Foundational Concept 7: Biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors influence behavior and behavior change.
Biological basis of behavior: Nervous system
7A: The very fact that you are able to understand this sentence means that neurons in your brain (85 billion in total) are talking to each other. Neurons are the living substance of the nervous system, which extends beyond the brain to the spinal cord and peripherally, allows you to think and process, make decisions, stand up straight, maintain your heart rate, rest and digest. You will come to appreciate the structure and function of the nervous system as we delve into its anatomy and physiology, from the gray and white matter to the cerebellum to the neurons.
7A: Nature vs. nurture - it’s a dilemma scientists have aimed to answer for years. Do our surroundings or genetics have a greater impact on the individuals we eventually become? You will learn about the way our genes and experiences shape the ways we respond to our environment as we discuss experiments such as twin and adoption studies in the context of development.
7A: What makes us do the things we do, or feel the way we feel in situations? Explore how the physiological and psycho-social theories, factors, and situations behind how motivation, attitudes, and behavior are inter-related.
7A: Curious about your personality? It’s a complex thing which is difficult to define in even a book. Nonetheless, throughout history, several notable psychologists and schools of thought have attempted to figure out how to organize and categorize human personalities. We will review these theories and see which one resonates the most with you! By Shreena Desai.
Motivation and attitudes - What makes us dot he things we do, or feel the way we feel in various social situations? We will discuss how the physiological and psycho-social theories, factors, and situations behind motivation, attitudes, and behavior are interrelated.
When someone breaks their leg they get a cast to fix the damage and when someone gets a papercut, they use a bandaid. But what happens when someone’s mind needs to be healed? Although many mental disorders are difficult to diagnose, these videos explore the symptoms and biological explanations of a few mental disorders that are extensively researched.
Birds of a feather flock together. How do we explain these and other observations in the way we interact with fellow human beings? We will dive into the fascinating and relevant world of social psychology as we discuss concepts which you may have noticed in real life. You will come to know the names of such phenomena as well as the specific factors that motivate people to behave the way they do in groups.
7B: Learn about how "normal" and "deviant" behavior is defined in today's society. This includes a discussion of the range of normal and abnormal behavior, common theories used to understand basic deviance, and discussion of some types of deviance that occur in groups.
7C: This is the most “meta” of all modules, in which you will learn about learning! Your environment has a huge impact on your future behavior, and your behavior itself has consequences on the environment. You will come to appreciate the mechanisms of classical and operant conditioning (and how you can apply these concepts to training your dog!). We will apply these to contemporary issues like the issue of violence in the media. As you go through this module, you will gain an understanding of how your brain retains new information.
7C: Although people can learn new behaviors and change their attitudes, psychological, environmental, and biological factors influence whether those changes will be short-term or long-term. Understanding how people learn new behaviors, change their attitudes, and the conditions that affect learning helps us understand behavior and our interactions with others.
The content in this category covers learning and theories of attitude and behavior change. This includes the elaboration likelihood model, theories of information processing, and social cognitive theory.