Introduction to Psychology. Chapter 1. Psychologists at Work. Learning Outcomes Define the science of psychology. Describe the subfields of psychology. List the major specialties for working in the field of psychology. What is Psychology?.
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Introduction to Psychology Chapter 1
Psychologists at Work • Learning Outcomes • Define the science of psychology. • Describe the subfields of psychology. • List the major specialties for working in the field of psychology.
What is Psychology? • The scientific study of behavior and mental processes • What you can see • What you can’t see • Describe, predict, explain behavior and mental processes using the scientific method
The Subfields of Psychology • Behavioral neuroscience • Experimental psychology • Changes across the lifespan • Physical & mental health • Focus on those around us: social networks • Newer areas of study
Working at Psychology • About 300,000 psychologists in the U.S. • 50% men, 50% women, but number of women is growing • 6% from racial minority groups • Most have doctoral degrees (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), while some have Master’s degrees • Psychologists are different from psychiatrists
A Science Evolves • Learning Outcomes • Explain the roots of psychology • Discuss today’s perspectives on psychology • Apply psychology to your life • Summarize psychology’s key issues and controversies
The Roots of Psychology • Wilhelm Wundt began the first psychology laboratory in 1879 in Leipzig, Germany • Structuralism • Functionalism • Gestalt psychology
Today’s Perspectives • Neuroscience • Psychodynamic • Behavioral • Cognitive • Humanistic
Psychology and Your Life • Psychology helps solve practical problems • Terrorism • Aggression • Eyewitness accounts of crimes • Driving while using a cell phone • Obesity • See the Psychology Matters website of the American Psychological Association (www.psychologymatters.org) for more topics
Key Issues & Controversies • Nature (heredity) vs. nurture (environment) • Conscious vs. unconscious causes of behavior • Observable behavior vs. internal mental processes • Free will (choices) vs. determinism (behavior is produced by factors beyond one’s control) • Individual differences vs. universal principles
Research in Psychology • Learning Outcomes • Define the scientific method, list the steps involved • Describe how psychologists use research to answer questions of interest • Summarize the descriptive research method used by psychologists • Summarize the experimental research method used by psychologists
The Scientific Method • Systematically acquiring knowledge and understanding about behavior and other phenomena • Step 1: Identifying questions of interest • Step 2: Formulating an explanation (theory – hypothesis) • Step 3: Carrying out research designed to support or refute the explanation • Step 4: Communicating the findings
Psychological Research • The central focus of the scientific method is research • Descriptive Research • Archival research • Naturalistic observation • Survey research
Psychological Research • Descriptive Research • Case study: intensive investigation of an individual or small group • Correlational research: two sets of variables are examined to see if they are associated • Positive correlation • Negative correlation • Correlation does not show causation!
Experimental Research • Establish cause-and-effect relationships using formal experiments: deliberately producing a change in one variable and observing the effects of that change • Experimental group • Control group • Independent variable • Dependent variable
Experimental Research • Random assignment to condition • Replication
Research Challenges • Learning Outcomes • Explain the major ethical issues that confront psychologists conducting research • Discuss the issues related to testing on animals • Identify threats to experimental validity
The Ethics of Research • Psychologists must follow strict ethical guidelines to protect research participants • Participants must sign an informed consent document that says they understand the basic outline of the study and any risks, and are aware of what is involved
Animals Used in Research • Researchers ethically bound to minimize discomfort, illness, and pain, and to promote the psychological well-being whenever possible • But why use animals at all?
Avoiding Experimental Bias • Experimental bias: factors that distort how the independent variable affects the dependent variable (ex., experimenter or participant expectations) • Placebo: A false treatment, such as a pill, without any significant chemical properties or active ingredients