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What is Psychology?

Chapter One
What is Psychology?

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What is Psychology?

  1. 1. What is psychology?<br />Chapter one<br />
  2. 2. What is Psychology?<br />Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.<br />
  3. 3. Psychology as a Science<br />Theories:<br /><ul><li>Formulations of apparent relationships among observed events.
  4. 4. Theories allow for prediction.</li></ul>2 4 6 8 __<br />
  5. 5. What Psychologists do<br />Pure research<br />no immediate application, research for its own sake<br />Applied research<br />designed to find solutions to specific personal or social problems<br />Practice psychology<br />applying psychological knowledge tohelp individuals change their behavior<br />Teaching <br />sharing psychological knowledge. <br />
  6. 6. Fields of Psychology<br />What you want to be?<br />
  7. 7. Fields of Psychology<br />Clinical psychologists: <br /><ul><li>Help people with psychological disorders adjust to the demands of life
  8. 8. Largest subgroup of psychologists</li></ul>Counseling psychologists: <br /><ul><li>Similar to clinical psychologist but clients typically have adjustment problems and not serious psychological disorders
  9. 9. More than half of all doctoral students are in programs of clinical or counseling</li></li></ul><li>Fields of Psychology<br />School psychologists: <br /><ul><li>Employed by school systems to assist students with problems that interferewith learning.
  10. 10. One focus is that of placement of students in special classes</li></ul>Educational psychologists: <br /><ul><li>Like school psychologists.
  11. 11. Attempt to facilitate learning but focus on course planning, instructional methods.
  12. 12. Focus on motivation, intelligence, testing, and student and teacher behavior.</li></li></ul><li>Fields of Psychology<br />Developmental psychologists: <br /><ul><li>Study the changes, physical, cognitive, social and personality, that occur throughout the life span.</li></ul>Personality psychologists: <br /><ul><li>Focus on identifying and measuring human traits, determining influences on human thought processes, feelings, and behavior and explaining psychological disorders. </li></ul>Social psychologists: <br />Primarily concerned with individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior in social situations.<br />
  13. 13. Fields of Psychology<br />Environmental psychologists:<br />Study how people and environment influence each other and<br />Study ways to encourage recycling, for example.<br />Experimental psychologists: <br />Conduct experiments, and <br />Specialize in basic processes such as the nervous system, sensation and perception, learning and memory, thought, motivation, and emotion.<br />Industrial psychologists: <br />Focus on the relationship between people and work.<br />
  14. 14. Fields of Psychology<br />Organizational psychologists: <br />Focus on the relationship between peopleand organizations such as business.<br />Human factors psychologists:<br />Provide suggestions and create technical systems such as dashboards, computer keyboards, etc. to be more user friendly.<br />
  15. 15. Fields of Psychology<br />Consumer psychologists: <br />Study the behavior of shoppers in an effort to predict and influence their behavior.<br />Health psychologists: <br />Examine the ways in which behavior and mental processes are related to health.<br />Sport psychologists: <br />Help people improve their sports performance. <br />
  16. 16. Philosophical Contributions<br />
  17. 17. Philosophical Contributions<br />Plato (ca.427-347 BC) <br />Recorded Socrates’ advice to “Know Thyself” which is a motto of psychology. <br />Also advanced Socrates suggestion of relying on rational thought and introspection.<br />Democritus (around 400 BC) <br />Suggested that we could think of behavior in terms of a body and mind (interaction of biological and mental processes).<br />
  18. 18. Philosophical Contributions<br />Aristotle: (384-322 BC) <br />Wrote “About the Psyche” covering topics such as personality, sensation, perception, thought, intelligence, needs, motives, feelings, emotions and memory. <br />A proponent of empiricism. (experimentation) <br />He outlined the laws of associationism. <br />
  19. 19. 19th Century Contributions<br />
  20. 20. 19th Century Contributions<br />Gustav Theodore Fechner (1801-1887) <br />Showed how physical events (light and sounds) are related to psychological sensations and perceptions. Some consider this to be the beginning of psychology.<br />Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) <br />Gets the credit for being the founder of psychology. <br />In 1879 he established the first psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany.<br />
