Approaches to Psychology

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Information about Approaches to Psychology

Published on July 30, 2008

Author: rhondaf


Approaches to Psychology : Approaches to Psychology Historical Approaches Structuralism : Structuralism William Wundt (1832-1920) Study of human behavior in a systematic and scientific manner Acknowledged as establishing modern psychology as a separate formal field of study Was interested in basic elements of human experience (structuralist) Important because he used a systematic procedure to study human behavior Functionalism : Functionalism William James (1842-1910) Father of Psychology in the US Rather than focusing on structures of the mind, James focused on the functions or actions of the conscious mind and the goals or purpose of behavior Functionalists focus on how animals and people adapt to their environments Inheritable Traits : Inheritable Traits Sir Frances Galton (1822-1911) Wanted to understand how heredity influences a person’s ability Heredity includes all the traits and properties that are passed along from parents to children He thought the world would be a better place if we got rid of less desirable people Most fit were those with high intelligence Galton assumed wealthiest people were the most intelligent Gestalt : Gestalt Group of German psychologists who focused on the whole pattern (in German, Gestalt) See the whole rather than the parts Example, see a chair rather than a seat, legs back etc Todays Approaches : Todays Approaches Pscychoanalytical Behavioral Humanistic Cognitive Biographical Sociocultural Psychoanalytical : Psychoanalytical Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Practiced in Vienna until 1938 More interested in unconscious mind Our conscious experiences are only the tip of the iceberg Beneath surface are primitive biological urges that are in conflict with the requirements of society and modesty These unconscious motivations and conflicts are responsible for most human behavior Also responsible for many unexplained physical symptoms Free Association : Free Association Patient said anything that came to mind Psychoanalyist is a psychologist that studies how the unconscious motives and conflicts determine human behavior, feelings and thoughts Dreams are an expression of the most primitive unconscious urges – Freud used dream analysis which is free association applied to dreams Case study: analyze the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, behaviors and problems of individual Behavioral : Behavioral Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) Pavlov dogs: Pavlov rang a tuning fork each time he gave dog meat. The dog would normally drool when he got the meat. After Pavlov repeated the procedure many times, the dogs would drool when it heard the ring of the tuning fork, even if no food appeared. It had been conditioned to associate the sound with the food. This is known as conditioning or the conditional reflex Slide 10: Conditional reflex was a response (drool) provoked by a stimulus (tuning fork) other than the one that first produced it (meat) Could account for behaviors as the product of prior experiences This enabled psychologists to explain how certain acts and differences among individuals were the result of learning Behaviorists : Behaviorists John Watson (1878-1958) Concern with only observable behaviors All behavior is result of conditioning and occurs because the appropriate stimulus is present in the environment Behavior- Reinforcement : Behavior- Reinforcement B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) Introduced concept of reinforcement Response to a behavior that increases likelihood that the behavior will be repeated (rewards) Humanistic : Humanistic Developed as a reaction to behavioral psychology 1960’s Humans not controlled by environment or unconscious forces Environment and the outside forces serve as a background to our own internal growth Each person is unique and has a self concept and potential to develop fully Cognitive Psychology : Cognitive Psychology Cognitivists focus on how we process, store, retrieve and use information Influences our thinking, language, problem solving and creativity Behavior is more than a simple response to a stimulus Behavior is influenced by a variety of mental processes including perceptions, memories and expecations Biological : Biological Impact of biology on behavior Pyschiobiologists study how physical and chemical changes in our bodies influence our behavior How the brain, hormones impact our behavior Use tools like MRI CT Genetics influences a wide range of human behavior Recent discoveries between chemicals in brain (neurotransmitters) and human behavior EX – autisitic children share a genetic defect in regulation neurotransmitter Serontin – serontin plays a role in brain function Sociocultural : Sociocultural Study influences of cultural and ethnic similarities and differences on behavior and social factors Our ways of thinking, feeling and behaving are dependent on the culture in which we belong Study impact of millions of immigrants who come to US each year How different Genders and socioeconomics influence our behaviors, male-female, rich-poor

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