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 “You’ll understand what life is if you think about the act of dying. When I die, how will I be different from the way I am right now? In the first moments.

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Presentation on theme: " “You’ll understand what life is if you think about the act of dying. When I die, how will I be different from the way I am right now? In the first moments."— Presentation transcript:


2  “You’ll understand what life is if you think about the act of dying. When I die, how will I be different from the way I am right now? In the first moments after death, my body will be scarcely different in physical terms than it was in the last seconds of life. At that moment, the psyche takes flight in the last breath.” Aristotle

3 The Story of Psychology The word psychology literally means, "study of the soul". It derives from Ancient Greek: " ψυχή " (psych ē, meaning "breath", "spirit", or "soul"); and "- λογία " (-logia, translated as "study of").




7  Is the mind separate from the brain?  Are ideas inborn or is the mind a blank slate filled by experience?  Where does knowledge come from?  What is the source of love?  How do we experience pain?

8  Plato said we are inspired by innate knowledge but Aristotle derived ideas from observations  Aristotle Said that knowledge is not preexisting  Developed ideas about personality, memory, motivation, and emotion

9  Scientific Revolution  The influence of Newton  The influence of Locke  Empiricism  Knowledge comes from experience/observation via the senses  Science flourishes through observation and experiment The Scientific Revolution led to the use of science in order to answer the big questions about who we are.

10  Psychological Science Develops  Wundt--German philosopher and physiologist  James--American philosopher  Pavlov--Russian physiologist  Freud--Austrian physician  Piaget--Swiss biologist These guys all tried to answer questions about who we are by using scientific inquiry.

11  Wilhelm Wundt opened the first psychology laboratory at the University of Liepzig (c. 1879)

12  Applying the knowledge of the scientific revolution to the questions of the ancient Greek philosophers So, what is Psychology, then?

13  The Scientific Study of the Mind

14  The Study of observable behavior

15 The scientific study of behavior and mental processes


17  Psychology’s Perspectives  A lot depends on your viewpoint

18  Psychology’s Perspectives Biological  Neuroscience  Evolutionary  Behavior Genetics Behavioral Psychodynamic Socio-cultural Take the problem of drug abuse and addiction. Why does it occur?

19  Biological Perspective z Explain behavior by describing underlying biochemical and neurological causes ( Neurobiological Psychology)  Explain behavior by attributing it to evolutionary arguments (evolutionary psychology)  Explain behavior by attributing it to family history/genes (genetic psychology)  observable behavior reduced to physiological explanations “To what extent is the propensity toward addiction inherited?” “Does the tendency to seek stimulation through drug used confer any survival advantage?”

20  Behavioral Psychology  Explain behavior by assessing the effects of external stimuli  “We do what we do because we have been trained to do it”  B.F. Skinner: most influential behaviorist “How important are role models in developing addictive behaviors?”

21  Behaviorism Behavior can be shaped by manipulating and changing the environment “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take anyone at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select; doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant. And yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, tendencies, abilities, and race of his ancestors” Watson-1925

22  Cognitive Perspective Study the intervening mental processes between stimulus inputs and response outputs exploring internal mental processes. It is the study of how people perceive, remember, think, speak, and solve problems Significant contributions made in the areas of language, development, and memory How did individuals assess the risk of drug use?

23  Psychodynamic perspective Human behavior is primarily determined by unconscious processes Theory not based on experimental evidence and many aspects are untestable Influential to modern psychotherapy “ Does unconscious conflict manifest itself in the abuse of illegal substances?”

24  Psychoanalysis Developed outside the university setting Founded by Sigmund Freud in 1895 Freud concluded that unconscious mental forces direct our behavior Utilized free-association and hypnosis

25  Social-Cultural How behavior and thinking vary across situations and culture Recognizes the power of the situation in determining human behavior Studies the interaction between the environment and actions “Why is the rate of alcoholism higher in the United States than in Sweden?”

26  3 ½ minutes of awesome!  com/watch?v=YCOg KozCq1Q com/watch?v=YCOg KozCq1Q

27 A Story; On June 20 th, 2001, after her husband had left for work, Andrea Yates, drowned her 5 children in the family bathtub. She told the police that she drowned the children to save them from burning in hell. A jury rejected her insanity defense, and she was sentenced to serve life in a psychiatric prison…

28 …In January 2005, a Texas Appeals Court Overturned her conviction because a psychiatrist for the prosecution had falsely testified that he had consulted for a Law and Order episode. The Appeals Court stated that the false testimony may have contributed to the jury’s rejection of Yates insanity defense. Prosecutors declined to discuss whether Yates would be retried. Her defense attorney said he would not seek her immediate release, because she was receiving “excellent mental health care.”

29  She was found “not guilty by reason of insanity”


31 Why do you think Andrea Yates murdered her children? (write it down ) Yates- 60 Minutes

32  Is the cause in her private mental functioning (cognitive perspective)? She clearly had low self esteem She believed she was possessed and that her scalp was marked with a 666. She told the police that her children were not “developing correctly” and that drowning them was the only way to save them.

33  Do we find the cause in her mental disorder that may have a biological basis? Mood disorders run in families and did in Andrea’s. A sister and two brothers were on antidepressants Research indicates that brain chemistry plays a role in psychological disorders. Serotonin appears scarce in depression and Andrea took herself off of her medicine about a month before the murders. Andrea’s husband claimed he had been pleading with doctors to prescribe his wife Haldol, used to treat individuals who hear voices or have delusional thoughts.

34  Do we find the cause in her social environment (behavioral and socio-cultural perspectives)? Why did her doctor take her off of anti-psychotic medicine? Was it a family issue? Andrea’s in-laws report that her husband Russell was not socially supportive. He claimed he had never changed a diaper. How could he leave her alone with 5 children when she could barely take care of herself? Why, after doctors strongly recommended no more children, did he continue to get her pregnant again? Where was her extended family while all of this was going on?

35  Was it because she had inner voices telling her to do things?  Was she abused as a child and did she repress certain emotions that came out on her children?  That would be the psychoanalytic perspective…i.e. Freud!

36  Was it because she has been rewarded when she does crazy things and therefore she has been “programmed” to do crazy things?  That would be the behavioral perspective

37 What important idea does this case convey? Many factors shape human behavior!

38  What is the number one health threat in the United States?  Obesity  Two-Thirds of American adults are considered overweight and over half of them obese, double the rate of 40 years ago.

39  The biology of obesity questions the notion that being overweight is simply a matter of weak will. Evolutionary advantage? Early humans who could store the most food were the most likely to survive. Was this passed on in genes? “Hardwired to expend as little energy as possible.” (Psychologist Paul Rozin) Genetics influence the number of fat cells

40  A variety of Psychological factors may also contribute to obesity. Clean our plate! “Eyes rule our bellies.” (Barbara Ralls) Eat until it’s gone? M&M’s study. Small vs. Jumbo pack? The more we restrain ourselves from eating, the more we will eat when we become anxious, depressed, or break a diet. We then binge.

41  Finally, socio-cultural factors contribute to overeating as well. America: “A culture of bigness.” “When someone comes to your house, the worst thing you can do is not give them enough food.” (Paul Rozin) Quantity, not quality Compared to the French, Americans eat much more, but enjoy it much less, often hurrying through every meal. What kind of food is the most easily accessible? Healthy or unhealthy?

42 So…Are things Biological, Psychological, Social? “Everything is related to everything else.” Examples? ….Test Anxiety?


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