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Thinking Critically With Psychological Science

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1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science
PowerPoint® Presentation by Jim Foley Thinking Critically With Psychological Science © 2013 Worth Publishers

2 Module 1: The History and Scope of Psychology

3 Topics and Questions Psychology is about understanding mind, self, and others. The origins and growth of psychology, from questions to a science The big question: do our human traits develop through experience (nurture), or are we born with them (nature)? Psychology’s biopsychosocial levels of analysis Psychology’s subfields Applying psychology to learning the text: SQ3R Bring your curiosity to class, with questions like: How do I explain dreams? Anxiety? The abilities and funny behavior of babies? How can I learn to use my mind to be more successful in my life? To be more effective in helping others? Click to reveal all bullets. Instructor: Of course, it would be good to see what questions your students have. You can ask what their favorite item was from the examples given by Myers, some of which are implied in the more general questions above. Another question relating to the nature/nurture debate: How much of my identity, my traits, my moods, and my behavior is influenced by my genes? How much of these are produced by conditioning and other experiences?

4 From speculation to science: The Birth of Modern Psychology
Aristotle (4th century BCE) had ideas about how the body and mind work. His method: making guesses. Wilhelm Wundt ( ) added two key elements to help make psychology a science: carefully measured observations experiments Click to reveal information about Aristotle. Instructor: a comment you can make along with this slide: Obviously, people thought about the nature of behavior and the mind in the 2,000 years between Aristotle and Wilhelm Wundt. However, in this class, we are mostly concerned with psychological thinkers and ideas of the last two centuries. Click to reveal information about Wundt. Instructor: Below are these two points stated in more detail: 1) Carefully measured observations are detailed enough to measure “the atoms of the mind” (basic human mental processes). 2) Experiments refer to controlled activities allowing psychologists to study one “atom” (mental process) well.

5 Why were the times different?
Wilhelm Wundt’s 1879 experiment measured the time it took for people to: Push a button when a ball dropped (based on when they heard the ball hit a platform): 1/10th of a second. Push a button when consciously aware of hearing the ball hit the platform: 2/10ths of a second. Why were the times different? Click to reveal two parts of experiment and again for the question. Instructor: You could try to get discussion going on whether our conscious choice of pushing a button is just an illusion of choice that happens after the fact. However, the real issue is that the delay is caused by the time it takes, however small, to consciously form an idea that a sound has been heard. Still, you can use this to highlight the limited value of introspection… coming up next.

6 Structuralism Edward Titchener, like his teacher Wundt, used data from introspection, reporting on sensations and other elements of experience. Structuralism: Using these introspective reports to build a view of the mind’s structure Click to reveal bullets. Instructor: You might add that “Unfortunately, Titchener’s structuralism was built on unreliable data that might not generalize to all people. And he couldn’t build the whole mind from these parts.”

7 Functionalism: The school of thought that Psychological processes have a function: helping us survive as individuals, adapt as a species The developer of functionalism, William James ( ), asked: How did the human style of thinking and behavior enable our ancestors to live long enough to reproduce? James mentored another pioneer Click to reveal bullets. Instructor: The functionalist approach, closely related to evolutionary thinking and sometimes presented as the evolutionary approach, will come up many times in the text. Examples: Anxiety may have helped ancestors avoid dangers and plan to prevent future dangers. Getting conditioned to phobically avoid food after one experience is good for not getting poisoned. The bullet points with more detail: William James developed functionalism: studying human thoughts, feelings and behaviors and asking: What function might it serve? How might it have helped our ancestors to survive long enough to pass on these traits? He spent 12 years writing Principles of Psychology, a summary of the new science (1890, but ideas still used). William James

8 Psychology Pioneers Mary Whiton Calkins ( ) became a memory researcher and the first female president of the APA. She studied with William James but was denied a Harvard PhD. Why? Because of her gender. Click to reveal bullets. Calkins studied with William James but was denied a Harvard PhD because of her gender. She declined a degree offered by Radcliffe College. She taught at Wellesley College from 1891 to 1929. APA = American Psychological Association. The “experimental psychology organization” was similar in mission to today’s Association for Psychological Science. Mary Whiton Calkins

9 Margaret Floy Washburn, PhD
Psychology Pioneers Margaret Floy Washburn ( ): The first female to earn a Psychology PhD The second female APA president Author of The Animal Mind. Click to reveal bullets. Margaret Floy Washburn, PhD

10 Shifting definitions of “psychology”
Now we combine these definitions: “The science of behavior and mental processes.” Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener, around 1900: “The science of mental life.” John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner, behaviorists, 1920’s: “The scientific study of observable behavior.” Cognitive psychologists, 1960’s, studied internal mental processes, helped by neuroscience. Click to show each stage, then click again to show the combined definition. Mention that there will be more on these later, especially behaviorists when we study Learning.

