Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Psychology seeks to:
Control behavior and mental processes
A theory allows you to
Propose reasons for relationships
A theory is a way to explain and predict behaviors. What do psychologists do?
Pure research: conducted for interest/research sake.
Difficult to get funding for.
Applied research: find an answer to a specific problem, ex. new drugs.
Easy to get funding for.
Fields of psychology:
Clinical - Experimental
Counseling - Industrial; organizational, human factors, consumer
School - Health
Educational - Forensic
Developmental - Sport
Where psychology comes from: A history
**More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle wrote a book on psychology with contents similar to our textbook.
Ancient contributors to psychology:
Democritus; thought of behavior in terms on body & mind.
Ancient Egypt: Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus
** The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates suggested a research method still used today.
Socrates: “Know thy self”
Psychology as a laboratory Science:
Gustav Theodor Fechner
Elements of psychopsychics (1860)
Started first psychology lab
Structuralism breaks conscious experiences into
Objective sensations (sight, taste)
Subjective feelings (emotional responses)
Mental images (Dreams & Memories)
Functionalism focused on behavior in addition to mind and consciousness
Used direct observations to supplement introspection
Influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution
Adaptive behavior patterns are learned and maintained
John Broadus Watson
Focused on learning observable behavior
- Learned behavior is behavior that is reinforced
*Positive reinforcement. Ex: Does better when rewarded.
[Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler]
Gestalt focused on perception and its influence on thinking and problem solving
Perceptions are more than sum of their parts
Learning is active and purposeful
Flash of insight, no room for explain; just understand. Manipulate ideas in mind
Influence of unconscious ideas and conflicts that originate in childhood.. Sigmund Freud
Seek relationships between brain and behavior and mental processes
* Role of heredity
Concerned with way we mentally represent the world and process info
*Learning, memory, problem-solving, judgments, decision-making, & language
HUMANISTIC-EXISTENTIAL PERSPECTIVE: - HUMANISM stresses human capacity for self-fulfillment ^ Role of consciousness, self-awareness, decision making
EXISTENTIALISM stresses free choice and personal responsibility
Focus more on conscious choice and self-direction than unconscious processes
You guide yourself to become who you want to be.
People modify and create their environment
Cognition plays a key role observation Sociocultural Perspective:
Focuses on the influence of differences among people on behavior and mental processes
Ethnicity, gender, culture, socioeconomic status
*** Men receive the majority of doctoral degrees in psychology – FALSE!
Kenneth Clark & Mamie Phipps Clark: African American psychologists, researched school segregation. Took little girls (all African-American) asked the kids to pick the