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History of Psychology. The 1st Psychologists? Odysseus “saw the cities of many peoples and he knew their minds” Psamtick I performed the first controlled.

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Presentation on theme: "History of Psychology. The 1st Psychologists? Odysseus “saw the cities of many peoples and he knew their minds” Psamtick I performed the first controlled."— Presentation transcript:

1 History of Psychology

2 The 1st Psychologists? Odysseus “saw the cities of many peoples and he knew their minds” Psamtick I performed the first controlled psychological experiment and he accepted the results!

3 Darwin What does Darwin have to do with psychology? –Natural selection - how nature determines which species survive - influencing both physical characteristics and behavior –Influenced early psychologists like James –The evolutionary perspective (coming soon) –Do you have to believe in evolution to be a psychologist?

4 Wilhelm Wundt - 1879 German physiologist studied perception, the “atoms of the mind” - the simplest mental processes Structuralism - break down complex tasks into simpler steps Trained G. Stanley Hall who opened the 1st American psy laboratory

5 Herman Ebbinghaus - 1880’s Studied memory in Germany Found that when learning a list of words, we forget much of it very soon, but a percentage is retained in long-term memory After studying a foreign language, you will forget much of the vocabulary after a year or two, but will retain 30 - 40% for decades

6 William James - 1890’s Philosopher and MD Principles of Psychology Functionalism - influenced by Darwin Consciousness as a stream

7 Salt What’s the difference between structuralism and functionalism? Try using salt as a metaphor….


9 E.L Thorndike - 1890’s American who studied learning - cats trapped in a puzzle box (cats learn gradually, by repetition, not in sudden flashes of insight) Law of Effect - we tend to learn those things that have satisfying outcomes Remains influential today

10 Sigmund Freud

11 S. Freud - 1900’s Medical doctor in Vienna How to treat patients with “hysterical” illnesses? Studied with Charcot, the hypnotist 1900 - Interpretation of Dreams Unconscious, defense mechanism, growth in stages, psychodynamics

12 Freud extended Jung - collective unconscious Adler - personality - inferiority complex Anna Freud, Karen Horney on women Cultural effects Good science?

13 Behaviorists - 1910’s Pavlov, a physiologist, studied animals Watson, a PhD psychologist, saw no value in studying the “mind” Classical conditioning Skinner and operant conditioning Very influential even today

14 Humanists - 1930’s, ‘40’s, ‘50’s Maslow, Rogers, May Less interested in illness More interested in improving the lives of “normal” people Self-actualization: openness to experience, living in the moment, trusting oneself, a “good life”

15 Watson and Crick - 1950’s Description of DNA Boom in genetics How do genes affect our behavior? How come one identical twin is alcoholic and one isn’t?

16 1960’s and later Cognitive psychology - how do we think, plan, remember, judge, learn? Bandura - social learning Socio-cultural psychology - how do people around the world differ? How are they similar? Social psych - Milgram, Zimbardo - why do we behave in groups the way we do?

17 Neuroscience New methods of brain research allow us to watch our brain in action. How do we process memories? How do we learn to shoot a basketball? What’s the brain chemistry of mental illness?

18 Perspectives Why different perspectives? Lots of different influences on behavior We need theories to organize information, explain facts, predict behavior

19 Perspectives Neuroscience Evolutionary Behavioral genetics Psychodynamics Humanist Behavioral Cognitive Socio-cultural

20 Neuroscience –What areas of the brain are active when swimming? –What brain chemicals are important in depression?

21 Evolutionary –How does natural selection influence personality? –Is there an advantage to extroversion? –Why haven’t left-handers died out? –Why haven’t gays died out?

22 Behavioral genetics –Are children of alcoholics likely to be alcoholic as well? Psychodynamics –How would Freud explain love? –Do your childhood experiences determine your adult personality? –Do we do things unconsciously?

23 Humanist –What counts as a good life? How do we achieve satisfaction? Behavioral –How do we learn to be kind? Why are boys more aggressive than girls?

24 Cognitive –How do we plan parties? Solve puzzles? How do we judge a defendant when we sit on juries? How do we remember the days of the week? Socio-cultural –Why are Japanese schools different from American schools? Why do some Asian parents arrange marriages for their children?

25 Big questions? Nature vs. nurture? Change vs stability? Rational vs irrational? Big picture or little picture?

26 Some conclusions Psychology is still growing as a science Do we have all the “right” answers? Genetics and brain science are the major driving forces today Plenty of big questions remain unanswered - what’s a good life? Is this love? What is a memory?

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