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Chapter 01 - The Evolution of Psychology

APP Ch.1 Outline.doc75.5 KB

T Grant Clay

Period 3


AP Psychology Outline

Chapter 1: The Evolution of Psychology


Red – Definition of Key Terms

Green – Important People & Contributions

Blue – Important Points


  1. How Psychology Developed
    1. Psychology – The Scientific Study of Behavior and Mental Processes.
    2. Mental Processes = Physiological and Cognitive Processes.
    3. Psychology comes from two Greek words. “Psyche” = Soul, and “Logos” = the Study of a Subject
    4. Psychology became a Scientific Discipline In 1870’s


  1. The Contributions of Wundt and Hall
    1. Philosophy + Physiology = Psychology
    2. Wilhelm Wundt


German Professor.


Campaigned to make Psychology an independent Scientific Discipline.


Established first Psychology Laboratory in 1879 at the University of Leipzig.


Established First Psychology Journal for research in 1881.


1879 is the Birth of Psychology.


Wilhelm Wundt is the founder of Psychology.


Wundt Considered the Consciousness the primary focus of Psychology.


Many students under Wundt left Germany for America and established Psychology Labs in America.

    1. G. Stanley Hall


Student of Wundt


Important to growth of Psychology in America.


Established First Research Laboratory in America at Johns Hopkins University in 1883.


Established First American Psychology Research Journal in 1887.


Father of American Psychological Association and first President. Founded in 1892.


  1. Structuralism VS Functionalism
    1. Competing Schools of Psychology Thought. Structuralism & Functionalism.
    2. Structuralism


Led by Edward Titchener, of Cornell University.




Wanted to examine fundamental components of conscious existence like sensations, feelings, and images.


Introspection – The careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience.


Primary Method used for study by Structuralism.



Led by William James, Formal Training in Medicine. Harvard University.


Functionalism – Psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure.


Principles of Psychology (1890) became standard reading for generations of psychologists and most influential text in history of psychology. (William James)


Psychology is deeply embedded in Cultural and Intellectual Influences.


Natural Selection: Using Darwin’s theory of natural Selection. Typical Psychological characteristics must serve a purpose.


Studies the Function of consciousness, rather than the Structure of it.


Wanted to understand the “stream of consciousness” not the “elements” of consciousness.


Functionalists brought interest in mental testing, patterns of development, effective education practices, and behavioral differences between sexes.


James Cattell and John Dewey

Who Won?


Structuralists brought Laboratory research.


Functionalism developed two modern schools of Psychology thought:


Applied Psychology




4. Sigmund Freud


  1. Unconscious – Contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior.
  2. Based on a Variety of Observations
    1. Slips of the tongue
    2. Dreams
  3. Theorized that Psychological disturbances are caused by personal conflicts existing at unconscious level.
  4. Psychoanalytic Theory – Attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior.
  5. Suggested people are not the Masters of their own Minds.
  6. Suggested Behavior is greatly influenced by how people cope with their sexual urges.
    1. Highly Scandalous at the time where sex was taboo.
  7. Freud’s work highly engulfed in heated debate.


5. Behaviorism

  1. Founded by John B. Watson
  2. Behaviorism – Theoretical Orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior.
  3. Argued to change study of Psychology from study of Conscious to study of Observable Behavior.
  4. Behavior – Refers to any Observable response or activity by an organism.
  5. Watson argued completely for Experience in the Nature VS Nurture debate.
  6. Based lots of Study upon Stimuli – Response Psychology.
    1. Led to rise of using Animals in experiments as Controls.


6. B.F. Skinner Questions Free Will


A.  Returned to observable behaviors (as previously Watson had).

B.  Insisted internal thoughts could not be studied scientifically.

C.  Emphasized how environmental factors mold behavior.

D.  Fundamental principle:  Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes, and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to neutral or negative outcomes.

E.  Book:  Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971)

7.               Humanists

        A. 1950’s revolted against “dehumanizing” schools of psychoanalysis and behaviorism.

        B.  Humanism:  a theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, and their freedom and potential for personal growth. 

                        1.  Optimistic view of human nature.

                        2.  Humans are fundamentally different from other animals, so research on animals has little relevance.

                        3.  Contributions to treatments for psychological problems and disorders.

        C.  Carl Rogers

                        1.  Human behavior is governed by “self-concept”

                        2.  Must take into account the fundamental human drive toward personal growth.

        D.  Abraham Maslow

VIII.             Applied Psychology

        A.  Branch concerned with everyday practical problems.

        B.  Before WWI, not concerned with practical applications.


C.       Four areas:

                1.  Clinical

                2.  Counseling

                3.  Educational and School

                4.  Industrial and Organizational

IX.                 Clinical Psychology

        A.  Concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders. 

        B.  During WWII many psychologists worked in clinical psychology.

X.  Cognitive Psychology

        A.  Cognition:  mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge (consciousness)

        B.  Renewed interest in cognition.

        C.  Jean Piaget (1954)

                        1.  Studied children’s cognitive development.

        D.  Noam Chomsky (1957)

                        1.  Language.

        E.  Herbert Simon= Problem solving studies- won Nobel Prize (1978).

XI.                  Psychology and Cultural Diversity

        A.  Mostly been a Western enterprise.

        B.  Ethnocentrism:  the tendency to view one’s own group as superior to others and as the standard        for judging the worth of foreign ways.

        C.  Neglecting cultural values diminishes the value of their work.

XII.               Evolutionary Psychology

A.       Behavioral processes in terms of their adaptive value for members of a species over the course of many generations. 

