Chapter One: The Evolution of Psychology. Psychology's Early history 1. Originated within philosophy 2. Forerunners of psychology a.Hippocrates b.Aristotle c.Descartes 3. Not yet a separate field of study.4. Did not use the scientific method - prescientific. The Birth of Modern Psychology.
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1. Chapter One: The Evolution of Psychology Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes, and how they are affected by an organism's physical and mental state.
Psychology has its roots in mythology, religion and philosophy. People believe that the chronology of psychology goes as far back as the age of the sage Greeks. In particular, many believe that several hundred years B.C., it was Plato and Socrates that started the academic pursuit of understanding the human mind and behavior. But it was not until the 1870's that psychology had become ready to set itself as an independent academic field.
The word psychology comes from two Greek words, psyche, meaning the soul and logos, referring to the study of the subject. The two words were first put together in the 16th century when psyche was used to distinguish the soul, spirit, or mind from the body.
2. Chapter One: The Evolution of Psychology Psychology’s Early history
1. Originated within philosophy
2. Forerunners of psychology a. Hippocrates b. Aristotle c. Descartes
3. Not yet a separate field of study.
4. Did not use the scientific method - prescientific
3. The Birth of Modern Psychology Wilhelm Wundt is considered the "father of psychology." Wundt used introspection and established the first psychology laboratory. According to Wundt, psychology’s primary focus was consciousness – the awareness of immediate experience.
Wundt defined psychology as the study of the structure of conscious experience. Wundt was a proponent of Structuralism, which was an attempt to study the mental world with introspection. The goal was to find the 'atoms' of conscious experience, and from there to build a knowledge of how the atoms combine to create our experience. Wundt hoped to thus emulate the success of the natural sciences.
G. Stanley Hall, a student of Wundt, founded the American Psychological Association (APA)
4. The Birth of Modern Psychology – con’t William James was an American philosopher and psychologist, who advanced the principle of Functionalism in psychology, thus removing psychology from its traditional place as a branch of philosophy and establishing it among the laboratory sciences based on experimental method.
Functionalism focuses on how behavior and mental abilities help people adapt to their environment. "Consciousness is an everchanging stream or flow of sensations"
Charles Darwin was a British scientist, who laid the foundation of modern evolutionary theory with his concept of the development of all forms of life through the slow-working process of natural selection. His work was of major influence on the life and earth sciences and on modern thought in general.
5. Psychology's Perspectives The Behavioral Perspective
John Watson is the founder and leading exponent of the school of psychology known as behaviorism, which restricts psychology to the study of objectively observable behavior and explains behavior in terms of stimulus and response.
Watson maintained that psychology should only study directly observable and measurable events, not private experiences like mental events.
Emphasized learning and the influence of the environment. Pavlov's experiments explained automatic or involuntary behaviors.
Skinner extended behaviorism to explain the learning of voluntary behaviors.
Social learning theory an outgrowth of behaviorism a. Explains behaviorism beyond the study of behavior to include learning by observation, insight, imitation. b. Combines classic behaviorism with research on thinking. c. Bandura is a key figure.
6. The Psychodynamic Perspective
Based on the work of Freud in the early 1900s.
Maintains that psychological distress due to childhood conflicts.
Introduced the idea of unconscious.
Emphasizes biological instinct like aggression.
Launched theories based on Freudian approach called psychodynamic. a. Emphasized inner forces and conflicts. b. Emphasized instinctual energy.
The Sociocultural Perspective
Examines how the cultural values and political systems affect experience.
Looks at the influence of the historical and social context on behavior. Psychology's Perspectives - (con’t)
7. Psychology's Perspectives - (con’t The Neuroscience Perspective
Associates all actions, feelings and thoughts with bodily events.
Examines how bodily events interact with the environment to produce perceptions, memories and behavior. Related to evolutionary psychology that examines how evolutionary past may help explain some present behaviors and psychological traits.
The Cognitive Perspective.
Popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. Returns to the study of mental processes. Studies perception, memory, language, problem solving using new research methods. Shows how explanations and perceptions affect behavior and feelings. Serves as one of the strongest forces in psychology today.
8. Psychology's Perspectives - (con’t) Humanism
Humanistic psychology or the "third force." Rejects psychoanalytic perspective as too pessimistic and behaviorism as too mechanistic.
Rejects determinism by the unconscious (psychoanalysis) or by the environment (behaviorism); believes in free will.
Goals of humanism (1) To help people express themselves creatively. (2) To help people reach their full potential.
Has influenced psychotherapy not scientific psychology.
Incorporates features of diverse theories and approaches.
Employs broad guidelines a. Relies on empirical evidence. b. Rejects supernatural explanations.
9. Psychology's Specialties Pure research - knowledge for its own sake.
Applied research - concerned with the practical uses of knowledge.
Some Major Non Clinical Specialties in Psychology
Experimental psychologists - conduct laboratory studies of learning, motivation, emotion, sensation and perception, physiology, human performance and cognition.
Educational psychologists - study principles that explain learning and look for ways to improve learning in educational systems.
Developmental psychologist - study how people change and grow physically, mentally and socially over time.
Social psychologist - study how groups, institutions and the social context influence individuals and vice versa.
10. The Practice of Psychology Those who try to understand and improve physical and mental health.
Settings in which those who practice psychology work. a. Mental or general hospital. b. Clinics c. Schools d. Counseling centers e. Private practice
Types of psychology practitioners a. Counseling psychologist deal with problems of everyday life. b. School psychologist try to enhance student's performance and emotional development.
Degrees for practice may include Ph.D., Ed.D. (doctorate in education) and Psy.D. (doctorate in psychology).
11. The Practice of Psychology - con’t Types of non-psychologist practitioners a. Therapist - anyone who practices psychotherapy; unrelated to formal education and rarely requires licensing. b. Psychoanalyst - someone with specialized training at a recognized psychoanalytic institute. c. Psychiatrist - a medical doctor (M.D.) with a residency in psychiatry. (1) May treat the more severely disturbed. (2) More medically oriented. (3) Can write prescriptions (4) May not have thorough training in theories and methods of psychology. d. Counselors, social workers and other mental health professionals - treat general problems in adjustment, licensing requirements vary.
12. Themes Related to Psychology as a Field of Study Theme 1: Psychology is Empirical
Empirical is the premise that knowledge should be acquired through direct observation rather than on reasoning, speculation, traditional beliefs, or common sense.
Empiricalism lends itself to skepticism
Theme 2: Psychology is Theoretically Diverse
A theory is a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations. A theory links apparently unrelated observations and tries to explain them.
Theme 3: Psychology Evolves in a Sociohistorical Context
Trends, issues, and values in society influence psychology's evolution. Reciprocally, psychology influences trends, issues, and values in society
13. Themes Related to Psychology as a Field of Study Theme 4: Behavior is Determined by Multiple Causes
Behavior is governed by a complex network of interacting factors, an idea referred to as the multifactoral causation of behavior.
Theme 5: Behavior is Shaped by Cultural Heritage
Culture refers to the widely shared customs, beliefs, values, norms, institutions, and other products of a community that are transmitted socially across generations.
Theme 6: Heredity and Environment Jointly Influence Behavior
Heredity and environment are important in influencing behavior
Theme 7: People’s Experience of the World is Highly Subjective
People actively process incoming stimulation, selectively focusing on some aspects of that stimulation while ignoring others.
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