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Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Psychology. HISTORY & APPROACHES. Four HISTORIC Perspectives. Structuralism . Developed carefully controlled experiments to try to map out the basic “structure” of thought processes. Participants would complete an experiment, & practice Introspection.

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Introduction to Psychology

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  1. Introduction to Psychology HISTORY & APPROACHES

  2. Four HISTORIC Perspectives

  3. Structuralism Developed carefully controlled experiments to try to map out the basic “structure” of thought processes. • Participants would complete an experiment, & practice Introspection. • Tried to find the step-by-step process of the brain. 1st Psychology Laboratory Introspection: thinking about your own thoughts

  4. Psychologist: Wilhelm Wundt

  5. Functionalism • Did NOT focus on “structure” of thoughts • Focused on “Functions” of our thoughts: What do they lead us to do? • Goals or outcomes of Behavior important, not the mental steps we take to get there • Study how humans and animals adapt to their environments. 1st Psychology Textbook

  6. William James 1842-1920Harvard; 1st Psych Textbook

  7. Today, “Functionalism” is known as: Evolutionary Psychology

  8. INHERITABLE TRAITS • Sir Francis Galton • How does HEREDITY influence a person’s abilities, character & behavior? • Studied successful people and found “greatness runs in families” • Did NOT consider Environment! Nature V. Nurture? Genetic v. Environment? The original Racial Profiling! 

  9. “Types” of people based on physical traits Eugenics: Control who has children!

  10. Gestalt Psychology“Gestalt” = German for “The Whole” • The “whole” is equal to more than the sum of its parts. • Studied the way sensations are assembled into perceptions. • Examples: Flip Books, animation, blinking “motion” lights. Max Wertheimer

  11. Emergence

  12. Are A and B the same color?

  13. Are you sure?

  14. Law of Closure

  15. Foreground / Background

  16. Modern Perspectives 6 Current Approaches to Psychology


  18. Explanation of Human Behavior? • Biological / Neuroscience: focus is the role of neurons, the brain, electrical impulses and chemical messengers that result in the creation of memories, the process of learning, emotional expression and psychological disorders. A Biological Psychologist would say: “The experience of “love” is due to surges in hormones.”

  19. EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE Charles Darwin would say, “It is necessary for man and woman to mate to propagate the species. We have labeled this ‘love’.” Similar to Biological, BUT focus is on how people have evolved over time. How do changes help species survive?

  20. PSYCHOANALYTIC Early psych theory by Sigmund Freud • Behavior is driven by strong desires for sex and aggression in our unconscious mind. • Our conscious mind tries to “repress” these drives. • Dream analysis &“stream of consciousness” Freud would explain “love” as a label for our unconscious drive for sex.

  21. Most Famous: Sigmund Freud(1856 – 1939)

  22. BEHAVIORAL • Concerned with visible behaviors, actions, responses. Think Pavlov and his dogs, B.F. Skinner and his pigeons, John B. Watson and Baby Albert. “Love” is an action response to someone’s attention, such as compliments, gifts, etc.

  23. Famous Behaviorists • Pavlov – dogs • Skinner – Pigeons • John B. Watson – Baby Albert Famous Experiments

  24. COGNITIVE • Focus is on COGNITIVE, or MENTAL PROCESSES, such as: problem solving, encoding memories, storing and retrieving information. • Ex.: Why and how do mnemonics work? • Why do we remember our first kiss? What information was processed, and how did this lead to a feeling of love?

  25. HUMANISTIC • Focus is internal drive and motivations of the individual; self esteem, self concept, self perception. • Belief that every person “wants” to be good and successful = “self actualized”. • Famous Psychologists: Abraham Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs) and Carl Rogers “You must love yourself before you can truly love another.”

  26. Famous Humanists: Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) Carl Rogers (1902 – 1987)

  27. SOCIO-CULTURAL • Crosses into Sociology, because the focus is on the impact culture and society have on the individual. • Study subjects such as: how does advertising effect body image? How do racial & gender stereotypes affect hiring practices? How do society's expectations affect our choice of who to love? How is love expressed in our culture?


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