Part 1 the science of psychology


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Part 1 the science of psychology

  1. 1. The Science of Psychology Part I
  2. 2. Section 1 Definition and Significance of the study of Psychology
  3. 3. Psychology is derived from two Greek words: psyche and logos meaning soul and study. To the Greeks psychology is simply a study of soul. Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the behaviour of living organisms, with special attention to human behaviour.
  4. 4. Behaviour means activities that can be observed objectively such as the reactions of the muscles and the glands as well as a recognized pattern as the whole. It also includes the internal processes such as thinking, feeling, and other reactions which cannot be directly observed but can be inferred from external behaviour. Behaviour may be classified as overt or covert. Sometimes, these processes are called intrinsic or extrinsic behaviour.
  5. 5. Characteristics of science: 1. Dependence on observation. Science insist on observing under many different circumstances; it insist on having many different individual cases observed and also on having more than one observer. It also demands that records be kept. 2. Law of parsimony. It states that when two possible explanations are both adequate, the simpler one should be chosen. Simpler in terms of number of unverified assumptions it makes. 3. Objectivity. Objectivity Is obtained when there are unbiased conclusions as a result of open-mindedness, observing the same thing the number of times before reaching a conclusion, agreement in the observation made by different scientist, and a carefully kept accurate records. 4. Knowing for the sake of knowing. Pursuing questions in science not because we expect useful results, but because we are curious about the answer, whether it will be useful or not.
  6. 6. What Psychology is Not: 1. Psychology and the mysterious. Many people imagine that psychology is something magical or mysterious and somehow psychologist have a superior and almost superhuman way of looking into thoughts and feelings of a person. 2. Psychology and “common sense”. For some people, psychology is essentially nothing more than common sense. 3. Psychology and pseudo sciences. People sometimes confuse psychology with a whole group of endeavours which have come to be known as pseudo sciences.
  7. 7. The Beginnings Of Experimental Psychology Section 2
  8. 8. Aristotle, who live in the 4th century, B.C. Was one of the earliest writers to devote his attention to psychology. He believe that at birth, the mind is a tabula rasa, a blank sheet, and that the experiences an individual encounters during his life time are impressed on the mind. Aristotle suggested that there are three principles of memory: Similarity, Contrast, and Contiguity. After the Greeks, St. Augustine is considered the next great precursor of the modern psychologist because of his skills in introspection and his great curiosity about psychological phenomena, including observations on young infants and on crowds at chariot races. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) left his mark on the history of psychology through his theory that animals are machines that can be studied much as other machines are studied. He introduced the concept of Reflex-Action, which has had significant place in both physiology and psychology.
  9. 9. By the 19th century, a group of German philosophers started to use scientific methodology in there psychological studies. Wilhelm Wundt, establish the first psychological laboratory in Leipzig in 1979 and commonly called the founder of modern experimental psychology. Two theories of mind competed for psychologist support . The first one is the faculty psychology, was a doctrine of mental powers. According to this theory, the mind has few principal faculties such as thinking, feeling and willing that accounted for it’s activities. The second one is the opposing theory. They denied the inborn faculties of the mind; instead, they limited the mind’s content to ideas coming by way of the senses, which then become associated through principles such as similarity, contrast and contiguity.
  10. 10. Hermann von Helmholtz, contributed to the ultimate development of psychology. Helmholtz measured the speed of the nerve, set forth a theory of colour vision, and offered an explanation for our perception of musical tones. Ernst B. Weber (1975-1878). His experiments produced a generalization known as Weber’s Law. He found that the smallest detectable differences between weights depended on the ratio between the weights, not their absolute sizes. Gustav T. Fechner ( 1801-1887). He extended and gave publicity to Weber’s findings in a famous book of Psychophysics publish in 1860. Fechner saw that, by changing a physical stimulus slowly and nothing the steps of judgements expressed a relationship can be established between a physical series and psychological series. The methods Fechner invented known as the psychophysical methods, determined psychology’s first laboratory procedures.
