Welcome to Psychology In this first chapter we will: Define Psychology Learn how it began as a discipline as we review the historical approaches , and how we approach it now in our modern context We will review the career opportunities and related areas of research in the field of psychology, and… We will also gain an understanding of the scientific method including types of research and the basics of statistics
Psychology is: the systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes . We include both humans and other animals in the study of psychology Behaviors are actions we can see and measure Mental processes are the things we think – all our cognitions – and they are NOT directly observable - we can’t know what someone else is thinking unless they tell us. Because psychology covers such a wide variety of behaviors the definition is very broad.
The first GOAL is to DESCRIBE the different ways organisms behave The second GOAL is to EXPLAIN the behavior The third GOAL is to PREDICT how organisms will behave in certain situations The fourth and final GOAL is to CONTROL that behavior. There can be both positive and negative implications in controlling behaviors. The POSITIVE application is that psychologists can help people to learn to control undesirable behaviors and the NEGATIVE side is there is always a possibility of abuse of that power.
The HISTORY of Psychology covers 4 major theoretical approaches STRUCTURALISM FUNCTIONALISM GESTALT BEHAVIORSIM
STRUCTURALISM can be defined as the study of the basic elements of sensation and perception that make up conscious mental experiences It was developed by WILHELM WUNDT in Liepzig, Germany in 1879 It used INTROSPECTION as a way for subjects to identify all the different thoughts and sensations they experienced The premise was that all the individual pieces of information could be put together like one big puzzle to define the human experience of consciousness. It soon became apparent that this approach was not adequate due to bias of subjects self-reports and lack of objective measurement
FUNCTIONALISM is defined as the study of the function of consciousness instead of the structure of it as Wundt had attempted It was developed by William James who had been a student of Wundt’s in Germany His theory did not last long either, but it did open the door to new ideas that grew into some of our modern day approaches. For that reason James is considered the father of modern psychology
GESTALT psychology is based on the principle that “ the whole is more than the sum of it’s parts” and it studies how our sensations are organized into meaningful perceptions Three German psychologists, MAX WERTHEIMER, WOLFGANG KOHLER, & KURT KOFFKA developed this approach in 1912, which although historical some of the tenets have carried over into our modern understanding and approach to understanding human behavior The PHI PHENOMENON known today as APPARENT MOTION is a one of the foundations of perception in Gestalt. It shows that our perceptions are more than what we actually experience. In the case of the sign show here the lights coming on in sequence make it appear to be moving, when it is not.
BEHAVIORISM became the dominant force in psychology from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. It was a theory proposed by JOHN B. WATSON stating that psychology should be an objective experimental science . It emphasizes that we should only study what we can see and measure. Although some applications remain in use today, by the early 1970’s it was replaced by more current approaches.
We will be discussing 8 of the ways we view psychology in today’s modern approaches. BIOLOGICAL COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOANALYTIC HUMANISTIC SOCIOCULTURAL EVOLUTIONARY ECLECTIC
The BIOLOGICAL approach examines how genes, hormones, and the nervous system interact with the environment to influence human cognitions and behaviors
The COGNITIVE approach focuses on how we process, store, and use information . Cognition refers to all our “thinking” processes and how that influences what we pay attention to, what we learn, and how we feel.
Today’s modern approach to BEHAVIORISM is concerned with how we learn and modify and control behaviors based on whether they are rewarded or punished. Behavior that is rewarded tends to be repeated.
The PSYCHOANALYTIC approach is all about the repression of fears, anger, and taboo desires into the subconscious mind . It is based on the premise that childhood experiences have a great influence on how a person develops in adulthood .
The emphasis with the HUMANISTIC approach is on individual freedom. This approach is based on positive aspects of human nature and stresses the ability of each person to direct and chose their own future and becoming all they can be by realizing their full potential.
The SOCIOCULTURAL approach says we do not live in a vacuum, all our behaviors and cognitions are influenced by the culture and society we live in.
The most recent of the modern approaches is the EVOLUTIONARY approach. It asserts that the behaviors we engage in in today’s world are linked to the processes of evolution such as adaptation and natural selection . It shows how some behaviors such as aggression and mating for instance, are linked to the evolutionary process of survival of the fittest
In the final analysis – most of today’s psychologists don’t focus on one single approach , but instead use what is called the ECLECTIC approach where they may use different ones depending on the particular situation or even a combination of several approaches.
A PSYCHOLOGIST usually has 4 to 5 years of postgraduate education and has earned a Ph.D., PsyD, or EdD in Psychology A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST may have the same degree and education but has specialized training in diagnosing and treating mental disorders. They have not been able to prescribe psychotropic drugs until recently and only in two states, New Mexico and Louisiana and they must again have specialized training for that purpose. A PSYCHIATRIST is a Medical Doctor with a specialty in psychological disorders.
