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Psychology Schools of Thought

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Greg MacPherson

on 2 August 2014

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Transcript of Psychology Schools of Thought

Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology
Lesson Seven
Introduction to Psychology
Goal #1
Goal #2
Goal #3
Goal #4
Put another way...
In summary...
What are the major schools of thought or perspectives in psychology?

Behaviour and its causes can be studied at:
Biological Level
Environmental Level
Psychological Level
We are going to look at five perspectives or "schools of thought" in psychology
1. Psychodynamic
Psychodynamic Perspective
This perspective focuses on the unconscious mind
It is believed that unlocking the unconscious mind is the key to understanding human behaviour
Sigmund Freud
Conscious Mind
Unconscious Mind
Preconscious Mind
Some important psychologists in the field of Psychodynamic Theory...
Sigmund Freud
Carl Jung
Karen Horney
Behavioural Perspective
B.F. Skinner
This perspective focusses on the role of the external environment
It is believed that our behaviour is determined by habits learned from previous life experiences AND by stimuli in our immediate environment
In this perspective, psychologists need
, obtained through experimentation to understand and change human behaviour
This is evidence based facts, statistics, and data
Important psychologists in the field of Behavioural Theory include:
John B. Watson
Ivan Pavlov
B. F. Skinner
Humanist Perspective
How is it different than the Psychodynamic Perspective?
Abraham Maslow
This perspective arose in the mid 20th century to challenge both the
Psychodynamic Perspective
and the
Behavioural Perspective
- these two earlier schools of thought had arisen at the beginning of the 20th century
Humanist Perspective
emphasizes three important things...
Humanist Perspective
rejects psychodynamic concepts of humans being controlled by unconscious forces
How is it different than the Behavioural Perspective?
Humanist Perspective
also rejects Behaviourism's view of humans as just reactors to the environment
Humanist Perspective
proposes that each of us has an inborn force toward
In other words...
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
It emphasizes the importance of...
Important psychologists in the field of Humanist Theory include...
Abraham Maslow
Viktor Frankl
Carl Rogers
Cognitive Perspective
Albert Bandura
This perspective examines the nature of the mind and how mental processes influence behaviour
This perspective believes that humans are information processors whose actions are governed by thought.
In other words...
The cognitive perspective is the study and application of how the brain...
Important psychologists in the field of Cognitive Theory include...
Albert Bandura
Jean Piaget
Elizabeth Loftus
Biological Perspective
This perspective examines how brain processes and other bodily functions regulate behaviour
Behavioural Genetics
Behavioural Neuroscience (physiological psychology)
There are three important subfields of study in this area of psychology...
Behavioural neuroscience looks at what
brain regions
neural circuits
, and
bodily chemicals
our behaviour
our sensory experiences
our emotions
, and
our thoughts
Behavioural Genetics looks at how behavioural tendencies are influenced by genetic factors
Evolutionary Psychology
Evolutionary Psychology looks at how certain behavioural characteristics have been passed on through natural selection
In other words... it looks at how evolution has shaped modern human behaviour
Important psychologists in the field of biological psychology include...
Karl Lashley
Roger Sperry
David Buss
Activity #1
What are some important specialty areas in psychology?

Beyond the five major perspectives in psychology, there are also many specialty areas that apply one or more of the major schools of thought
Because psychology is such a broad area of study, no psychologist can be an expert in all aspects of behaviour
1. Clinical Psychology
This involves the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders
In CLinical Psychology, a number of different schools of thought may be employed:
Psychodynamic Theory
Behavioural Theory
Humanist Theory
2. Counselling
This is similar to clinical psychology in that it involves working with clients
However, this field tends to deal with issues of personal adjustment, vocational and career planning, and interest and aptitude testing
In Counselling, a number of different schools of thought may be employed including:
Humanist Theory
Cognitive Theory
3. Socio/Cultural Psychology
This area examines how the social environmant influences an individual's behaviour, thoughts, and feelings
This can include the study of cultural transmission and the psychological similarities and differences among people from different cultures
In Socio/cultural Psychology, a number of different schools of thought may be employed including:
Psychodynamic Theory
Humanist Theory
Behavioural Theory
Cognitive Theory
Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and of the mind
This refers to the actions and responses that we can directly observe
This refers to the internal processes such as thoughts and feelings that cannot be seen directly which means they must be inferred from observable and measurable responses
We cannot directly see a person's feeling of love but we can infer how a person feels from their observable actions (giving someone flowers) and words (saying "I love you")
The study of Psychology is very broad and has many subfields
they all share
central goals:

how people and other animals behave
and understand the causes of these behaviours
how people and other animals will behave under certain conditions
or control behaviour through knowledge and control of its causes to influence human welfare
If we understand the causes of a behaviour and know when the causal factors are present or absent, then we should be able to successfully predict when the behaviour will occur as well as how to influence or control it
The goals of Psychology are to...

