Psychology comes out of a combination of Philosophy and Biology.
Ancient Nature-Nurture Debate
Socrates and Plato (469-399BC)— the great early philosophers believed the mind could be separated from the body. Knowledge is innate—born into us.
Aristotle (384-322 BC) believed that the soul was not separable from the body. Knowledge NOT innate, but learned.
Continued Nature-Nurture Debate
Descartes (1595-1650) - scientist and philosopher. Also believed that Knowledge is innate. Looked at how the mind and body communicated, studying nerves and body movements.
John Locke (1632-1704) – Believed the mind is blank slate. His work along with Francis Bacon led towards the principle of Empiricism.
The view that knowledge originates in experience and that science should, therefore, rely on observation and experimentation.
The beginning of modern science
systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
Who is the Father of Psychology?
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) — did the first true psychology experiment which attempted to measure the speed of thought.
A philosopher and physiologist
Worked in experimental and cognitive psychology.
Known for “objective introspection”
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Father of Psychoanalysis
Science of the mental life.
Best known for such theories of the unconscious mind, repression, the interpretations of dreams and defense mechanisms.
Psychology becomes fixed (fixated?) on understanding the inner mental processes and thinking.
The Pendulum swings
From 1920-1960, Psychology is redefined as “the scientific study of observable behavior”.
Since thinking, introspection and feelings can’t be observed, it is dismissed. Because science is rooted in observation, only BEHAVIOR can be studied and researched.
Fathers of Behaviorism
John B Watson
Theories of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, rewards and punishment.
Pendulum swings again
Humanistic Psychology takes hold around 1960 with the belief that people are more than just their behaviors. Thinking and feeling ARE important. Emphasizes human potential, needs for love and acceptance, and environmental influences on growth.
Psychology comes of age!
Family systems perspective
4 major theories in counseling
Cognitive behavioral theory
Family systems theory
The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors.
Consider issues like alcoholism, obesity, depression, and personality traits. Are they genetic or caused by the environment?
The Jim Twins
Jim Springer and Jim Lewis
Separated four weeks after birth
Reunited at age 39
Jim Twin Simularities. Both men:
Had first wives named “Linda” and second wives named “Betty.”
Named their sons “James Allan.”
Owned dogs named “Toy.”
Drove the same color and same model of Chevy.
Chain smoked Salem cigarettes.
Chewed their fingernails.
Vacationed in the same spot each year.
Got headaches at the same time of the day.
Enjoyed mechanical drawing and carpentry.
Had excelled in math in school and struggled in spelling .
Oskar and Jack
Oskar and Jack were born in Trinidad but separated and raised by different families.
Oskar was taken to Germany, where his grandmother raised him as a Catholic and a Nazi youth.
Jack was raised in the Caribbean as a Jew, by his father, and spent part of his youth on an Israeli kibbutz.
When arriving at the airport, both were wearing wire-rimmed glasses and mustaches, both sported two-pocket shirts.
Interesting idiosyncrasies were shared, such as, they both:
liked spicy foods and sweet liqueurs
had a habit of falling asleep in front of the television
thought it funny to sneeze in a crowd of strangers
flushed the toilet before using it
stored rubber bands on their wrists
read magazines from back to front
dipped buttered toast in their coffee..
An integrated approach— Three main levels of analysis
1. Biological influences on behavior & mental processes
Genes responding to the environment
Illness and disease
Effects of substances on the body and brain, such as alcohol, drugs, sugar, etc…
Chemical changes in the body (connected with such things as hormones, aging, stress, sleep, weather, etc…)
2. Psychological influences on behavior & mental processes
Learned fears and other learned expectations
General personality traits and ways of thinking (such as optimistic or pessimistic, careful or spontaneous)
Trauma and loss
3. Social-cultural influences on behavior & mental processes