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Perspectives of Psychology. Ms. Rebecca 2009. Do Now:. Why do you think people think, feel and act in certain ways? Are they born a certain way? Do they learn in school to act a certain way? Do they learn from friends?. Different perspectives.

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Perspectives of psychology

Perspectives of Psychology

Ms. Rebecca


Do now
Do Now:

  • Why do you think people think, feel and act in certain ways? Are they born a certain way? Do they learn in school to act a certain way? Do they learn from friends?

Different perspectives
Different perspectives

  • The human mind is really complicated. So, psychologists have a lot of different ideas about why people act and think the way they do.

  • The next slide lists the 6 most popular perspectives today. In practice, psychologist apply the perspective that best deals with the problem at hand.

I m a tv expert
I’m a tv expert!

  • BUT I only watch Prison Break.

I m a tv expert1
I’m a tv expert!

  • I can learn a lot about Prison Break if I watch it all the time, but I wont know ANYTHING about other types of shows like comedies, documentaries, cartoons, the news, sports shows etc.…..

I m a tv expert2
I’m a tv expert!

  • I could never claim to know EVERYTHING about t.v. by only watching one show/type of show.

I m a tv expert3
I’m a tv expert!

  • But maybe if I watched all different types of shows (drama, comedy, mystery, cartoons, news, sports etc) I would be closer to being an expert of t.v. shows today.

Human behavior experts
Human behavior experts

  • Just like there are many different types of tv shows, there are also many different ideas about why humans behave the way they do.

Human behavior
Human Behavior

  • And thoughts come from many different things.

  • Some believe behavior is learned in childhood; some believe experiences in the present are more likely to impact behavior and thoughts.

6 perspectives
6 Perspectives

  • In Psychology today there are 6 different perspectives or ideas about where human behavior comes from.

6 perspectives1
6 Perspectives

  • 1. Biological Perspective

  • 2. Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • 3. Behaviorist/Learning Perspective

  • 4. Humanist Perspective

  • 5. Cognitive Perspective

  • 6. Sociocultural Perspective

Biological perspective
Biological Perspective

  • “I was born this way” (The Complete Idiots Guide to Psychology)

Biological perspective1
Biological Perspective

  • Look at the body to explain the mind

Biological perspective2
Biological Perspective

  • Influence of hormones, genes, the brain, central nervous system on the way we think, feel and act

Questions biological perspective answers
Questions Biological Perspective Answers:

  • Is personality inherited from parents?

  • Does mental stress cause physical illness?

Biological perspective s impact on psychology
Biological Perspective’s impact on Psychology

  • - developed medicines to treat depression and other disorders

  • -helped people to understand that mental illnesses are uncontrollable sometimes, like physical illness. Removed some stigmas of mental illness.

2 psychoanalytic perspective
2. Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • “It’s only the tip of the iceberg”

2 psychoanalytic perspective1
2. Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • Behavior is driven by mental conflicts deep inside us!

2 psychoanalytic perspective2
2. Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • Freud said that people have conflicts between their urges and what society says is ok.

2 psychoanalytic perspective3
2. Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • We learn when we are children to hide our real feelings, so we push our urges waaaaaaay down until we are adults and then we don’t really know the “real” reasons we do what we do because they are so deep within us.

2 psychoanalytic perspective4
2. Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • BUT we can get clues about our real” feelings from our dreams and seemingly unexplainable behavior

2 what psychoanalytic psychologists think
2. What Psychoanalytic Psychologists think?

  • Childhood experiences really affect how we are as adults.

  • Human behavior sometimes doesn’t make sense

  • Talking about our feelings in a comfortable setting can help people work through their “true” feelings to solve problems.

3 behaviorist learning perspective
3. Behaviorist/Learning Perspective

  • “We’re all just rats caught in a maze”

3 behaviorist learning perspective1
3. Behaviorist/Learning Perspective

  • Rats can find food in a maze if they’ve found food in the same place before.

  • Their behavior changes if the location of the food changes.

3 behaviorist learning perspective2
3. Behaviorist/Learning Perspective

  • John Watson studied rats in mazes and said that people are the same.

