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Chapter 1. The Evolution of Psychology – 8 th Edition. The Development of Psychology: From Speculation to Science. Prior to 1879 Physiology and philosophy scholars studying questions about the mind Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) University of Leipzig, Germany - p. 4 & 5

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Chapter 1

The Evolution of Psychology – 8th Edition

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The Development of Psychology: From Speculation to Science

  • Prior to 1879

    • Physiology and philosophy scholars studying questions about the mind

  • Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) University of Leipzig, Germany - p. 4 & 5

    • Campaigned to make psychology an independent discipline

    • Established the first laboratory for the study of psychology in 1879

  • Psychology was born

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Wilhelm Wundt’s International Influence

  • Leipzig, the place to study psychology

    • Graduates of Wundt’s program set up new labs across Europe and North America

  • G.Stanley Hall (1846-1924), Johns Hopkins University

    • Established the first psychology laboratory in the U.S. in 1883

  • Between 1883 and 1893, 24 new laboratories in North America

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The Battle of the “Schools” in the U.S.: Structuralism vs. Functionalism

  • Two intellectual schools of thought regarding the science of psychology

    • Structrualism – led by Edward Titchener

      • Focused on analyzing consciousness into basic elements

      • Introspection – careful, systematic observations of one’s own conscious experience

    • Functionalism – led by William James

      • Focused on investigating the function or purpose of consciousness

      • Led to investigation of mental testing, developmental patterns, and sex differences

      • May have attracted the first women into the field of psychology

  • Most historians give the edge to James and the functionalists

    • Today, psychologists are not really categorized as structuralists or functionalists

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Sigmund Freud and the Concept of the Unconscious Mind vs. Functionalism

  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): Austria

  • Founded Psychoanalytic school of thought

  • Emphasis on unconscious processes influencing behavior

    • Unconscious = outside awareness

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Freud’s Ideas: Controversy and Influence vs. Functionalism

  • Behavior is influenced by the unconscious

  • Unconscious conflict related to sexuality plays a central role in behavior

  • Controversial notions caused debate/resistance

  • Significant influence on the field of psychology

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Behaviorism: Redefining Psychology vs. Functionalism

  • John B. Watson (1878-1958): United States

    • Founder of Behaviorism

    • Behaviorist manifesto published in 1913

  • Psychology = scientific study of behavior

  • Behavior = overt or observable responses or activities

    • Radical reorientation of psychology as a science of observable behavior

    • Study of consciousness abandoned

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John Watson and the Nature-Nurture Debate vs. Functionalism

  • Nurture, not nature

    • “give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own special world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief…”

  • Behaviorist school of thought emphasized the environment (nurture)

  • Focus on stimulus-response relationships

  • S-R psychology

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Behaviorism Revisited: B.F. Skinner vs. Functionalism

  • B.F. Skinner (1904-1990): United States

    • Environmental factors determine behavior

    • Responses that lead to positive outcomes are repeated

    • Responses that lead to negative outcomes are not repeated

    • Beyond Freedom and Dignity

    • More controversy regarding free will

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The 1950’s: Opposition to Psychoanalytic Theory and Behaviorism

  • Charges that both were de-humanizing

  • Diverse opposition groups got together to form a loose alliance

  • A new school of thought emerged - Humanism

    • Led by Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) and Carl Rogers (1902-1987)

    • Emphasis on the unique qualities of humans: freedom and personal growth

  • Figure 1.3 – contributions to psychology rankings

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Positive Psychology: Has psychology concentrated on the negative too much?

  • Many concerns of Positive Psychology

    • Positive emotions

    • Positive individual traits

    • Positive institutions

  • Positive Emotions

    • Contentment with the past

    • Happiness in the present

    • Hope for the future

  • Many individual positive traits – strengths and virtues

  • Positive institutions

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Putting the Psyche Back in Psychology: The Return of Cognition

  • Cognition = mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge

  • 1950’s and 60’s – Piaget, Chomsky, and Simon

    • Application of scientific methods to studying internal mental events

    • Cognitive psychology: the new dominant perspective?

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Biological Psychology: The Biological Basis of Behavior Cognition

  • Biological perspective - behavior explained in terms of physiological processes

    • James Olds (1956)

      • Electrical stimulation of the brain evokes emotional responses in animals

    • Roger Sperry (1981)

      • Left and right brain specialization

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Evolutionary Psychology: Behavioral Patterns in Terms of Evolutionary Significance

  • Central premise: natural selection occurs for behavioral, as well as physical, characteristics

  • Buss, Daly & Wilson, Cosmides & Tooby – 80’s and 90’s

    • Studied natural selection of mating preferences, jealousy, aggression, sexual behavior, language, decision making, personality, and development

  • Thought provoking perspective gaining in influence, but not without criticism

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Contemporary Psychology: Cultural Diversity Evolutionary Significance

  • Ethnocentrism – viewing one’s own group as superior and as the standard for judging

  • Historically: middle and upper class white males studying middle and upper class white males

  • 1980’s – increased interest in how cultural factors influence behavior

  • growing global interdependence

  • increased cultural diversity

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Psychology Today: A Thriving Science and Profession Evolutionary Significance

  • Psychologyis the science that studies behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes that underlie it, and it is the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems.

  • Applied Psychology: Four major areas – p. 12

  • Cognition and Psychology – p. 13

  • Cultural diversity – p. 14

  • College degrees awarded in psychology – F 1.6

  • Employment settings – F 1.7

  • Research: Seven major areas – F 1.8

  • Professional specialties – F 1.9

  • Overview of History of Psychology – p. 20-21

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Figure 1.7 Association , 1990 -2007


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Figure 1.8 Association , 1990 -2007


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Figure 1.9 Association , 1990 -2007


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Studying Psychology: Seven Organizing Themes Association , 1990 -2007

  • Themes related to psychology as a field of study:

    • Psychology is empirical (Theme 1) - empricism

    • theoretically diverse (Theme 2) – theory v. data

    • it evolves in a sociohistorical context (Theme 3).

  • Themes related to psychology’s subject matter:

    • Behavior is determined by multiple causes (Theme 4),

    • shaped by cultural heritage (Theme 5), - critique of past psychological theories and research

    • influenced jointly by heredity and environment (Theme 6).

  • Finally, people’s experience of the world is highly subjective (Theme 7). – person perception example F 1.10, p. 27

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Improving Academic Performance Association , 1990 -2007

  • Developing sound study habits

    • Time management – F 1.11 – just in time education

    • Assessment of time management – F 1.12

    • Improving reading

    • Getting more out of lectures – taking notes or not, reading ahead

  • Attendance and Grades – F 1.13


  • Belief and Behavior Effects – F 1.14

  • Changing Answers effects on tests – F 1.15

  • Critical Thinking – mental rotation task – F 1.16

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Figure 1.11 Association , 1990 -2007

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Figure 1.13 Association , 1990 -2007