  21. 21. Structuralism and Functionalism<br />Structuralism<br />Attempts to break conscious experience down into <br />objective sensations such as sight, or taste, and <br />the subjective feelings such as emotional responses. <br />Believes that the mind functions by combining objective and subjective elements of experience.<br />Wundt was considered to be a Structuralist.<br />Functionalism<br />In the study of individuals the focus should be on behavior as well as the mind and consciousness. <br />Look at how experience helps us function more adaptively in our environments.<br />William James (1842-1919) is often considered the first true American Psychologist. <br />
  22. 22. Behaviorism: Practicing Psychology in Public<br />John Broadus Watson (1878-1958) <br />Considered to be the founder of American Behaviorism.<br />Believed that psychology should limit itself to observable, measurable events and behavior.<br />B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)<br />Believed organisms learn to behave in certain ways because of reinforcement. <br />
  23. 23. Gestalt Psychology: Making Psychology Whole<br />Gestalt translates to “pattern” or “organized whole”. <br />Demonstrated that learning is a accomplished by insight, not by mechanical repetition. <br />Founders included:<br />Wertheimer (1880-1943), <br />Koffka (1886-1941), and <br />Kohler (1887-1967).<br />
  24. 24. Gestalt Psychology<br />The Importance of Context.<br />Gestalt psychologists have shown that our perceptions depend not only on our sensory impressions but also on the context of our impressions. <br />You will interpret a man running toward you very differently depending on whether you are on a deserted street at night or the beach in the morning.<br />
  25. 25. Gestalt Psychology<br />
  26. 26. Gestalt Psychology<br />
  27. 27. Gestalt Psychology<br />
  28. 28. Gestalt Psychology<br />
  29. 29. Psychoanalysis: Digging beneath the surface<br />Focus on the unconscious - a seething cauldron of conflicting impulses, urges and wishes. <br />Founded by Sigmund Freud<br />Often called psychodynamic<br />
  30. 30. Today’s Psychologists<br />
  31. 31. Today’s Psychologists<br />Evolutionary and Biological Perspectives<br />Focus on the evolution of behavior and mental processes. <br />Much like Darwin, believe that inherited tendencies move us in certain directions.<br />Cognitive Perspective: Keeping Psychology “In Mind”<br />Mental processes to understand human nature<br />How we perceive, learn, remember problem solve, etc. (the mind)<br />Roots in Socrates, “know thyself”<br />Humanistic-Existential Perspective<br />Humanistic – stresses the human capacity for self-fulfillment <br />Existentialism – views people as free to choose and as being responsible for choosing ethical conduct.Carl Rogers – Abraham Maslow<br />
  32. 32. Today’s Psychologists<br />Psychodynamic Perspective<br />1940s-50s<br />Sigmund Freud<br />Neoanalysts – Karen Horney and Erik Erikson<br />Perspectives on Learning<br />Effects of experience on behavior<br /><ul><li>Theory 1 – people do things because of learning history, situations, and rewards. (Watson)
  33. 33. Theory 2 – people modify and create their own environments and engage in intentional learning by observing others. (Social Learning)</li></ul>The Sociocultural Perspective<br />Ways people differ<br />Influences of ethnicity, gender, culture and socioeconomic factors<br />
  34. 34. Evolutionary and Biological Perspectives<br />Focus on the evolution of behavior and mental processes.<br />Genes can be transmitted from generation to generation.<br />Biological perspective seek the links between the electrical and chemical activity of the brain. <br />Use of PET and CAT scans.<br />
  35. 35. Cognitive Perspective<br />Venture into the realm of mental processes to understand human nature.<br />Cognitive psychologists study those things we refer to as the mind.<br />1/24/11<br />
  36. 36. Humanistic-Existential Perspective<br />Humanism <br /><ul><li>stresses the human capacity for self-fulfillment.</li></ul>Existentialism<br /><ul><li>views people as free to choose and be responsible for choosing ethical conduct.</li></ul>Stress the importance of subjective experience.<br /><ul><li>Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers; two prominent psychologists in this area.</li></li></ul><li>Psychodynamic Perspective<br />Freud’s influence continues to be felt though contemporary psychodynamic theorists would likely call themselves neoanalysts.<br />Famous neoanalysts include: <br />Karen Horney (1885-1952)<br />Erik Erikson (1902-1994)<br />Former APA president Dorothy Cantor.<br />
