“ The soul is not separable from the body, and the same holds good of particular parts of the soul.” Aristotle, De Anima, 350 B.C.
Preview Question 1: What are some important milestones in the development of the science of psychology?
Preview Question 2: What is psychology’s historic big issue?
Preview Question 3: What are psychology’s levels of analysis and related perspectives?
Preview Question 4: What are psychology’s main subfields?
Preview Question 5: Why are the answers that flow from the scientific approach more reliable than those based on intuition and common sense?
Preview Question 6: What attitudes characterize scientific inquiry, and what does it mean to think critically?
Preview Question 7: How do psychologists use the scientific method to construct theories?
Preview Question 8: How do psychologists observe and describe behavior?
Preview Question 12: Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?
Preview Question 13: Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender?
Preview Question 14: Why do psychologists study animals, and is it ethical to experiment on animals?
Preview Question 15: Is it ethical to experiment on people?
Preview Question 16: Is psychology free of value judgments?
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) http://faculty.washington.edu Aristotle, a naturalist and philosopher, theorizedabout psychology’s concepts. He suggested that thesoul and body are not separate and that knowledge grows from experience.
Wundt and psychology’s first graduate students studied the “atoms of theWundt (1832-1920) mind” by conducting experiments at Leipzig, Germany, in 1879. This work is considered the birth of psychology as we know it today.
Freud (1856-1939) Sigmund Freud, an Austrian physician, and his followers emphasized the importance of theunconscious mind and its effects on human behavior.
Psychology originated in many disciplines and countries. It was, until the 1920s, defined as the science of mental life.
Behaviorists Skinner (1904-1990) Watson (1878-1958)Watson and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology.
Humanistic Psychology Maslow (1908-1970) http://facultyweb.cortland.edu Rogers (1902-1987) http://www.carlrogers.dk Maslow and Rogers emphasized currentenvironmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance.
We define psychology today as the scientific study of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (inner thoughts and feelings).
The American Psychological Association is thelargest organization of psychology with 160,000 members world-wide, followed by the British Psychological Society with 34,000 members.
1. Psychology’s Biggest Question2. Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis3. Psychology’s Subfields4. CLOSE-UP: Tips for Studying Psychology
Perspective Focus Sample QuestionsNeuroscience How the body and brain How are messages enables emotions? transmitted in the body? How is blood chemistry linked with moods and motives?Evolutionary How the natural selection How does evolution influence of traits the promotes the behavior tendencies? perpetuation of one’s genes?Behavior genetics How much our genes and To what extent are our environments psychological traits such as influence our individual intelligence, personality, differences? sexual orientation, and vulnerability to depression attributable to our genes? To our environment?
Perspective Focus Sample QuestionsPsychodynamic How behavior springs How can someone’s from unconscious drives personality traits and and conflicts? disorders be explained in terms of sexual and aggressive drives or as disguised effects of unfulfilled wishes and childhood traumas?Behavioral How we learn observable How do we learn to fear responses? particular objects or situations? What is the most effective way to alter our behavior, say to lose weight or quit smoking?
Perspective Focus Sample QuestionsCognitive How we encode, process, How do we use information store and retrieve in remembering? Reasoning? information? Problem solving?Social-cultural How behavior and How are we — as Africans, thinking vary across Asians, Australians or North situations and cultures? Americans – alike as members of human family? As products of different environmental contexts, how do we differ?
Psychologist What she does Explore the links between brain and Biological mind. Study changing abilities from womb toDevelopmental tomb. Study how we perceive, think, and solve Cognitive problems. Personality Investigate our persistent traits. Explore how we view and affect one Social another.
Psychologist What she does Studies, assesses, and treats people with Clinical psychological disorders Helps people cope with academic, Counseling vocational, and marital challenges. Studies and helps individuals in school Educational and educational settings Industrial/ Studies and advises on behavior in theOrganizational workplace.
A clinical psychologist (Ph.D.) studies, assesses, and treats troubled people with psychotherapy. Psychiatrists on the other hand are medicalprofessionals (M.D.) who use treatments like drugs and psychotherapy to treat psychologically diseased patients.
1. How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions?2. The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do!
Many people believe that intuition and commonsense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature. Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error.
Personal interviewers mayrely too much on their “gut feelings” when meeting with job applicants. Taxi/ Getty Images
Hindsight Bias is the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon. After learning the outcome of an event, manypeople believe they could have predicted that veryoutcome. We only knew the dot.com stocks would plummet after they actually did plummet.
Sometimes we think we knowmore than we actually know. AnagramHow long do you think itwould take to unscramble WREAT WATER these anagrams? ETYRN ENTRYPeople said it would take GRABE BARGE about 10 seconds, yet onaverage they took about 3minutes (Goranson, 1978).
The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity(passion for exploration), skepticism (doubtingand questioning) and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).
Critical thinking does not accept arguments Courtesy of the James Randi Education Foundationand conclusions blindly. It examines assumptions, discerns hidden values,evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions. The Amazing Randi
Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.
A theory is an explanation that integratesprinciples and organizes and predicts behavior or events. For example, low self-esteem contributes to depression.
A hypothesis is a testable prediction, oftenprompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory. People with low self-esteem are apt to feel more depressed.
Research would require us to administer tests ofself-esteem and depression. Individuals who scorelow on a self-esteem test and high on a depression test would confirm our hypothesis.
Case Study A technique in which one person is studied indepth to reveal underlying behavioral principles. Susan Kuklin/ Photo Researchers Is language uniquely human?
A technique for ascertaining the self-reportedattitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people. http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org
Wording Effects Wording can change the results of a survey. Q: Should cigarette ads and pornography beallowed on television? (not allowed vs. forbid)
Random Sampling If each member of a population has an equalchance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample(unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid. The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.
Observing and recording the behavior of animals in thewild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation. Courtesy of Gilda Morelli
SummaryCase studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors.
Q1. Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?Ans: Artificial laboratory conditions are created tostudy behavior in simplistic terms. The goal is to find underlying principles that govern behavior.
Q2. Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender? Ans: Even when specific attitudes and behaviors vary acrosscultures, as they often do, the underlying processes are much thesame. Biology determines our sex, and culture further bends thegenders. However, in many ways woman and man are similarly human. Ami Vitale/ Getty Images
Q6. Is psychology potentially dangerous? Ans: It can be, but is not when practicedresponsibly. The purpose of psychology is to help humanity with problems such as war, hunger, prejudice, crime, family dysfunction, etc.