3 Students will: Know: -Definition of psychology (≠ study of mind) -Scientific method used by psychologists-Ethical limitations on psychologists-Correlation does not imply causation!!!
4 What is Psychology?Psychology is the science of brain processes and behaviorFrom the Greek; psyche = “soul” + logos = “science”Greek symbol “Psi”
5 How did we go from “science of the soul” to psychology? Scientific understanding of behavior has been limited by scientific knowledge which has been limited by scientific equipment.Of each theorist ask:What equipment did they have then?How did it limit knowledge?How did limited knowledge limit understanding?
6 What is the Early History of Psychological Thought? Greekshow does the “soul/mind” give rise to memory, sensation, movement, etc.where is the “soul/mind” locatedDescartes (1600s)dualism (mind/body problem)how does physical matter give rise to thought, sensation, etc.mechanistic view (e.g., reflexes)pineal gland as the interface between soul and body
7 What is the Early History of Psychological Thought? Plato ( )Plato was interested in moral philosophy and despised natural philosophy (that is, science) as an inferior and unworthy sort of knowledge.Believed we are born with complete knowledge within our soul.Learning – a process of inner reflection to discover the knowledge within us.
8 What is the Early History of Psychological Thought? Aristotle ( )Knowledge acquired through experience.Four Laws of AssociationLaw of SimilarityLaw of ContrastLaw of ContiguityLaw of Frequency
9 What is the Early History of Psychological Thought? Descartes ( )Mind body dualismReflexesBehavior controlled by the mind or will.Dualistic notion of human behavior suggested at least some components of behavior could be scientifically investigated.
12 First Psychologists (late 1800s-early 1900s) Wilhelm Wundt“father of experimental psychology”- first psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany, 1879- studied reaction time to simple and two-choice stimuli
13 The Early Era and Roots of Psychology PsychophysicsEarly psychologists, doing research on sensation and sensory experience, noticed interesting aspects of the functioning of the senses.
14 The Early Era and Roots of Psychology Charles DarwinThe origin of species (1859)The descent of man (1871)In his presentation of compelling evidence that humans and other animal species were related, Charles Darwin leads to comparative psychologists, who use this perspective, are specialists who compare different animal species.
15 The Early Era and Roots of Psychology BehaviorismJohn B. Watson and B.F. SkinnerBehaviorism concentrates on observable, measurable behaviors and not mental processes.Behaviorists primarily seek to study the observable behaviors associated with learning.
16 The Early Era and Roots of Psychology Behaviorism – John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner“Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior.”-- John B. Watson, 1913
17 The Early Era and Roots of Psychology Behaviorism and Studies of LearningThe early question posed by behaviorists in the mid-20th century, such as Clark Hull’s work with rats in the area of maze learning, have given way to complex questions about how humans learn to be aggressive and violent.
18 Modern Psychology Views Psychoanalytic view emphasizes the unconscious mindBehaviorism focuses on objective and measurable behaviorsHumanistic psychology emphasizes the inner-self and the importance of subjective feelingsCognitive psychology focuses on mental function and reasoning
19 Modern Psychology Views Psychobiology views behavior as reflecting brain processesEvolutionary psychology asserts that certain behavioral characteristics are subject to natural selectionCultural psychology examines the influence of culture and ethnic practice on people’s behavior
20 Areas of Psychology Clinical – psychotherapy, assessment, diagnosis Developmental – How do we develop across life?Social – How do people behave in groups?Biopsychology – How does the brain influence behavior?Cognitive – How do we think and perceive?Personality – What basic traits make up a person’s personality?
23 How do psychologists learn about human behavior? Psychology ≠ Philosophy Scientific MethodFour Steps of Scientific Method1.Defining the problem2.Forming a hypothesis3.Testing the hypothesis4. Drawing a conclusion
24 What qualifies research as science? Psychological research must meet certain criteria in order to be considered scientific.Research must be:1. Replicable2. Falsifiable3. Precise4. Parsimonious
25 ReplicableResearch is replicable when others can repeat it and get the same results.Q: If something is only true once, should we trust it?
26 FalsifiableA good theory or hypothesis also must be falsifiable, which means that it must be stated in a way that makes it possible to reject it. In other words, we have to be able to prove a theory or hypothesis wrong.
27 FalsifiableExample:Some people theorize that the Loch Ness Monster not only exists but has become intelligent enough to elude detection by hiding in undiscovered, undetectable, underwater caves. This theory is not falsifiable. Researchers can never find these undiscovered caves or the monster that supposedly hides in them, and they have no way to prove this theory wrong.
28 PreciseTo make hypotheses more precise, psychologists use operational definitions to define the variables they study. Operational definitions state exactly how a variable will be measured.Ex.:A psychologist conducts an experiment to find out whether toddlers are happier in warm weather or cool weather. She needs to have an operational definition of happiness so that she can measure precisely how happy the toddlers are. She might operationally define happiness as “the number of smiles per hour.
29 ParsimoniousThe principle of parsimony maintains that researchers should apply the simplest explanation possible to any set of observations.Example:Suppose a student consistently falls asleep in her statistics class. She theorizes that before each class, her statistics professor secretly sprays her seat with a nerve gas that makes her very drowsy. If she had applied the principle of parsimony, she would not have come up with this theory. She can account for her sleepiness with a much simpler and more likely explanation: she finds statistics boring.