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Intro to Psychology: Chapter One
Transcript of Intro to Psychology: Chapter One
What Is Psychology?
The goals of psychological science
The Psychological Frame of Mind
Scientific thinking involves
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
Consider this, "If you wanted to understand someone, where do you begin?"
: the process of reflecting deeply, actively asking questions, and evaluating evidence.
: psychology uses systematic methods to observe human behavior and draw conclusions.
: Everything we do that can be directly observed.
: the thoughts, feelings, and motives that each of us experiences privately but that cannot be observed directly.
behavior. In addition, psychologists are often interested in controlling or
“What makes for a good job, a good marriage, or a good life?”
These are common questions asked by psychologists and these questions are approached with a scientific approach.
Psychology is a rigorous discipline which involves conducting research and relying on empirical evidence to support or reject their assumptions.
involves challenging why a supposed fact is really true.
involves seeing things as they really are, not as we would like them to be; relies on empirical evidence instead of our hunches.
wanting to know why. Opening your mind and imagination to wondering why things are the way they are.
Psychology in Historical Perspective:
•Ancient myths attributed most important
events to the pleasure or displeasure of the
Gradually, myths gave way to
philosophy---the rational investigation of the underlying principles of being and knowledge.
People attempted to explain events in terms of natural rather than supernatural causes.
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) a German philosopher-physician, founded the first psychology laboratory in 1879 at the University of Leipzig.
Wundt is considered to be the founding father of Psychology. He developed the idea that mental processes could be measured. He was interested in discovering the basic “structures” of mental processes. Wundt’s approach involved “introspection”, looking inside the mind and searching for structures.
William James (1842-1910)
James explored the purpose or functions of the mind and behavior in the individual’s adaptation to the environment.
James did not believe in rigid structures of the mind, rather he viewed the mind as flexible and fluid, characterized by constant change in response to a continuous flow of information from the world.
In 1859, Darwin published “On the Origin of Species”. He proposed the principle of
an evolutionary process in which organisms that are best adapted to their environment will survive and, importantly, produce offspring.
Theory of Evolution
Darwin used the scientific approach of observation to develop the ideas for his “Theory of Evolution”
Darwin realized those animals that possessed a biological feature that provided any type of survival advantage over other animals survived more and therefore had more opportunities to produce offspring.
Looking at the giraffe perhaps you can identify the biological feature that is considered adaptive for survival.
Can you explain how this may have come to be?
Contemporary Approaches To Psychology:
7 different approaches
represent the intellectual backdrop of psychological science;
behavioral, cognitive humanistic.
An approach to psychology focusing on the body, especially the brain and nervous system.
Sample research question:
How might damage to parts of the brain lead to psychological problems?
Sample research question
How do we learn our good and bad habits?
How can we increase desirable bx's and decrease undesirable ones?
The Psychodynamic Approach
emphasizes unconscious thought, the conflict between biological drives (the drive for sex) and society’s demands, and early childhood experiences.
Sample research question:
How do adult personality traits or psychological problems reflect unconscious conflicts and early childhood experiences?
the founding father of the psychodynamic approach. He developed the therapeutic technique called psychoanalysis, the analyst working to help a patient to unlock their unconscious conflicts by talking about childhood memories, dreams, thoughts and feelings.
In contrast to the psychodynamic idea of being driven by unconscious impulses or completely shaped by rewards and punishments from the environment, the humanistic approach asserted people have “Free Will” and can choose their destiny; to live by higher values.
The Cognitive Approach:
emphasizes the mental process involved in knowing; how we direct our attention, perceive, remember, think, and solve problems.
Many scientists who adopt this approach focus on
, the ways that the human mind interprets incoming information, weighs it, stores it, and applies it to decision making.
The Evolutionary Approach:
use evolutionary ideas such as adaptation, reproduction, and natural selection as the basis for explaining specific human behaviors.
The Socio-Cultural Approach:
What Psychologists Do:
A. Individuals with
may work in occupations ranging from human resources and business consulting to casework for individuals struggling with psychological disorders, sales, real-estate and social work.
B. Individuals with
might work as therapists and counselors, researchers and teachers in universities or marketing researchers.
An Important distinction:
Clinical Psychologist and Psychiatrist
typically has a doctoral degree in psychology (Dr. Phil), which requires five years of graduate work and one year of internship in a mental health facility.
is a physician with a medical degree who specializes in abnormal behavior & psychotherapy. A psychiatrist can prescribe medicine and clinical psychologists typically cannot.
