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Introduction to Psychology

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1 Introduction to Psychology
Chapter 1

2 Chapter Overview Describe Psychology Research methods of Psychology
Goals of Psychology Fields of Psychology Research methods of Psychology Experiments within Psychology Important people of Psychology

3 What is Psychology? The scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Scientists use the SCIENTIFIC METHOD to be unbiased.

4 Psychologists seek to observe, describe, explain, predict, and modify behavior and mental processes
Psychologists rely on research to learn whether certain methods will work before they use them to help people

5 Goals of Psychology 4 Goals of Psychology
Description – describe particular behaviors by careful observations Explanation – explain behaviors by conducting experiments Prediction – predict when a behavior that is being studied will happen in the future Control – modify inappropriate behavior

6 Psychologists work in many different fields but they all focus on studying and explaining behavior and mental processes Behavior is defined as any action that people can observe or measure, such as walking, talking, sleeping, and eating

7 Fields of Psychology Psychologists specialize in several different areas of practice: Clinical: general health, mental health, child health Counseling: business or education institutions Sport psychology: athletes Experimental psychology: humans, animals Cognitive psychology: learning Developmental psychology: changes in people’s lives

8 Real World Example In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals employed the services of a sports psychologist to meet with players, coaches and staff members. The Cardinals won the World Series in 2006. Do you think the psychologist made a difference?

9 Sports psychologists can help athletes improve performance by measuring (through experimentations) athletes’ heart rates and other body processes and by interviewing athletes Psychologists predict that athletes perform best when anxiety is moderate Psychologists help athletes control their behavior and mental processes by teaching them how to control anxiety.

10 Psychological Professionals

11 Fields of Psychology There are 9 fields of Psychology Structuralism
Functionalism Psychoanalytical/Psychodynamic Behavioral Humanistic Cognitive Neuroscience/biopsychology Evolutionary Sociocultural Hand out Organizer

12 The “Father of Modern Psychology”
1879 Wilhelm Wundt Founded first psychology lab in Germany (1879) Associated with the Structuralism field of Psychology

13 1. Structuralism Focused primarily on investigation of thought processes (The structure of the mind)

14 2. Functionalism Founded by William James
How do people function in the real world? Studied how people work, play, and adapt to their surroundings. He was influenced by Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Not just physical adaptations, but mental/behavioral ones as well.

15 3. Psychoanalytical/Psychodynamic
Founded by Sigmund Freud Psychoanalysis: Examines psychological problems that are presumed to be caused by conflicts. People repressed (pushed away) their feelings to an unconscious part of the mind, leading to nervous disorders.

16 History Lesson Freud lived in the Victorian Era (Late 1800s – Early 1900s) Society never spoke of sex. Even tables were surrounded by cloth, as to not show the legs Though men often had mistresses, women had to repress their feelings. Many sought Freud’s help.

17 4. Behavioral Lead by Ivan Pavlov
Pavlov’s Dogs – Dogs salivated at the sound of a bell because a bell was rung each time they were fed. Classical Conditioning Observing behavior through scientific method Other notable behavioral psychologists B. F. Skinner - believed behavior depends on what happens are people are exposed to a “stimulus” John Watson - believed people have 3 reactions: fear, rage, love

18 5. Humanistic Stresses free will, self actualization and positive growth seeking nature of humans Leaders: Abraham Maslow Carl Rogers Emphasis on human potential. Be the best you can be!

19 6. Cognitive Researches areas of thought, perception and information processing 1960s

20 7. Neuroscience/biopsychology
Explores the role of biological factors such as genetics in humans (scientific) For example, Schizophrenia is being studied as a potential psychological disorder that is linked to genetics

21 8. Evolutionary Focuses on natural selection, adaptation, and evolution of behavior

22 9. Sociocultural Combination of social and cultural psych, focusing on social interactions, cultural determinants, and mental processes Social: Studies groups, social roles, and rules of social actions, and relationships Cultural: Study of social norms, values, and expectations

23 Biopsychosocial Model
An integrative model combining the seven major perspectives in contemporary psychology Structuralism and Functionalism are not located on the diagram. These older schools of thought have now been blended in with the other 7 schools.

