Introduction to Psychology: History


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  • “ 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: When and how did psychological science begin?
  • Preview Question 2: How did psychology continue to develop from the 1920s through today?
  • Preview Question 3: What is psychology’s historic big issue?
  • Preview Question 4: What are psychology’s levels of analysis and related perspectives?
  • Preview Question 5: What are psychology’s main subfields?
  • Introduction to Psychology: History

    1. 1. Psychology IntroductionBrian J. Piper, Ph.D.
    2. 2. Goals? Psychology’s Roots Psychology Today
    3. 3. Psychology’s Roots Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) Aristotle, a naturalist and philosopher, theorizedabout psychology’s concepts. He suggested that thesoul and body are not separate and that knowledge grows from experience.
    4. 4. Psychology’s History
    5. 5. Charles DarwinDarwin wrote extensively about:* child development* emotion 1809-1882
    6. 6. Psychological Science is Born Wundt and psychology’s first graduate students studied the “atoms of the Wundt (1832-1920) mind” by conducting experiments at Leipzig, Germany, in 1879. This work is considered the birth of psychology as we know it today.
    7. 7. Psychological Science is Born James (1842-1910) Mary CalkinsAmerican philosopher William James wrote an important 1890 psychology textbook. Mary Calkins, James’s student, became the APA’s first female president.
    8. 8. Psychological Science is Born Freud (1856-1939) Sigmund Freud, an Austrian physician, and his followers emphasized the importance of theunconscious mind and its effects on human behavior.
    9. 9. Psychological Science is BornPsychology originated in many disciplines and countries. It was, until the 1920s, defined as the science of mental life.
    10. 10. Psychological Science Develops Behaviorists Skinner (1904-1990) Watson (1878-1958)Watson and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology.
    11. 11. Psychological Science Develops Humanistic Psychology Maslow (1908-1970) Rogers (1902-1987) Maslow and Rogers emphasized currentenvironmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance.
    12. 12. Psychology TodayWe define psychology today as the scientificstudy of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (inner thoughts and feelings).
    13. 13. Characteristics of Psychology Quantifiable – humor example Replicable Order: Describe -> Theory -> Predict
    14. 14. Contemporary Psychology1. Psychology’s Biggest Question2. Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis3. Psychology’s Subfields4. CLOSE-UP: Tips for Studying Psychology
    15. 15. Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis
    16. 16. Psychology’s Current PerspectivesPerspective Focus Sample QuestionsNeuroscience How the body and brain How are messages transmitted in enables emotions? the body? How is blood chemistry linked with moods and motives?Evolutionary How the natural selection of How does evolution influence traits the promotes the behavior tendencies? perpetuation of one’s genes?Behavior genetics How much our genes and our To what extent are psychological environments influence our traits such as intelligence, individual differences? personality, sexual orientation, and vulnerability to depression attributable to our genes? To our environment?
    17. 17. Psychology’s Current PerspectivesPerspective 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?
    18. 18. Psychology’s Current PerspectivesPerspective Focus Sample QuestionsCognitive How we encode, process, How do we use information in store and retrieve remembering? Reasoning? information? Problem solving?Social-cultural How behavior and thinking How are we — as Africans, vary across situations and Asians, Australians or North cultures? Americans – alike as members of human family? As products of different environmental contexts, how do we differ?
    19. 19. Psychology’s Subfields: ResearchPsychologist 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.
    20. 20. Psychology’s Subfields: ResearchData: APA 1997
    21. 21. Psychology’s Subfields: AppliedPsychologist 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.
    22. 22. Psychology’s Subfields: AppliedData: APA 1997
    23. 23. What sub-field does he belong?
    24. 24. Peter Gray 2011
    25. 25. Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry 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.
    26. 26. Psychological Associations & Societies 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.
    27. 27. Study Tips• Passive versus Active (SQ3R) Learning• Massed versus Spaced Practice
    28. 28. Skepticism• 9 min Video (Warning, ends explicitly!)•• 2 min Video (Alex, Irene Pepperberg)http ://
    29. 29. Summary• Psychology is the study (science) of behavior (theory, quantifiable, replicable)• This field traces its roots to philosophy and biology