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Intro. to Psychology. Mr. Cameron – Jeannette Senior High School. Why Study Psychology?. Psychology – the scientific study of behavior and mental processes Behavior – any action that other people can observe or measure Examples: Walking, talking, eating, pressing a button

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intro to psychology

Intro. to Psychology

Mr. Cameron – Jeannette Senior High School

why study psychology
Why Study Psychology?
  • Psychology – the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
  • Behavior – any action that other people can observe or measure
  • Examples:
  • Walking, talking, eating, pressing a button
  • Heart rate, blood pressure, brain activity
behavior and mental processes
Behavior and Mental Processes
  • Cognitive activities – private, unobservable mental processes such as sensation, perception, thought, and problem solving
  • Dreams, perceptions, thoughts, and memories
  • Brain waves that indicate dreaming can be measured
  • Cell activity in an eye responding to color can be measured
behavior and mental processes1
Behavior and Mental Processes
  • Psychologists also want to measure emotions
  • Emotions affect behavior and mental processes
  • Emotions must be studied through psychological constructs
  • Psychological constructs – concepts that enable a person to discuss something that cannot be seen, touched , or measured directly
goals of psychology
Goals of Psychology
  • Observe behavior and mental processes to gain a better understanding
  • Enables psychologists to describe, explain, predict, and control behavior
  • Dealing with anxiety
  • Positive visualization
psychology as a science
Psychology as a Science
  • Psychology is a social science (sociology, history)
  • Closely tied to natural sciences (biology, physics)
  • Answer questions by following scientific research steps
  • 1. Conducting surveys and experiments
  • 2. Collecting and analyzing data
  • 3. Drawing conclusions
psychological theories
Psychological Theories
  • Psychologists organize their research into theories
  • Theory – Statement that attempts to explain why things are the way they are & happen the way they do
  • Discuss principals that govern behavior and mental processes
  • Principals – Rule or law
areas of psychology
Areas of Psychology
  • 1. Clinical Psychologists
  • Make up the largest group of psychologists
  • Help people with psychological problems
areas of psychology1
Areas of Psychology
  • 2. Counseling Psychologists
  • Use interviews and tests to identify problems
  • Treat people who have adjustment problems
areas of psychology2
Areas of Psychology
  • 3. School Psychologists
  • Aid students with problems that interfere with learning
  • 4. Educational Psychologists
  • Focus on course planning and instructional methods
areas of psychology3
Areas of Psychology
  • 5. Developmental Psychologists
  • Study changes that occur throughout a person’s life (behavior, thoughts, feelings)
areas of psychology4
Areas of Psychology
  • 6. Social Psychologists
  • Study people’s behavior in social situations
  • Physical and psychological factors of attraction
  • Ways men and women behave in situations
  • Reasons people conform to group standards
  • How behavior changes when in a group
areas of psychology5
Areas of Psychology
  • 7. Forensic Psychologists
  • Testify about the psychological competence of a defendant
history of psychology
History of Psychology
  • Began as part of philosophy
  • Wilhelm Wundt “father of psychology”
  • Studied conscious experiences
  • Sensations, images, feelings?
  • Observed and measured stimuli
  • Stimuli = lights, sounds, pain
  • Stimulus – physical energy that evokes a sensory response
  • Wundt also used “introspection”
  • Introspection is “looking inward”
  • Basic elements of consciousness:
  • 1. Objective sensations
  • 2. Subjective feelings
  • Structuralism – Human mind functions by combining these basic elements of experience (Objective and Subjective)
  • Developed by William James
  • How the mind functions to help us survive and adapt
  • Influenced by Charles Darwin (natural selection)
  • James wanted to know how the mind helps us adapt
  • Adaptive behavior is learned because it is successful
  • Adaptive (successful) behavior is repeated and eventually becomes a habit…studying = success!
  • Behaviorism – Study of observable behavior
  • John B. Watson…introspection was “unscientific”
  • Observed the relationship between stimuli and an animal’s response (can’t ask animals questions)
  • Used Pavlov’s idea of conditioning to explain behavior
  • Conditioned response – learned behavior to a particular stimulus
john b watson
John B. Watson
  • “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own special world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, beggarman and thief”
b f skinner
B.F. Skinner
  • Believed behavior is controlled by positive reinforcements (rewards)
  • Worked with animals, ideas applied to humans
  • If rewarded, an animal is more likely to perform act
