Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-1 Psychology Definition – the science of behavior and mental processes."— Presentation transcript:
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-1 Psychology Definition – the science of behavior and mental processes
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-2 Research Methods in Psychology The goals of psychology are to describe, predict and control behavior. These goals are accomplished by using the scientific method, which is systematic and empirical (based on observable events).
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-3 Goals of Psychology 1. Describe – the information gathered through scientific research helps us to describe psychological phenomena more accurately Example – Kinsey report
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-4 Goals of Psychology 2. Predict – detect and describe patterns in nature Example – Differential effects of stress on performance (Yerkes-Dodson Law)
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-5 Goals of Psychology 3. Understand – adding an explanation to our descriptive and predictive knowledge Note: this is not to say that we understand psychological phenomena when we have an explanation – our current explanations are tentative – are theories Definition – tentative explanations of facts and relationships in science
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-6 Theories in Science Science is not a set of finished truths – it is a method of gaining information, and the process may never be complete. Theories are always subject to revision as more and more information becomes available –Ex: Newtonian physics
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-7 Philosophy of Science The business of science can be thought of as the revision of theories using scientific method. Scientists make predictions (hypostheses) based on a theory; they then test their hypothesis. If predictions are accurate – the theory is supported If predictions are not – are disconfirmed
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-8 Philosophy of Science (cont.) Even a supported theory may be only one possible explanation If a theory is consistently supported, it may achieve the status of a law (def – a strongly supported and widely accepted theory) Even a law is not the truth
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-9 Goals of Psychology (cont.) Influence – to affect behavior This goal does not/cannot apply to all sciences
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-10 Research Methods in Psychology By asking questions of a representative sample, researchers using the survey method can provide useful information about a much larger population. The wording of the questions can influence participants' responses.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-11 Research Methods in Psychology A case study is an in-depth analysis of a single person or event. Although the findings of a case study may apply only to the person who was studied, they may provide direction for further study using other methods.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-12 Research Methods in Psychology To study behavior in real-life settings, psychologists often use naturalistic observation. This technique also may suggest research projects using more controlled approaches. In using naturalistic observation, the onlooker must be unobtrusive and avoid influencing the behavior being studied.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-13 Research Methods in Psychology Correlational research tells whether the values of two variables are related.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-14 Research Methods in Psychology Although correlational methods do not inform us about causality, they can provide useful insights and help us to make predictions.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-15 Research Methods in Psychology Because it can generate cause-and-effect statements, many psychologists believe that the experimental method is the most powerful research approach. By manipulating an independent variable (the cause), the researcher determines whether it influences the dependent variable (the effect).
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-16 Research Methods in Psychology By manipulating an independent variable (the cause), the researcher determines whether it influences the dependent variable (the effect).
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-17 Research Methods in Psychology Despite the strengths of the experimental method, the results and interpretation of a scientific experiment can be influenced by; –the specific way the research is conducted, –the culture in which the research is conducted, –and the experimenter's personal biases.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-18 Research Methods in Psychology Statistics involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Descriptive statistics summarize data. Inferential statistics are used to determine whether or not the results of an experiment are significant.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-19 Research Methods in Psychology Measures of central tendency provide information about the typical score in a set of numbers. Measures of variance provide information about the variability or spread in a set of data.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-20 Research Methods in Psychology The American Psychological Association has established ethical guidelines for making decisions about research with both human and animal participants.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-21 Psychology as a Science The questions of interest to psychologists have been around for a very long time They have, historically, been addressed by philosophers, but there have been small steps along the way toward scientific explanations e.g., Galileo (1562 – 1642) – described the universe as a giant machine (and ultimately understandable) Descartes (1561 – 1626) – extended this mechanistic view to humans British Empiricists (ex – John Locke (1632 – 1704) – believed that all knowledge is acquired through the senses – led to the scientific study of sensory mechanisms Psychophysics – Helmholtz (1821 – 1894) – first to record the speed of a neural impulse
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-22 The Origins of Modern Psychology Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879. The goal of Wundt’s school of psychology, known as structuralism was to identify the elements of conscious experience by using the method of introspection.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-23 The Origins of Modern Psychology Another perspective, which came to be known as functionalism focused on the purposes of consciousness and was especially concerned with the applications of psychology. Gestalt psychology is concerned primarily with our perception of our environment. Cognitive psychology studies higher mental processes such as thinking, knowing, and deciding.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-24 The Origins of Modern Psychology Gestalt psychology is concerned primarily with our perception of our environment.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-25 The Origins of Modern Psychology Cognitive psychology studies higher mental processes such as thinking, knowing, and deciding.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-26 The Origins of Modern Psychology Influenced by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson was interested in how the environment affects behavior. Because consciousness cannot be observed directly, Watson defined psychology as the study of observable behavior. The behavioral perspective was continued by B. F. Skinner, probably the best known and most influential psychologist of our time.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-27 The Origins of Modern Psychology Sigmund Freud's psychodynamic perspective focused on unconscious determinants of behavior. Freud also developed a treatment approach known as psychoanalysis.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-28 The Origins of Modern Psychology Dissatisfaction with both the behavioral and the psychodynamic perspectives led psychologists Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers to develop the humanistic perspective Humanists believe that other perspectives pay too little attention to uniquely human characteristics such as free will and individual control.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-29 The Origins of Modern Psychology The psychological perspective focuses on the underlying biological bases of all forms of behavior.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-30 The Origins of Modern Psychology The evolutionary perspective focuses on why a particular behavior or physical structure developed and how that behavior or structure aids in adaptation to the environment.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-31 The Origins of Modern Psychology The field of psychology has begun to recognize the contributions made by women and ethnic minorities, and additional contributions from these groups can be expected in the future. The cultural and diversity perspective focuses on such research contributions.
Copyright 2004 Prentice Hall1-32 Psychological Specialties Most psychologists have earned a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy-D.). Although many psychologists teach and engage in research, a growing number provide direct services to clients.