  11. 11. Bessel the Astronomer at the Konigsberg Observatory, study what he called the “personal equation” of different astronomers. He collected data from several trained persons and studies the errors made in their reports. Bessel concluded that each astronomers had his “personal equation” and that real differences between astronomers were usually found. The difference in the estimates of observers came to be known as difference in reaction time. In 1884 Sir Francis Galton establish his anthropometric laboratory in London where he gave test to people who came into his laboratory, Galton confirmed and extended the findings of Bessel. Galton also invented the statistical technique of correlation and developed the index to be named the coefficient of correlation. Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Darwin’s theory establish the continuity between animal and man, it made comparative psychology important.
  12. 12. Another body of influence upon psychology came from medicine and psychiatry, especially from the treatment of the mentally ill. It started with the work of Frenchman Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) on hypnotism and later to the work of the Viennese physician Sigmund Freud (1856-1935), the founder of that branch medical psychology known as psychoanalysis. The first formal laboratory was set up at the John Hopkins University in 1833. The first American leader in psychology was William James (1842-1910) who has considered as the “Dean of American Psychologist.” In 1885, Herman Ebbinghaus reported his studies of learning and memory which were directly inspired by Fechner’s measurement of sensation.
  13. 13. Schools of Thoughts of Psychology Section 3
  14. 14. Carl G. Jung Ivan Pavlov Sigmund Freud Alfred Binet
  15. 15. Structuralism • Was developed in Germany in the 19th century. It’s main leaders were Wilhelm Wundt and later, Edward Bradford Titchener. The structuralists were primarily concerned with discovering the structure of the mind. They believe that the mind to be made up of building blocks in the form of various types of sensation and perception, and these building blocks could be discovered through introspection or looking into one’s own mind.
  16. 16. Functionalism • As the center of psychological study shifted the United States, a new school known as functionalism arose. It’s three main leaders were James R. Angell, John Dewey, and Harvey Carr. The most important contribution of functionalism was in changing the focus of psychology to learning, motivation, and thinking, and away from the structuralist’ emphasis of individual perception and sensations.
  17. 17. Psychoanalysis • Sigmund Freud, a famous physician and psychiatrist, attempted to find the cause and cure of personality disorders. He postulate the existence of unconscious mental processes which influenced the individual’s behaviour in various indirect ways.
  18. 18. Behaviourism • The school of behaviourism was founded by John B. Watson who finish his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Watson Criticized both the structuralists and the functionalist for their use of introspection as a technique. He argued that psychologist should use only objective methods and that their observations and measurement should be in such form that they could be checked and verified by other psychologist. He pointed out that the knowledge of introspection is not subject to verification by any objective means
  19. 19. Gestalt (Pattern or Configuration) • Max Wertheimer founded the gestalt school which maintained that psychology should study the whole pattern and behaviour or experience or the perception of organized configuration. It’s fundamental principle states that the whole is more than the sum of all it’s parts.
  20. 20. Purposivism • In Duke University of Durham, North Carolina, William McDougall conducted researches in the field of psychology. He believes that objects, movements and behaviour have definite purpose and that the ductless glands in man produce hormones which give him purpose. The importance of hormones in life made Purposivism be called “hormic” psychology.
  21. 21. Branches of Psychology Section 4
  22. 22. General Psychology • Explains the underlying principles of human behaviour. The study of how and why people behave this way or that way and the principles of the structural and functional mechanisms of the human body are discussed.
  23. 23. Comparative Psychology • Is that branch of psychology which treats of the behaviour and mental processes of the different species. This is also known as the animal psychology where the activities of both man and animals are compared and differentiated, particularly in relation to generic and evolutionary theory.
  24. 24. Developmental and Genetic Psychology • Concerns itself with the study of human behaviour in all of its aspects with growth and development. The entire life of individual which is divided into the stages of prenatal, neonatal, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and senescence are scientifically presented with its physical, mental, emotional, social and moral development during the period.
  25. 25. Child Psychology • Is the scientific study of human behaviour from its prenatal beginnings up to early adolescence. This science deals with the stages of growth and maturation , the effects of environmental influences upon individual patterns of development, and the psychological and social interaction between the child and the society into which he is born and in which he is reared.
  26. 26. Adolescence Psychology • Is the study of behaviour from puberty to later life. It involves the physical and mental maturation of an individual, as well as the attainment of emotional and social maturity.
  27. 27. Senescent Psychology • Is the scientific study of human behaviour in old age.
  28. 28. Abnormal Psychology • Is that study of etiology or cause of personality defects, or that man’s behaviour which deviates from the average reaction, hence abnormal.
