The science of human behaviour
Psychology divides human behavior into external and internal aspects. Typical characteristics of human behavior include:
can be observed by an outsider and measured objectively is made of actions, gestures, positions, expressions, brain activity, and bodily reactions
refer to cognitive-affective activities that individuals do with their minds are subjective, i.e. only expressed and appraised by persons themselves comprise cognitive processes (thinking, observation, attention, memory, and learning) and affective factors (emotions and motives)
Adaptation to the environment
people adapt their behavior to perceived circumstances and expectations
Intentional, conscious, unconscious
all behavior is intentional, regardless if the individual is aware of it
CHARACTERISTICS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOUR - NOTES
Human behavior is internal and external, adaptive, intentional, and conscious and unconscious:
internal = mental processes (thinking, emotions, motivation)
external = actions (e.g. a smile)
adaptation of species, adaptation of senses, adaptation to a situation, learning facilitates adaption
behavior is always goal-oriented, or “sensible”
conscious is voluntary
psychoanalytic view of the unconscious
cognitive view of the unconscious
behaviour is based on brain activity
Neural circuits develop and reorganize due to environmental stimuli and individual behaviour.
The frontal lobe is fully developed around 25 years of age
Lateralization means that some brain functions are more dominant in either the right or left hemisphere.
Neuroplasticity makes learning possible throughout life.
According to behaviorists, learning can be passive or active. In classical conditioning, environmental regularities and automatic reactions to them, for instance fear, pleasure, or reservation, shape learning passively. On the other hand, operant conditioning views the learner as an active participant, who based on positive and negative reinforcement, changes his or her behavior. During the socialization process, operant conditioning is a more significant type of learning.
B. F. Skinner was a leading researcher on the effects that reinforcement has on behavior and learning. In brief, rewards increase and punishments decrease a behavior. The theory of operant conditioning is useful for instance in animal training. Unlike animals, human beings do not need concrete rewards; instead, a smile that provides enough positive attention may be considered a reward. Similarly, a punishment can be anything from discipline to ignorance or disapproving looks. Disciplinary practices with children are often based on the principles of operant conditioning.
Albert Bandura continued the work of early American behaviorists and studied the importance of vicarious reinforcement. He explored reasons behind aggression and noticed that behavior is learned from the environment through observational learning and that people imitate the behavior of others. An actual person, a media or literature character, or written instructions can constitute a behavioral model. Vicarious reinforcement, i.e. learning though observing the consequences of behavior for other people, increases behavioral conformity. That is, we tend to repeat behaviors that others are rewarded for and avoid behaviors for which other people are punished. Bandura named his theory social learning theory.
Psychological schools of thoughts
Psychodynamic psychology is based on Freud's ideas
Emphasis in human behaviour: The structures of the psyche (id, ego, superego) develop in early childhood and will shape human behavior consciously and especially unconsciously in later life.
Behaviorism wanted to include psychology among natural sciences
Emphasis in human behaviour: Behavioral responses and habits are learned through conditioning or modelling. The strength of a behavior can be increased with positive reinforcement (rewards) and decreased with negative reinforcement (punishments).
Humanistic psychology generated an optimistic view of human nature
Emphasis in human behavior: Individuals are unique and use the meanings they give to their life to direct personal behavior
Cognitive psychology sees the individual as an active processor of information
Emphasis in human behavior: Individual schemas direct the active information processing and cognitive control of an individual.
schema: a pattern of thought or behavior that organizes information of the environment and the self
script: a sequence of accepted behavior in social situations
self-concept: a schema of the self; involves physical characteristics, personality traits, knowledge and skills, and group roles
self-esteem: an evaluation of one’s own worth and an ability to trust personal capacity
self-regulation: any strategy to maintain mental balance
P = perception
T = thinking
M = memory
A = attention
L = learning
L = language
cognitive processes, emotions, motivation
evolution, nervous system and hormones, heredity
culture, situational factors, social environment
The core ideas of evolutionary psychology
Genes show variation between individuals. Genes pass characteristics on to the next generation.
The strongest, best adapted individuals survive the struggle for existence. Successful mate selection and the production of healthy offspring are also signs of strength and good adaptation. The strongest, best adapted individuals can spread their genes more widely to the next generation.
Therefore, the characteristics improving adaptation become more and more prevalent with every new generation, eventually developing into a dominant or universal characteristic of the species.
social perspective- classical conditioning
Unconditioned stimulus. This is the thing that triggers an automatic response. Food is the unconditioned stimulus in Pavlov’s dog experiment.
Unconditioned response. This is what response naturally occurs when you experience the unconditioned stimulus, such as salivating from the food.
Conditioned stimulus. This is considered a neutral stimulus. When you’re presented with it over and over before the unconditioned stimulus (e.g., food), it will start to evoke the same response. The bell before the food is the conditioned stimulus.
Conditioned response. This is the acquired response to the conditioned stimulus (the bell), which is often the same response as the unconditioned response. So, the dogs salivated for the bell the same way they salivated for the food in front of them.
If you pair a neutral stimulus (NS) with an unconditioned stimulus (US) that already triggers an unconditioned response (UR) that neutral stimulus will become a conditioned stimulus (CS), triggering a conditioned response (CR) similar to the original unconditioned response.
social - terms
conformity: a tendency to modify behavior and opinions in order to fit in
culture: a system, which is composed of the shared beliefs, values, and behavior of a group and passed on to the next generation.
ingroup: a group that an individual identifies with
norm: communal rules that can be publicly declared or quiet assumptions
outgroup: a group that an individual does not identify wit
social identity: the human tendency to define the self through group memberships; a result of categorization, identification, comparison, and ingroup favoritism
socialization: the process of growing into a member of a society or commu