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An Introduction to the stuff you will be learning this year. Psychology. The definition has changed over time. Today it is: The science of behavior and mental processes. Do our feelings always match our behaviors?. What is it?. But I will still act tough.

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The definition has changed over time. Today it is:

The science of behavior and mental processes.

Do our feelings always match our behaviors?

What is it?

But I will still act tough.

(but I will be crying on the inside, so be gentle).

If you call me stupid, I may feel sad inside.

history of psychology
History of Psychology
  • Although the science of psychology started in the late 1800’s, the concept has been around a lot longer.
  • There was evidence of trephination (cutting holes into a skull to let evil spirits out) back in the stone age.

It was like a bad SAW movie!!!!

psychology s history prescientific psychology
Psychology’s HistoryPrescientific Psychology
  • Ancient Greeks
    • SocratesThese two guys thought alike
    • Plato dualism - the mind is separate from the

bodyand continues after the body dies

- some ideas innate(nature)

    • Aristotle monism – mind and body are connected

- knowledge results from memories of

past experiences (nurture)

psychology s roots prescientific psychology
Psychology’s RootsPrescientific Psychology
  • Rene Descartes – mind and body separate; innate ideas (nature)
  • Francis Bacon – founder of modern science and the scientific method
  • John Locke – mind is a blank slate (nurture)
  • Empiricism– knowledge comes from experience
    • Locke’s and Bacon’s ideas
waves of psychology
Waves of Psychology
  • The science of psychology has gone through about 6 different waves since it started.
  • Waves are different ways of thinking over time.
wave one introspection
Wave One: Introspection
  • 2 Ideas:
    • Structuralism - Wundt and Titchner
    • Functionalism – James
  • Both used introspection – self reflective observation of one’s own sensations and feelings

These guys were considered hot, back in the day!!!!

wave one introspection9
Wave One - Introspection
  • Structuralism - early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind.
    • Wilhelm Wundt (Leipzig)
      • 1st Psych Lab - Reaction time experiment
    • G. Stanley Hall (Baltimore)
      • 1st Lab USA -Johns Hopkins University
      • 1st Pres. APA
    • Edward Titchner
      • Introspection to study inner sensations and mental images
wave one introspection10
Wave One - Introspection
  • Functionalism
    • Focused on the adaptive value of conscious thoughts and emotions (how they enable us to survive and reproduce - added the importance of the environment )
    • Started by Wm. James
    • Mary Calkins
    • Margaret Floy Washburn
wave two gestalt psychology
Wave Two: Gestalt Psychology
  • Focused on human perceptions of the world
  • The whole of an experience can be more than the sum of its parts.
    • Led by Max Wertheimer

Think for a moment of all the reasons that you love your mom.

If you add all those reasons up, do they equal your love for your mom?

Hopefully not!!!

This may seem like one picture, but it can be perceived as 2 different faces. Can you find them?

wave three psychoanalysis
Wave Three: Psychoanalysis
  • Sigmund Freud - personality theories
  • Feelings come from a hidden place in your mind called the unconscious.
  • Behavior is driven by unconscious drives and conflicts and childhood experiences
  • We protect ourselves from our real feeling by using defense mechanisms.
wave four behaviorism
Wave Four: Behaviorism
  • During this time period (early to mid 1900s), people started to ignore how you feel inside.
  • All that mattered was how you acted.
  • If they could change your behavior, who cares how you feel.
  • Very popular during the conservative 1950’s when social appearance mattered more than self expression.
wave four behaviorism14
Wave Four: Behaviorism
  • Behaviorism – ignored mental processes and studied only observable behavior
  • Classical Conditioning
  • Operant Conditioning
    • Pavlov
    • John B. Watson
    • B.F. Skinner
wave five eclectic biopsychosocial approach
Wave Five: EclecticBiopsychosocial Approach
  • We are now in wave six….which is about variety.
  • Psychologists pick and choose what theories to use depending on the situation and the client.

Just like Ben 10 choosing the right alien to fight the bad guy depending the situation.

modern psychology s three main levels of analysis
Modern Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis
  • Levels of Analysis
    • Biological
    • Psychological
    • Social-cultural
  • Biopsychosocial Approach - integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis.
  • Evaluates both nature and nurture
wave 5 biopsychosocial approach is made up of 7 different perspectives
Wave 5 -Biopsychosocial Approach is made up of 7 different perspectives.

In other words, psychologists today, pick and choose from about 7 schools of thought to help you with your problems.

