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Introduction to Psychology

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  1. Introduction to Psychology

  2. What is psychology? • Scientific study of (human) behaviour • Psychology (today) is an enterprise that is just as scientific as physics or chemistry.

  3. History of Human Knowledge • Metaphysical Systems: • Attributing behaviour or experiences to nonphysical forces such as spirits or deities • Violates scientists’ established physical laws

  4. Examples of Metaphysical Systems • Animism • Belief that natural phenomena are alive and influence behaviour • Possession of animal parts endows the owner with psychological aspects of the animal • Wind, sun, and rain have temperaments • Plato – “the universe is alive and has a soul” • Aristotle – gravity reflects the desire of physical objects to return to mother earth

  5. Metaphysical Systems (cont’d) • Mythology and religion • Deities of spiritual rather than physical existence • More sophisticated explanations than animism • Non-physical forces influence behaviour • Important: science can’t determine whether right or wrong – just different than science • Difference set of assumptions • Both attempt to explain behaviour

  6. Metaphysical Systems (cont’d) • Astrology • Human behaviour is determined by the activity of celestial bodies • Relegated to mere entertainment

  7. History (cont’d) • Philosophy • Study of knowledge and behaviour through logic, intuition, and observation • Early philosophers were influenced by the metaphysical • Descartes accepted notion that nerves were hollow tubes that “animal spirits” were carried through

  8. Philosophy (cont’d) • Among contemporary philosophers, finding authority at the base of a theory was a sign of weakness • Empiricism (Aristotle, Descartes) holds that the best was to learn about the world is to make observations. • Later became core assumption of scientific method

  9. History (cont’d) • Physiology and Physical Sciences • Study of the functions of the interrelations between different parts of the brain and body • The scientific method is used in physiology • Volta, using a battery and freshly severed frog leg, was able to discover more about basic physiology than any amount of reasoning ever could. • Physiologists taught psychologists the value of careful, systematic experimentation through observation.

  10. History (cont’d) • Experimental Psychology • Most historians believe that experimental psychology began in Germany in the mid- to late 1800s • Fechner, von Helmholtz, Weber, and Wundt all played an important role in the birth of psychology.

  11. Psychology’s Roots Prescientific Psychology • Is the mind connected to the body or distinct? • Are ideas inborn or is the mind a blank slate filled by experience?

  12. Psychology’s Roots

  13. Psychology’s Roots • scientific Psychology • Empiricism • knowledge comes from experience via the senses • science flourishes through observation and experiment

  14. Psychology’s Roots • Wilhelm Wundt opened the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig (c. 1879). • Father of Psychology.

  15. Psychology’s Roots • Structuralism used introspection (looking in) to explore the elemental structure of the human mind

  16. Psychology’s Roots • Functionalism focused on how behavioral processes function—how they enable organism to adapt, survive, and flourish

  17. Psychology’s Roots Figure 1- British Psychological Society membership

  18. Psychology’s Roots • Definition of Psychology • The science of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (sensations, perceptions, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings)

  19. Definition of Psychology • Derived from two Greek words- psyche: mind, soul or spirit. logos : knowledge or study Put together- Study of the mind (Rudolf Geockle)1590. *Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behaviour and mental process.

  20. Mind and body relationship • Mind and body connected. (Early History) • Mind and body not connected. (later) • Mind and body connected. (Present day) • Psychosomatic diseaeses. • Mental disorders arise from physical ones and likewise physical disorders arise from mental ones. (Mahabharatha)

  21. Contemporary Psychology • Psychology’s Big Issues • Nature-nurture controversy • the relative contribution that genes and experience make to development of psychological traits and behaviors

  22. Contemporary Psychology • Natural selection • principle that those inherited trait variations contributing to survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

  23. Contemporary Psychology

  24. Contemporary Psychology • Psychology’s Perspectives • A lot depends on your point of view

  25. Contemporary Psychology • Psychology’s Subfields • Basic Research • biological psychologists explore the links between brain and mind • developmental psychologists study changing abilities from womb to tomb • cognitive psychologists study how we perceive, think, and solve problems

  26. Contemporary Psychology • Psychology’s Subfields • Basic Research • Personality psychologists investigate our persistent traits • Social psychologists explore how we view and affect one another

  27. Contemporary Psychology • Psychology’s Subfields • Applied Research • Industrial/organizational psychologists study and advise on behavior in the workplace • Clinical psychologists study, assess, and treat people with psychological disorders

  28. Contemporary Psychology • Psychiatry • A branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders • Practiced by physicians who sometimes use medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychotherapy

  29. Behaviourism • Emphasised that conditioned reflexes were the elements and not sensation that constitute the behaviour. • Conditioned reflexes are simple learned responses to stimuli. • Stimulus and environment determines behaviour.

  30. Humanistic • Psychology which focuses upon the development of self it is called humanistic . • It focus on the persons subjective experiences, freedom of choice and motivation towards self actualization • Humanist believe that behaviour is controlled by our own free will and not by the unconscious or the environment.

  31. Psychoanalitic • Founded by Sigmund Freud. • Emphasis on unconscious motivation. • Personality based on Id, ego and super ego.

  32. Sigmund FreudPsychoanalytic Theory Ψ Freud explained behaviour by his theory of personality (Psychoanalytic Theory) and developed a treatment for abnormal behaviour called Psychoanalysis. Ψ The theory explains human development in terms of an innate drive (something we are born with e.g. pleasure) and early experience (the extent to which the desires were gratified)

  33. Structure of the Freudian Personality Ψ Freud assumed that the mind is divided into 3 parts: Id, Ego and Superego

  34. Cognitive • Emphasis on the prosses of the mind such as memory, problem solving, decision making etc. • Deals with conscious process.

  35. Behaviour and Mind • Both work together. • Behaviour : Motor activities. Eg. Walking, running, dancing speaking. : Cognitive activities. Eg. Remembering, thinking, reasoning, perception. : Emotional activities. Eg. Happy, sad, angry, anxious, fear.

  36. Scope of Psychology : • Clinical Psychology. • Counseling Psychology. • Social Psychology. • Experimental Psychology. • Developmental Psychology. • Abnormal Psychology. • Community Psychology. • Educational Psychology. • Industrial Psychology. • Political Psychology. • Military Psychology. • Legal Psychology.

  37. Methods of Psychology: * Introspection or Self Observation Method * Observation Method or Systemic Method * Experimental method * Survey or Inventory Method * Test Method * Case History or Clinical Method * Genetic or Developmental Method.

  38. Professions in Psychology : * Forensic Psychologist * Sports Psychologist * Counseling Psychologist * Clinical Psychologist * Industrial/ Occupational Psychologist * Educational Psychologist

  39. Relevance of Psychology • Helps to understand self and others • Helps in interaction with others • Greater understanding of emotions and its connection to illness. • Psychosomatic diseases. • Helps to manage your own behaviour and feelings.