Sunday, January 23, 2005

WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?

Psychology is the study of behavior and the mind.
Behavior= actions and responses we can directly observe
Mind= internal processes that cannot be see directly (thoughts, feelings)
The term was coined in the 16th Century from the term "psyche" meaning soul, and "logos" meaning study. "To study the soul"
The big questions- Nature vs. Nurture and Heredity vs. Environment

The goals of Psychology
1) Describe
2) Understand
3) Predict
4) Modify - hardest to attempt

Historical Roots of Psychology
PLATO (428-327 BC) Stated that our senses decieve us, and that humans are born with an inborn knowledge (nativism). Also believed reasoning gives access to inborn knowledge (rationalism).
ARISTOTLE (384- 323 BC) Pato's student. Accepted reasoning but also accepted sensory experience as a source of knowledge (empericism).
In the Middle Ages, Christian West was guided by a religious dogma- punishment for scientific investigation.
During the Renaissance, 14- 17th Century, modern rationalists were inspired.
JOHN LOCKE - "Tuablo Rasa" Belief that humans are a blank slate and the environment determines behavior, and life experiences are acquired through our senses.
IMMANUEL KANT (1724- 1804) Similar beliefs as those of John Locke.