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What Is Psychology?. What Is Psychology?. Thinking critically about psychology Psychology’s past Psychology’s present What psychologists do. Thinking Critically About Psychology. Can you distinguish between psychobabble and empirical psychology? Critical thinking

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What Is Psychology?

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what is psychology2
What Is Psychology?
  • Thinking critically about psychology
  • Psychology’s past
  • Psychology’s present
  • What psychologists do
thinking critically about psychology
Thinking Critically About Psychology
  • Can you distinguish between psychobabble and empirical psychology?
  • Critical thinking
    • The ability and willingness to assess claims and make judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence, rather than emotion or anecdote.
critical thinking guidelines
Be willing to wonder

Define your terms

Examine the evidence

Analyze assumptions and biases

Critical Thinking Guidelines
critical thinking guidelines5
Critical Thinking Guidelines
  • Avoid emotional reasoning
  • Don’t oversimplify
  • Consider other interpretations
  • Tolerate uncertainty
psychology s past
Psychology’s Past
  • Three early psychologies
    • Structuralism
    • Functionalism
    • Psychoanalysis
  • Early approach that emphasized the analysis of immediate experience into basic elements.
  • Interested in what happens.
  • Trained introspection
    • Volunteers were taught to observe, analyze and describe their own sensations, mental images, and emotional reactions.
  • Early approach that emphasized the function or purpose of behaviour and consciousness.
  • Interested in how and why something happens
  • A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud.
  • Emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts.
psychology s present
Psychology’s Present
  • Major psychological perspectives
  • Two influential movements
major psychological perspectives
Major Psychological Perspectives
  • Biological Perspective
  • Learning Perspective
  • Cognitive Perspective
  • Sociocultural Perspective
  • Psychodynamic Perspective
the biological perspective
The Biological Perspective
  • Psychological approach that emphasizes bodily events and changes associated with actions, feelings, and thoughts.
  • This perspective involves:
    • Hormones
    • Brain chemistry
    • Heredity
    • Evolutionary influences
the learning perspective
The Learning Perspective
  • A psychological approach that emphasizes how the environment and experience affect a person’s or animal’s actions.
  • This perspective involves:
    • Behaviourism
    • Social-cognitive learning theories
the cognitive perspective
The Cognitive Perspective
  • A psychological approach that emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem solving, and other areas of behaviour.
  • This perspective involves:
    • Computer models of human thinking
    • Infant thinking
    • Intelligence testing
sociocultural perspective
Sociocultural perspective
  • A psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural influences on behaviour.
  • This perspective includes:
    • Social psychology, or the study of rules, roles groups, and relationships
    • Cultural psychology, or the study of cultural norms, values, and expectations
psychodynamic perspective
Psychodynamic Perspective
  • A psychological approach that emphasizes unconscious dynamics within the individual, such as inner forces, conflicts or the movement of instinctual energy.
  • This perspective includes:
    • Unconscious thoughts, desires, and conflicts.
two influential movements in psychology
Two Influential Movements in Psychology
  • Humanist psychology
  • Feminist psychology
humanist psychology
Humanist Psychology
  • A psychological approach that emphasizes personal growth and the achievement of human potential, rather than the scientific understanding and assessment of behaviour.
  • This approach:
    • Rejected behaviourism and psychoanalysis.
    • Emphasized creativity and achieving potential.
feminist psychology
Feminist Psychology
  • A psychological approach that analyzes the influence of social inequities on gender relations and on the behaviour of the two sexes.
  • This approach:
    • Recognized years of male bias in data collection and psychotherapy.
    • Questions the use of research in justifying women’s lower status or elevating women’s status (female bias).
what psychologists do
What Psychologists Do
  • Academic/research psychologists
  • Psychological practitioners
  • Psychologists in other settings
academic research psychologists
Academic/Research Psychologists
  • Research in areas of basic or applied psychology.
  • Examples include:
    • Experimental psychologists
    • Educational psychologists
    • Developmental psychologists
    • Industrial/organizational psychologists
    • Psychometric psychologists
psychological practitioners
Psychological Practitioners
  • Counselling 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.
clinical psychologists are not
Clinical psychologists are not:
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychoanalysts
  • Psychiatrists
psychologists in other settings

Consumer issues


Organizational problems

Environmental issues

Public policy

Opinion polls

Military training

Animal behaviour

Legal issues

Psychologists in Other Settings
what areas do psychology undergraduates pursue
What Areas do Psychology Undergraduates Pursue?
  • Psychology
  • Other
  • Counselling
  • Education
  • Social work
  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Health Sciences
  • Business
  • Sociology