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Chapter 1 The Science of Psychology. A Little Exercise. See in class!. Topics to Explore. The Science of Psychology Major Perspectives in Psychology Psychologists & Their Specialties. Part 1 The Science of Psychology. What is Psychology?. Psychology Psyche : Mind

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a little exercise
A Little Exercise

See in class!

topics to explore
Topics to Explore
  • The Science of Psychology
  • Major Perspectives in Psychology
  • Psychologists & Their Specialties
what is psychology
What is Psychology?
  • Psychology
    • Psyche: Mind
    • Logos: Knowledge or study
  • Definition: The science of behavior and mental processes
    • Science: Theories tested with research using scientific
    • method
    • Behavior: Overt; i.e., can be directly observed (crying)
    • Mental Processes: Covert; i.e., cannot be directly observed (remembering)
scientific theory
Scientific Theory
  • Scientific Theory: A system of ideas that interrelates facts and concepts, summarizes existing data, and predicts future observations
  • A good theory must be falsifiable; i.e., operationally defined so that it can be disconfirmed
  • To measure and describe behaviors
  • To gather empirical evidence: information gained from direct observation and measurement
  • To gather data: observed facts
example of empirical study
Example of Empirical Study

Study by Kenrick & MacFarlane (1986) blocking intersec-tion with a stalled car. Recorded daily temperature and number of times other drivers honked at the stalled car.

a look back in history the psychodynamic view
A Look Back in History: The Psychodynamic View
  • Key Idea: Behavior is directed by forces within one’s personality; forces that are often hidden or unconscious
  • Emphasizes internal impulses, desires, and conflicts (especially in the unconscious)
  • Views behavior as the result of clashing forces within personality
  • Has a somewhat negative, pessimistic view of human nature
  • Major contributor: Sigmund Freud
  • We will explore Freud’s theory later in the semester
perspective 1 the biological view
Perspective 1: The Biological View
  • Key Idea: Behavior is the result of internal physical, chemical, and biological processes.
  • Seeks to explain behavior through the activity of the brain and nervous system, physiology, genetics, the endocrine system, biochemistry, and evolution
  • Has a neutral, reductionistic, mechanistic view of human nature
  • Some research methods
      • Uses brain scans to gather data (CT, MRI, PET)
      • Looks at neurotransmitters
      • Treats psychological problems with medications
perspective 2 the cognitive view
Perspective 2: The Cognitive View
  • Key Idea: Much human behavior can be understood in terms of the mental processing of information
  • Concerned with thinking, knowing, perception, understanding, memory, decision making and judgment
  • Explains behavior in terms of information processing
  • Has a neutral, somewhat computer-like view of human nature.
perspective 3 the behavioral view
Perspective 3: The Behavioral View
  • Key Idea: Behavior is shaped and controlled by the environment.
  • Emphasizes the study of observable behavior and the effects of learning
  • Stresses the influence of external rewards and punishments
  • Has a neutral, scientific, mechanistic view of human nature
  • Major contributors to Behaviorism: Watson and Skinner
    • Events in environment  Behavior
    • Watson studied Little Albert; Skinner studied animals almost exclusively
perspective 4 sociocultural approach
Perspective 4: Sociocultural Approach
  • Many thoughts and behaviors are influenced by our culture.
  • Psychologists need to be aware of the impact cultural diversity may have on our behaviors.
  • What is acceptable in one culture might be unacceptable in another.
  • Cultural Relativity: Behavior must be judged relative to the values of the culture in which it occurs.
  • Norms: Rules that define acceptable and expected behavior for membersof various groups.
many flavors of therapists
Many Flavors of Therapists
  • Psychologists: Usually have masters or doctorate. Trained in methods, knowledge, and theories of psychology.
  • Psychiatrists: MD; usually use medications to treat problems. Generally do not have extensive training in providing “talk” therapy.
  • Psychoanalysts: Receive additional training post-Ph.D. or M.D. at an institute.
  • Psychiatric Social Workers: Many have masters degrees and perform psychotherapy. Presently a very popular profession.
  • Not all psychologists perform therapy!