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What is Psychology? Psychology is the science of mental processes and behavior.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Psychology? Psychology is the science of mental processes and behavior."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Psychology? Psychology is the science of mental processes and behavior

2 Levels of Analysis: The Complete Psychology Events large and small –The level of the group –The level of the person –The level of the brain

3 Science vs. Common Sense Objective data collection Reliance on evidence Systematic observation Subjective data collection Ignores counterevidence Hit or miss observation

4 What about belief? You can believe anything you want, sensible or not Belief is very personal-- why should I believe you? You cannot make anyone believe anything Only evidence can settle belief disputes

5 Pseudo-science Why people believe: People like excitement People are prone to wishful thinking People are naïve and trusting People remember hits, ignore misses

6 Psychology as a Science Attempts to describe, predict, and explain thought and behavior. Uses scientific method

7 Science Terminology: Advantages of science: Hypothesis Theory Science is more systematic, and less subject to human bias

8 Judging Theories Fit to the data Quality of the data Ability to predict Ability to explain Belief in the theory is irrelevant to its quality.

9 The Evolution of a Science The early days –Structuralism –Functionalism –Gestalt Psychology

10 The Evolution of a Science Psychodynamic theory –Unconscious –Psychoanalysis Behaviorism –Reinforcement

11 The Evolution of a Science Humanist psychology –Client-centered therapy –Self-actualization The Cognitive Revolution –Information Processing –Language –Cognitive Neuroscience

12 The Evolution of a Science Evolutionary psychology –Cultural universality


14 Wilhelm Wundt Founder of psychology as a discipline. Focused on conscious experience and its building blocks. Trained many early psychologists.

15 History & Roots Edward Titchener: Chief proponent of structuralism. Used introspection to tap human consciousness. Had troubles with verification of data and replicability. William James: Founder of American Functionalism. Viewed behavior in terms of its adaptive value for the organism. Focused on the flow of consciousness rather than its structure.

16 John Watson Founder of Behaviorism. Confined psychology to the study of observable stimuli & behavior.

17 B. F. Skinner Extended behaviorism, examined the effects of reinforcement on behavior.

18 Sigmund Freud Founded psychoanalysis, focused on unconscious thoughts in determining behavior.

19 The Gestaltists Considered the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Suggested perception was more than the individual sensations involved.

20 The Humanists Considered each human unique, argued people strive for "self- actualization." Generally not empirically testable.

21 Modern Views Modern psychologists are eclectic -- approach problems from multiple perspectives. Believe behaviors have multiple causes.

22 Psychology Perspectives Biological Psychoanalytic/Individual Behavioral Humanistic Developmental Cognitive Social-cultural

23 Specialties

24 Employment

25 What Today’s Psychologists Do Clinical and counseling psychology –Therapist –Counseling psychologist –Psychiatrist –Social worker –Psychiatric nurse Academic Psychology –Teaching and Research

26 What Today’s Psychologists Do Applied psychology –Human factors psychologist –Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologist –Sport psychologist –School psychologist

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