Chapter 1 What is Psychology?. What is Psychology?. Psychology is a word deriving from Greek roots: Psyche – “soul” or “mind” Logos – “word” Psychology is the systematic study of behavior and experience. . Module 1.1. The Goals of Psychologists. The Goals of Psychologists.
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Psychology is the systematic study of behavior and experience.
Figure 1.4 emission tomography) suggests that brain activity and mental activity are two aspects of the same thing. Yet this question is far from resolved.
More than one third of psychologists work in academic institutions; the remainder find positions in a variety of settings. (Based on data of Chamberlin, 2000)
Sample Question: How do drug abuse, brain damage, and exposures to environmental toxins change nervous system functioning (and by extension, behavior)?
Sample Question: Do frequent or consistent rewards for desired behaviors produce better learning than less frequent or less predictable rewards?
Sample Question: What do “experts” in a field know or do that sets them apart from other people?
Sample Question: What do people do or know as adults that they do not know as children? Why did this change occur? Was the change due to biological changes, increased experience, or a combination of these?
Sample Question: To what degree to the demands and expectations of authority figures influence our behavior? How strong is the human tendency to conform?
Which psychologist would ask if punishment is an effective means of eliminating undesirable behaviors?
Learning And Motivation
Which psychologist would ask if people will obey an authority figure even when that leader is demanding behavior that might be classified as immoral or wrong?
Which psychologist wants to know when language learning occurs most rapidly in children?
Which psychologist would do research to determine how memories are stored in the brain?
Which psychologist would do research to determine how retention and recall of information in a college-level psychology course can be enhanced?
TABLE 1.1 retention and recall of information in a college-level psychology course can be enhanced?
Clinical Psychologists and Other Psychotherapists
Which psychotherapist would help a middle-aged woman trying to transition from work as a homemaker to resuming her college education?
Which psychotherapist would prescribe a mood stabilizer to a patient who shows signs of bipolar affective (emotional) disorder?
Which psychotherapist might provide ongoing counseling and support for residents of a halfway house for recovering addicts?
Clinical Social Worker
Which psychotherapist might be part of the staff of a hospital emergency room, and manage the intake of a patient admitted with acute suicidal thoughts and feelings?
Which psychotherapist might be employed in an inpatient facility for developmentally delayed children and adolescents, doing assessment and psychotherapy?
Which psychotherapist would try to help a patient discover his or her hidden motivations for an apparently distressing and unacceptable behavior or thought?
Sample Question: Workers in two separate departments at an aerospace engineering firm have started to withhold information from each other and this has been detrimental to morale and productivity. How can this behavior be stopped without terminating or reassigning any employees?
Sample Question: How can the design of a clerical workstation in an office be improved to minimize the possibility of repetitive stress related injuries occurring to the employee who occupies it?
Sample Question: Does a fourth grade student whose grades have been declining over the past two years have an identifiable learning disability, or is there an issue related to the student’s emotional well-being affecting his performance?
Which psychologist would consult in the design of an airplane cockpit to maximize crew efficiency and safety?
Which psychologist would evaluate a student for possible placement in a school’s program for gifted children?
Which psychologist would work with supervisors at a software development company to improve communication between departments and levels of management?
Figure 1.7 development company to improve communication between departments and levels of management?
Dates of some important events in psychology and elsewhere. (Based partly on Dewsbury (2000a).
Figure 1.10 development company to improve communication between departments and levels of management?
One of the tasks used by early comparative psychologists to assess animal intelligence tested the delayed-response problem. A stimulus was presented and a delay ensued; then the animal was expected to respond to the remembered stimulus. Variations on this delayed-response task are still used today.
Figure 1.11 development company to improve communication between departments and levels of management?
Another task popular among early comparative psychologists was the detour problem. An animal needed to first go away from the food in order to move toward it.
Figure 1.12 development company to improve communication between departments and levels of management?
Zebras learn rapidly when they have to compare stripe patterns (Giebel, 1958). How “smart” a species is perceived to be depends in part on what ability or skill is being tested.
“Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior.” -- John B. Watson, 1913