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The Scope of Psychology. Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes . Includes the application of the science to human problems. Psychology as a science: It is systematized knowledge that is gathered by carefully observing and measuring events.

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The Scope of Psychology

Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of

behaviorandmental processes.

Includes the application of

the science to human problems


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Psychology as a science:

It is systematized knowledge that is gathered by carefully observing and measuring events.

  • Conduct experiments (repeated) and collect data in quantitative measurements.

    Psychology applied to real-life


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Historical Origins of Psychology

  • Ancient Greeks-

    “What is consciousness? Are people inherently rational?”

  • Nature-Nurture Debate-

    “Whether human capabilities are inborn or acquired through experience?”


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Beginning of Scientific psychology

  • In late 19th Century, William Wundt

    set up the first laboratory and

    used Introspection method.

  • Introspection refers to observing and

    recording the nature of one’s own perception, thoughts and feelings.

  • Reactions to Introspection: Birth of early school of Psychology

    Structuralism, Functionalism, Behaviorism, Gestalt Psychology and Psychoanalysis


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Structuralism and Functionalism

Structuralism

  • Leading proponent- E. B. Titchner

  • Analysis of mental structures- units that make up the mind

    units of sensation, image and emotion

  • Purely analytical in nature

  • William James- Analyzing the elements of consciousness was less important than understanding its fluid, personal nature.


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Functionalism

  • John Dewey, Harvey Carr at the University of Chicago

  • “What mind and behaviour do”

  • How mind works to enable an organism to adapt to and function in its environment


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Behaviorism

  • By 1920, Structuralism and Functionalism were replaced by Behaviorism, Gestalt Psychology & Psychoanalysis.

  • J.B Watson-Founder replaced the mind and restricted to the study of behaviour

  • Watson’s argument- All behavior is a result of conditioning and the environment shapes behavior by reinforcing specific habits.

  • Denied the existence of inborn or innate behavioural tendencies.

  • Held that no specific differences between human and animal behaviour

  • Behaviorists discussed psychological phenomenon in terms of stimulus and responses, giving rise to the term stimulus-response (S-R) psychology.


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Gestalt Psychology

  • Gestalt- German word meaning “form” or “configuration”

  • Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler- Gestalt Psychologists primary interest was perception they believed that perceptual experiences depend on the patterns formed by stimulus and on the organization of experience.

  • Whole pattern of sensory activity and the relationships and organizations within this pattern.

  • The whole is different from the sum of its parts

    because of the relationships between the parts.


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Psychoanalysis

  • A theory of personality and method of psychotherapy originated by Sigmund Freud.

  • Concept of unconsciousness, thoughts, attitudes, impulses etc that we are unaware of.

  • Repressed Unconscious wishes and desires expressed in

    Dreams, slips of tongue & physical mannerism.

  • Method of Free Association


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Perspectives within Psychology

Cognitive Perspective

Biological Perspective

Behavioral Perspective

Psychoanalytical Perspective

Subjectivist Perspective


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  • Biological Perspective:

    Seeks to specify neurological processes that underlie behavior and mental processes.

  • Behavioral Perspective:

    Focus on observable stimuli and regards nearly all behavior as a result of conditioning & responses.

  • Cognitive Perspective:

    Use the analogy between mind and computer, not based on introspection but it assumes that

    • Only by studying mental processes can we fully understand what organism do.

    • Study mental processes in an objective fashion by focusing on objective behavior.


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  • Psychoanalytic Perspective:

    Behavior stems from unconscious processes, meanings, beliefs, fears & desires that a person is unaware of, but that nonetheless influences behavior.

  • The Developmental Perspective:

    Concerned with characteristic changes in people as they grow.

  • The Humanistic Perspective:

    Emphasizes one’s own sense of self.

  • Subjectivist Perspective:

    Each individual has their own definition of the situation, which is expected to vary according to their culture, personal history & current motivational states.

  • Relationship between Biological and Psychological Perspective:

    Biological- Reductionism, involve reducing psychological notions to biological ones, Which is not always accepted.



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Major Subfields of Psychology

  • Biological Psychology- relationship between biological process and behavior

  • Experimental Psychology- conduct research from a behaviorist or cognitive perspective and use experimental methods to study how people react to sensory stimuli and perceive the world.

  • Developmental Psychology- Human development factors that shape behavior from birth to old age.

  • Socio & Personality- How people perceive & interpret their social world

  • Personality Psychology- study the thoughts, emotions & behaviors that define an individualistic personal style of interacting with the world.


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  • Clinical & Counseling Psychology- Apply psychological principles to the diagnosis & treatment of emotional & behavioral problems.

    Counseling- Often deal with less serious problems.

  • School Psychology- Work with children to evaluate learning & Emotional problems.

  • Educational Psychology- Specialization in learning and teaching.

  • Organizational and Engineering Psychology- Selecting people who are most suitable for a particular jobs.


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How Psychological research is done?

  • Generating Hypothesis

  • Experiments

    • Variable – Independent Variable

      Dependent Variable

    • Experimental and Control Group

    • Random Assignments- each participants have an equal probability of being placed in any group.

    • Measurement

  • Correlation-Tests, Correlation and Causation

  • Observation- Direct Observation

    Survey Method

    Case Histories


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