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Psychology: Introduction and History

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  1. Psychology: Introduction and History

  2. What is Psychology? http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/intro-to-psychology.html Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. “Psychology” has its roots in the Greek words of “psyche,” or mind, and “-ology,” or a field of study.” Psychology’s domain extends across both directly observable behaviors and internal mental processes that are not observable

  3. Observable vs. Not Observable Some behavior is observable Example: slamming on brakes when an animal runs in front of the car. Other behavior, like thoughts of hunger, cannot be readily observed Thus, psychologists develop hypotheses to explain behavior and design experiments and observations to test the hypotheses ..\..\RealPlayer Downloads\best tv ad - blind date fart.flv

  4. The Scientific Method The science of psychology is based on objective, verifiable evidence obtained using the scientific method. The Empirical Approach Standard for all psychological research Uses a set of standards to conduct a study which emphasizes careful observation and scientifically based research.

  5. Questions 1. What is Psychology? 2. What are observable behaviors? 3. What are some examples of behaviors that are not observable? 4. Why is it important to use the empirical approach?

  6. Real Psychology vs. Pseudo-psychology? Psychology is NOT mere speculation about human nature, nor is it folk wisdom about people that “everybody knows” to be true In fact, there are many “commonsense” ideas that psychological science has shown to be false

  7. Pseudo-psychology- the phony or unscientific psychology which pretends to be the real thing. Negative Effects of Pseudo-psychology: 1. People believe the fake psychology and miss out on real psychological insights which are more helpful and interesting. Ex. Confirmation bias: Paying attention to the events and evidence which confirm our desired beliefs and ignoring evidence that contradicts those beliefs. Astrology fans usually remember days when the horoscope was accurate but forget the days when it missed the mark 2. Pseudo-psychology produces fraud. (fortune tellers, astrologists, faith healers, etc.)

  8. 3. With increased incidents of fraud in the field of psychology, there is diminished public support for legitimate psychological science. 4. Potential for more serious harm Unfounded psychological beliefs can waste time, money, talent, and even lives Examples: False “recovered memories” of sexual abuse Presumption of female intellectual inferiority that keeps women out of “men’s jobs” Another example of pseudo-psychology was an autism treatment called Facilitated Communication.

  9. Facilitated Communication Autism treatment where a facilitator attempts to communicate with an autistic person Facilitator asks questions and then assists the person in responding by pointing to letters on a letter board. Who is really responding? After applying the scientific method to the practice, it was proved to be ineffective.

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  11. Psychology can be divided into three main branches • 1. Experimental Psychology • Psychologists who do the basic research in Psychology • Most are faculty members at colleges and universities • Also called Research Psychologists • Smallest of the three major branches • 2. Teachers of Psychology • This group overlaps with the experimentalists because most researchers also teach classes at the colleges where they conduct experiments • However, many Psychologists now are hired only to teach

  12. 3. Applied Psychology • This group uses the knowledge developed by experimental psychologists to address human problems • (training, equipment design, psychological treatment) • Work in schools, clinics, factories, social service agencies, airports, hospitals, and casinos • 64% of doctoral level psychologists in the U.S. work in this area of Psychology • Assignment: • Using the information on page 7 of your textbook, create a bubble map that shows the six most popular Applied Psychological Specialties and what those specialists do.

  13. Psychology vs. Psychiatry Psychiatry is a specialty in the medical field, not a part of psychology. Psychiatrists hold MDs and have specialized training in the treatment of mental and behavioral problems. Psychology is a much broader field which has many different specialties. When and Where did Psychology Start? Roots of Psychology can be traced back to the ancient Greeks The issues and ideas raised by the Greeks are similar to current theories Plato- first philosopher credited with the study of gaining knowledge

  14. Aristotle- developed theories of sensation, perception, cognition, memory, problem solving, and ethics The Four Humors Greeks felt everything was made up of 4 elements fire, air, water, earth Qualities of elements fire=warm, air=cold, water=moist, earth=dry Hippocrates, the “father of medicine” claimed that the human body had 4 components

  15. a. Blood-warm and moist b. Black bile- cold and dry c. Yellow bile- warm and dry d. Phlegm- cold and moist These components were known as the four humors If the humors were balanced properly, then the person was in good health Imbalance in the humors resulted in sickness Galen extended Hippocrates theory to include characteristics of human personalities

