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What is Psychology?. Outline Why Study Psychology? – Behavior and Mental Processes – The Goals of Psychology – Psychology as a Science The Job of a Psychologist.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Psychology?. Outline Why Study Psychology? – Behavior and Mental Processes – The Goals of Psychology – Psychology as a Science The Job of a Psychologist."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Psychology?

2 Outline Why Study Psychology? – Behavior and Mental Processes – The Goals of Psychology – Psychology as a Science The Job of a Psychologist – Fields Within Psychology – Applied Fields History of Psychology – Early Views – Major Players – Modern Psychology Psychology Today – Perspectives of Psychology – Perspectives Cont’d

3 Behavior and Mental Processes Psychology – scientific study of human behavior and mental process – Behavior – any action that can be observed or measured Cognitive activities – mental processes – Dreams, memories, etc. – Known only to the individual Psychological constructs – used to study things we cannot see, touch, or measure

4 The Goals of Psychology Explain behavior – Struggling with work/school – “Losing your cool” Predict situational outcomes – When will you begin to struggle/fall apart? Control emotions, behavior, etc. – How to maintain control in situations where you would have normally struggled

5 Psychology as a Science Closely related to natural sciences – Biology, chemistry, physics – Still, considered a social science Research – Surveys and experimentation – Human or animal research Theories – Statements attempting to explain why or how something occurs – Discuss principles, or basic truth or law – Useful theories can be applied in prediction

6 Fields Within Psychology Clinical – Most common – Child/adult mental health, learning disabilities – Not psychiatrists (medical doctors that can prescribe medicine) Counseling – Marriage, work, relationships School – Counselors in school – Future goals, peer/family problems, school issues

7 Field Within Psychology Cont’d Educational – Course planning and instructional methods for an entire school system Developmental – Changes throughout a person’s life span – Physical, emotional, cognitive, social Personality – Identification and development of human traits

8 Fields Within Psychology Cont’d Social – Behavior in social situations – Romance, conforming to standards, prejudice/discrimination Experimental – Experiments into basic processes of the human body – Combined changes in biological and psychological events – Engage in basic research, or research that has no immediate application and is done for its own sake

9 Applied Fields Industrial and Organizational – Behavior of people within organizations Human Factors – Best ways to design products for people to use Community – Design social centers like mental institutions, hospital and school programs

10 Applied Fields Cont’d Forensic – Work with police investigations Health – How behavior is related to physical health Rehabilitation – Work with patients struggling with the effects of a disability Cross-Cultural – Psychological issues across varying cultures

11 Exit Slip What are the primary goals of psychology? Select and describe one of the following fields in psychology: Clinical, Developmental, or Experimental Select and describe one of the following applied fields in psychology: Cross-Cultural, Industrial and Organizational, or Rehabilitation

12 Early Views Psychological studies date back to Egyptians – 600s B.C. by Psamtik I Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle – Introspection, or looking within – Associationism – our understanding of the world is associated with prior experiences Middle Ages – Believed many disorders to be caused by the devil – Lack of scientific focus meant deadly consequences for those deemed “possessed”

13 Major Players Wilhelm Wundt ( ) – Structuralism – consciousness breaks down into objective sensations and subjective feelings – Objective – portrayed outside world; Subjective – emotional responses and mental images William James ( ) – Functionalism – emphasizes the purpose of behavioral and mental processes and what they can do for the individual – Instead of looking for structure, wanted to know purpose

14 Major Players Cont’d Sigmund Freud ( ) – Psychoanalysis – unconscious motives and internal conflicts as reasons behind human actions – Wanted to unleash the power present in the unconscious mind – Also known as psychodynamic thinking, he argued that we are constantly fighting sexual and aggressive urges deemed socially inappropriate

15 Modern Psychology John B. Watson ( ) – Behaviorism – Scientific study of observable behavior – If psychology is to be a science, it must be limited to measurable events B.F. Skinner ( ) – Contributed to behaviorism with concept of reinforcement – Rewarding people or animals for doing the correct thing The Gestalt School – Gestalt Psychology – Emphasizes the tendency to organize perception of individual parts into meaningful wholes

16 Exit Slip Define Structuralism Define Functionalism Define Behaviorism

17 Perspectives of Psychology Biological – Biology influences behavior – Mental processes possible by nervous system, genes affect disorders, etc. Evolutionary – People learn behaviors in order to “adapt” to society Cognitive – Investigate the role of thought processes in human behavior

18 Perspectives Cont’d Humanistic – Personal experiences are the most important aspect of psychology Psychoanalytic – Unconscious parts of mind shape our responses – Pulls heavily from Sigmund Freud

19 Perspectives Cont’d Learning – Past experiences and environments impact behavior – Socio-learning theory states people can change their environment AND learn from others, not just their own mistakes Sociocultural – Effects of ethnicity, gender, culture, and socio-economic standing on behavior Biopsychosocial – Mental actions influenced by combination of biological, psychological, and social factors


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