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Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Psychology

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Introduction to Psychology

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  1. Introduction to Psychology

  2. What is Psychology? • study of how and why humans act as they do • focuses on the individual, (not groups) and the personal and unique experiences that influence how/why the individual acts, behaves and thinks the way they do

  3. Schools of Thought in Psychology

  4. Learning Theory • Learning Theorists agree that humans are born with little instinct but much learning potential • They believe that most human behaviour is learned, especially in child and youth • By controlling the way in which humans learn behavious, society can have a great influence on their ultimate personalities

  5. Alfred Bandura (1925) • Bandura concluded that learning is largely a modeling experience and more complicated than a mere stimulus-response effect • When humans observe behaviour – either acceptable or unacceptable – they are more likely to practice it • Experiment- Bobo Doll, Social Learning Theory/Observational Learning Theory

  6. Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) • Pavlov’s experiments with dogs showed that is was possible to get a dog to associate the sound of a bell with the imminent arrival of food • At the sound of a bell, the dog would salivate in anticipation

  7. B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) • Skinner proved that pigeons could be trained to peck at a particular coloured disk to get food rewards • Rats received food rewards for pressing specific levers in a complicated sequence leading many theorists to believe that learning was a STIMULUS-RESPONSE effect • He believed that if the subject is correctly stimulated it will give the appropriate response • Theory of OPERANT CONDITIONING: learning can be programmed by whatever consequences follows a particular behaviour

  8. Psychoanalytic Theory • The mind is divided into two parts: the conscious (aware of ) and the unconscious (not aware of) • According to psychologists, our unconscious mind has more influence than our conscious mind on our personalities and behaviour

  9. Sigmund Freud • The founder of psychoanalytic theory • He believed our early childhood experiences, usually involving our relationships with parents and family, are stored in our unconscious mind • While we are normally unaware of these memories, they can have a powerful influence on the way we function • Those that live with a general sense of frustration, our behaviour may become neurotic and connected with anxiety or obsessiveness which can be treated using dream analysis, hypnosis and individual counseling • Freud felt that individual sexual satisfaction or frustration was the key element in personality development

  10. The Unconscious Mind The Unconscious mind is divided into three parts: • Id – which encourages us to seek physical satisfaction • Superego – prompts us to do the moral thing, not the one that feels best • Ego – the referee between the two and deals with external reality, this is our most conscious self

  11. Branches of Psychology

  12. Abnormal Psychology Psychopathology and abnormal behavior – mental illness disorders Covers a broad range of disorders, from depression to obsession-compulsion to addictions Obsessed - OCD

  13. Behavioural Psychology Theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning – rewards and punishments Focus is to change the undesired behaviour of an individual Behavioral techniques include therapy and education BF Skinner Video: Big Bang Theory Video:

  14. Cognitive Psychology The study of how the brain influences behavior Focuses on internal states, such as motivation, problem solving, decision-making, thinking and attention Example: The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment – Delayed Gratification

  15. Experimental Psychology Uses experimental methods to study psychological issues. Try to establish patterns or laws of human behaviour that can be applied in the real world. Example: Change Blindness:

  16. Developmental Psychology Looks at development throughout the lifespan, from childhood to adulthood. Seeks to understand and explain how and why people change throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth, including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual and personality development. Development of Infants –

  17. Forensic Psychology Deals with issues related to psychology and the law. Forensic psychologists perform a wide variety of duties, including providing testimony in court cases, assessing children in suspected child abuse cases, preparing children to give testimony and evaluating the mental competence of criminal suspects.

  18. Methamphetamines and the Human Brain An Example of branches of psychology: How does this case fit into the various branches of psychology?

  19. Background Information

  20. RESEARCH QUESTIONS:Methamphetamines and the Brain Methamphetamine addicts can have pretty serious neurological problems, like motor skills and verbal memory. Researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine wanted to map out the shape of a meth addict's brain and find connections between these problems and brain shape. What the researchers wanted to know: What does the brain of a methamphetamine abuser look like? Does the structure of a methamphetamine abuser's brain reflect learning disability or memory loss?

  21. METHODS - What they did: Researchers recruited 43 HIV negative people for the study–21 control people and 22 methamphetamine abusers. All the participants underwent physical examinations to make sure that they were relatively healthy (no diseases, no psychoactive drugs, etc.). The methamphetamine abusers had been using the drug for an average of 10.5 years, and six of them also smoked more than one joint a day or had a history of dependence on pot. Researchers, therefore, studied the results of the tests with and without these six participants. Both the methamphetamine users and the control group took surveys about their drug use. The researchers tested both groups for their abilities to remember pictures and words, analyzed the participants for depression, and performed MRI scans of their brains. An image analyst outside the study (who did not know what he was looking for) mapped the images of the participants' brains.

  22. CONCLUSIONS: What they found: The methamphetamine abusers' brains looked pretty different. The right hemispheres had serious deficits of gray matter, the kind of brain tissue that contains nerve cells. This part of the brain controls emotions and craving, and when meth users lose cells in this area, they end up needing more meth to feel satisfied. They also lose some memory capacity. The ventricles in the right side also became bigger, a typical feature of certain neurological disorders. The average meth user had a smaller hippocampus and increased white matter in the brain. White matter is the part of the brain that contains nerve fibers, and it increases because brain damage causes the tissue to swell. When users stop taking meth, the swelling seems to go away. The smaller the hippocampus size, the worse the participants tended to do in remembering words. The transformations of the brain size of the methamphetamine abusers were similar to or worse than typical changes in the brains of people with dementia or schizophrenia. The methamphetamine abusers were also more likely to describe themselves as depressed in the surveys.

  23. Psychology and Meth Addiction Video: How do each of the branches of psychology help us to understand the issue of Meth addiction?

  24. Psychological Questions • Focus on people’s behaviours (what they do) and attitudes (what they think) • Key Questions: • What must people do to successfully change their behaviours? • What factors make behaviour-modification programs successful? • Do most people need help changing behaviour, or can they be self changers? • Example: Consider an individual who has been convicted three times for driving under the influence. Is it necessary to change a person’s attitude about drinking before he or she will stop drinking and driving?

  25. Theory of Attitude Change • Positive and Negative Reinforcement • Cognitive Consistency/Dissonance Theory • Six Stages of Change(Behaviour Modification)

  26. Psychology and Behaviour Modification To change or modify one’s behaviour, usually through praise or punishment (based on the theory of operant conditioning) Positive Reinforcement: people are rewarded for good behaviour Negative Reinforcement: removing a privilege to discourage unwanted behaviour

  27. Psychological Theories of Attitude Change Cognitive Consistency Theory: People desire consistency in their beliefs. Most people want to avoid attitudes that conflict with each other – makes people happier Cognitive Dissonance Theory: People try to avoid conflicts between what people think and what they do (i.e., if you smoke you may not smoke in front of a friend who is strongly against it) Can motivate change in behaviour to match actions and beliefs

  28. Six Stages of Change (Behaviour Modification) • -Pre-contemplation (denial, refusal) • -Contemplation (questioning) • -Preparation (investigation) • -Action (commitment) • -Maintenance (transition) • -Termination (completion) *seldom reach this stage