What are the major schools of thought or perspectives in psychology?
What are some important specialty areas of study in psychology?
What are the quantitative and qualitative methods of research in psychology?
brain processes
genetic influences
past and present physical
and social environments
to which we are exposed
chemicals, neural circuits, and structures in your brain respond to bodily signals and regulate whether you fell hungry or full
moods, food preferences, and motives affect eating

Do you only eat when you are hungry or when you are stressed or bored?
external stimuli such as appearance or aroma of food or cultural customs as to what is normal or proper to eat
This is information that we are always aware of

It is our conscious mind that performs the thinking when we take in new information

It is our immediate awareness of our current environment
This is information processing in our mind that we are not aware of

This is information that is unavailable to our awareness
This is information that we are unaware of at the moment but that can be called into conscious awareness
Free Will
Personal Growth
Attempt to Find Meaning in One's Existence
An inborn tendency to strive toward the reaching of one's individual potential
personal choice
personal growth
positive feelings of self-worth
The meaning of our existence lies in our own hands
4. Developmental Psychology
The human body changes throughout its life, both physically and mentally
Developmental Psychologists study specific areas of mental and physical development across the entire lifespan and how these developmental changes impact behaviour
A major area of study in developmental psychology is that of infants and children
In Developmental Psychology, a number of different schools of thought maybe employed including:
Psychodynamic Theory
Cognitive Theory
Biological Theory
5. Educational Psychology
This area focusses on the psychological aspects of the educational process
For high school and university students, educational psychology may look at issues such as...
time management
study techniques
test preparation
test-taking strategies
In Educational Psychology, a number of different psychological schools of thought may be employed including:
Humanist Theory
Cognitive Theory
Behavioural Theory
6. Industrial/Organizational
Psychologists in this area examine behaviour in work settings
They study factors related to employee morale and performance
They are involved in the development of machines and tasks to fit human capabilities
In Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a number of different schools of thought may be employed including:
Humanist Theory
Behavioural Theory
Cognitive Theory
Biological Theory
Activity #2
What are the Quantitiative and Qualitative Methods of Research in Psychology?

Quantitative Research
This type of research must be objective and statistically valid
It's about numbers and objective, hard data
A sample of people from a population is asked a series of questions on a survey
The results reveal the frequency and percentage of their responses
Generally speaking, the sample size must be large enough to ensure statistical validity!!
Qualitative Research
This type of research tends to be more subjective and uses very different methods of collecting information
the nature of the research is more open-ended
Researchers often use individual, in-depth interviews
Case Study
descriptive research
Three Major Research Methods
correlational research
experimental research
This is the most basic type of research since its main goal is to simply describe behaviour
There are three different types of descriptive research
Case Study
Naturalistc Observation
Survey Research
This is an in-depth analysis of...
An individual
A group
An event
The main purpose of studying a single case in detail is to try and discover principles of behaviour that can be applied in a more general way
Case studies can use qualitative techniques such as
Advantages and Disadvantages
1. this is good to study rare phenomenon
1. a poor method to determine cause and effect relationships
Naturalistic Observation
This is where behaviour is observed in a natural setting
This type of research is intended to avoid influencing behaviour
Advantages and Disadvantages
Behaviour is not influenced by the presence of observers
1. cannot determine cause and effect relationships
Survey Research
Advantages and Disadvantages
1. large, representative samples mean that conclusions can be made about the population as a whole
1. cause and effect relationships cannot be made
Surveys are used to ask specific questions about behaviours
This is quantitative research so the researcher must make sure that the sampling is valid
The sample population should be...
large enough to ensure validity
representative of the whole population
a random sample
this type of research ask about possible relationships between variables
NO manipulation of variables occurs
(as in experiments)
Is there a relationship between a person's birth order an a specific personality trait?
Correlation DOES NOT mean causation
In other words...
one variable does not cause the other variable
If research determines that more people who were a first born child have a particular personality trait...
conclude that the birth order caused the personality trait
We can only conclude that there is a relationship
researchers can take possible relationships shown in correlational research and then test for cause and effect in the laboratory
some questions that cannot be tested by experimentation because it would be unethical to manipulate a variable can still be examined correlationally
we cannot manipulate how religious someone is but we can examine if the level of a person's religiousness is related to another variable such as a particular belief
This type of research allows us to make predictions
This is a powerful tool for researchers to examine
It is different from descriptive or correlational research in that researchers manipulate at least one variable
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
As with other scientific experiments, there are three important characteristics
The researcher manipulates one or more variables

These are

These are the variables whose effects are being studied
The researcher measures whether the manipulation of the independent variable influences other variables

These other variables are called
The researcher removes any other variables that could affect the results

The researcher creates a second group -
- to serve as a comparison to the group under study
Activity #3
2. Behavioural
3. Humanistic
4. Cognitive
5. Biological
makes decisions
solves problems
forms perceptions
In Summary...
quantitative techniques such as
psychological testing
physiological recordings
2. a case study may challenge the validity of commonly held beliefs
3. can be the source of new hypotheses that can then be tested with more controlled experiments
2. conclusions of one case may not generalize to other people or situations
3. can be biased because conclusions can be based on observer's subjective impressions
2. there can be bias in how observers interpret behaviour
2. surveys are efficient for collecting large amounts of information
2. surveys rely on participant self-reporting meaning that information is not always truthful
3. it is difficult to ensure that your sample population is completely representative
Consider the following experiment...
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