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Introduction to Psychology. What IS Psychology? Why should I care about it?. Textbook Definition.

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introduction to psychology

Introduction to Psychology

What IS Psychology?

Why should I care about it?

textbook definition
Textbook Definition
  • “Psychology is the science of human nature. It’s all about studying the human mind and behavior so we can figure out why people think, feel and do what they do” - Johnston, 4, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Psychology
4 goals of psychology
4 goals of Psychology
  • To describe what people do
  • To explain why people think, feel and act the way they do
  • To predict what, when and how they will do it
  • To change the parts of human behavior that cause us pain

Goals taken from:

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Psychology

1 describing what people do
1. Describing what people do
  • Not as easy as it looks.
  • Why? “No matter how hard we try not to, we see each other through the filters of out prior experiences, our cultural values, and our beliefs” The Complete Idiots Guide to Psychology.
  • Example: After you’ve been dumped…
2 why do people think feel and act the way they do
2. Why do people think, feel and act the way they do?
  • Something has happened to them “Psychologists look for connections between things that happen and how people respond”(Johnston,5).
3 predicting what people will do
3. Predicting what people will do
  • The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Why would that be useful in everyday life?
  • Relationships
  • Problem: NOT always accurate. Real life doesn’t always follow theory.
4 change behaviors that cause pain
4. Change behaviors that cause pain
  • Psychologists want to help people to control behavior so they can run their lives more effectively.
  • Therapy
  • Example: stop drinking, communicate more effectively, cope with memories of a painful childhood etc.
let s start to apply some psychology on ourselves
Let’s start to apply some Psychology on ourselves!
  • Think of the most upsetting thing that’s happened to you in the past 6 months.
  • 1. Describe what happened (think about it like it happened to someone else so you can be objective. Write down who, what, when, where and how.
  • 2. Explain what happened. WHY do you think this happened to you? What is the relationship between your own behavior and the situation?
keep on writing
Keep on writing!
  • 3. Predict. Has this event happened before? Knowing yourself and those around you, how likely is it to happen again? How could you respond effectively if it did?
  • 4. Control: What have you learned from this situation? What could you do to prevent it from happening again? How could you respond more effectively if it did?
  • The Complete Idiots Guide to Psychology
we should all know the goals of psychology by now
We should all know the goals of Psychology by now
  • Let’s see how we can apply them to a job like: Sports Psychologist!

http://www.k-state.edu/counseling/newsletter/sportshrink.jpg

football
Football
  • Place kicker Scott Norwood practiced kicking field goals A LOT!

http://sports.espn.go.com/i/magazine/new/matt_bryant_a.jpg

but when he had a chance to kick the game winning field goal for the buffalo bills
BUT when he had a chance to kick the game winning field goal for the Buffalo Bills…..
  • He choked!

http://i.cnn.net/si/fannation/norwood-xxv.jpg

ask the professionals
Ask the professionals
  • Scott didn’t know why he couldn’t kick the field goal after he practiced so many times.
  • So he went to a Sports Psychologist to find out.
this is how the sports psychologist applied the goals of psychology to help scott
This is how the sports psychologist applied the goals of psychology to help Scott
  • 1. Observe and describe behavior: Measured Scott’s heart rate in and out of big game situations.
  • 2. He explained that in game situations Scott has increased heart rate and nervousness and has too much anxiety to do his best.
  • 3. Then, the psychologist predicted that if Scott could control his anxiety he could kick better during games
  • 4. The psychologist helped Scott to block out the crowd and use positive thinking to reduce his anxiety during the game so he can kick more field goals!
so you see how athletes can benefit from psychologist help
So you see how athletes can benefit from psychologist help
  • Can you think of other situations where psychology can help someone fix a problem?
psychology as a science
Psychology as a science
  • We have already talked about how psychology is NOT an exact science. BUT it IS like science in some ways

http://emily.im/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/science.JPG

like scientists
Like scientists
  • Psychologists follow steps like the ones scientists follow to conduct experiments, collect data and draw conclusions.

http://www.mghs.sa.edu.au/Internet/Faculties/Science/Year8/Pics/scientificMethod.gif

the difference between science and psychology
The difference between science and psychology
  • Is that psychologists concentrate on the way individual people think and feel.
  • Thoughts and feelings are unpredictable and can change! Other sciences aren’t as unpredictable.
research
Research
  • Like scientists, psychologists use research to study things. Psychologists use research to study people and learn more about them.
psychological theories
Psychological theories
  • Theory: a statement that tries to explain why things are the way they are and why things happen the way they do (Holt, 6).
principles
Principles
  • The laws or rules of nature that psychologists may base theories on.
  • For example:
  • Principle: The more sleep you get, the healthier you are
  • Theory: The more sleep you get, the happier you will feel.
check up
Check up
  • 1. How is psychology like science?
  • 2. What is the difference between psychology and science?
  • 3. What is the difference between a “theory” and a “principle”?
what psychologists do
What Psychologists do
  • You have already learned a little bit about what a sports psychologist does. Today you are going to learn about other jobs that psychologists can do.
clinical or counseling psychologists
Clinical or Counseling Psychologists
  • The types of psychologists you see on t.v. are usually 1. clinical or 2. counseling psychologists.
  • They listen to people’s problems in an office and try to fix them
  • Most common type of Psychologist
other types of psychologists
Other types of Psychologists:
  • There are also careers in Psychology that you may not be aware of. Some of them are listed on pages 9-15.
  • HW: Read Chapter 1 and choose one career in psychology that you are most interested in. Write a paragraph explaining what interests you about the job and be prepared to share!
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