Published on February 5, 2010
Introduction to Psychology : Introduction to Psychology What is Psychology? : What is Psychology? Psychology is PRACTICAL. It offers a vast store of information about issues that concern everyone These issues range from broad social questions (such as how to reduce the incidence of mental illness), to highly personal questions (such as how to improve your self control) Psychology represents a way of thinking. It provides a way of building knowledge that is relatively accurate & dependable. Definition of Psychology: : Definition of Psychology: The term psychology has come from two Greek words: psyche, meaning the soul Logos, refers to the study of a subject It is defined as the scientific study of human behavior & mental processes in different contexts Slide 4: The phrase “behavior & mental processes” not only includes the outward behavior of a person, but also his thoughts, feelings, perception, reasoning processes, memory, & even the biological activities that maintain bodily functioning. Slide 5: Psychologists may ask questions such as: What is intelligence? Can abnormal behavior be altered? How does stress affect a person? What is the best way to study? Psychology & Social Sciences: : Psychology & Social Sciences: Anthropologists: study cultures of past & the origin of mankind Economists: explore ways in which people produce & exchange goods & services Political Scientists: study international relations, working of government, & the exercise of power Sociologists: study human social life, groups & societies Psychologists: investigate personality & individual behavior. “The Branches of Psychology” : “The Branches of Psychology” Biopsychology: : Biopsychology: Focuses on the biological basis of behavior They try to understand how biological process & our physical structure influence our behavior. For example: studying the brain’s part responsible for controlling our emotions Experimental Psychology: : Experimental Psychology: It is concerned with issues such as Sensation & perception Learning thinking Experimental psychologists use a variety of techniques to understand human behavior & the functioning of the mind Cognitive Psychology: : Cognitive Psychology: It focuses on the study of higher mental processes, such as: Language development Memory Problem solving Decision making Reasoning & Logic Developmental Psychology : Developmental Psychology It is concerned with physical, cognitive, social & emotional changes in human beings across their life span For example: infant’s ability to identify faces The differences in the ability of reasoning in various age groups Personality Psychology: : Personality Psychology: This field of psychology attempts to explain consistency & changes in an individual’s personality overtime. Health Psychology: : Health Psychology: It is concerned with the impact of physiological factors on health. For example: the impact of chronic stress on the physical functioning of a person Stress related diseases How to help individuals in overcoming unhealthy behavior Clinical Psychology: : Clinical Psychology: Clinical psychology deals with the study, diagnosis & treatment of mental health problems (psychological disorders). Some clinical psychologists are involved in research work related to mental health problems. Educational Psychology: : Educational Psychology: It is concerned with the process of teaching & learning It addresses issues such as: Intelligence Learning differences teacher-student interaction Social Psychology: : Social Psychology: It is the study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by others. It focuses on such diverse topics as, aggression, persuasion, conformity, obedience. Industrial-Organizational Psychology: : Industrial-Organizational Psychology: It is concerned with the psychology of the workplace It considers issues such as, productivity, job satisfaction, and decision making. Key Issues of Psychology: : Key Issues of Psychology: Nature (heredity) versus Nurture (environment) Conscious versus Unconscious determinants of behavior Observable behavior versus internal mental processes. Freedom of choice versus determinism Individual differences versus universal principles. History of Psychology: : History of Psychology: Contribution of Wilhelm Wundt: Make psychology an independent discipline Established the first formal laboratory for research in Psychology Established the first journal devoted to publishing research in Psychology. Known as the “founder of Psychology” Slide 20: According to Wundt, the subject matter of psychology was consciousness. i.e. the awareness of immediate experience This orientation kept the focus of psychology on mind & mental processes. Contribution of G. Stanley Hall: : Contribution of G. Stanley Hall: Important contributor to the rapid growth of Psychology in America. Established America’s first research lab of Psychology Launched America’s first Psychology journal Established American Psychological Association Perspectives in Psychology: : Perspectives in Psychology: Structuralism (Wilhelm Wundt) Functionalism (William James) Gestalt Psychology ( Max Wertheimer) Psychodynamic Perspective (Sigmund Freud) Behavioral Perspective (J.B. Watson & Skinner) Humanistic Perspective (Carl Rogers) Cognitive Perspective (Jean Piaget) Biological Perspective (Roger Sperry) Structuralism: : Structuralism: Structuralism was based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements & investigate how these elements are related. They depended on the method of “INTROSPECTION”--- careful, systematic self observation of one’s conscious experience Functionalism: : Functionalism: Functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or mind, or what the mind does. Functionalist focused on the role of behavior in allowing people to better adapt to their environment, & how behavior allows people to satisfy their needs John Dewey, using this approach, proposed ways through which the educational needs of the students can be met. Gestalt Psychology: : Gestalt Psychology: Gestalt psychologists focused on the study of how perception is organized. Their assumption was that: When considered together, the basic elements that compose our perception of objects produce something greater & more meaningful. In short, the whole is different from the sum of its parts Psychodynamic Perspective: : Psychodynamic Perspective: Psychodynamic perspective attempts to explain personality, motivation & mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior. Unconscious mind contains those thoughts, feelings, memories, & desires that we are not aware of. Behavioral Perspective: : Behavioral Perspective: Behaviorism is based on the assumption that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior. The behaviorists relate overt behaviors (responses) to observable events in the environment (stimulus) Therefore the behavioral approach is often referred to as stimulus-response psychology Humanistic Perspective: : Humanistic Perspective: Humanistic perspective emphasizes the unique qualities of humans especially their freedom & their potential for personal growth. Humanists take an optimistic view of human nature. Cognitive Perspective: : Cognitive Perspective: Cognitive perspective focused on the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge. Their key focus are issues such as: how people know, understand, & think about the world, how we process information, & how our ways of thinking about the world influence our behavior. Biological Perspective: : Biological Perspective: Biological perspective considers the behavior of organisms in terms of biological functioning They take into account how heredity & evolution influence our behavior, & the role of biological functioning in regulating behavior of organisms.