  16. a. Excess blood=hyperactive b. Excess black bile=sad, depressed c. Excess yellow bile= “hot tempered” d. Excess of phlegm= lazy and apathetic At nearly the same time, African and Asian societies were developing their own psychological ideas In Asia, Yoga and Buddhism explored consciousness and meditation In Africa, other explanations for personality and mental disorders were emerging from traditional spiritual beliefs But the Greeks are most responsible for influencing Western Psychology

  17. When the medieval church controlled Europe, clerics minimized inquiry into human nature For many years, churches felt the human mind, like that of God, was an unsolvable mystery. In the 17th C. the French philosopher Rene Descartes argued that human sensations and behaviors were based on activity in the nervous system. Despite this, Psychology would not become a distinct scientific discipline for another 200 years

  18. Modern Psychology Modern psychology developed from several conflicting ideas including structuralism, functionalism, Gestalt psychology, behaviorism and psychoanalysis.

  19. Wilhelm Wundt (Voont) was the first to declare himself a psychologist. • Wundt established an institute for psychological research in 1879

  20. Conducted studies on elements of consciousness: sensation, perception, memory, cognition, learning, emotion, and language Structuralism- devoted to uncovering the basic structures that make up mind and thought; studying of conscious experience Relied heavily on introspection Introspection- the process of reporting one’s own conscious mental experiences Critics objected to Wundt’s introspective method “How can we judge the accuracy of people’s description of their thoughts and feelings?”

  21. 2 Lessons from Necker Cube: Introspection Multiple Perspectives Psychologists today do rely on introspection for obtaining dream reports and evidence of perceptual changes The topics that Wundt first identified and explored are chapter titles in EVERY introductory Psychology text. The Necker Cube This cube will trick your brain. If you look at it for a few moments, it will suddenly seem to change perspectives.

  22. Questions 1. What would be the strengths/weaknesses of introspection? 2. What are some negative effects of Pseudo-Psychology? 4. What is the main difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist? 5. What group of people are most responsible for influencing Western Psychology? 6. Why is Wilhelm Wundt important?

  23. Functionalism One of the most vocal of Wundt’s critics was William James (U.S. psychologist) Believed Structuralism was boring Believed that psychology should look at function and not just structure Functionalism- A theory that emphasized the functions of consciousness and the ways consciousness helps people adapt to their environment.

  24. The parts of the functionalist view of psychology James believed psychology should explain how people adapted-or failed to adapt-to everyday life outside the laboratory. Wanted to see how people functioned in everyday life, not just in contrived situations. Believed that mental processes were not static. He described them as a “stream of consciousness.” Continuously changing and interacting with the environment

  25. Gestalt Psychology • Opposite of structuralism. Instead of looking at the individual parts, it wanted to examine the whole. • How do we construct “perceptual wholes”? • Ex. Recognizing a person’s face. • Gestalt psychology looked at how the brain works by studying perception and perceptual thinking. • Prominent Gestalt psychologists: • Max Wertheimer who studied visual illusions and ambiguous figures • Wolfgang Kohler who studied “insight learning” (sudden “Aha!” Experiences)

  26. Questions 1. What is the main focus of Gestalt Psychology? 2. What did William James think about Wundt’s theories? 3. What is functionalism? 4. What did William James believe about mental processes?

  27. Behaviorism Behaviorists disagreed with nearly everyone Believed consciousness should not be a part of Psychology at all John B. Watson argued that a true and objective science of psychology should only deal with observable events: stimuli from the environment and the organism’s response to that stimuli. Mind is a black box which could not be opened or understood. Since we can’t understand it, we should not try to guess what role it has in our actions. Actions were important, not thoughts Z:\Sheldon Shaping Penny in Big Bang Theory.mp4

  28. Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis is the brainchild of Sigmund Freud and his followers. Mental disorders resulted from conflicts of the unconscious mind. Freud believed behavior came from unconscious drives, conflicts and experience that we may not even have a memory of. Psychoanalysis is still a force in modern psychology Z:\Freud - Psychoanalysis.mp4 Z:\Psychoanalysis of the Grinch.mp4

  29. Psychology today arises from 9 main perspectives: • Biological • Developmental • Cognitive • Psychodynamic • Behavioral • Humanistic • Sociocultural • Evolutionary • Trait views • The historical perspectives were much easier to identify and explain, as they were cut and dry. • The modern perspectives are more convoluted and confusing and all have merit.