  37. 37. Perspectives on Learning <br />Learning through repetition and reinforcement.<br />Social-cognitive theorists <br />formerly termed social learning theorists<br />suggest that people can modify or even create their environments. <br />Intentional learning by observing others.<br />
  38. 38. Sociocultural Perspective<br />Addresses the ways people differ from one another. <br />Studies the influences of ethnicity, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status on behavior and mental processes.<br />Ethnicity<br />Ethnic groups are united by their cultural heritage, race, language, and common history.<br />Study cultural heritages and ethnic differences in vulnerability to problems.<br />Gender<br />Refers to the culturally defined concepts of masculinity and femininity. <br />Involves a complex web of cultural expectations and social roles.<br />
  39. 39. Ethnicity and Gender<br />
  40. 40. Gender, Ethnicity, and Psychology<br />Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930)<br />Studied at Harvard, completed her degree requirements, but Harvard wouldn’t give her the degree. They were not admitting women.<br />Pioneer in research in memory: primacy and recency effect.<br />Became first female president of APA in 1905.<br />Christine Ladd-Franklin (1847-1930)<br />Taught at Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities.<br />Formulated a theory of color vision.<br />Margaret Floy Washburn (1871-1939)<br />First woman to receive a Ph.D. in psychology.<br />Wrote The Animal Mind a work that would later become part of behaviorism.<br />
  41. 41. Gender, Ethnicity, and Psychology<br />Helen Bradford Thompson (1874-1947)<br />First psychologist to study psychological gender differences. <br />Wrote a book in 1903 titled The Mental Traits of Sex.<br />Today more than half of American college students are women. <br />Nearly 3/4 of the undergraduate degrees in psychology and 2/3 of the doctoral degrees are earned by women.<br />
  42. 42. Ethnicity and Psychology <br />1901 Gilbert Haven Jones, an African American, received his Ph.D. in psychology in Germany.<br />Kenneth Clark and Mamie Philips Clark. <br />Jorge Sanchez was among the first to show how intelligence tests are culturally biased.<br />6% of first year doctoral students are African American, 6% are Asian American, 5% are Latino and about 1% are Native American.<br />
  43. 43. Critical Thinking and Pseudoscience<br />
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Critical Thinking & Pseudoscience<br />Pseudoscience: false science.<br />Critical thinking: taking nothing for granted. Thoughtfully analyzing and probing questions, statements and arguments of others.<br />Skills needed for critical thinking:<br />Development of skepticism<br />Ability to inquire about cause and effect<br />Increase curiosity about behavior<br />Knowledge of research methods<br />Ability to analyze arguments carefully<br />
  46. 46. Principles of Critical Thinking<br />Be skeptical.<br />Examine definitions of terms.<br />Examine the assumptions or premises of arguments.<br />Be cautious in drawing conclusions from evidence.<br />Consider alternative interpretations of research evidence.<br />Do not oversimplify.<br />Do not overgeneralize.<br />
  47. 47. Critical Thinking Task<br />Is square “A” and “B” the same color?<br />Explain your answer.<br />
  48. 48. The Scientific Method<br />
  49. 49. The Scientific Method<br />Scientific method is an organized way of using experience and testing ideas in order to expand and refine knowledge.<br />Hypothesis: is a specific statement about behavior or mental processes that is tested through research.<br />Test the hypothesis through controlled methods such as the experiment.<br />Replication: repeating a study to see if the findings hold up over time with different subjects.<br />
  50. 50. The Scientific Method<br />A systematic way of organizing and expanding scientific knowledge. <br />Daily experiences, common beliefs, and scientific observations all contribute to the development of theories. <br />Psychological theories explain observations and lead to hypotheses about behavior and mental processes.<br />Observations can confirm the theory or lead to its refinement or abandonment.<br />
  51. 51. Samples and Populations<br />Sample<br />Individuals from a segment of the population who are studied.<br />Population <br />Group targeted for study. <br />Types of Sampling<br />Random sample: <br />each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected to participate.<br />Stratified sample: <br />selection is made so that identified subgroups in the population are represented proportionately in the sample.<br />Volunteer bias:<br />people who volunteer as participants differ systematically from people who do not.<br />