11 Trends in Psychological Science: Behaviorism
John B. Watson Behaviorists study and experiment with observable behavior. Watson experimented with conditioned responses. Skinner studied the way consequences shape behavior. Like other behaviorists, he saw little value in introspection. B. F. Skinner Click to reveal information about Watson and then Skinner. You can remind your students that we will be learning more about behaviorist study of human behavior in Chapter 7 on Learning.

12 Trends in Psychology: Freudian/Psychoanalytic Psychology
Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis: He studied and helped people with a variety of mental disorders. More about Freud when we study personality and therapy Click to reveal more information about Freud. Instructor: you could mention that there will be more info on these later in the course, both in the study of personality and the study of psychotherapy.

13 Trends in Psychology: Humanism
Abraham Maslow Humanists: Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers (1960s): studied people who were thriving rather than those who had psychological problems. developed theories and treatments to help people to feel accepted and to reach their full potential. Click to reveal more information about Maslow and Rogers. Instructor: You could mention that there will be more info on these later in the course, both in the study of personality and the study of psychotherapy. Carl Rogers

14 The Growth of Psychology
Psychology’s pioneers have come from many fields: physiology, philosophy, medicine, and biology. Advances in psychology also have been made in many countries Psychology has spread rapidly; there are 71 member nations in the IUPS. Click to reveal bullets. First bullet details: physiology (Wilhelm Wundt, Ivan Pavlov), philosophy (William James), medicine (Sigmund Freud), and biology (Jean Piaget). Second bullet: National origins of the same men: Switzerland, America, Austria, Russia IUPS = the International Union of Psychological Science. The subjects studied in psychology have multiplied too… as we shall see in this course.

15 The Big Issue in Psychology: N-N
The Nature- Nurture Question: To what extent are our traits already set in place at birth (our “Nature”)? And to what extent do our traits develop in response to our environment/ experience (our “Nurture”)? Click to reveal text.

16 Plato: Ideas such as “the good” and “beauty” are inborn.
Aristotle: All knowledge comes through the senses. Descartes: Some ideas are innate. Nature Nurture vs. Charles Darwin: Some traits become part of our nature through natural selection: they help us survive long enough to pass the traits to the next generation. John Locke: The mind is a blank slate (blank chalkboard or screen) “written on” by experience. Click to reveal five bubbles of different perspectives.

17 We have differences that are shaped by our environment.
We share a common origin that gives us an inborn human nature in common. We have differences that are shaped by our environment. Nature + Nurture Click to reveal the new nature and nurture bubbles. This interplay of nature and nurture may be more complex in humans than any other species. Another way of looking at this, suggested in the text: Behaviors can be seen as “pushed” (constrained, really) by biology, and “pulled” (influenced) by the environment.

18 The Roles of Nature and Nurture:
No animation. “Nurture works on what Nature endows.”

19 Biology Plus Environment..
are part of psychology’s three “biopsychosocial” levels of analysis. The outer level, Environment: social Influences, culture, education, relationships The deep level, Biology: genes, brain, neuro-transmitters, survival, reflexes, sensation In the middle, Psychology: thoughts, emotions, moods, choices, behaviors, traits, motivations, knowledge, perceptions Click to reveal three levels.

20 The three levels as influences on some psychological phenomenon
Example: Depression Example: Enjoying Soccer Example: Intelligence Example: Shyness Click to start animation example.

21 Cognitive perspective
There are many perspectives for describing psychological phenomena: From different angles, you ask different questions: Cognitive perspective Social-cultural Behavioral genetics Neuroscience Psychodynamic Behaviorist Evolutionary How reliable is memory? How can we improve our thinking? Could our behavior, skills, and attitudes be “downloads” from our culture? Could our behavior, skills, and attitudes be genetically programmed instincts? What role do our bodies and brains play in emotions? How is pain inhibited? Can we trust our senses? Click to reveal each box of questions. Do inner childhood conflicts still plague me and affect my behavior? How are our problematic behaviors reinforced? How do our fears become conditioned? What can we do to change these fears and behaviors? Why are humans prone to panic, anger, and making irrational judgments?

