Intro to Psych

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Nov 30, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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*Note: borrowed from Mr. Cruikshank




Westford Academy/Massachusetts

Intro to Psych

Psychology


What is it?


-
The science of behavior and mental processes

-
Behavior: Observable actions of a person or an animal

-
Mental processes: thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions,
memories, dreams, motives and other subjective experiences




Psychology


What is it?


Is Psychology a science??


Science


An objective way to answer questions


Based on observable facts/data and well described methods


YES!

Psychology


What is it??


A set of questions about mental functioning


trace back to philosophy


Aristotle asked about memory, personality, emotions, etc.


A set of theories and procedures for asking and answering
questions


the scientific method


evolved over centuries, first in physics


A product of history


philosophy asked many of the basic questions


physiology used similar methods


Developments from Philosophy


Major question asked by many philosophers:


How are the mind and the body related??


Many different theories


Dualism


Mind and body are two separate entities, however
they are interrelated


origins in medieval religion


soul is seat of intellectual function and will


mind is product of the soul


mind not subject to scientific inquiry


to challenge this was punishable by death


Developments from Philosophy


Dualism


Mind and body are separate


Rene Descartes (1596


1650) came up with a theory of
modified dualism


since animals have no soul, much behavior does not require soul


the body can therefore control much behavior


led him to study reflexes


the soul’s main function is thought, a uniquely human attribute


Developments from Philosophy


Other theories developed about the relationship between the
mind and the body


Materialism: Thomas Hobbes (1588
-
1679)


mind is a product of the brain


soul is not involved in human behavior


Empiricism:


knowledge and intellect are acquired, comes from experience


science flourishes through observation/experiment


sensory experiences produce elementary ideas


elementary ideas become associated into complex thought and
ideas


Developments from Philosophy


Another MAJOR question asked by early philosophers was:
Where do our ideas come from?


Empiricism vs.
Nativism


Nativism
: elementary ideas are innate


Empiricism: our minds are a blank slate, to be filled by our
experiences


If
nativism

is true…


What is the purpose of education?


Can intellect be changed by experience


NATURE VS. NURTURE

Developments from Philosophy

Foundations of Modern Psychology


Charles Darwin (1809
-
1882)


Theory of natural selection (1859)


physical characteristics evolve through natural
selection


behavioral patterns also influence selection


inborn knowledge and behavioral tendencies with
survival value are passed on


Human beings are part of nature and can
be understood through the methods of
science


Foundations of Modern Psychology


Darwin’s theory encouraged scientific inquiry


19th century developments in physiology demonstrated the
approach to use



based on scientific methods, controlled laboratory experiments


influential beliefs from early physiology


reflexology
-

all human behaviors occur through reflexes


localization of function
-

specific structures of the brain serve specific functions in
the control of mental experiences and behavior



Separated from philosophy in 19th century


influences from physiology remain


Foundations of Modern Psychology


Wilhelm Wundt (1832
-
1920)


First psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany


wrote the first psychology textbook


applied laboratory techniques to study of
the mind


Used introspection


self
-
examination of one’s own emotional
states and mental processes


No longer in use


too
unreliable/subjective

Foundations of Modern Psychology


Edward
Titchener


Was an English student of Wundt


Set up a psych lab at Cornell in
1892.


Established a school of thought
known as structuralism


Structuralism


Consciousness can
be broken down into basic parts
using introspection techniques

Foundations of Modern Psychology


William James


American Harvard Professor


Wrote a well
-
respected textbook
Principles of Psychology

(1890).


Founded school of thought known as
functionalism


Stressed looking at the function/purpose of
behavior and tried to apply findings to practical
situations.


No longer in use but gave rise to
behavioralism

Foundations of Modern Psychology


G. Stanley Hall (American)


Established the first psych lab in the US at Johns Hopkins (1883)


Established the first psych journal in the US


Founded the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1892 and
was its first president


Mary
Whiton

Calkins


Completed Ph.D. in Psych under James at Harvard but not granted
degree because she was a woman


Received a lesser degree from Radcliffe.


First woman president of the APA in 1905

Foundations of Modern Psychology

John B. Watson (1878

1958)

John B. Watson


Founder of Behaviorism


Studied only observable and
objectively described acts


Emphasized objective and
scientific methodology

Ivan Pavlov (1849
-
1936)


Behaviorist


Russian Physiologist


Studied learning through
associations in animals


Emphasized the study of observable
behaviors


B. F. Skinner (1904

1990)


Behaviorist


American psychologist at
Harvard


Focused on learning through
rewards and observation


studied learning and effect of
reinforcement

B.F. Skinner

Sigmund Freud
(1856
-
1939)


Austrian physician that focused on illness


Founder of the psychoanalytic perspective


Believed that abnormal behavior originated
from unconscious drives and conflicts

Freud’s Influence


Influence on “pop culture”


Freudian slips


Anal
-
retentive


Influence on psychology


Psychodynamic theory


Unconscious thoughts


Significance of childhood experiences


Carl Rogers & Abraham Maslow

(1902
-
1987)


(1908
-
1970)


Helped to create Humanistic Psychology


Stressed the study of conscious experience and an individual’s free will


Healthy individuals strive to reach their potential.

Wolfgang Kohler


Created Gestalt Psychology


The whole is different from the sum
of its parts.


