Beginning Psychology Essay

Submitted By jjash711
Words: 986
Pages: 4

1. Define "psychology." - The scientific study of mind and behavior.
2. Explain why using intuition about everyday behavior is insufficient for completely understanding the causes of behavior. - There are a variety of biases that often influence our perceptions and lead us to make the wrong conclusions.
3. What are empirical methods? What is the scientific method? How do the two relate?
Empirical method is a way to collect and organize data and draw conclusions, like trial and error. Scientific method is one form of empirical. Scientific method is set rules and procedures that scientists use to conduct empirical methods.
4. Name the three levels of explanation (perspectives) in psychology, and the process underlying each one. Give an example of each related to success in college.
Lower – biological / A person born to very intelligent parents would be more likely to be successful in college.
Middle – interpersonal / A parent can teach their child how important it is to study and encourage good grades.
Higher – cultural / Other countries are more aggressive with teaching and how much time children spend at school and have higher expectations from their students.
5. List and define the four challenges of studying psychology.
Individual differences – Each person is unique. One person could go into a deep depression after losing a loved one while another grieves and moves on displaying only slight symptoms of depression.
Multiply determined – There is rarely just one reason for certain human behavior (violence, child abuse).
Linked causes – The causes of certain behaviors are often linked so that is it difficult or impossible to decipher which reason has the most effect.
Unconscious processes - Reasons we are unaware of, one example is repressed memories. 6. List and define the five most important questions that psychologists address.
Nature vs. nurture – The difference between what is inherited (genes) and our environment.
Free will vs. determinism – The difference between having control over one’s own actions or more influenced by factors out of one’s control.
Accuracy vs. inaccuracy – The determination that people have the ability to make good decision when those decisions could actually be effected by personal preferences and biases.
Conscious vs. unconscious processing – to be aware of what is causing our actions as opposed to being unaware of why we sometimes act the way we do.
Differences vs. similarities – Are there differences between men and women? Differences because of culture or ethnicity? Or are we all basically the same?
7. What is structuralism, developed by Wundt? What method did structuralists use to study the mind? What were the limitations of that method? What are the two “firsts” accredited to structuralists?
Structuralism is the study of the conscious psychological elements. Structuralists used introspection, participants explained their experiences while completing tasks. The limitations were that instances where participants could not explain how they came up with answers for a simple math problem, the unconscious process. The realization of the unconscious process was one “first”. Another “first” was that Wundt discovered it took a person longer to report a stimulus rather than just respond to it.
8. What is functionalism, developed by James? What field of psychology developed out of functionalism? What is the major imitation of that field?
Functionalism was to figure out why animals and humans develop particular psychological aspects. The field of evolutionary psychology developed from functionalism. Its major limitation is that we cannot predict which psychological characteristics our ancestors possessed.
9. What is the field of psychology that Freud developed? What is the general influence of this approach? What central ideas from that field are still important to psychology today?
The field Freud developed was psychodynamic