• Psychology: the scientific study of behavior and mental processes – Behavior: any action that others can observe or measure. • This includes almost everything that a person could do. (walk, talk, sleep, eat, blink, etc.) • Some things can‟t be seen. [Brain activity is measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG)] – Cognitive activities: private mental processes known only to the individual. (Ex: dreams, thoughts, memories) – Psychological Constructs: What researchers use to talk about cognitive activities. (how they affect your behavior)
• Goal of Psychology: – Psychologist seek to observe and describe behavior which enables them to better predict and control one‟s behavior. • Very evident in the field of sports psychology – They may use positive visualization. (picturing exactly how it is supposed to look when the action is done correctly)
• Psychology is a social science with some foundations in the natural sciences. – There are other social sciences: History, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology – All these other social sciences deal with individuals and their behavior, which is the basis of Psychology.• Psychology also has some base in the natural sciences – The Natural sciences include: Biology, Chemistry, Physics. – Psychologist study the functions of the brain which is closely linked to Biology and Anatomy
• Psychologist will test their ideas through research. There are two main research methods: Survey and Experimentation. – Some psychologist use animal experimentation to explain human behavior. Other research can only be conducted on humans.• Psychologist organize their thoughts or ideas into theories. – Theory: a statement that attempts to explain why things are the way they are or happen the way they do. – Principle: a basic truth or law that most Psychologist will agree on. • These theories are constantly updated or discarded. Ex: Is the world flat?
Different types of Psychologist:• Clinical Psychologist – Makes up 48% of all Psychologist – Help people with psychological problems like anxiety, depression or more severe problems like schizophrenia – Do a large amount of research – Found in hospitals, prisons, universities – Not to be confused with a Psychiatrist, who is a medical doctor that specializes in psychological problems and can prescribe medication for their patients
• Counseling Psychologist – They use interviews and test to identify their clients problems – Mainly deal with people who have adjustment problems rather then serious disorders – This is the group that most employer and family counselors fall into• School Psychologist – Work in schools to help students with any problems that may interfere with learning (family problems, peer problems, learning disorders) – They administer IQ and other achievement test – They may be in charge of student placement into special programs
• Educational Psychologist – Similar to school psychologist but they are concerned with course planning and instructional methods for an entire district – Their research includes the way learning is affected by psychological factors, cultural factors, economic factors, and instructional factors – They write most standardized test (ACT,SAT) then test the results• Developmental Psychologist – They study the changes that occur throughout a life span. These are: • physical, (height, weight, maturity) • emotional, (self concept, self esteem), • cognitive, (changes in the thought processes from infant to adult) and • social (the formations of bonds between people and peer pressure) – They deal with the nature vs. nurture debate
• Personality Psychologist – They identify characteristics or traits. (Things like friendliness or shyness) – They deal with aggression, anxiety, and gender roles• Social Psychologist – They are concerned with an individual‟s behavior in social situations – They study: • the way people react in given situations, • the factors that attract on individual to another, • the reasons why people tend to conform to a group, • how your behavior changes around different people, • the effect of prejudice and discrimination, • what makes people act aggressive in a situation or helpful
• Experimental Psychologist – They usually conduct research in the basic processes such as functions of the nervous system. – They are closely linked to the natural sciences – They perform Basic research: research that is done for no immediate application but rather for its own sake• Others: • Industrial and organizational psychologist • Environmental psychologist • Consumer psychologist (why we buy what we buy) • Forensic psychologist (Profile serial killers) • Health Psychologist • Rehabilitation Psychologist
History of Psychology• Stone Age – to release the evil spirits they would remove parts of your skull• Egyptians – believed that a little man named Ka lived in your head and controlled what you do
• Ancient Greece – Plato (428-348 BC) his motto is „Know Thyself‟. Today Psychologist call this method introspection which means „looking within‟ – Aristotle writes the first book on Psychology called Peri Psyches (about the mind) • He is known for associationism (how an experience reminds us of previous experiences) – Hippocrates is the first to suggest that mental problems come from abnormalities in the brain.• Middle Ages – Most people of the day thought that mental problems came from demon possession. Practiced trial by ordeal.
• 16th, 17th, 18th centuries – the start of the science of Phrenology- the reading of the bumps on your head• 1879 William Wundt – Starts the field (or school) of psychology called Structuralism – It‟s basis is that your conscious is broken into two basic elements • Objective sensations • Subjective feelings – The mind functions by combining the these two basic elements
• William James – Founded the school of Functionalism – Disagreed with Wundt and thought that an experience is a “stream of consciousness” – He wrote The Principles of Psychology in 1890 (considered to be the first text book on psychology) – Functionalist are concerned with how mental processes help organisms adapt to their environment – Successful behaviors are repeated and unsuccessful ones are dropped
• The difference between Functionalism and Structuralism: – Structuralism asks: what are the elements (or structures) of the psychological process? – Functionalism ask: What are the purposes (or functions) of these behaviors and mental processes? – In other words “one asks what are the parts? The other asks what do the parts do?”
• Sigmond Freud – The father of Psychoanalysis – Emphasized the importance of unconscious motives and internal conflicts in determining human behavior – Big into interpretation of slips and dreams – He did his research through consultation with patients (not in a lab) – He felt you are driven by your subconscious mind – His theories are sometimes called psychodynamic thinking
• John B Watson – Founder of Behaviorism – Feels that it is unscientific to study conscious, because it is impossible to tell what others are thinking, especially animals – He felt it more important to watch observable, measurable events – He defined Psychology as the scientific study of observable behavior
• B.F. Skinner – Known for his work in the field of reinforcement. – He showed that when animals are reinforced or rewarded for performing an action they are likely to repeat it.• Gestalt Psychology (Werthheimer, Koffka, Köhler) – School of thought concerned with how people receive information influences how they interpret it – They focus on the big picture rather then the parts of the picture
• Contemporary Perspectives – The old schools and theorist have been modified to form more modern perspectives• Biological Perspective: – emphasizes the influence of biology on behavior – They look at how the different parts of your brain control your behavior• Evolutionary Perspective: – They feel that behaviors, like other evolutionary characteristics are passed down to offspring
• Cognitive Perspective: – Emphasizes the role played by thoughts in determining behavior – They study how the mind develops over time and how it processes information• Humanistic Perspective: – Stresses the human capacity for self- fulfillment. – They believe you are in charge of your own behavior
• Psychoanalytic Perspective: – Stresses the influences of unconscious forces on human behavior – You live out pent-up frustrations in other ways• Learning Perspective: – This emphasizes the effects of experience on behavior. – They feel that you do things because of past learned experiences • The social learning theory suggest that you can learn almost anything from watching others experience it.
• Socio-cultural Prospective: – Addresses issues such as ethnicity, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status on behavior – Are some groups smarter than others? – Are women smarter than men?