  30. Biological View Emphasizes how our physical make up and the operation of our brains influence our personality, preferences, behavior patterns, and abilities. Behavior is a result of heredity, functioning of the nervous system and endocrine system, and environmental impacts (insults) such as disease. Strong roots in medicine and biological science Neuroscience- devoted to understanding how the brain creates thoughts, feelings, motives, consciousness, memories, etc. Neuroscience is popular now due to advances in computers and brain-imaging techniques

  31. Within the biological view is the theory of evolutionary psychology. Relatively new specialty in Psychology Theory arose from the ideas of Charles Darwin. See behavior and mental processes in terms of their genetic adaptations for survival and reproduction…(survival of the fittest) Throughout history, individuals with the most adaptive mental and physical characteristics would survive Used to explain behavior such as warfare, homicide, and racial discrimination Genetic tendencies that once may have helped humans adapt and survive

  32. Developmental View Psychological change results from an interaction between heredity and environment This is the question of nature vs. nurture. What has a bigger impact on us, heredity or environment? Developmental Psychologists also study changes that occur as we grow older

  33. Cognitive View Our actions are a direct result of the way we process information from our environment. Cognitions are thoughts, expectations, perceptions, memories and states of consciousness. Combination of the best of structuralist, functionalist and gestalt theories and ideas.

  34. Questions 1. What two things do Developmental Psychologists study? 2. What are psychologists debating about in the Nature vs. Nurture debate? 3. Why is neuroscience so popular in this day and age? 4. What are cognitions? 5. What does the cognitive view state about our actions?

  35. Psychodynamic View Understanding mental disorders in terms of unconscious needs, desires, memories, and conflicts We are motivated by the energy of irrational desires generated in our unconscious minds. Approach is popular among Psychotherapists Sigmund Freud was the best known representative of this approach

  36. Freud said the mind is like a mental boiler which holds the rising pressure of unconscious sexual and destructive desires, along with memories of traumatic events. Z:\The Id_ Ego_ and Superego.mp4

  37. Humanistic Psychology A viewpoint which emphasizes human ability, growth, potential and free will. Much like the psychoanalytic perspective, it emphasizes our mental thoughts and process as the root of our behavior. It, however, emphasizes the positive side of human nature. It has received a lot of criticism because it is not the most “scientific.” Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers are the most famous humanistic psychologists Humanistic Psychologists have had a major impact on the practice of counseling and psychotherapy

  38. Behavioral View A viewpoint which finds the source of our actions in the environmental stimuli, rather than in inner mental processes. Behaviorists reject a science of inner experience They study people from the outside focusing only on what they can observe… The effects of people, objects, and events on behavior B.F. Skinner was the most influential American behaviorist

  39. Sociocultural View Emphasizes the importance of social interaction, social learning, and a cultural perspective. Culture: a complex blend of beliefs, customs, values and traditions developed by a group of people and shared with others in the same environment. For many years, psychology was blind to the influence of culture on people’s behavior. 30 years ago, 90% of psychologists were Caucasians from the U.S. and European university systems… groups with strikingly similar cultures.

  40. Questions 1. What is the mind like according to Freud? 2. What do Behaviorists believe? 3. Who was the most influential American behaviorist? 4. Why was Psychology blind to the influence of culture on behavior for so many years? 5. What is culture?

  41. Evolutionary/Sociobiological View of psychology that looks at individuals’ behaviors through the lens of natural selection. Behavior is adaptive and hereditary and cultural! In this theory, genetics are not used as a way to show how people are different, but rather the ways in which people have evolved. based on the arguments of Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Trait View Behavior and personality are the products of enduring psychological characteristics. Behavior results from a person’s unique combination of traits (mood swings, personality)

  42. Changes in Psychology In recent years, biological, cognitive and developmental perspectives have been gaining supporters. In that time, behaviorism, and psychoanalysts (Freudians) have been losing supporters

  43. Psychology Advertisements • Using the information from page 19, create an advertisement for your new psychology clinic. In the ad, describe the services of the different types of psychologists that work at your clinic. • Your clinic should include psychologists from four of the nine modern perspectives. Be sure to include descriptions of the four perspectives you choose in your ad. • When creating the ad, keep in mind the types of problems that people might want to bring to the clinic.

  44. Discovering Psychology • http://www.learner.org/series/discoveringpsychology/01/e01expand.html?pop=yes&pid=1498