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Research in Psychology. Astronomer's? Psychics? Elders? Cultural?. What is psychology?. folk psychology Common sense psychology Scientific Psychology Relies on statistical evidence. Folk Psychology vs. Scientific Psychology. The scientific study of….. Human behavior Aggression sleep

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What is psychology

What is psychology?

Folk psychology vs scientific psychology

  • folk psychology

    • Common sense psychology

  • Scientific Psychology

    • Relies on statistical evidence

Folk Psychology vs. Scientific Psychology

How would you define psychology

  • The scientific study of…..

    • Human behavior

      • Aggression

      • sleep

    • Interations of biological components?

      • Hormones

      • Genes

      • environment

    • Mental process

      • Memory, emotion attitude

How Would You Define Psychology?

Pop psychology and psychobabble

Pop Psychology and Psychobabble

Psychology is diverse

  • Biological

    • Experiment

      • Brain scans

      • Chemical assessment

  • Sociological

    • Experiment

      • Observation

      • Interviews

  • Anthropological

    • Group interaction

    • Sex/gender

Psychology is Diverse

Be a thinker

Be a thinker

History of psychology

  • Spirits, Gods, Voodoo &Demons

  • Hippocrates explains:

    • Female hysteria in terms of a wondering uterus

  • Women were burned as witches across Europe.

  • 1879, Wilhelm Wundt

    • First scientifically experimental study of psychology

  • Sigmund Freud

    • Psychodynamic theories of the unconscious mind and the conflict on human behavior.

History of Psychology

Wilhelm wundt

  • The Father of Psychology:

Wilhelm Wundt

John watson

  • Behaviorist

    • The study of peoples actions with the ability to predict and control those reactions.

    • Noted for a very famous & controversial study,“Little Albert”.

John Watson

Bf skinner

  • Behaviorist

    • How does the history of behavior reinforcement affect an individual within a conditioned environment?

    • “Skinner was an advocate of behavioral engineering and he thought that people should be controlled through the systematic allocation of external rewards.”

BF Skinner


  • Psych – the mind or soul

  • Logos – reason





  • Good Research needs to be ethical.

  • Guidelines for research involving people

    • Approval is gained from the institution the researcher is working for.

    • Informed consent is obtained from all those who will participate

    • Deception is to be avoided unless it is justified by the potential significant contribution that that research will make.

    • Debriefing must take place.

    • Participants rights include the right to confidentiality and the right to withdraw.

    • Fabrication of data is unacceptable.


Ethics cont

  • Guidelines for researching animals

    • There must be clear scientific purpose that will increase the knowledge of processes relating to

      • evolution

      • development

      • maintenance

      • alteration

      • control or biological significance of behavior.

      • Research should benefit welfare of humans or other animals.

Ethics cont.,

Theoretical vs empirical studies

  • Theory: An explanation for a psychological phenomenon.

    • Explains an observation

    • Can be used to make predictions

    • Theories are built on concepts

      • Constructs that can be tested

      • Bandura’s concept of Self Efficacy

  • Empirical Study: Evidence must be gathered using the scientific method. Requires accurate analysis of data using statistical measured.

Theoretical vs. Empirical Studies

Research in psychology

Empirical research

Empirical Research

Psychological theory in practice

  • Professor Carol certain, and therefore they are always open to some degree of doubt.”Dweck, Stanford University:


    Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset

Psychological Theory in Practice

Psychological theory in practice cont

People who attribute their failures to lack of ability become discouraged even in areas where they are capable. Those who think they simply hae not tried hard enough are encouraged to try harder when they experience setbacks

  • Does this theory correspond to real life?

  • To what extent does this theory offer insight into possible differences in terms of what people achieve in education, sports , or the arts?

Psychological Theory in Practice cont.,

Critical thinking

  • Read pg 15: Research and psychology become discouraged even in areas where they are capable. Those who think they simply

  • Discuss the findings of these studies. Would you buy a pill promising you a better memory? Give reasons for your answer.

  • What would you look for to conclude a study was valid?

Critical Thinking