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Introduction to Psychology PSYC 1101. Instructor: Dr. Wendy Wolfe. Psychology. Psychology: the study of behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and environment. Have you ever wondered….?.

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Introduction to Psychology PSYC 1101


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    1. Introduction to PsychologyPSYC 1101 Instructor: Dr. Wendy Wolfe

    2. Psychology • Psychology: the study of behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and environment.

    3. Have you ever wondered….? • Why people (yourself included) tend to act differently in groups • How habits develop and how to break them • Why we forget some things and remember others • Why drugs make us feel the way they do • How to build a better so that it’s more user-friendly • What dreams really mean • The ways that human behavior differs from animal behavior, and how it is similar • Why your partner/child/roommate/parents act the way they do (and how to get them to quit it)

    4. What’s the difference? • Psychology vs. Pop-psychology • Psychology vs. Pseudoscience • Psychology vs. Common Sense

    5. Is This Psychology?

    6. Is ThisPsychology?

    7. What’s the difference? • Psychology vs. Pop-psychology • Psychology vs. Pseudoscience • Psychology vs. Common Sense

    8. Is This Psychology?

    9. What’s the difference? • Psychology vs. Pop-psychology • Psychology vs. Pseudoscience • Psychology vs. Common Sense

    10. The Science of Psychology • Empiricism • The history of psychology before and after use of the scientific method • Trephination • Hippocrates • Descartes (dualism) • Joseph Gall (phrenology) • Wilhelm Wundt (structuralism) • William James (functionalism)

    11. Psychology’s Present • Biological Perspective – emphasizes the role of biology (physiology, genetics) on behavior and mental processes • How damage to different parts of the brain affects personality, behavior, learning ability, language • How genetics predispose us to develop certain personality traits, mental illness • Learning Perspective – emphasizes the role of the environment and our experiences on behavior and mental processes • How children adopt certain behaviors by imitating their parents (social-learning) or by parents directly rewarding those behaviors (behavioral) • Cognitive Perspective – emphasizes the role of cognitive processes on behavior and mental processes • If we believe we will fail, we may not even try • It is easier for us to remember/recall information that is consistent with our beliefs than information that is inconsistent with our beliefs

    12. Psychology’s Present (cont.) • Sociocultural Perspective – emphasizes the role of society/culture on behavior and mental processes • Technological advances in our culture (internet, gaming, cell phones) have affected our attention processes • Societal pressure for thinness has contributed to increased incidence rates of eating disorders • Psychodynamic Perspective: emphasizes the role of unconscious conflicts on behavior and mental processes • Humanistic: emphasizes free will, personal growth, and resilience

    13. Psychological Perspectives: Depression Example • Biological: abnormalities in neurotransmitters in the brain • Learning: depressive symptoms have been reinforced (rewarded) by the environment (e.g., getting to stay home from school because of feeling depressed) • Cognitive: negative, pessimistic thinking style • Socio-cultural: societal stress and role demands; modern culture has made us increasingly isolated • Psychodynamic: depression is due to unconsciously displacing anger towards your parent onto yourself • Humanistic: depression is due to being inauthentic or by being otherwise blocked in fulfilling your potential

    14. The profession of psychology: Two areas • Basic Psychology • Applied Psychology

    15. Differences Among Applied Psychologists in Field of Mental Health • Psychologists • Clinical • Counseling • School • Psychotherapists • Psychoanalysts • Psychiatrists

    16. Critical Thinking

    17. How to be a critical thinker: • Ask Questions – be curious • Define Your Terms – frame your question in concrete, measurable terms (operationalize) • Examine the Evidence – ask what evidence supports and refutes your hypothesis, conduct research or read about others who have tested your hypothesis, take into account the quality of the research • Analyze Assumptions and Biases – what assumptions might you be making or what biases do you have that narrows your view: acknowledge these and force yourself to expand your view • Avoid Emotional Reasoning – try to take your emotions out of your thinking (i.e., if you feel passionately that your view is correct it may cloud your judgment) • Don’t Oversimplify – don’t generalize from a single (or a few) cases or events • Consider Other Interpretations – force yourself to consider and test other explanations/hypotheses that are contrary to your own, but would also explain your observations • Tolerate Uncertainty – avoid drawing firm conclusions unless others have replicated your findings

    18. Name that Violation • Amelia has moved to a new city and, after a few weeks of settling in, has started to date. Her first three dates, with Mort, Mike, and Merv, are all disappointing. “This place has no interesting men,” she tells herself glumly. “I’ll never meet anyone I like.” • Bonnie believes creatures from outer space have been visiting Earth for thousands of years. “Look at those ancient structures and designs that scientists can’t explain,” she says. A friend calls her belief nonsense. “You can’t prove that extraterrestrials don’t exist,” replies Bonnie indignantly. • Susan is opposed to a proposed law that would forbid discrimination against homosexuals in housing and employment. “Every gay person I’ve met is unhappy and disturbed,” she says, “and I wouldn’t want to have to live near one.”

    19. Research

    20. Scientific Method • Careful Observation • Define variables in operational terms • Variable: anything that varies (weight, temperature, ratings on a stress survey) • Measurement • Variables have to be measured so that statistical tests can be used • Hypothesis Formation • Hypotheses are stated in such a way that they can be disproven (principal of falsifiability) • Experimentation • Evaluation

    21. Non-Experimental Versus Experimental Research

    22. What’s the Difference? • Experimental and non-experimental research are distinguished by the degree of control that the researcher has over the subjects and conditions in the study. • In non-experimental research, there is often careful observation and measurement, but in experimental research there is also random assignment and manipulation of a variable. • The increased control in experimental research allows you to infer causal relationships between variables.