Integrate pieces of information into
meaningful wholes.

Wolfgang Kohler

(1865
-
1965)

What do you see?

You See the
whole

picture first rather than the
individual dots

that make it up.


Gestalt Psychology

Foundations of Modern Psychology


Margaret
Floy

Washburn


First woman to earn a PhD in psychology


2
nd

woman president of the APA


Francis Cecil Sumner (US)


First African American Ph.D. in psychology


Clark University


Started Psych department at Howard University


Kenneth Clark (US)


Documented the harmful effect of school segregation on Black
children.


First African
-
American APA president (1971)

Psychology’s Subfields


Basic Research


Aim is to increase our scientific knowledge base.


Study is conducted to satisfy curiosity and answer questions we
have about behavior or mental processes.


Applied Research/Psychology


Aim is to solve practical problems


Looks for ways that research psychology can be made useful and
helpful

Subfields in Psychology

Distribution of Fields:

Clinical 36%

Other
Psychology

15%

Biological and
Experimental

16%

Industrial/Organizational 3%

Social/Personality 8%

Educational 3%

Developmental 6%

Counseling 10%

School 3%

Professional Work Settings


Colleges and universities


Clinical settings


Elementary and secondary
schools


Business


Government


Private

Practice

Government

Universities &

College

Business

& Industry

School

Employment Settings of Psychologists

Psychological Perspectives


Method of classifying a collection of ideas


Also called “schools of thought”


Also called “psychological approaches”


To view behavior from a particular perspective

Perspectives


Perspective is a way of viewing phenomena


Psychology has multiple perspectives


Neuroscience


Psychodynamic


Behavioral


Humanistic


Cognitive


Social
-
Cultural


Evolutionary


Behavior Genetics

Neuroscience Perspective


Study the physiological mechanisms in the brain and nervous
system that organize and control behavior


Looks at the physical causes of behavior


Brain Chemistry/Anatomy


Genetics


Hormones


Interest in behavior distinguishes biological psychology from
many other biological sciences


Behavioral Perspective


Focuses on environmental causes


Behavior comes from learning


Rewards and Punishment


Observable behavior is very important


Not interested in internal world

Cognitive Perspective


How is knowledge acquired, organized, remembered,
and used to guide behavior ?


Focuses on internal sentences, thinking/rationality and
processing information


Thinking can solve a problem


Influences include


Piaget
-

studied intellectual development


Chomsky
-

studied language


Cybernetics
-

science of information processing


Humanistic Perspective


Humanistic approach


developed by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers


behavior reflects innate ‘actualization’


focus on conscious forces and self perception


All humans are good


Approach stresses interpersonal relations


Important concepts: self
-
esteem, free will, choice, self
-
direction


More positive view of basic forces than Freud’s


Psychodynamic Perspective


both a method of treatment and a theory of the mind


behavior reflects combinations of conscious and unconscious
influences


drives and urges within the unconscious component of mind
influence thought and behavior


early childhood experiences shape unconscious motivations


Also looks at parental relationships


Socio
-
cultural


The study of psychological differences among people living in
different cultural groups


How are people’s thoughts, feelings and behavior influenced by
their culture?


What are the common elements across culture? Are these innate?


Looks at group roles/expectations, along with family traditions


Gender Roles/socioeconomic class


Evolutionary Perspective


Goes back to Darwin’s theory of natural selection


Genes predispose us to act


Our motive is survival and to pass on genes


All behavior is driven by survival of species

Behavior Genetics


Focus: How behavior is affected by genes and the
environment


Combines biology and behaviorism


Emphasis on the importance of both genetic and
environmental factors on behavior

Perspectives Timeline


The Scientific Method of Research


Definition: Assumptions, attitudes and procedures that guide
researchers in generating questions to investigate, in generating
evidence and in drawing conclusions


Assume behavior follows consistent patterns with cause and effect


Attitude of open mindedness and critical thinking


Procedure of steps to follow in order to arrive at the truth.


Empirical Evidence


data that is the result of
objective

observation, measurement, and experimentation


Pseudoscience


a FAKE or false science that makes claims based
on little or no scientific evidence

Problems that can occur:


Hindsight bias


the tendency to believe
after

learning the
outcome, that one would have foreseen it.


Common Sense is often wrong!


Overconfidence


we tend to think we know more than we
do


Rule of Falsifiability


to scientifically test a claim there must
be identifiable evidence that could prove the claim false.


We must have
critical thinking

when doing research. Do not
blindly accept arguments/conclusions.


Instead, examine the evidence and look for alternative
solutions/explanations

Problems that can occur:


Barnum Effect


“There’s a sucker born every minute”


Statements can gull people into thinking they have been accurately
assessed by the speaker or test when in fact the outcome could apply
to anyone.


Individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their
personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but
are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of
people


Provide partial explanations for the widespread acceptance of some
beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, and some
types of personality tests


Other Biases


Confirmation
Bias


our tendency to search for information that confirms
our beliefs and ignore
those that
don’t




Researcher
Bias


the tendency to notice evidence which supports one
particular point of view
or hypothesis




Volunteer
Bias


People who volunteer to participate in a survey are
different from those who do not



Participant
Bias


Tendency of research subjects to respond in certain
ways because they know they
are being
observed.


Do you act the same way in the classroom that you do at home?