Socrates, Plato, & Descartes: Believed the mind and body were
separate entities (dualism) and that most ideas, thoughts, traits, etc.,
were inborn. (Nature over Nurture).
Aristotle and Locke: Believed that the mind and body were
connected (monism) and that the mind was a "blank slate" upon
which experience writes (Nurture over Nature).
Psychology as a Science
Psychology's roots are in medicine and philosophy.
Psychology grew out of a field called psychophysics.
A. Structuralism: an early school of psychology that used
objective introspection to explore the structural elements of
Wilhelm Wundt (first psychological laboratory)
Edward Titchner: Introspection
B. Functionalism: a school of psychology that focused on how
mental and behavioral processes function--how they enable the
organism to flourish, adapt, and survive.
William James: Wrote Principles of Psychology
(the first textbook)
C. Gestalt Psychology: School of psychology that studies how
people perceive and experience objects as whole patterns. Their
motto: "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts".
Their focus is perception.
Wertheimer, Kohler, and Koffka
Psychology's 3 Big Issues
1. Nature-nurture: the controversy over the relative
contributions that genes (nature) and experience (nurture) make to the
development of psychological traits and behaviors.
2. Stability versus Change: Do our individual traits change as we
age or do they remain fairly stable? Also, do our traits change in
3. Rationality versus Irrationality: Are we in control of our own
behavior? Do we have free will or are we at the mercy of
unconscious desires or our environment? Do we really deserve to be
called homo sapiens?
| Psychology's Perspectives
Neuroscience: Studies how the brain (and other body systems)
create emotions, memories, and sensory experiences.
Evolutionary: Studies how natural selection of behavioral traits
promotes the perpetuation of one's genes.
Behavior Genetics: Studies how much our genes and our environment
influence our individual differences.
Psychodynamic: Focuses on how behavior springs from unconscious
drives and conflicts (based on Freud's psychoanalytic theory).
Behavioral: How contingencies in the environment cause us to
LEARN observable responses. (Skinner &Watson)
Cognitive: Studies how we encode, process, store, and retrieve
Humanistic: Focuses on free will and reaching one's full human
potential. (Maslow & Rogers)
Social-cultural: Looks at how behavior and thinking vary across
situations and cultures.
Concerned with the links between the brain and nervous system and
Developmental Ψ: Study of physical, cognitive, and social changes
throughout the lifespan.
Social Ψ: The scientific study of how we think about, influence,
and relate to one another.
Cognitive Ψ: The scientific study of how we think, perceive, and
Personality Ψ: Investigation of personality traits.
Industrial/Organizational Ψ: The application of psychological
concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in the workplace.
Clinical Ψ: The study, assessment, and treatment of people with
mental illnesses. Clinical psychologists hold Ph.D.'s.
Basic Research: pure experimental research that aims to increase
the scientific knowledge base.
Applied Research: Scientific research that aims to solve
Psychiatry: A branch of medicine dealing with
psychological disorders. Psychiatrists are physicians (MD's).