  29. 29. Experimental Psychology • Deals with the observations and the experiments in a psychological laboratory in the investigation of different types of behaviour, the aim of which the understanding of the fundamental causes of behaviour.
  30. 30. Differential Psychology • Is a branch of study which investigates differences and similarities existing between individuals, social groups, and races.
  31. 31. Dynamic Psychology • Is a scientific interpretation of mental phenomena emphasizing internal drives and motives as the cause of behaviour. In contemporary psychology, this is also referred to as personality psychology, which is largely concerned with understanding of the non-deviant individual case.
  32. 32. Physiological Psychology • Is the branch which investigate the functions of the different organs of the body, especially the nervous system and their bearing on behaviour and mental processes.
  33. 33. Applied Psychology • Are found in medicine, education, law, business and industries, and many fields in society.
  34. 34. Educational Psychology • Is a field of specialization concerned with Psychological aspects of teaching and of formal learning processes in schools. Important laws of learning useful in effective instruction are put to use. • Psychology as applied in medicine is called psychiatry. It concerns with the treatment of mental deseases.
  35. 35. Legal Psychology • Is the application of the principles of human behaviour in law, or any legal proceedings. Psychological facts are employed by lawyers in their professional goals. It deals with the testimony and evidences, the examination of witnesses, study of individual delinquent and criminal and with problems of the law.
  36. 36. Clinical Psychology • Pertains with the diagnosis and evaluation of the symptoms and records of events relevant to the condition of the person who has a problem. In this field there are three kinds of specialists who do and applied clinical work: psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist.
  37. 37. Business Psychology • Deals particularly with the behaviour of the consumers. Psychological methods are employed to gain more customers. And impress prospective buyers.
  38. 38. Industrial and Engineering Psychology • Is a branch of applied psychology which investigates the problem and situations found in firms, and industries, as personnel management and administration. It deals with the improvement of the efficiency of employees and the promotion of the welfare of the management.
  39. 39. Methods and Psychological Research Section 4
  40. 40. There are six well-known method used in psychology. Although they are not use at all times, a knowledge of this approaches will help one in choosing the most suitable way to get all facts and the most effective technique in a particular situation or study.
  41. 41. Introspection • A subject method of observation which has introduce by St. Augustin. In this process of mental self-analysis, the psychologist studies himself, records his own feelings and experiences, analyses this experiences and later interprets them.
  42. 42. Observation • Is the most widely used in the study of behaviour. There are several kinds of observation: uncontrolled or informal observation, naturalistic observation, controlled or formal observation.
  43. 43. Life-History Methods • Psychological research makes used of life-history methods, which involve extensive studies of individuals by tracing the development of a particular form of behaviour. The life-history methods are of three basic forms: the day book method, the clinical method, or the biographical method.
  44. 44. Survey Method or the Group Method • Through written questionnaires or interviews, data are obtained from a large group, particularly the group which will constitute the representative sample. This is used in obtaining norms, surveys, or opinion polls.
  45. 45. Experimental Method • This is used to study behaviour which can be brought into the laboratory and studied under controlled conditions. It involves variables that can be measured and varies quantitatively.
  46. 46. Statistical Methods • Statistics is the science that deals with the collecting and handling numerical data, and making interferences from such data. A knowledge of methods of statistics is needed for understanding the tests to appraise individuality such as intelligence tests, personality tests and many appraisal devices.
  47. 47. Objectives of Psychology as a Science Section 5
  48. 48. Psychology as a science has certain objectives, which are to understand, predict, and control behaviour. After various observation, the psychologist classifies his facts into meaningful categories on the basis of stated aspects of similarity. This is the first goal of understanding. The class of classification employed are: qualitative and quantitative classification.
  49. 49. Qualitative Classification • Is one wherein items are grouped into categories on the basis of some particular quality or characteristics they have in common. Students, for example are classified as freshmen, sophomores, etc.; as males or females; as single or married; as Liberals or Nationalist; as professional students or working students.
  50. 50. Quantitative Classification • Is one wherein categories are determined on the basis of some characteristics which is present in different degrees and this is measurable on mathematical scale. The prerequisite to quantitative classification is measurements.
  51. 51. End of Discussion Dismiss