  • Behavior is just a response to something. The consequence determines whether the behavior happens again.

3 behaviorist learning perspective3
3. Behaviorist/Learning Perspective

  • What do Behaviorist/Learning Psychologists do?

  • Try to understand people by studying what happens to them and how they respond.

  • If the consequence is good, they should repeat the behavior. If not, they won’t do the behavior again.

3 behaviorist learning perspective4
3. Behaviorist/Learning Perspective

  • Example:

  • Stimulus: You find out there’s a test

  • Response: You study

  • Consequence: You get an “A”

  • Based on the good consequence of getting an “A”, you continue the behavior of studying for tests.

3 behaviorist learning perspective5
3. Behaviorist/Learning Perspective

  • What do Behaviorist/Learning Psychologists say?:

  • -Behavior Modification: you can learn to change bad behavior

  • You can get over your fears!

4 cognitive perspective
4. Cognitive Perspective

  • “I Think, Therefore I Am”

4 cognitive perspective1
4. Cognitive Perspective

  • Study the way people can gain, organize, and remember knowledge that guides behavior.

4 cognitive perspective2
4. Cognitive Perspective

  • We’re much more than rats! We react to the environment but we also act on it to do things like:

  • Solve problems

  • Make decisions

  • Think about options before we act

4 cognitive perspective3
4. Cognitive Perspective

  • Also, FEELINGS affect what we do too!

  • Example: Someone who is told they have cancer but there is treatment would react very differently to the news than a person who found out they had cancer and were going to die.

4 cognitive perspective4
4. Cognitive Perspective

  • Cognitive Psychologists develop theories about mental processes and test those theories by creating situations where people are expected to behave in a predictable way (if they don’t behave in a predictable way, the theory is wrong).

4 cognitive perspective5
4. Cognitive Perspective

  • Where do we see Cognitive Psychology?

  • Self-help books

  • Attitude adjustments can help people because it’s all about how they feel about a situation/problem.

5 sociocultural perspective
5. Sociocultural Perspective

  • To understand human behaviors you have to understand the culture in which they live.

5 sociocultural perspective1
5. Sociocultural Perspective

  • What’s “normal” in one country may be weird in another.

5 sociocultural perspective2
5. Sociocultural Perspective

  • In the U.S. individuality is valued

  • In Asia it’s better to be part of a group

5 sociocultural perspective3
5. Sociocultural Perspective

  • Eating disorders are a bigger problem in the U.S. where the ideal is to be really thin. Higher rate of violence in the U.S.

6 humanistic perspective
6. Humanistic Perspective

  • “Look on the Bright Side”

6 humanistic perspective1
6. Humanistic Perspective

  • People are naturally good. They will try to be the best they can be UNLESS other people get in their way.

6 humanistic perspective2
6. Humanistic Perspective

  • Example: Children are good until teachers/parents etc. tell them they AREN’T good.

6 humanistic perspective3
6. Humanistic Perspective

  • Then, children begin to believe that they can’t be good so they stop trying.

6 humanistic perspective4
6. Humanistic Perspective

  • Main ideas in Humanist Psychology

  • Self-esteem is VERY important!

  • A person’s view of their life is much more important that what actually happens in their life.

History of psychology
History of Psychology

  • Do Now: What kinds of human behavior are you curious about?

  • Example: why do people find others attractive?

  • Why do some people get angry easier than others?

Hmmm interesting
Hmmm interesting!

  • People have ALWAYS been interested in the behaviors of other people, that’s…


  • Questions about human behavior have been asked throughout history.

I ancient greece 2000 years ago
I. Ancient Greece (2000 years ago)

  • A. Socrates: said we can learn about ourselves by looking at our own thoughts and feelings: introspection.

B aristotle 384 322
B. Aristotle (384-322)

  • Experiences from the past affect our feelings later.

  • Example: Being with our parents makes us feel safe because they have kept us safe in the past.

B aristotle 384 3221
B. Aristotle (384-322)

  • He also said:

  • People try to avoid pain and find pleasure.

C hippocrates 460 377 b c
C. Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)

  • Confusion and madness are caused by problems in the brain.

