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scientific study of behavior and mental processes

goals of psychology

control behavior and mental processes


propose reasons of relationships
derive explanations
make predictions


pure research
applied research


peri psyches


, Greek philosopher. He developed the atomic theory originated by his teacher Leucippus that explained natural phenomena in terms of the arrangement and rearrangement of atoms moving in a void.




elements of Psychophysics (1860)

Wilhelm wundt



breaks conscious experiences into
objective sensations(sight,taste) and
subjective feelings (emotional responses,will)
mental images( memories,dreams)
mind functions by combining objective and subjective elements of experience


william james


focused on behavior in addition to mind and consciousness
used direct observations to supplement introspection
influenced by Darwins theory of evolution


johns broadus watson
-focuses on learning observable(measurable) behavior

B.F skinner

learned behavior is behavior that is reinforced

Gestalt psychology

max wertheimer,kurt koffka, Wolfgang Kohler
focused on perception and its influence on thinking and problem solving
perception are more than sum of their parts
active and purposeful
insight learning
the importance of CONTEXT


Sigmund freud
-influence of unconscious motives and conflicts
theory of personality

cognitive perspective

Concerned with ways we mentally represent the world and process information
Memory, perceptions, learning, problem solving, decision making, language, planning

Humanistic — Existential Perspective

Humanism stresses human capacity for self- fulfillment
Role of consciousness, self-awareness, decision making
Existentialism stresses free choice and personal responsibility
Carl Rogers
Abraham Maslow

Psychodynamic Perspective

Neoanalysts focus more on conscious choice and self-direction then psychoanalysis
Karen Horney
Erik Erikson

Perspective on Learning

Social Cognitive
People modify and create their environment

sociocultural perspective

Focuses on the influence of differences among people on behavior and mental processes
Ethnicity, gender, culture, socioeconomic status

diversity within psychology

Kenneth Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark
Jorge Sanchez
Lillian Comas Diaz
Richard Suinn

(diversity within psy)Gender

Mary Whiton Calkins
Mary Salter Ainsworth
Elizabeth Loftus

principles of critical thinking

Be skeptical
Insist on evidence
Examine definitions of terms
Examine the assumptions or premises of arguments
Be cautious in drawing conclusions from evidenceConsider alternative interpretations of research evidence
Do not oversimplify
Do not overgeneralize
Apply critical thinking to all areas of life

scientific method

Formulate a research question
State the hypothesis
Test the hypothesis
Draw conclusions based on findings
Publish research
Replicate study


Segment of population


Entire group targeted for study
Representative samples allow generalization of findings

random sample

Each member of population has equal chance of selection
Stratified sample
Subgroups are represented proportionally
Volunteer bias
Bias represented by studying people who volunteer to participate

stratified sample

Subgroups are represented proportionally

volunteer bias

studying people who volunteer to participate

case study

Gather information about individuals or small groups
Sometimes used to investigate rarities


Used to collect information that cannot be observed directly

naturalistic observation

Observe subjects in their natural environment
Unobtrusive measure


Mathematical method of determining a relationship between variables
Expresses strength and direction of relationship between variables
Does not prove cause and effect

experimental method

Demonstrates cause and effect through scientific method
Independent variable
Dependent variable
Experimental Method
Experimental groups
Control groups
Double-blind study

ethics of research with humans

Ethical review committee and ethical standards
Promote individual dignity, human welfare and scientific integrity
Ensure no harm will come to subjects
Informed consent

ethics of research on animals

cannot be carried out with humans
Animals may be harmed, only when:
there is no alternative, and
benefits of the research justify the harm


receive and pass messages
cell body,dendrites,axon,axon terminals

glial cells

nourish and insulate neurons
direct growth of neurons
remove waste products

afferent neurons

transmit messages from sensory receptors to the spinal cord and brain

efferent neurons

transmit messages from brain or spinal cord to muscles and gland

neural impulse

electrochemical messages that travel within neurons

resting potential

neuron is not responding to other neurons

action potential

conduction of neural impulse along axon


conduction of neural impulse along the length of a neuron


incoming messages reach a strength at which neuron will fire

all-or-none principle

every time a neuron fires, it transmits a impulse of same strength

refractory period

period of recovery ,time between firings


fluid filled gap( synaptic cleft) b/w
axon terminal from transmitting neuron,and dendrite of receiving neuron


chemical substance that communicate from one neuron to another

synaptic vesicles

contain neurotransmitters in the axon terminals

receptor site

on dendrite of receiving neuron


Neurotransmitters reabsorbe

Excitatory neurons

Cause other neurons to fire

Inhibitory neurons

Prevent other neurons from firing

Acetylcholine (ACh)

Controls muscle contractions

Prevalent in hippocampus

Alzheimer's disease


Pleasure, voluntary movement, learning, memory
Parkinson's disease


Excitatory neurotransmitter
Accelerates heart rate, affects eating, linked to activity levels, learning and remembering
Mood disorders, depression, bipolar disorder


Emotional arousal and sleep
Eating disorders, alcoholism, depression, aggression, insomnia

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

Inhibitory may help relax anxiety reactions


Occur naturally within the brain and bloodstream
Inhibit pain
May be connected to indifference to pain
Runner's high

Central Nervous System

Brain and spinal cord
Peripheral Nervous System
Sensory (afferent) and motor (efferent) neurons