Thus we have:


1 biopsychology neuroscience perspective
1. Biopsychology (Neuroscience) Perspective
  • All of your feelings and behaviors have an organic root – ie. they come from your brain, neurotransmitters, hormones etc…
  • To change behavior the biological problem must be addressed, usually through medication or surgery

Let us imagine for a second that your dog died (sad but it will happen). You become depressed. You stop eating and sleeping. What would a psychologist from this school say is going on and how might they help you?

2 evolutionary perspective
2. Evolutionary Perspective
  • Based on ideas of Charles Darwin – natural selection, survival of the fittest.
  • Our behavior is driven by inherited traits from our ancestors that help us survive and reproduce.

How could this behavior ensured Homer’s ancestors survival?

3 psychoanalytic perspective
3. Psychoanalytic Perspective

If a man has intimacy issues and cannot form relationships with others. What do you think someone from this school may think?

  • Focuses on the unconscious mind.
  • Our behavior is driven by our hidden/unconscious drives and conflicts.
  • We repress many of our true feelings and are not aware of them.
  • In order to get better, we must bring forward the true feelings we have in our unconscious.

Perhaps they may delve into the man’s unconscious and discover that he was bullied when he were younger. The bullying may have caused fear in getting close to others.

4 behavioral perspective
4. Behavioral Perspective

Pretend that you fail psychology class. You become depressed. In turn, you begin to binge and gain weight.

  • Focuses on observable behaviors while putting feelings to the side.
  • We behave in ways because we have been conditioned by rewards and punishments to act a certain way.
  • To change behaviors, we have to recondition the client.

What do you think a behaviorist may do?

They would probably ignore the fact that you are depressed and just focus on your overeating.

Maybe make you run a mile every time you eat over 2000 calories.

5 humanist perspective
5. Humanist Perspective
  • emphasizes the growth potential of healthy people and the individual’s potential for personal growth.
  • Ideas came from Carl Roger’s and Abraham Maslow.
  • Behavior comes from our needs for love and acceptance and striving to be the best we can be - aka“self-actualization”.
  • Therapists attempt to increase awareness of a clients current feelings and actions and facilitate a client’s growth

I possess the resources to grow

6 cognitive perspective
6. Cognitive Perspective
  • Focuses on how we think (encode, process, store and retrieve information)
  • Behavior is influenced by the way we remember and process information
  • Cognitive Therapist attempt to change the way you think.

She rejects you…don’t even get digits.

You meet a girl…

Hopes are high!!!

How do you react to the rejection?

Some react by giving up and live a lonely life of solitude.

Some react by getting back on the horse and try again.

7 social cultural perspective
7. Social-Cultural Perspective
  • Behaviors and feelings are dictated by friends, family, society and the culture you live in.
  • Examples:
    • Some cultures kiss each other when greeting, some just bow.
    • Does your culture place value on individual or the group?
    • In our culture is it better to be fat or thin?

Is this part of your


examples of the biopsychosocial approach
Examples of the Biopsychosocial Approach
  • How would a psychologist approach someone with a low self-esteem, who is teased for being over-weight?

Biological – genetic, hormones (thyroid)

Psychological – feelings of low self-esteem, perceptions of self

Social Cultural– societies images of the “perfect body”, influence of peers, family

  • How would a psychologist approach
  • the problems of Andrea Yates?
psychology s three big debates
Psychology’s Three Big Debates
  • Nature Versus Nurture
    • Are our behaviors/traits influenced more by our genes (nature) or by our experiences (nurture)
    • Ex. Intelligence- genes or home environment?
  • Stability Versus Change
    • Do our behaviors/traits remain stable or do they change?
    • Ex. Does a person’s shyness stay stable or could the degree of shyness change over a life span?
  • Continuity Versus Discontinuity
    • Is our development over our life span smooth and orderly (continuous) or is it abrupt (discontinuous)
    • Ex. Do we learn to add 2 numbers in small steps over time or do we just get it around the age of 4
psychology s subfields
Psychology’s Subfields
  • Psychometrics – measurement of human abilities. Ex. Creates aptitude tests like SAT, personality questionnaires
  • Basic Research – research in psychology to increase our knowledge of the field. Examples:
    • Developmental psychology- change throughout the human life span
    • Educational psychology – how psych processes affect teaching and learning
    • Personality psychology – individual traits
    • Social psychology– how humans relate to one another
psychology s subfields32
Psychology’s Subfields
  • Applied Research–using what you’ve learned to help others
    • Industrial/organizational psychology – help improve performance and well-being in the workplace
    • Human factors psychology – designing machines and work environments that are best for people – ergonomics
    • Counseling psychology–assists people in problems with work, family school (Masters Degree)
    • Clinical psychology– treats people with psych disorders (PhD)
    • Psychiatry– prescribes medicine and treats psych disorders (Medical Doctor – M.D.)