    23. Non-Experimental Research: Methods for Gathering Information • Case Studies • Observational Studies* • Naturalistic • Laboratory • Psychological tests* • Surveys* * Can also be used in experiments

    24. Non-Experimental Research: Methods for Examining Information • Descriptive Statistics • Correlation = strength of a relationship between two variables • Positive vs. Negative Correlations = nature of relationship • Coefficient of Correlation = strength of relationship CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION

    25. Correlation Scatterplots

    26. Experimental Research • In experimental research, you manipulate one or more (independent) variables and observe the effect of this manipulation on one or more other (dependent) variables, while controlling for the influence of other (extraneous) variables. In this way, you can conclude that it was the effect of your independent variable that CAUSED the observed change in your dependent variable.

    27. Experimental Research • Independent and dependent variables • Experimental and control conditions • Random assignment • Placebo conditions (single-blind) • Control for experimenter effects (double-blind) • “Quasi-Experimental” Research

    28. Evaluating the findings: Statistics • Descriptive Statistics • Measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode) • Measures of variability (standard deviation, variance) • Inferential Statistics • Meta-analysis

    29. Personality

    30. How do we become who we are?

    31. Personality • Personality: the distinctive pattern of behavior, mannerisms, thoughts, and emotions that characterizes an individual over time • Someone’s personality is comprised of various traits • Traits: habitual ways of behaving, thinking, and feeling (e.g., confident, pessimistic)

    32. Psychodynamic Theories • Emphasis on unconscious intrapsychic dynamics • Belief in the importance of early childhood • Belief that development occurs in fixed stages • Focus on fantasies and symbolic meanings of events • Reliance on subjective rather than objective methods of assessment

    33. Psychoanalytic Theory (Sigmund Freud)

    34. The Structure of Personality • Id: Operates according to the pleasure principle • Primitive and unconscious part of personality • Ego: Operates according to the reality principle • Mediates between id and superego • Superego: Moral ideals and conscience

    35. Defense Mechanisms • Repression: Threatening idea is blocked from consciousness • Projection: Unacceptable feelings are attributed to someone else • Displacement: Directing emotions toward objects or people that aren’t the real target • Reaction Formation: A feeling that produces anxiety is transformed into its opposite. • Sublimation: Channeling unacceptable feelings or impulses in a socially acceptable way. • Regression: A person reverts to a previous phase of psychological development. • Denial: A person refuses to admit that something is unpleasant.

    36. Which defense mechanism? • 1. George feels that his younger son, Gary, is unattractive and not very smart. He accuses his wife of picking on Gary and favoring their other son. ________________ • 2. Many people who were interred in concentration camps were unable to recall events that happened in the camp during their internment. ______________________ • 3. Mark behaves like a stereotypical “he-man,” but he is actually anxious and insecure about his gender identity. __________________ • 4. Trixie was homesick and anxious when she moved into the dormitory and started her first year in college. She began to sleep with her old teddy bear again because it made her feel better. __________________ • 5. Patricia has a lot of anger at the way her verbally and physically abusive father treated her during her childhood. She has never confronted him about this. However, she has written a best-selling novel in which parent-child conflict is a major theme. ___________________ • 6. Most people who know Jonathan know that he is gay. However, his mother stopped speaking to her best friend because the friend told her that “parents should recognize and accept homosexuality in their children.” _______________ • 7. Michael is probably the biggest gossip in the office, but he frequently accuses others of talking too much and spreading rumors. _______________

    37. Psychosexual Stages of Development • Oral: birth – 1 yr • Anal: 2-3 • Phallic (oedipal): 3-5/6 • Latency: 5/6-puberty • Genital: puberty-adulthood

    38. Other Psychodynamic Theories • Jungian: collective unconscious • Object Relations: attachment • Other Neo-Freudians: • Emphasis on ego development • Development throughout the lifespan • Role of other relationships

    39. Humanistic View • Abraham Maslow: personality gradually develops towards self-actualization • Carl Rogers: our inner experience of ourselves may differ from what we show others • Rollo May (existentialist): in confronting issues such as death and searching for the meaning of life, we may discover inner resources of strength or be overcome by fear/anxiety, which is reflected in our personality as it evolves over our lifetime

    40. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

    41. Trait Theory • Extroversion vs. Introversion (53%) • Neuroticism vs. Emotional Stability (41%) • Agreeableness vs. Antagonism (41%) • Conscientiousness vs. Impulsiveness (44%) • Openness to experience vs. resistance to new experience (61%)

    42. Nature vs. Nurture The role of genetics versus learning experiences and cultural influences on personality development

    43. Nature vs. Nurture: Nature • Infant Temperament • Heritability Research • Adoption studies • Twin studies • Personality = 50% heritability

    44. Nature vs. Nurture: Nurture • Learning Perspective (Behaviorism) • Personality consists of habits that have been shaped by the environment through classical and operant conditioning • Social Learning • Unlike behaviorism, social learning allows for observational learning • Social learning also involves the notion of reciprocal determinism • Parent and Peer Influences • Cultural Influences • Individualist cultures • Collectivist cultures

    45. John B. Watson - Behaviorist Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified 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, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years.(1930)

    46. Individualistic Cultures: “I” identity Uniqueness valued Dependency is negative Promotion of individual needs/goals Valued traits: assertiveness, strength, competitiveness Collectivistic Cultures: “We” identity Conformity valued Co-dependency positive Promotion of group needs valued (promotion of individual needs is shameful) Valued traits: honesty, generosity, sensitivity Culturally Informed Personality Traits

    47. How do we become who we are?

    48. Developmental Psychology