Kinship Studies

Focus on presence of traits and behavior patterns in people who are, or are not related biologically
Twin studies
Monozygotic twins
Dizygotic twins
Adoption studies


Receive 23 chromosomes from father's sperm and 23 chromosomes from mother's egg cell
23rd pair of chromosomes are sex chromosomes
XX - female
XY - male
Down syndrome
Chromosomal abnormality


Actual appearance, based on genotype and environmental influences (nature and nurture)


Individual's genetic makeup (nature)

Adrenal Glands

Located above the kidneys
Cortical steroids
increase resistance to stress
promote muscle development
Epinephrine and norepinephrine
Helps arouse body in threatening situations

Pineal Gland

Secretes melatonin
Helps regulate sleep-wake cycle
May affect onset of puberty

Genes and Chromosomes

Genes regulate development of specific traits
Some traits are determined by one gene
Other traits are polygenic


Basic unit of heredity
Structure within cell nucleus that carry genes
Humans have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs)
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
Substance that forms chromosomes
Double helix - contains genetic code
Nucleotides - A and T, C and G


Transmission of traits from parent to offspring, based on genes
Subfield of biology that studies heredity
Behavioral Genetics
Focuses on contributions of genes to behavior

Evolutionary Psychology

Ways in which adaptation and natural selection are connected with behavior and mental processes
Behavior patterns evolve and can be transmitted genetically from generation to generation
Instinctive or species specific behaviors
Stereotyped patterns of behavior that are triggered in a specific situation
Resists modification, not learned

Darwin's Theory of Evolution

Struggle for existence
Competition for same resources
Natural selection
Adaptive genetic variations aid in survival
Sudden changes in genes

Thyroid gland

Produces thyroxin
Affects body's metabolism


produced by testes (smaller amounts from adrenal gland)
male sex characteristics
Estrogen and progesterone
produced by ovaries (smaller amounts from testes)
female sex characteristics


increase muscle mass,
heighten resistance to stress,
increase body's energy supply
Anabolic steroids
enhance athletic prowess
connected with self-confidence, aggressiveness, memory function

The Endocrine Glands

Pituitary and the Hypothalamus
Pituitary gland
Lies below hypothalamus
Labeled as "master gland"
Hormones secreted by pituitary gland
Hypothalamus regulates pituitary gland activity

spinal cord

Transmits messages from sensory receptors to the brain and from the brain to muscle and glands
Spinal Reflex
Simple, unlearned response to stimulus
Gray matter - nonmyelinated
White matter - myelinated

Endocrine System

Comprised of ductless glands that release hormones into the bloodstream
Regulate growth, metabolism and some behaviors
Maintain steady bodily states

Split-Brain Experiments

Severe cases of epilepsy may require split-brain operations
Examples of "two brain" phenomenon
Caused by inability of one hemisphere to communicate with the other


Somewhat greater-than-average probability of language problems and certain health problems
More likely than right-handed people in gifted artists, musicians, and mathematicians
Origins of handedness

Left Brain, Right Brain

Logical and intellectual
Intuitive, creative and emotional
Hemispheres do not act independently
Functions overlap and they respond simultaneously

Language Functions

Broca's Area
Frontal Lobe
Production of speech
Broca's aphasia
Understand language but speak slowly and laboriously

Language Functions

Wernicke's Area
Temporal Lobe
Wernicke's aphasia
Impairs ability to comprehend speech and think of words to express own thoughts
Angular Gyrus
Translates visual into auditory information
Damage impairs reading ability

Language Functions

Two hemispheres of the brain mirror and differ
Left hemisphere contains language functions for nearly all people
If damaged before age 13, speech functions would transfer to right hemisphere
Two key language areas
Broca's area and Wernicke's area
Damage in either causes aphasia

Thinking, Language, and the Cortex

Association areas
Not primarily involved in sensation or motor activity
Responsible for learning, thought, memory and language
Association areas in frontal lobe
Responsible for executive functions

The Cerebral Cortex

Outer layer of cerebrum
Two Hemispheres
Four Lobes
Frontal, Parietal, Temporal and Occipital
The Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex

frontal lobe

Motor Cortex

Parietal Lobe

Somatosensory Cortex

Temporal Lobe

Hearing and Auditory functions

Occipital Lobe


Corpus Callosum

Connects two hemispheres


"Little brain"

Limbic System

Amygdala, hippocampus and parts of hypothalamus
Involved in memory and emotion

Reticular Activation System

From hindbrain, ascends through midbrain into lower part of forebrain
Vital to attention, sleep, arousal

CAT or CT scan)

Computerized axial tomography


Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Autonomic Nervous System

Regulates glands and muscles of internal organs
Contains sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions

PET scan

Positron emission tomography


Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Experimenting with the brain

Assessing damage from trauma and disease
Intentionally damaging parts of a brain
Electrical probes to stimulate parts of the brain

Somatic Nervous System

Sensory and motor neurons
Transmits messages to the brain and purposeful body movements from the brain


Most active during emotional responses
Spend the body's reserves of energy


Measurement of electrical activity - brain waves


Most active during processes that restore body's reserve of energy

cerebral cortex

Surface of cerebrum


Responsible for thinking and language


Regulates body temperature, motivation and emotion
Hunger, thirst, sexual behavior, caring for offspring, aggression


Relay station for sensory stimulation


thalamus & hypothalamus

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