What is psychology? The discipline concerned with behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and external environment. [p4] Empirical Relying on evidence gathered by careful observation, experimentation, or measurement [p4]
Pick Your Favorite Dessert • Angel food cake • Brownies • Lemon meringue • Vanilla with chocolate icing • Strawberry shortcake • Chocolate on chocolate • Ice cream • Carrot cake
Angel food cake • Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy items. A little nutty at times. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone at the end of the day. Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at times.
Brownies • You are adventurous, love new ideas, are a champion of underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up, you whip out your saber. You are always the oddball with a unique sense of humor and direction. You tend to be very loyal.
Ice cream • You like sports, whether it be baseball, football, basketball, or soccer. If you could, you would like to participate, but you enjoy watching sports. You don’t like to give up the remote control. You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.
Chocolate on chocolate • Sexy, always ready to give and receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious, and passionate. You have a cold exterior but are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for anything average in life. Love to laugh.
Lemon meringue • Smooth, sexy, and articulate with your hands, you are an excellent after-dinner speaker and a good teacher. But don’t try to walk and chew gum at the same time. A bit of a diva at times, but you have many friends.
Vanilla with chocolate icing • Fun-loving, sassy, humorous. Not very grounded in life; very indecisive and lack motivation. Everyone enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life.
Strawberry shortcake • Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other people and can be counted on in a pinch. You tend to melt. You can be overly emotional and annoying at times.
Carrot cake • You are a very fun-loving person who likes to laugh. You are fun to be with. People like to hang out with you. You are a very warm-hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal friends.
Psychology, pseudoscience,and common sense • Psychobabble and psychology • Not just common sense
The birth of modern psychology: A brief history
Roots of Psychology: • Philosophy • Natural sciences
Natural Sciences • Charles Darwin • Natural selection: Organisms best adapted to their world are most likely to survive, reproduce, and pass on characteristics to their offspring [see evolutionary psychology, p8]
Philosophy • William James • Functionalism Early approach that emphasized the function or purpose of behavior and consciousness[p7]
Psychology • Wilhelm Wundt • 1st psych laboratory • Trained introspection: A process by which individuals were taught to carefully observe, analyze, and describe their own sensations, mental images, and emotional reactions [p7]
Psychology • Sigmund Freud • Psychoanalysis: A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud • Emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts[p7]
Five current perspectives in psychology
Major psychological perspectives • Biological perspective • Learning perspective • Cognitive perspective • Sociocultural perspective • Psychodynamic perspective
The biological perspective Psychological approach that focuses on how bodily events affect behavior, feelings, and thoughts [p8] This perspective involves Hormones Brain chemistry Heredity Evolutionary influences
The learning perspective Emphasizes how the environment and experiences affect the behavior of any organism [p8] This perspective involves Behaviorism Social cognitive learning theory
The cognitive perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes what goes on in people’s heads [pp8-9] This perspective involves Problem solving Perception Attention Remembering Thinking
The sociocultural perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural forces outside the individual [p9] This perspective involves Social psychology or the study of rules, roles, groups, and relationships Cultural psychology or the study of culturalnorms, values, and expectations
chapter 1 The psychodynamic perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes unconscious dynamics within the individual, such as inner forces, conflicts, or the movement of instinctual energy [p9] This perspective involves Unconscious thoughts, desires, conflicts
Eclectic psychology Psychological approach that selects the best features of each approach, depending on the problem at hand.
chapter 1 Research and teaching Examples: Experimental psychologists Educational psychologists Developmental psychologists Industrial/organizational psychologists Psychometric psychologists
chapter 1 Health and mental health services Counseling psychologists help people deal with problems associated with everyday life. School psychologists work with parents, teachers, and students to enhance student performance. Clinical psychologists diagnose, treat, and study mental or emotional problems.
Psychologists in other settings Sports Consumer issues Advertising Organizational problems Environmental issues Public policy Opinion polls Military training Animal behavior Legal issues
Careers in psychology: http://www.psychwww.com/careers
Critical thinking guidelines Ask questions Define your terms Examine the evidence Analyze assumptions and biases Avoid emotional reasoning Don’t oversimplify Consider other interpretations Tolerate uncertainty
Ask questions; be willing to wonder • Theory: an organized system of assumptions and principles that tries to explain a certain set of phenomena and their interrelationships [p18] • Example: “Boys are rougher than girls”
Define your terms • Hypothesis: a statement that attempts to predict or account for a set of phenomena. [p15] • Example: “Toys that are played with by boys will show more signs of wear than toys that are played with by girls” • Operational definition:a precise definition of a term in a hypothesis[p15]
Analyze assumptions and biases • Assumption: belief that is taken for granted [p16] • Bias: assumption that keeps us from considering the evidence fairly [p16]
Avoid oversimplifying • Argument by anecdote: generalize from a personal experience or from a few examples to everyone [p17]
Consider other interpretations Tolerate uncertainty
Collecting data: Research methods
Researchers carefully and systematically observe and record behavior without interfering with behavior Naturalistic observation Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in their natural environments. Laboratory observation Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in a more controlled setting. Observational studies [p21]
chapter 1 Descriptive methods Methods that yield descriptions of behavior, but not necessarily causal explanations [p20] Include Observational studies Case studies Psychological tests Surveys
Case studies A detailed description of a particular individual being studied or treated, which may be used to formulate broader research hypotheses [p20] Most commonly used by clinicians; occasionally used by researchers
Surveys Questionnaires and interviews that ask people about experiences, attitudes, or opinions [p23] Social desirability: the tendency of participants to respond in a way they think is socially acceptable or desirable rather than how they truly feel or think
Psychological tests Procedures used to measure and evaluate personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, and values [p22]
Standardization The test is constructed to include uniform procedures for giving and scoring the test. In order to score tests in a standardized way, an individual’s outcome or score is compared to norms. [p22]
Correlational study A descriptive study that looks for a consistent relationship between two phenomena [p24] Correlation A statistical measure of how strongly two variables are related to one another. [p24] Correlational coefficients can range from -1.0 to +1.0.
Direction of correlations [pp24-25] Positive correlations An association between increases in one variable and increases in another, or decreases in one variable and decreases in the other. Negative correlations An association between increases in one variable and decreases in another.
Correlations show patterns, not causes. Explaining correlations
Experimental research Allows psychologists to determine the cause of a behavior [p26]