Psychology: Nervous System and Cerebral Cortex Essay

Submitted By mbeggan
Words: 4223
Pages: 17

AP Psychology
Prologue:
Psychology’s Roots:
Psychology- the scientific study of behavior and mental processes-aims to describe and explain how we think, feel and act
-Behavior is anything an organism does-any action we can observe and record (yelling, smiling, blinking, talking and questionnaire marking are all observable behaviors)
-Mental processes are the internal, subjective experiences we infer from behavior (they include sensations, perceptions, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings)
-Psychology is a science which evaluates competing ideas with careful observation and rigorous analysis: it attempts to describe and explain human nature by testing different plausible theories
Prescientific Psychology:
-Socrates (469-399 B.C.) and his student Plato (428-348 B.C.) both believed that the mind is separable from body and continues after the body dies, and that knowledge is innate-born within us
-Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) created ideas from observations, unlike Socrates and Plato who derived principles by logic. From Aristotle’s careful observations he concluded that “the soul is not separable from the body, the same holds good of particular parts of the soul” and knowledge is not preexisting but it grows from experiences storied in our memories
-René Descartes’ (1595-1650) who agreed with Socrates and Plato, believed the existence of innate ideas and the mind being “entirely distinct from the body” and able to survive its death. He dissected animals and concluded that fluid in the brain contained “animal spirits” which flowed through the brain by nerves to the muscles, provoking movement and memories are created when experiences opened pores in the brain where animal spirits also flowed. He also concluded that nerve paths are important and enable reflexes
-Francis Bacon (1561-1626) is one of the founders of modern science and said that “the human understanding, from its peculiar nature, easily supposes a greater degree of order and equality in things than it really finds”. He also did research findings on our noticing and remembering events that confirm our beliefs: “All superstition is much the same whether it be that of astrology, dreams, omens in all of which the deluded believers observe events which are fulfilled, but neglect and pass over their failure, though it be much more common.”
-John Locke (1632-1704) argued that the mind at birth is a blank slate on which experience writes. His ideas along with Bacon’s ideas helped to form modern empiricism
Empiricism- the view that knowledge originates in experience and that science should rely in observation and experimentation
Psychological Science is Born:

-Wilhelm Wundt was measuring the “atoms of the mind” –the fastest and simplest mental processes, he also established the first psychology laboratory

-Edward Bradford Titchener discover the elements of the mind-engage people in self- reflective introspection (looking inward) to train them to report elements of experience

Structuralism-an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind

-William James (functionalist) believed smelling, thinking, etc was developed because it was adaptive, first to introduce psychology to the public
-Functionalism-a school psychology that focused on how mental and behavioral processes function-how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish
-Taught Whiton Calkins who was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. but was first denied her degree and also the first President of American Psychological Association
-Margaret Floy Washburn also was the first to receive a Ph.D. also becoming a president, she studied the animal mind and wrote the book The Animal Mind

-Sigmund Freud developed an influential theory of personality, he was a famed personality theorist and therapist whose controversial ideas influenced humanity’s self-understanding. He was an Austrian physician and he emphasized the ways…