Historical Overview• The word "psychology" is the combination of two terms - study (ology) and soul (psyche), or mind• The word psychology literally means, "the study of the soul" (ψυχή, psukhē, meaning "breath", "spirit", or "soul"; and -λογος -logos, translated as "study of" or "research")• The study of psychology in a philosophical context dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, China, India, and Persia.
Historical Overview• Historians point to the writings of ancient Greek philosophers, such as Thales, Plato, and Aristotle (especially in his De Anima treatise), as the first significant body of work in the West to be rich in psychological thought.• As early as the 4th century BC, Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that mental disorders were of a physical, rather than divine, nature.1879 was the year The First Psychology Laboratory opened by Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
What is Psychology?• Psychology - scientific study of behavior and mental processes. ▫ Behavior - outward or overt actions and reactions. ▫ Mental processes - internal, covert activity of our minds.• Psychology is a science ▫ Prevent possible biases from leading to faulty observations ▫ Precise and careful measurement Menu
Psychology’s Four Goals1. Description ▫ What is happening?1. Explanation ▫ Why is it happening? ▫ Theory - general explanation of a set of observations or facts1. Prediction ▫ Will it happen again?1. Control ▫ How can it be changed? Menu
Is Psychology a Science ?• The adoption of scientific method has made psychology as a science• Scientific method is an approach which involves the use of several key values and standards in acquiring knowledge
Values and standards of the scientificmethod• Accuracy: A commitment to gathering and evaluation information about the world in as careful, precise and error free manner as possible• Objectivity : A commitment to obtaining and evaluation information in a manner free from bias• Skepticism : Accepting findings as accurate only after it being verified over and over by many scientists• Open Mindedness :In the face of evidence a commitment to changing one’s views – even views that are strongly held
Early battles over whatpsychology should study• Structuralism• Functionalism• Gestalt Psychology• Psychoanalysis• Behaviorism
Structuralism • Structuralism - focused on structure or basic elements of the mind. • Wilhelm Wundt’s psychology laboratory ▫ Germany in 1879 ▫ Developed the technique of objective introspection – process of objectively examining and measuring one’s thoughts and mental activities. • Edward Titchener ▫ Wundt’s student; brought structuralism to America • Margaret Washburn ▫ Titchener’s student; first woman to earn a Ph.D. in psychology. • Structuralism died out in early 1900s. Menu
Functionalism• Functionalism - how the mind allows people to adapt, live, work, and play.• Proposed by William James.• Influenced the modern fields of: ▫ Educational psychology ▫ Evolutionary psychology ▫ Industrial/organizational Menu psychology
Gestalt Psychology• Gestalt psychology is a school of thought that looks at the human mind and behavior as a whole. Originating in the work of Max Wertheimer, Gestalt psychology formed partially as a response to the structuralism of Wilhelm Wundt.• Gestalt ideas are now part of the study of cognitive psychology, a field focusing not only on perception but also on learning, memory, thought processes, and problem solving. Menu
Gestalt Psychology• E.g. Have you ever noticed how a series of flashing lights often appears to be moving, such as neon signs or strands of Christmas lights? According to Gestalt psychology, this apparent movement happens because our minds fill in missing information. Belief that the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts
Psychoanalysis • Psychoanalysis - the theory and therapy based on the work of Sigmund Freud. • Freud’s patients suffered from nervous disorders with no found physical cause. ▫ Freud proposed that there is an unconscious (unaware) mind into which we push, or repress, all of our threatening urges and desires. ▫ He believed that these repressed urges, in trying to surface, created nervous disorders. ▫ Freud stressed the importance of early childhood experiences. Menu
Psychoanalysis• Freud suggest that some of these desires or thoughts can become conscious through therapeutic techniques such as ‘free association’, ‘dream interpretation’ and ‘transference’.
Structure of the mind• Freud developed a structure of the mind, which includes three components:1. Id2. Ego3. Superego• Id : This is the part of personality or mind that a person is born with. It is the largest part of the unconscious structure of the mind. The id holds the sexual and aggressive instincts of the person and demands instant gratification. It is sometimes referred to as the psychic energy.
Structure of the mind cont…• Ego : This part of the personality or mind is the largest part of the conscious mind but at least half of it is preconscious. The ego develops in childhood and fulfils a function of balancing the desires of the id with the social constraints of the world which are internalised by the superego.• Superego : The superego is often referred to as the conscience of the person, which is developed at about the age of five. The superego uses guilt and pride to facilitate compliance with social norms. The superego is partly conscious but also exists in the preconscious and unconscious
Behaviorism• Behaviorism - the science of behavior that focuses on observable behavior only. ▫ Must be directly seen and measured.• Proposed by John B. Watson. ▫ Based much from work of Ivan Pavlov who demonstrated that behavior is conditioned (learned). ▫ Watson argued that psychology should focus not on consciousness or experience but only on observable behavior Menu
Behaviorism•The behaviorists are concerned withlearning. They propose that all of aperson’s behaviour, including theirpersonality, is learnt.•There are a number of processes bywhich this happens and they havebecome the building blocks of learningfrom the foundational level ofhabituation to the more complexlearning of social learning theory(e.g.Classical conditioning, operantconditioning , social learning ).