B.       Mens vs. Womens visual-spatial ability.

1.        Men were traditionally hunters – visual skills.

2.           Women were gatherers – spatial skills.

  1. Psychology Today

7 Major Research Areas in Psychology


Developmental Psychology


Social Psychology


Experimental Psychology


Physiological Psychology


Cognitive Psychology





Applied Psychology Areas (Professional Areas)


Clinical Psychology


Most Practiced Professional Psychology


Counseling Psychology


Educational & School Psychology


Industrial & Organizational Psychology

Many Psychologists work on both Research & Application


Some Work as Consultants, therapists, and counselors on a part-time basis.

Difference between Psychology & Psychiatry


Both Analyze and treat Psychological disorders


Psychiatry – A branch of medicine which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders. (Prescribes Mediaction.)


Clinical Psychology – Takes a non-Medical approach to treatment of psychological problems and disorders.


Psychology Major Research Areas

  • Developmental Psychology – Looks at Human development across the life span. Developmental psychology once focused primarily on child development, but today devotes a great deal of research to adolescence, adulthood, and old age.
  • Social Psychology – Focuses on interpersonal behavior and the role of social forces in governing behavior. Typical topics include attitude formation, attitude change, prejudice, conformity, attraction, aggression, intimate relationships, and behavior in groups.
  • Experimental Psychology – Encompasses the tradional core of topics that psychology focused heavily on originally. Sensation, perception, learning, conditioning, motivation, and emotion.
  • Physiological Psychology – Examines the influence of genetic factors on behavior and the role of the brain, nervous system, endocrine system, and bodily chemicals in the regulation of behavior.
  • Cognitive Psychology – Focuses on “higher” mental processes, such as memory, reasoning, information processing, language, problem solving, decision making, and creativity.
  • Personality – Describing and understanding individual’s consistency in behavior, which represents their personality. Also concerned with factors that shape personality with personality assessment.
  • Psychometrics – Measurement of behavior and capacities, usually through development of psychological tests. Psychometrics is involved with the design of tests to assess personality, intelligence, and a wide range of abilities.


Psychology Professional Specialties

  • Clinical Psychology – Evaluation, diagnosis, treatment of psychological disorders.
  • Counseling Psychology – Providing assistance to people struggling with everyday problems of moderate severity. Marriage Counseling, School counseling, etc.
  • Educational & School Psychology – Work to improve school teachings, curriculum, teacher training, etc.
  • Industrial & Organized Psychology – Variety of tasks in Business world. Running human resources departments, improving staff morale and attitudes, increase job satisfaction and productivity, examining organizational structures and procedures, making recommendations for improvements.


  1. Seven Unifying Themes
    1. Themes Related to Psychology as a Field of Study
    2. Psychology is Empirical
    3. Psychology is Theoretically Diverse
    4. Psychology evolves in a Socio-Historical Context.


Psychology is Empirical


Empiricism – The premise that knowledge should be acquired through Observation.


Psychology is Empirical = Conclusions are based upon direct observations, not reasoning, speculation, traditional beliefs, or common sense.


Psychologists are not content with ideas that sound plausible. They conduct research to test their ideas.


The Empirical approach requires a healthy Skepticism.


Think critically of generalizations revolving around behavior, etc.


The skeptical attitude means Psychologists are trained to ask “Where’s the Evidence?” or “How do you know?”

Psychology is theoretically diverse


Psychologists do not set out to collect isolated facts; they seek to explain and understand what they observe.


To achieve these goals they must construct Theories.


Theory – A system of inter-related ideas used to explain a set of observations.


A Theory links unrelated observations and tries to explain them.


There can be many Psychology reasons for anything.


Psychology is full of conflicting Theories.


Many Theories on a subject could conflict, but they could all be correct.


Psychology Evolves in a Socio-Historical Context


Trends, issues, and values in society influence Psychology’s evolution and Vice-Versa.


World War 2 and Growing Global Economy have effected development of Psychology in History.

Themes Related to Psychology’s Subject Matter


Behavior is determined by Multiple Causes


Behavior is Shaped by Cultural Heritage


Heredity and Environment jointly Influence Behavior


People’s Experience of the World is Highly Subjective

Behavior is Determined by Multiple Causes


Multifactorial Causation of Behavior – Idea that Behavior is governed by a complex network of interacting factors.

Behavior is shaped by Cultural Heritage


Culture – The widely shared Customs, Beliefs, Values, Norms, Institutions, and other products of a community that are transmitted socially across generations.


Culture is a broad Construct, encompassing everything from a society’s Legal System, assumptions about Family Roles, Diet, Politics, and Technology, attitudes about time, modes of Dress, Religion, and Sex.


Culture can belong to entire societies, broad ethnic groups, small groups, and non-ethnic groups (Gays, Jews, etc.)


Much of a persons Cultural Heritage is “invisible” because the person takes it for granted and isn’t readily apparent to outsiders.


Don’t assume that every member of the group shares the same “Cultural Traits.”

Heredity and Environment Jointly Influence Behavior


Nature VS Nurture – The debate over which if you’re Heredity or your Environment is responsible for your Behavior.


Today, it is agreed upon that Heredity and Environment are both important in the influence upon Behavior.

People’s Experience of the World is highly subjective


People actively process incoming stimulation, selectively focusing on some aspects and ignoring others. Moreover, they impose organization on the stimuli that they pay attention to.


These Tendencies make perception Personalized and Subjective.


People’s perceptions are swayed by their Motives. People sometimes see what they want to see.


People also tend to see what they expect to see.


Motives and Expectations differ People’s experiences. The Subjective Bias in perception turns out to explain a variety of Behavioral Tendencies.


The Scientific Method is designed to counteract the element of Human Subjectivity in experiments.









Subject X2: 

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