Ii the middle ages
II. The Middle Ages

  • Most Europeans believed problems like confusion and anger issues were caused by being possessed by demons.

Ii the middle ages1
II. The Middle Ages

  • “pure” metals AND people SHOULD sink to the bottom of water

  • People who were thought to be possessed were thrown into deep water….

Iii modern science 1500s 1700s
III. Modern Science (1500s-1700s)

  • The Scientific Approach was invented, leading to the birth of modern Psychology in the 1800s.

Scientific approach
Scientific Approach

  • Ideas about human behavior and thinking should be supported by evidence.


  • Beginning of Psychology as a modern lab science.

A wilhelm wundt 1832 1920
A. Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)

  • Established a lab in Germany

  • He founded structuralism: the study of the basic elements of consciousness (being awake and experienceing the world)

Consciousness how we experience the world
Consciousness:How we experience the world

  • 1. Objective Sensations: sight, taste, hearing, touching, smelling

  • 2. Subjective Feelings: Emotional responses to the world.


  • Believed the human mind combined these 2 types of experiences

  • Ex: You can see an apple as red and taste it as sweet but ALSO you can feel good when you see an apple because you REMEMBER how good it feels to bite into it.

  • Structuralism eventually died out….

Gestalt configuration psychology
Gestalt (configuration) Psychology

  • We integrate info into meaningful wholes.

  • Some things are more than the sum of their parts.

  • Ex: Blind Monks and an elephant story

  • Music more than notes….

B william james 1842 1910 and functionalism
B. William James (1842-1910) and Functionalism

  • Structuralists are WRONG!

  • You can’t break down people’s experiences!

  • Stream of Consciousness

B william james 1842 1910 and functionalism1
B. William James (1842-1910) and Functionalism

  • Functionalism is how mental processes (thinking) help people/animals adapt to their environment.

Function alism

  • Consciousness has a function: to help people adapt to their environment.

  • We adapt to do things like wash our hand before eating so we don’t get sick. We don’t just wash for no reason.

How did functionalists do research
How did Functionalists do research?

  • Observe people’s behavior in a lab and use introspection (researchers asked people how they felt inside)

Other ideas of functionalists
Other ideas of Functionalists

  • Behavior is learned

  • Example: Students study because the learn that it will help them get better grades.

  • Habits

John b watson 1878 1958 and behaviorism
John B. Watson (1878-1958) and Behaviorism

  • Consciousness is a private event known only by an individual.

  • Psychology is a science and needs to ONLY use observable, measurable, events (ex. Behaviors)


  • Observable behavior NOT self-examination of ideas and experiences

  • Ivan Pavlov: Dogs

  • John Watson: Psych should be more like a lab science. He studied human reflexes

  • Little Albert:

B f skinner 1904 1990 and reinforcement
B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) and Reinforcement

  • When animals are rewarded for a behavior, they are more likely to do that behavior again (ex. Dog treats)


  • People learn behaviors the same way. (school)

Sigmund freud 1856 1939 and the school of psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and the school of Psychoanalysis

  • Most famous early psychologist.

  • Psychoanalysis- people have unconscious motives and conflicts within themselves that affect their behavior.

For example
For Example

  • Freud believed that dreams might be a representation of wishes that you have deep down but didn’t know about.

  • Sheldon gets analyzed:



  • Freudian Slip:

Psychodynamic thinking
Psychodynamic Thinking

  • Most of what is in your mind is unconscious. We are full of impulses and urges that conflict with what society says we can do.

  • So Freud said he could help people know their unconscious feelings and find acceptable ways to deal with them.

Humanistic psychology
Humanistic Psychology

  • People (humans) have the freedom to choose things themselves. Conscious experience. We are not controlled by rewards and punishments.

Child development
Child Development

  • Jean Piaget: Gave tests to children and discovered that younger kids consistently failed certain parts.

  • Kids think differently!

Now you have learned a little bit about different psychologists
Now you have learned a little bit about different psychologists

  • It’s your turn to choose one psychologist to present about to the class!

  • History Heads Assignment!

Homework: psychologists

  • Read pp19-36 and complete the Check Your Vocabulary and Apply Your Knowledge Section. (total 31 questions)