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A 3-hour Tour Ok, so not quite 3 hours – just a (VERY BRIEF) – History of Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "A 3-hour Tour Ok, so not quite 3 hours – just a (VERY BRIEF) – History of Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 A 3-hour Tour Ok, so not quite 3 hours – just a (VERY BRIEF) – History of Psychology

2 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

3 Historical Origins of ψ from Philosophy Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650)

4 Historical Origins of ψ 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 – that’s the only way we can be certain about anything I think, therefore I am.

5 Historical Origins of ψ from Philosophy John Locke (1632 – 1704)

6 Historical Origins of ψ 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

7 Psychology Becomes More Scientific Hermann Helmholtz (1821 – 1894)

8 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.

9 Psychology Becomes More Scientific Gustav Fechner (1801 – 1887)

10 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

11 The Father of Psychology Wilhelm Wundt

12 The Father of Psychology Wilhelm Wundt 1 st ψ 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

13 The First Schools of ψ 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)

14 The First Schools of ψ Functionalism Focus on adaptation Applying Darwin’s theory of natural selection to mental processes William James Stream of consciousness Consciousness is personal/selective, continuous (can’t be ‘cut up’ for analysis), and constantly changing Structuralism was foolish to search for common elements to all minds

15 The First Schools of ψ 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 Pavlov’s dog studies Reinforcement for behavior If our behavior produces rewarding consequences, then we will do it again

16 Subsequent Schools of ψ Gestalt psychology Wholes vs. multiple individual elements You shouldn’t dissect an experience into separate elements to discover truths – instead, look at the ‘whole’ Max Wertheimer Phi phenomenon

17 Subsequent Schools of ψ Freud’s 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….

18 Today’s 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

19 So what is it you do? Basic vs. applied Areas of psychology: Developmental Personality Clinical Cognitive Social Experimental/biological Quantitative


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