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Discovering Psychology

Chapter 1

What is psychology?
‡ PSYCHOLOGY is the systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes. ‡ BEHAVIORS²observable actions or responses in humans or animals. ‡ MENTAL PROCESSES²non-observable, complex cognitive activities, such as thinking, imagining, studying, and dreaming.

‡ Can involve describing desirable and undesirable behaviors.Goals of Psychology ‡ DESCRIBE ‡ Psychological research begins with describing how organisms behave. ‡ Allows researcher to begin to comprehend the mental processes underlying the observed behaviors .

‡ Explanations often change over time. ‡ Extensive research is usually required to develop an accurate explanation of the causes of behavior.Goals of Psychology ‡ DESCRIBE ‡ EXPLAIN ‡ The next step in psychological research is to explain the causes behind the organism s behavior. .

psychologist attempt to predict how organisms will behave in certain circumstances.Goals of Psychology ‡ DESCRIBE EXPLAIN ‡ PREDICT ‡ After finding an explanation for the behavior. ‡ The accuracy of these predictions is a good measure of the explanations of the behavior. .

. ‡ This control can be used positively to help people manage or eliminate undesirable behaviors.Goals of Psychology ‡ DESCRIBE EXPLAIN PREDICT ‡ CONTROL ‡ Utilizing accurate predictions. ‡ Contrarily. psychologists can control an organism s behavior. the possibility exists that this control can be used to control people s behavior without their knowledge or consent.

. ‡ By using various approaches psychologists are more likely to achieve all four goals of psychology.Approaches to Psychology ‡ PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH a particular focus or perspective that utilizes a particular research method or technique.

Historical Approaches ‡ Structuralism ‡ Functionalism ‡ Gestalt Approach ‡ Behaviorism .

‡ Felt that by analyzing these sensations they were analyzing the structure of the mind. that make up conscious experience. . primarily sensations and perceptions. ‡ Attempted to construct a complete model our conscious experience by combining hundreds of our individual sensations.Historical Approaches Structuralism ‡ Focused on the study of the most basic elements.

‡ The technique was criticized as an unscientific method lacking objective measurement that relied solely on subject s subjective reports. . structuralism was too narrow of an approach. who developed the technique of introspection to study our sensations. ‡ Ultimately. only studying subjective sensations.Historical Approaches Structuralism ‡ Pioneered by Wilhelm Wundt. ‡ INTROSPECTION method of exploring conscious mental processes by asking subjects to look inward and report their sensations & perceptions. the father of psychology.

. ‡ Mental activities viewed as having developed through evolutionary processes due to their adaptive functions. purposes. . of consciousness & how our minds adapt to our changing environment. and functions of the mind. ‡ Interested in the goals. i. helping humans survive.e.Historical Approaches Functionalism ‡ Focused on function. rather than the structure.

sensation. which included topics such as learning. and emotions all of which are still major subjects of study today. ‡ Educational psychology also influenced by James s application of psychological principles to teaching.Historical Approaches Functionalism ‡ Pioneered by William James. ‡ James s ideas fathered current research efforts in emotions. reasoning. consciousness. ‡ James considered the father of modern psychology. memory. attention. . feelings. and memory. attention. who wrote the first psychology book.

. German for whole pattern. ‡ Perception of apparent motion in the Phi Phenomenon cannot be explained by summarizing sensational experience. ‡ Gestalt.Historical Approaches The Gestalt Approach ‡ Strong emphasis on perceptions being representing more than the sum of its parts & focused on the study of how sensations are constructed into meaningful perceptual experiences.

scientific analysis of observable behaviors. who felt 1. .that psychology should strive to analyzing observable behaviors and be able to predict and control these behaviors.that psychology should be considered an objective. ‡ Pioneered by John Watson.Historical Approaches Behaviorism ‡ Emphasis on observable. experimental science & 2.

Modern Approaches ‡ Biological ‡ Cognitive ‡ Behavioral ‡ Psychoanalytic ‡ Humanistic ‡ Cross-cultural ‡ Evolutionary ‡ Eclectic .

body. learning. motivation. emotions. hormones. and other traits and abilities. personality. memory. ‡ Studies how our brain affects the mind and how that mind affects the body . and nervous system. emotions. and the manufacturing of all of the chemicals that that affect mental health. & everything we do. ‡ Genes write the instructions for the brain. ‡ Biological approach focuses on how these factors interact with our environment to influence learning.Modern Approaches The Biological Approach ‡ Examines our genes.

personality. ‡ ‡ ‡ . naming. Cognitive neuroscience imaging and identifying the structures and functions of the living brain during performance of a variety of mental or cognitive processes. and use information and how this information influences what we attend to. and feel. and recognizing objects. such as thinking. Due to recent success answering questions about emotions. store.Modern Approaches The Cognitive Approach ‡ Emphasizes researching how we process. remember. learn. perceive. & social behaviors both approaches have become quite popular. believe. cognitive skills. Cognitive components can either help or hinder our mental performance depending on how they are channeled. planning.

change. or control behavior depending on whether the behavior is rewarded or punished. .Modern Approaches The Behavioral Approach ‡ Analyzes how organisms learn new behaviors or modify existing ones. depending on whether events in the environment reward or punish these behaviors a basic behavioral principle. ‡ Events in the environment can modify.