22 Different perspectives on a single issue: Six Blind Men and an Elephant
No animation. Instructor: This slide illustrates the results of taking only one perspective on an issue. The image refers to the “Six Blind Men and the Elephant,” a poem by John Saxe ( ) based on an ancient Indian folktale. The parable illustrates how people with limited perspective can be mistaken if they feel they have the whole picture, seeing the elephant as a rope, wall, tree trunk, fan, spear, and snake. Image (c) Jason Hunt

23 Let’s play: “What’s my perspective?”
“Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a problem in the orbital cortex.” “Compulsions start as habits and are rewarded by the anxiety relief they bring.” “No, it’s a sign of unresolved childhood issues.” “OCD comes from our natural instinct to control our environment.” “No, OCD is an inherited condition.” Automatic animation. Instructor: This would be “The Seven Psychologists and the client with OCD.” Ask the students if they can identify the perspective used in making the comments. I have created a different example than the “anger” one found in the book. I have color-coded the statements so students can call out suggestions by color, “the orange one is…” The answers: Orange: Neuroscience, Magenta: Psychodynamic, Blue: Behavior Genetics, Black: Behaviorist, Brown: Evolutionary, Gray: Social-Cultural, Green: Cognitive. “OCD thinking and behavior is a reaction to our fast-paced, out-of-control lifestyles.” “No, OCD is a matter of mental habits and errors that can be corrected.”

24 Psychology’s Subfields
Basic research Biological Developmental Cognitive Personality Social Positive Psychology Applied Clinical Psychology Counseling Psychology Educational Psychology Industrial-Organizational Community Psychology No animation. Instructor: This slide lists categories that are covered in more depth in the next two slides.

25 Psychology’s Subfields Research Examples
Type of research Biological Developmental Cognitive Personality Social Positive Psychology Explore the structural problems in the brain that may be part of autism Study how the stages of cognitive and emotional development vary in autism Clarify the difficulties autistic children have with understanding sarcasm Decide whether traits like neuroticism need to be measured differently in autism Click to reveal an example for each type of research. Find how autistic children can learn social skills as procedures if not by intuition Explore what motivates people and contributes to life satisfaction

26 Psychology’s Subfields Applied
Clinical Psychology Counseling Psychology Educational Psychology Industrial-Organizational Community Psychology Use exposure therapy to decrease phobic reactions in a traumatized client Help someone achieve career goals despite family conflict and self-doubt Evaluate aptitudes and achievement to plan for a student with learning problems Figure out how a factory can improve coordination of tasks, roles, and personalities Click to reveal an example of each type of applied psychology. Instructor: This slide lists categories that are covered in more depth in the next two slides. Help coordinate a city’s efforts to understand and prevent elder abuse Use exposure therapy to decrease phobic reactions in a traumatized client

27 Psychology in context with other professions
Psychiatrists are physicians, M.D.s or D.O.s. They can prescribe medication. In addition to psychologists, professionals in social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy may be trained to do psychotherapy. Click to reveal two bubbles. Instructor: Below is the content of this slide in more detail, for your lecture/discussion: Psychiatrists are physicians, M.D.s or D.O.s. Unlike psychologists in most states, psychiatrists can prescribe medication. In addition to psychologists, the marriage and family therapy, counseling, and social work professions include people with a Master’s degree who can diagnose and treat mental disorders, although they are usually not trained to do intelligence testing.

28 An Application of Psychology: Improving your test performance
Scientific studies show us that: Testing yourself boosts retention of material. The retrieval practice effect/testing effect Actively processing material helps master it. Put it in your own words, make connections Spaced rehearsal, interspaced with other subjects, is more efficient than cramming. Click to reveal each study result and advice that goes with it. Spread studying over multiple days People tend to overestimate their mastery. If the concept looks familiar… not good enough

29 Applying this knowledge: Use SQ3R to master a textbook
Survey Scan/Skim what you are about to read, especially chapter outlines and section heads. Question Ask questions that the text might answer; write guesses. Read Look for the answer to your questions, reading a manageable amount at a time. Click to reveal explantion of each step. 4th, Bonus “R”: wRiting new concepts, answers, reactions, connections. Rehearse Recall what you’ve read in your own words. Test yourself with quizzes. Review Look over text and notes and quickly review the main ideas of the whole chapter.

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