  52. 52. Methods of Observation<br />The Case Study<br />Information collected about individuals and small groups. <br />Anecdotes (Typically unscientific accounts of people’s behavior.)<br />Compelling portraits but may have factual inaccuracies. <br />The Survey<br />Used to study individuals who cannot be observed in the natural setting or studied scientifically. <br />Employs questionnaires and interviews or public records.<br />Naturalistic Observation<br />Observe people in their natural habitats.<br />Unobtrusive measures are used to avoid interfering with the observed behaviors.<br />
  53. 53. Correlation<br />Investigates whether one observed behavior or trait is related to (correlated) with another.<br />Mathematically expressed as a correlation coefficient; a number the varies between +1.00 and -1.00.<br />Positive correlation: the higher scores on one variable tend to correspond with higher scores on the second variable. Low with low. (e.g. Intelligence test scores and academic performance).<br />Negative correlation: Higher scores on one variable tend to correspond with lower scores on the second. (e.g. Amount of stress experienced and functioning of the immune system).<br />How things are Related<br />
  54. 54. Correlation<br />
  55. 55. Correlational Relationships, Cause, & Effect<br />Correlational relationships may suggest but do not demonstrate cause and effect. <br />Consider the examples of academic grades (X) and juvenile delinquency (Y) in part B. Do poor grades lead to delinquency, Does delinquency lead to poor grades, or do other variables such as broken home or peer influences contribute to poor grades and delinquency.<br />
  56. 56. Experiments<br />The preferred method for answering questions about cause and effect. Involves Independent and Dependent Variables.<br />Independent variable: <br /><ul><li>manipulated by the experimenters so that the effects of various levels may be determined.</li></ul>Dependent variable: <br /><ul><li>the measured outcome or result.</li></ul>Experimental and Control Groups<br /><ul><li>Experimental groups obtain the treatment.
  57. 57. Control groups do not receive the treatment.</li></li></ul><li>Experiments<br /><ul><li>Placebo or “sugar pill”
  58. 58. Blind study: </li></ul>control for the expectations of effects by creating conditions where the subjects are unaware of the treatment<br /><ul><li>Double blind study: </li></ul>neither the subjects nor the experimenters know who has obtained the treatment<br />
  59. 59. Experiments<br />Figure 1.7The Experimental Conditions in the Lang Study. The taste of vodka cannot be discerned when vodka is mixed with tonic water. For this reason it was possible for subjects in the Lang study on the effects of alcohol to be kept blind as to whether or not they had actually drunk alcohol. Blind studies allow psychologists to control for the effects of subjects’ expectations.<br />
  60. 60. Ethical Issues<br />
  61. 61. Ethical Issues in Research & Practice<br />Basic standards<br />Intended to promote individual dignity, human welfare and scientific integrity.<br />Do not undertake research methods that are harmful.<br />Research with Humans<br />Ethics review committees review research according to ethical guidelines.<br />Informed consent: individuals give consent before they can participate in research.<br />Confidentiality is kept.<br />
  62. 62. Controversy in Psychology<br />Is it ethical for psychologist to deceive research participants about the methods and objectives of their research? <br />APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct<br />May deceive only when the benefits of the research outweigh the potential harm.<br />The individuals would have been willing to participate if they had understood the benefits.<br />Subjects are debriefed (the purposes and methods of the research are explained afterward.)<br />
  63. 63. Research with Nonhuman Animals<br />Psychologists generalize to humans the results of research conducted with animals.<br />Animals may be harmed only when there is no alternative; when the researchers believe that the benefits justify the harm.<br />
  64. 64. Critical Thinking and Astrology<br />Barnum effect: <br />“a little something for everyone” and “there’s a sucker born every minute”<br />Gallup and Newport (1991) <br />one person in four in the U.S. believe in astrology<br />National Science Foundation (2002) <br />43% of Americans occasionally check their horoscopes<br />though most (60%) reject astrology.<br />The “validity” of astrology is confirmed when the astrologer says something positive about the individual. <br />
  65. 65. Questions<br />&<br />Comments<br />