Most Psychologist (49%, nearly half) work in clinical or counseling settings either in a private practice or some other type of mental health center. They engage in therapy for patients with serious mental and neurological issues. This is the area that most people are familiar with and think of first when they consider a career in Psychology The next highest area for psychologists to work in is the field of teaching. About 28% find a home in this field. Usually at Universities where they teach and also conduct research. The third highest career area (13%) is just miscellaneous that includes a variety of fields not otherwise identified. The fourth area ( 6%) are those working in industrial settings – and business and as consultants The last and smallest area are those teaching at a secondary level (High Schools) These are typically the School Psychologists.
Clinical and Counseling Psychology as just discussed is the field most people think of a specialization in Psychology. It deals with assessment and treatment of people with mental disorders
Social Psychology specializes in studying how people interact as groups. It is concerned with the development of stereotypes, prejudices, conformity and aggression to name a few
Developmental psychology studies how all people develop from conception until death. It is a “womb to tomb” view of people’s lives.
Experimental Psychology studies how people and animals sense and perceive, learn and perform, and what motives them and how emotions are displayed and regulated.
This area of Biological Psychology researches the chemical and physical aspects of behaviors from the neurological point of view.
Cognitive Psychology studies how we “think”. It is concerned with memory processes and how we our thinking influences our behaviors.
Psychometrics is all about measuring any type of behavior and thinking processes. It is concerned with designing, using, and evaluation of test instruments.
This last area of specialization in Psychology is Industrial/organizational Psychology and it studies how people relate and work together and how performances can be improved.
In order to find the most accurate answers to the questions we have about human and animal behaviors we use what is called the Scientific Method. It is a model that best eliminates the assumptions and speculations that people may otherwise be attracted to. There are 6 steps to follow when using this method of inquiry: 1. Review the literature – that simply means finding out everything you can about your question that has already been explored. Read what has been researched and published already and incorporate that into your plan of research. 2. Is the formulation of a “hypothesis” this is merely your own guess about what you think the answer to your question will be. It must be stated in a very accurate manner to rule out confusion. 3. Next you design the study. This is where you pick a method of research that will be the best way to come up with an answer to the question. We’ll look at those in a minute. 4. Now that you have plan and a method you start to collect the data (information) you get from your study. There are various ways to do this, and you need to determine which is the best suited to your plan of research. 5. So, now you have all this information you can draw your conclusions and see if they support your original hypothesis. 6. It is very important that your findings be shared with the rest of the world. Others may challenge your findings. Studies must be repeated to assure that findings can be replicated and were not just a fluke.
Surveys are used to get answers about a question being posed by asking a lot of people at random. They can be made by telephone, or by using a questionnaire. You’ve probably taken part in a survey yourself at some time. They are always a fixed set of questions and can be a problem depending on how they are worded. They can be biased because people may lie or fell pressure to answer in a certain way. But they are an efficient and useful tool when used correctly.
A Case Study is an in depth analysis of a particular issue. It can be in the form of case notes or even a book, but it is clearly only about one person. It can provide a full range of information about that person in hopes that it can be generalized to others with the same problem. But it is only one person’s experience or testimony. It is helpful to psychologists as it provides insights that other methods may not find.
Naturalistic Observation is a method of gathering information by watching what people or animals do in their natural environment or habitat as opposed to being observed in a laboratory setting. Of course it is important that those being observed are not aware as much as possible since the mere knowledge of being watched affects the behavior. But it affords researchers the benefit of seeing what is normally done in any given situation and is not dependent on testimony that may be biased or inaccurate.
Correlations are one of the most difficult concepts to understand. The most important thing to remember is they DO NOT SHOW CAUSE AND EFFECT. A CORRELATION shows only a relationship between to events. Only a scientific method of research – and experiment can give us cause and effects. They are expressed by numerical values of +1. To -1 that tell us the strength of the relationships. A zero correlation means there was no relationship at all between two events. In positive correlations we see two things moving together in the same direction, they both tend to increase. In a negative correlation we see two things moving in opposite directions. When one goes up the other goes down.
Since correlations cannot provide us with cause and effect, we use the Experimental Method to give us the most accurate way to determine that. This method is broken down into seven rules that we will look at individually. You will notice how they follow the model of the Scientific Method we discussed earlier.
Here again is where we begin in any scientific endeavor. We ask the question we want to know the answer to about some phenomenon or event or behavior we observe in our environment. It is our hypothesis. Such a question might be: does Ritalin have an effect on undesirable behavior in children with ADHD?
After the hypothesis is stated the researchers will decide what treatment they will use on the subjects in the experiment. This is known as the INDEPENDENT variable – it is the thing being controlled and manipulated, such as Ritalin. The DEPENDENT variable is the result of the treatment – it is the thing that shows the effect of the Independent variable, such as the behavior of the subject after receiving the Ritalin.
