powers and limitations of genetics and environmental influences on behavior
∙ Cultural Psychology – behaviors, beliefs, morals, and traditions of a group that are passed on through generations
∙ Gender Psychology – study of how behaviors vary by gender and the underlying causes ∙ Positive Psychology – aims to promote the strengths that make communities and individuals thrive Don't forget about the age old question of What are the uses of microbes?
Psychology’s Levels of Analysis
∙ Natural Selection
∙ Responses to
∙ Learned Expectations
∙ Biopsychosocial Approach –
combines all levels of psychology
Perspective of Psychology
Study of how the body and brain control emotions, memories, and sensory experiences
Study how traits influence genetic survival
individual differencesRelation with Others
Study how genes and environment promote
∙ Group Influence
Culture, Society, Family drives and conflicts
Study how behavior comes from unconscious
∙ Societal Models
Study how humans learn observable responses
The encoding, processing, storing, and retrieving of information
Study how behaviors and mental processes differ across situations and culture
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Psychology’s Main Subfields
∙ Basic Research – science with the goal to increase the scientific knowledge base ∙ Applied Research – aims to solve practical problemsWe also discuss several other topics like What does allostasis focus on?
Key: Definitions Important People/Psychologists Important Terms/Concepts
∙ Counseling Psychology – Aims to help those with problems in living ∙ Clinical Psychology – studies, assesses, and treats those with disorders (also known as Psychotherapy)
∙ Psychiatry – provides medical treatment and therapy to those with diseases ∙ Community Psychology – studies people’s interactions with their social environments and how institutions or situations in society can affect the individuals or groups within it