As human behavior is a vast, complex topic. Most psychologists
in a particular area of study.
Physiological Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience:
Researchers who study physiological psychology are interested in the physical processes that underlie mental operations such as vision and memory. Physiological psychologists may use animal models.
Sensation & Perception:
Researchers who study sensation and perception focus on the physical systems and psychological process that allow us to experience the world---smell a thanksgiving turkey, see the beauty of a sunset.
Learning is the intricate process by which behavior changes to adapt to changing circumstances. Many researchers study the basic principles of learning using animals such as rats and pigeons.
: is the broad name given to the field of psychology that examines attention, consciousness, information processing and memory. Cognitive psychologists are also interested in skills and abilities such as problem solving, decision making, expertise, and intelligence.
is concerned with how people become who they are, from conception to the grave. Developmental psychologists concentrate on the biological factors that contribute to human development.
Motivation & Emotion:
Scientists who study motivation include how individuals persist to attain a difficult goal and how rewards affect the experience of motivation (look up Carol Dweck if you are interested in learning more about motivation)
Psychology of Women and Gender:
study psychological, social and cultural influences on women’s development and behavior. These psychologists are also interested in understanding the broad topic of gender and the ways in which our biological sex influences our ideas about ourselves as men and women.
study personality, the relatively enduring characteristics of individuals. Personality psychologists study such topics as traits, goals, motives, genetics, personality development, and well-being.
deals with people’s interactions with one another, relationships, social perceptions, social cognition, and attitudes. Social psychologists are interested in the influence of groups on individuals’ thinking and behavior and in the ways that the groups to which we belong influence our attitudes.
Industrial & Organizational Psychology:
I/O psychology centers on the workplace, both the workers and the organization that employ them. They are interested in such ideas as job satisfaction, work environment and productivity.
In Chapter One (What Is Psychology) we will:
Careers in Psychology
Do You Have A Hero??
Even less extraordinary circumstances, people make choices that might be called heroic. They are generous when they might be selfish, forgiving when they could hold a grudge; work hard when they could slack off.
Psychology focuses on admirable and
The Behavioral Approach:
emphasizes the scientific study of observable behavioral responses and their environmental determinants. It focuses on an organism’s visible interactions with the environment--- that is behaviors---not thoughts or mental processes.
Psychology and Pseudo-Psychology
Be careful not to confuse
psychology with pseudopsychology
(Pseudo means "False").
Based on common beliefs, folk wisdom, or superstitions.
They sometimes appear as real science but they are not.
Examples include: psychic powers, horoscopes, or people only use 10% of their brain.
Lets test the pseudo from the real psychology....
emphasizes a person’s positive qualities, the capacity for positive growth, and the freedom to choose any destiny.
Sample research question
: How can we promote a clients capacity for self-actualization and desire for authenticity.
sample research question:
How do our thoughts affect how we respond to certain situations?
Sample research question:
What are some reproductive strategies women use in mate selection?
Emphasizes social interaction and the cultural determinants of behavior and mental processes.
Sample research question:
How do the values and beliefs transmitted from our social/cultural environments affect our everyday psychological processes?
Some Skills Gained from a Psychology Major
Improved ability to predict and understand behavior
Better understanding of how to use and interpret data.
Increased communication and interpersonal skills
Enhanced insight into problem behavior
No one perspective on psychology can completely explain the complex human condition
With your groups, read and consider the case study of Jessica. Use your assigned psychological perspective to help explain/understand Jessica's situation.
Each group will have a few minutes to share their perspective.
Case Study: Jessica
A student is placed in a gifted program based on her IQ score.
Goal here is to:
Exploring the function of cutting
behavior in a teenager's life so
that the teenager can understand
her options and make choices regarding the behavior.
Goal here is to:
7 Perspectives Groups
Cards will be randomly handed out. Look at your card. After all cards have been handed out, find your partners with the same suit;
A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8
Perspectives Group Assignments
At the right moment, an "ordinary" person can become a hero.
Write down three things that come to mind when you hear the term "Psychology".
Psychology has its roots in
Philosophy beginning with the
early philosophers such as
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. They used reason to explore questions of human bx such as; "How do our senses perceive the world?", Why does one person flourish, whereas another struggles in life?",
Psych also has its roots in biology and physiology as well
Each psychological approach offers a unique perspective on behaviors.
With your group choose one of the following problematic behaviors. Take ten minutes to discuss how your psychological approach would view the bx.
For this exercise please take 3-5 minutes to write down what others would fail to understand about you without knowing your history.
How did early humans
have to adapt to survive?