The research must have subjects – in order to rule out bias they are selected by random, which means each subject has an equal chance of being chosen to participate.
Now that you have your subjects you need to assign them to one of two groups: The EXPERIMENTAL GROUP are the ones that will get the treatment – in this case the Ritalin. The CONTROL GROUP are the subjects that will get what looks to be the same treatment, but is not. It is what we call a PLACEBO.
Most studies use what is called a DOUBLE-BLIND method where even the researcher that administers the treatment/placebo doesn’t know which one is which. This is yet another safeguard against biasing the outcome in some way.
This is the collection of all the data showing the effects of both the Treatment and the Placebo.
The last step is to place the data into a statistical form for analysis. They are used to determine if there are differences between the treatment and the placebo and to what degree. This information tells us if there was a significant difference or if it was just a likely due to a chance occurrence.
Experiments are only as good as the methods used and the researchers conducting them. There are always possibilities of Extraneous variable that may alter or confound the findings in some way. For example if multiple studies are done with Ritalin, are the doses the same each time. And what about the level of ADHD in the subjects, are they always equal? These are things that can have a serious affect on the outcomes. We must always guard against EXPERIMENTER BIAS. This can be unethical if manipulated on purpose to alter the findings, but can even exist when not intentional. If a researcher is looking for a particular outcome it may become a SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY where subconsciously and unknowingly the researcher only sees what they want to see. That’s why a double-blind method helps to eliminate unconscious bias.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has a CODE OF ETHICS for conduct when engaging in research projects. Researchers must present their proposals for experiments before research committees to review and authorize based on the ethical considerations of the design and use of subjects. Subjects must give INFORMED CONSENT, meaning they have been told clearly what if any risks are involved in participating and they are assured of the CONFIDENTIALITY of any data collected regarding them personally. They are also DEBREIFED after the end of an experiment and told clearly what the purpose was and given an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about it. There is always the concern of deception, but the overall guiding principles of ethical experiments guard against any harm, physical or psychological to any subject.
There are millions of animals used in research – they cannot give informed consent. So the ethics of their use is always in question. In the field of psychology about 7-8 % involves the use of animals. 90 % of them are rats, mice, and birds and the other 10 % are dogs, cats, and primates. It is reported by authorities that a small minority of animals are ever mistreated. In fact since researchers understand the value of their animal subjects they are usually quite well cared for. Even so, the question always arises, are we justified to use them in this way? The answer of course lies in balance between saving human lives and sacrificing an animal. We probably all agree that human welfare is our priority… some may not… it remains an ethical question.
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1.1 Introduction L01 Describe autism1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview L02 Define psychology L03 List and describe the goals of psychology L03 List and explain the historical approaches to psychology L04 Describe the early discrimination practices among psychologists1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns
Definition of Psychology1.2 Definition and Historical Overview
Goals of PsychologyThe first goal of psychology The second goal of 2is to describe the different psychology is toways that organismsbehave. 1 explain the causes of behavior. Describe Explain Control Predict For some psychologists, the fourth goal of psychology is to control 4 3 The third goal of psychology is to predict how organisms will an organism’s behavior. behave in certain situations.1.2 Definition and Historical Overview
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology L06 Describe and distinguish the modern approaches to psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns
Modern Approaches e Bio itiv lo gn gic Co al Ecle al ct ic eha vior B y Psyc ti o nar ho anal olu ytic Ev al Hu ltur ma ocu nis i tic Soc1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology L07 Differentiate between a psychologist and a psychiatrist L08 Identify the major career settings of psychology L09 Describe the areas of research specialization in psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method L010 Differentiate between scientific and armchair psychology L011 List and describe the steps to the scientific method L012 Identify the advantages of the scientific method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research L013 Define ADHD and discuss the controversies about its diagnosis and treatment L014 Describe the survey, case study, and observation descriptive research methods L015 Identify an advantage and a disadvantage of each of the descriptive research methods1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research L016 Define the concept of correlation and explain how it is used in psychology L017 Identify an advantage and disadvantage of correlational research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research L018 List and describe the seven rules of conducting an experiment L019 Explain the potential errors and biases in experimental research1.9 Research Concerns
Seven Rules of an Experiment 1. Ask 2. Identify 3. Choose 4. Assign 5. Manipulate 6. Measure 7. Analyze1.8 Experimental Research
1.1 Introduction1.2 Definition and Historical Overview1.3 Modern Approaches to Psychology1.4 Careers and Research Areas in Psychology1.5 Answering Questions: Scientific Method1.6 Descriptive Research1.7 Correlational Research1.8 Experimental Research1.9 Research Concerns L020 Discuss how psychologists address the concerns of human participants L021 Identify ethical concerns in animal research