‡ the importance of environmental reinforcers (rewards & punishments. ‡ Incorporates mental or cognitive processes with observable behavior. ‡ Pioneered by B. imitation. ‡ Stresses: ‡ the study of observable behaviors.F. Skinner.Modern Approaches² The Behavioral Approach Strict Behaviorism Social Cognitive Approach ‡ Pioneered by Albert Bandura. and thought processes in addition to environmental events. ‡ Stresses the importance of observation.) ‡ the exclusion of mental processes. .

Modern Approaches The Psychoanalytical Approach ‡ Based on the belief that childhood experiences greatly influence the development of later personality traits and psychological problems. and motivations are stressed as significant influences on behavior. desires. ‡ Unconscious fears. . who asserted that the first five years have a profound effect on later personality development. ‡ Pioneered by Sigmund Freud.

‡ These inaccessible unconscious thoughts will then produce anxiety. ‡ These thoughts and feelings are automatically placed deep into the unconscious. or -result from unresolved sexual conflict. -threaten one s self-esteem. fear. or psychological problems .Modern Approaches The Psychoanalytical Approach ‡ Freud s reasoning: ‡ Often one will have thoughts or feelings that -produce feelings of fear or guilt.

. and enormous potential for self-fulfillment. have considerable selfworth.Modern Approaches The Humanistic Approach ‡ Emphasis on the power of the individual. ‡ Requires believing in one s abilities and potential to achieve success. achieving personal growth. ‡ Individuals have great freedom in directing their own future. ‡ Only the individual has control over their fate and the individual is free to become whatever they are capable of being.

Modern Approaches The Humanistic Approach ‡ Unique in its emphasis on our individual freedom and the positive sides of human nature. . ‡ Regarded as more of a philosophy of life than a science of human behavior due to lack of experimental methods and free-will concept of human nature. our creative tendencies. ‡ Often used for counseling and psychotherapy. and our inclination to build caring relationships.

Modern Approaches Additional Approaches ‡ CROSS-CULTURAL APPROACH investigates the influence of cultural and ethnic similarities and differences on psychological and social functioning. such as adaptation and natural selection. . ‡ EVOLUTIONARY APPROACH attempts to explain human behaviors and mental processes through the study of evolutionary ideas.

. ‡ By combining information from different approaches.Modern Approaches Additional Approaches ‡ ECLECTIC APPROACH the utilization of multiple approaches to study the same behavior. psychologists are more likely to achieve the four goals of psychology.

anxiety. social. & emotion.g. e. human performance. stereotypes. perception. motivation.. grief. aggression. and cognitive development throughout a person¶s entire life. ‡ Developmental²examines moral. ‡ Social²study of social interactions. & stress. ‡ Experimental²focused on areas such as sensation. conformity. . learning. emotional.Areas of Specialization ‡ Clinical/Counseling² assessing and treating people with psychological problems. and attraction. group behaviors.

learning. & emotions in addition to how our genetic makeup. . store. ‡ Psychometrics²focused on the measurement of individual¶s abilities. ‡ Cognitive²researches how we process. & abnormal behaviors.Areas of Specialization ‡ Biological/Psychobiology² researches the physical and chemical changes that occur during stress. ‡ Industrial/Organizational² examines the relationships of people with their work environment. and retrieve information and how cognitive processes influence behaviors. brain. and nervous system interact with the environment and influence behavior. intelligence. personality. skills.

‡ Counseling psychologist specialized with working with problems involving marriage. . family. or EdD in psychology. PsyD.Careers in Psychology ‡ PSYCHOLOGIST individual with a PhD. or career counseling. ‡ CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST also has a specialization in a clinical sub-area and an additional year in a supervised therapy setting to gain experience in diagnosing and treating a wide range of abnormal behavior.

‡ Most psychologists work as therapists. industrial.Careers in Psychology ‡ PSYCHIATRIST medical doctor (MD) with several years of clinical training. treating these behaviors. including diagnosing possible physical and neurological causes of abnormal behavior. & often prescribing drugs. career. clinical and counseling. but also find careers in academic. and secondary school & other settings .