24 Psychology: The Science
Psychologists follow scientific procedures similar to the way other scientists do Research and experiments help investigate cause-and-effect relationships

25 2 Types of Research Basic Research Applied Research
conducted to study theoretical questions without trying to solve a specific problem (general ideas or concepts) utilizes the principles and discoveries of psychology for practical purposes (finding solutions to real world problems)

26 The Scientific Method Identify question and literature review
1. Identify question and literature review 2. Develop a testable hypothesis 3. Select a research method and collect data 4. Analyze the data and accept or reject the hypothesis 5. Publish, replicate and seek scientific review 6. Build a theory

27 The Scientific Method

28 Ethical Guidelines Psychologists must comply with extremely strict ethical guidelines The American Psychological Association (APA) has published specific guidelines that must be followed

29 Ethical Guidelines (cont.)
There are three areas that are addressed by the APA Human participants: informed consent, voluntary participation, debriefing, confidentiality, and use of students as subjects #1 is the most rigorous guideline because it deals with the rights of people being studied Animal Rights: cruelty to animals Clients in therapy: confidentiality

30 Animals in Research Only a small number of psychological studies involve animals Psychologists use animals only when there is no alternative and when they believe the benefit outweighs the harm Most psychological studies that use animals do not harm the animals

31 4 Methods of Research Experimental Descriptive Correlational

32 1. Experimental Research
The only method of the four that can identify cause and effect Experimental research consists of several variables: Independent Variables: factors the experimenter manipulates Dependent Variables: measurable behaviors of the participants Experimental controls: include control condition - participants are treated identically to participants in experimental condition, except that the independent variable is not applied to them

33 Experimental Research (cont.)
In the experimental condition: all participants are exposed to the independent variable Experimental Group: group that receives a treatment in an experiment Control Group: group that receives no treatment in an experiment

34 Here’s an Example

35 2. Descriptive Research This includes several types of studies to gather data Naturalistic Observation: used to study behavior in its natural habitat Surveys: tests, questionnaires, and interviews to sample a wide variety of behaviors and attitudes (must choose people carefully) Case study: in-depth study of a single research participant

36 Surveys Psychologists conduct surveys by asking people to fill out written questionnaires or by interviewing people verbally By interviewing people with direct questions psychologists can get information about people’s attitudes and behaviors

37 Problems with Surveys The findings of interviews and questionnaires may not be completely accurate because: People may not be honest about their attitudes or behavior People may limit their responses for privacy reasons People may say what they think the interviewers want to hear

38 3. Correlational Research
Allows scientists to determine the degree of relationship between variables Positive, negative and zero correlations are discussed when using this type of research

39 Correlation in Psychology
Correlation is a major relationship within psychology It CANNOT show a Cause and Effect Relationship Just because two things are related does not mean one causes the other

40 4. Biological Research The scientific study of psychology
Studies the brain and nervous system Tests used in biological research include: Electrical recordings of brain activity (EEG) Computed tomography (CT) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

41 Experimental Research Correlational Research
Manipulation and control of variables Descriptive Research Naturalistic Observation, surveys, case studies Correlational Research Statistical analyses of relationships between variables Biological Research Studies the brain and other parts of the nervous system Purpose Identify cause and effect (Meets the explanation goal of psychology) Purpose Observe, collect, and record data (Meets the descriptive goal of psychology) Purpose Identify relationships and how well one variable predicts another (Meets the predictive goal) Purpose Identify causation, as well as description, and prediction (Meets 1 or more of the four goals) Cons Ethical concerns, practical limitations, artificiality of lab conditions, uncontrolled variables may confound results, researchers & participant biases Pros Allows researchers precise control over variables and cause & effect Cons Little or no control over variables, researcher & participant biases, cannot explain cause & effect Pros Minimizes artificiality, easier to collect data, allows description of behavior & mental processes as they occur Cons Researchers cannot identify cause & effect Pros Helps clarify relationships between variables that cannot be examined by other methods and allows prediction Cons Shares many or all of the cons of experimental, descriptive, and correlational research Pros Shares many or all of the pros of experimental, descriptive, and correlational research Hand out organizer.

42 Critical Thinking Making reasoned judgments
Most “truths” need to be tested All evidence is not equal in quality Just because an expert said it, doesn’t mean it’s true Keep an open mind

43 Gestalt Psychology Gestalt psychology is an alternative to behaviorism and structuralism It is based on the idea that our perceptions of objects are more than the sum of their parts. They are wholes that give shape, or meaning, to the parts Gestalt Psychology aims to organize how the mind organizes pieces of information into meaningful wholes It was developed by German psychologists Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler


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