  • People behave in certain ways because they have been reinforced for doing so
gestalt school
Gestalt School
  • Gestalt is German for “form, pattern, or whole”
  • Gestalt psychologists studied thinking, learning, and perception in whole units, not by analyzing experiences into parts
gestalt school1
Gestalt School
  • Playing the same song on a guitar and on the drums
  • Playing a song with only one note per hour
  • Perception is affected by the context in which it appears
  • The human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts
  • Emphasized unconscious motives and internal conflicts in determining human behavior
  • Believed that mental life is like an iceberg…huh?
  • Unconscious – Area of the mind that lies outside of our personal awareness
  • Our behavior is deeply influenced by unconscious thoughts, impulses, and desire…especially those concerning sex and aggression
  • Freud theorized that many unconscious thoughts are threatening, so they are repressed
  • Repressed – Restrained, held out of awareness
  • Unconscious thoughts are revealed by dreams, emotions, and slips of the tongue
  • Believed all thoughts, emotions, etc. are determined
  • There are no accidents, every thought has a cause!
  • Freud was one of the first psychologists to appreciate that childhood affects adult personality
  • “The child is father to the man”…what does this mean?
  • Known for creating psychoanalysis, “talking therapy”
  • Gained his understanding of behavior through meetings
  • Theorized that behavior is aimed at satisfying needs / desires
  • Help people find socially acceptable ways of meeting needs
contemporary perspectives
Contemporary Perspectives
  • The study of psychology has changed over the years
  • Theories of Skinner and Watson have been modified
  • Many contemporary psychoanalysts do not use the same methods as Sigmund Freud
  • New perspectives still use historical traditions of psych
  • Each perspective emphasizes different topics/approaches
biological perspective
Biological Perspective
  • Emphasizes the influence of biology on our behavior
  • Assume our mental processes (thoughts, fantasies, & dreams) are made possible by the nervous system
  • Look for connections between events in the brain
  • Study brain activity when listening to music,solving problems, experiencing psychological disorders
  • Interested in the influences of hormones and genes
hormones and genes
Hormones and Genes
  • Hormones – Chemicals that glands release into the bloodstream to set in motion body functions
  • Body functions can include growth or digestion
  • Genes – Basic unit of heredity
  • Biological psychologists study the influence of genes on personality traits, psychological health, as well as various behavior patterns
evolutionary perspective
Evolutionary Perspective
  • Focuses on the evolution of behavior and mental processes
  • Darwin believed that the most-adaptive organisms have a greater chance of surviving to maturity
  • People who are resistant to certain diseases are more likely to transmit those genes to future generations
  • Behavior (aggression) have a hereditary basis
cognitive perspective
Cognitive Perspective
  • Emphasize the role thoughts play in behavior
  • Study mental processes to understand human nature
  • Look at the ways people perceive information, make mental images, solve problems, and dream
  • Cognitive psych. study the mind
humanistic perspective
Humanistic Perspective
  • Stresses the human capacity for self-fulfillment and the importance of consciousness, self-awareness, and the capacity to make choices
  • Considers people’s personal experiences to be the most important aspect of psychology
  • Unlike behaviorists (stimuli acting upon us) believe that we are free to choose our own behavior
  • View people as basically good & desiring to help others
psychoanalytic perspective
Psychoanalytic Perspective
  • Stresses the influence of unconscious forces on human behavior
  • Focus less on unconscious sexual and aggressive impulses
  • Focus more on conscious choice and self-direction
learning perspective
Learning Perspective
  • Emphasizes the effects of experience on behavior
  • Social learning theory – People can change their environments or create new ones
  • Behavior is learned either from direct experience or by observing other people
  • We learn to act hostile/friendly based on the situation
sociocultural perspective
Sociocultural Perspective
  • Studies the influence of ethnicity, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status on behavior and mental processes
  • Helps people appreciate the cultural heritages and historical issues of various ethnic groups
  • Ethnic groups – United by heritage, race, language, and history
  • Sociocultural theorists also study gender
sociocultural perspective1
Sociocultural Perspective
  • Gender is not simply a matter of being male or female
  • Involves cultural expectations and social roles
  • These can affect self-concepts, aspirations, & behavior
  • Sociocultural psychology addresses the similarities and differences between men and women
  • As of 2005, women made up 72% of psychology PhD’s