Challenges to Behaviorism and emergenceof Modern Psychology• Behaviorism dominated psychology for many decades . When the behaviorists were calling for a focus on ‘Overt’ behaviors , Psychologists were listening with growing interest to the theories of Sigmand Freud .• Freud argued strongly for the role of unconscious and other internal processes in human behavior and mental disorders• Another challenge to behaviorism occurred in 1950s, with Humanistic Psychology
Humanistic Psychology• Humanistic Psychologists argued that contrary to what behaviorists proposed, people have “Free Will”• They do not simply repeat behaviors that produce positive outcomes and while avoiding behaviors that produce negative ones.• People are strongly motivated by future plans and goals, and by the desire for personal growth• Humanists also rejected Freud’s view that much of our behaviors stem from innate aggressive and sexual urges.
Humanistic Psychology• Within the context of the three different approaches to psychology: behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and humanism it is sometimes referred to as "the third force".• It adopts a holistic approach to human existence through investigations of creativity, free will, and human potential. Its ideas were picked up by spirituality. It believes that people are inherently good.
Challenges to Behaviorism andemergence of Modern Psychology• The ultimate challenge to Behaviorism and the narrow definition to psychology it proposed , were influenced by the “Cognitive Revolution”• A renewal of interest in all aspects of cognition – and divert towards studying aspects such as memory, reasoning, problem solving• Development of computers provided important new tools for psychologists/ researchers to study internal mental processes ( e.g. : measure speed of reaction time of different persons in great precision)
• Processes that early behaviorists once thought to be unobservable became observable, and the behaviorists objection to studying them faded away• The study of cognitive processes are one of the most vigorous areas in psychology
Major Modern Perspectives (mentalview /outlook) of Modern Psychology 1. Psychodynamic perspective Modern version of psychoanalysis. ▫ Argued strongly for the role of unconscious and other internal processes in human behavior and mental processes. ▫ More focused on the development of a sense of self and the discovery of other motivations behind a person’s behavior than sexual motivations. ▫ E.G: Behavior is explained in terms of past experiences and motivational forces. Actions are viewed as stemming from inherited instincts, Menu biological drives, and attempts to resolve conflicts between personal needs and social requirements
Major Perspectives2. Behavioral perspective ▫ Focuses on overt behavior ▫ They propose that all of a person’s behavior, including their personality, is learnt.
Major Perspectives3.Humanistic perspective ▫ Owes far more to the early roots of psychology in the field of philosophy. ▫ Humanists held the view that people have free will, the freedom to choose their own destiny. Menu
Major Perspectives4.Bio psychological perspectiveAttributes human and animal behavior to biological events occurring in the body, such as genetic influences, hormones, and the activity of the nervous system. Menu
Major Perspectives5. Cognitive perspectiveFocuses on memory,intelligence, perception,problem solving, andlearning.
Major Perspectives6.Sociocultural perspectiveFocuses on the relationship between social behavior and culture. Social and cultural factors that can influence behavior Menu
Major Perspectives6.Evolutionary perspective (relatively a new field & still a bit controversial)Focuses on the possible role of evolved psychological mechanisms(inherited tendencies shaped by evolution) in human behavior ▫ Looks at the way the mind works and why it works as it does. ▫ Behavior is seen as having an adaptive or survival value.
Evolutionary perspective cont..• Our species like all others on the planet, has been subject to the process of biological evolution throughout its history, and as its result we now possess a large number of evolved psychological mechanism that help us to deal with important problems relating to survival• Process of evolution (first hypothesized by Charles Darwin ) involves 3 basic elements - Variation - Inheritance - Selection
Evolutionary perspective• Variation : organisms belonging to a species vary in many different ways• Inheritance : some of these variations can be passed from one generation to the next• Selection : some variations gives the individual who possess them an edge in terms of reproduction . These individuals are more likely to survive , find mates , and pass these variations onto succeeding generations . Overtime more and more members of this species possess this variation
Major Perspectives7. DevelopmentalPerspective :Focuses on changes in behaviorand cognitive processes over thelife span
• In the past, psychologists often identified themselves exclusively with one single school of thought. Today, most psychologists have an eclectic outlook on psychology. They often draw on ideas and theories from different schools rather than holding to any singular outlook.
Major Subfields of Psychology• Clinical Psychology : studies diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders• Counseling Psychology : assists individuals in dealing with many personal problems that do not involve psychological disorders
Major Subfields of Psychology• Developmental psychology: studies how people change physically, cognitively and socially over the entire life span• Educational Psychology: studies all aspects of the educational process• Experimental psychology : studies all psychological processes, including perception, learning and motivation
Major Subfields of Psychology• Cognitive Psychology : investigates all aspects of cognition -> memory , thinking, reasoning, language, decision-making and so on• Industrial/ Organizational Psychology: studies all aspects of behavior in work settings
Major Subfields of Psychology • Psychobiology and evolutionary Psychology: investigates biological bases of behavior and the role of evolution in human behavior • Social Psychology : studies all aspects of social behavior and social thought- how we think about and interact with others
Types of Psychological Professionals • Psychiatrist - a medical doctor who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. • Psychoanalyst - either a psychiatrist or a psychologist who has special training in the theories of Sigmund Freud and his method of psychoanalysis. • Psychiatric social worker - a social worker with some training in therapy methods who focuses on the environmental conditions that can have an impact on mental disorders, such as poverty, overcrowding, stress, and drug abuse. • Psychologist - a professional with an academic degree and specialized training in one or more areas of psychology. ▫ Can do counseling, teaching, and research and may specialize in any one of a large number of areas within psychology. ▫ Areas of specialization in psychology include clinical, counseling, developmental, social, and personality, among others. Menu