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Psychology…What is it?. Where did it come from?. What is Psychology?. study of behavior and mental processes What’s a mental process ?. Psychology is a Science. Empirical approach Think critically “Show me the evidence”. Psychology is a Science. Mind and Body are One Spiritual

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Psychology what is it

Psychology…Whatis it?

Where did it come from?

Psychology what is it

What is Psychology?

  • study of behavior and mental processes

  • What’s a mental process?

Psychology is a science
Psychology is a Science

  • Empirical approach

  • Think critically

    “Show me the evidence”

Psychology is a science1
Psychology is a Science

Mind and Body are One

  • Spiritual

  • Physical Body influences:

    • Mental processes

    • Emotion

    • Perceptions

    • Feelings

Mind is Like a Blank Slate

  • All behavior is a result of experiences

Historical roots
Historical Roots

Socrates (469-399 B.C.) and Plato (428-348 B.C.)



Emotions distort thinking

Perceptions are interpretations of our environment

Mind & body are distinct. Ideas are inborn.

Psychology what is it

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

Mind & body are the same.

We do not have ideas inborn.

Knowledge (ideas) grow from experience.

Other contributions
Other Contributions

  • Renee Descartes – agreed with Socrates and Plato

    -Mind and body are separate

    -Ideas are inborn

  • Francis Bacon – interested in the human mind’s failings and tried to explain them scientifically

Psychology what is it

  • Empiricism

    • knowledge comes from experience via the senses

    • science flourishes through observation and experiment

Psychology s roots
Psychology’s Roots

Wilhelm Wundt opened the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig (c. 1879)

The growth of psychology
The Growth of Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt

Structuralism used introspection (looking in) to explore the elemental structure of the human mind


    Elements of the mind are like the periodic table

    • Focus on components

    • Not what it does


Edward Bradford Titchner

Student of Wundt

Developed idea of Introspection


Thinking which takes place while behaving

  • Self reflection

  • Feelings while responding

  • Sensations

Structuralism continued

  • broken into 2 parts

    • Objective sensations

    • Subjective feelings


Psychology what is it

Use introspection- look and report what we see.

Sense the world not how it really is but how we perceive it to be by adding our own interpretations.

Growth of psychology
Growth of Psychology

William James establishes

Functionalism – tries to understand

the purpose or function of behavior

  • Consciousness is continuous

  • Influenced by Darwin – natural selection

  • Used pragmatism – practical consequences

  • or practical value of a behavior

Growth of psychology women in psychology
Growth of Psychology : Women in Psychology

  • Mary Calkins (functionalist)

    • Student of William James

    • 1890 admitted into Harvard graduate studies for Ph.D. by James

    • All other students drop studies

    • Finished Ph.D. and outscored all males

    • Harvard denied Ph.D.

    • First woman Pres. APA

  • Margaret Floy Washburn


    -Student of E.B. Titchner

    (Cornell University)

    -1st Female to receive Ph.D.

    -2nd woman Pres. APA

Growth of psychology behaviorism
Growth of PsychologyBehaviorism

Behaviorism – studies behavior that is observable, examines environmental influences

Places little value on mental processes

John Watson B.F.Skinner

Growth of psychology continued
Growth of Psychology continued

Gestalt Psychology

Max Wertheimer Wolfgang Kohler

- whole is greater than the sum of its


Perspectives used today
Perspectives used today

  • Neuroscience

  • Evolutionary

  • Behavior Genetics

  • Psychodynamic

  • Behavioral

  • Cognitive

  • Sociocultural

Neuroscience perspective
Neuroscience perspective

  • Physical make up and operation of our brains

  • Causes linked to heredity, neurotransmitters, endocrine system

  • Emotions, memories and sensory experiences – body &

    brain link

Evolutionary perspective
Evolutionary Perspective

  • Factors that are passed down to aid survival

    • Fears, senses, promiscuity

    • Focus on the past

Behavior genetics perspective
Behavior Genetics perspective

  • Genes and environment and operation of our brains influence us

  • Individuality from the combination of genes and environment

    • I.Q.

    • Personality

    • Sexual Orientation

Psychodynamic perspective
Psychodynamic Perspective


  • Motivated by irrational desires

    • In unconscious mind

      • Holds memories of traumatic experiences

      • Stems from childhood

      • Emphasizes treatment of disorders over scientific research (why?)

Behavioral perspective
Behavioral Perspective

  • Study observable behavior


  • Environmental cause, rewards & punishments

Cognitive perspective
Cognitive Perspective

  • Interpreting our experiences

    • Thoughts, expectations, memories, decisions

    • Remembering

    • Problem Solving

Sociocultural perspective
Sociocultural Perspective

  • Zimbardo, Ashe, Milgram

  • Behavior influenced by culture, norms, expectation.

  • Social influence

  • Cultural differences

Questions for review
Questions for Review

  • The statement “Behavior has developed over eons of time” most directly reflects the perspective of ____________.

  • Wundt’s technique of reporting one’s conscious mental experiences is known as _____________.

  • The perspective that asserts behavior is shaped by experience is ______________.




What do psychologists do
What do psychologists do?

  • Not all are therapists

  • Three ways of doing psychology

    • Experimental psychologists-researchers

      do research, work at colleges

      -- Teachers of psychology-academic

      me- community colleges and universities

      -- Applied psychologists-practioners

      use info gathered by the experimenters

Some applied psychological specialties
Some Applied Psychological Specialties

  • Developmental Psychology

  • Personality Psychology

  • Clinical and Counseling Psychology

  • Social Psychology

  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology

1 developmental psychology
1. Developmental Psychology

  • Study of physical and mental growth from birth to old age

  • Subfields

    • Child psychology

    • Adolescent psychology

    • Life-span psychology

2 personality psychology
2. Personality Psychology

  • Study of how people differ from one another on traits such as

    • Anxiety

    • Sociability

    • Self-esteem

    • Need for achievement

    • Aggressiveness

3 clinical and counseling psychology
3.Clinical and Counseling Psychology

  • Clinical psychologists

    • More severe disorders, hospital or long-term setting

  • Counseling psychologists

    • Adjustment, relationships, stress

Clinical psychology vs psychiatry
Clinical Psychology vs. Psychiatry

A clinical psychologist (Ph.D.) uses psychotherapy (talk therapy) to help with adjustment and stress.

Psychiatrists (M.D.) who can prescribe drugs and psychotherapy to treat psychologically diseased patients.

4 social psychology
4. Social Psychology

  • Study of how people influence one another

  • Topics include:

    • First impressions

    • Interpersonal attraction

    • Attitude formation

    • Prejudice

    • Behavior in a group

5 industrial and organizational psychology
5.Industrial and Organizational Psychology

  • Study of psychological principles in industry and business

  • Examples

    • Selecting and training personnel

    • Productivity improvement

    • Working conditions

    • Impact of automation on workers

Questions for review1
Questions for Review

  • Dr. Smith works at a research facility where her team is trying to establish a link between a specific protein and a specific mental illness. Dr. Smith is engaged in which type of professional psychology? ___________

  • Dr. Lee is a medical doctor who works in a hospital setting and specializes in diagnosing and treating people with psychological disorders. His treatment included prescribing medicine. Dr. Lee is most likely a _____________.