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What Is Psychology?

What Is Psychology?

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What Is Psychology?

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  1. What Is Psychology?

  2. What Is Psychology? • Thinking critically about psychology • Psychology’s past • Psychology’s present • What psychologists do

  3. Thinking Critically About Psychology • Can you distinguish between psychobabble and empirical psychology? • Critical thinking • The ability and willingness to assess claims and make judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence, rather than emotion or anecdote.

  4. Be willing to wonder Define your terms Examine the evidence Analyze assumptions and biases Critical Thinking Guidelines

  5. Critical Thinking Guidelines • Avoid emotional reasoning • Don’t oversimplify • Consider other interpretations • Tolerate uncertainty

  6. Psychology’s Past • Three early psychologies • Structuralism • Functionalism • Psychoanalysis

  7. Structuralism • Early approach that emphasized the analysis of immediate experience into basic elements. • Interested in what happens. • Trained introspection • Volunteers were taught to observe, analyze and describe their own sensations, mental images, and emotional reactions.

  8. Functionalism • Early approach that emphasized the function or purpose of behaviour and consciousness. • Interested in how and why something happens

  9. Psychoanalysis • A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud. • Emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts.

  10. Psychology’s Present • Major psychological perspectives • Two influential movements

  11. Major Psychological Perspectives • Biological Perspective • Learning Perspective • Cognitive Perspective • Sociocultural Perspective • Psychodynamic Perspective

  12. The Biological Perspective • Psychological approach that emphasizes bodily events and changes associated with actions, feelings, and thoughts. • This perspective involves: • Hormones • Brain chemistry • Heredity • Evolutionary influences

  13. The Learning Perspective • A psychological approach that emphasizes how the environment and experience affect a person’s or animal’s actions. • This perspective involves: • Behaviourism • Social-cognitive learning theories

  14. The Cognitive Perspective • A psychological approach that emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem solving, and other areas of behaviour. • This perspective involves: • Computer models of human thinking • Infant thinking • Intelligence testing

  15. Sociocultural perspective • A psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural influences on behaviour. • This perspective includes: • Social psychology, or the study of rules, roles groups, and relationships • Cultural psychology, or the study of cultural norms, values, and expectations

  16. Psychodynamic Perspective • A psychological approach that emphasizes unconscious dynamics within the individual, such as inner forces, conflicts or the movement of instinctual energy. • This perspective includes: • Unconscious thoughts, desires, and conflicts.

  17. Two Influential Movements in Psychology • Humanist psychology • Feminist psychology

  18. Humanist Psychology • A psychological approach that emphasizes personal growth and the achievement of human potential, rather than the scientific understanding and assessment of behaviour. • This approach: • Rejected behaviourism and psychoanalysis. • Emphasized creativity and achieving potential.

  19. Feminist Psychology • A psychological approach that analyzes the influence of social inequities on gender relations and on the behaviour of the two sexes. • This approach: • Recognized years of male bias in data collection and psychotherapy. • Questions the use of research in justifying women’s lower status or elevating women’s status (female bias).

  20. What Psychologists Do • Academic/research psychologists • Psychological practitioners • Psychologists in other settings

  21. Academic/Research Psychologists • Research in areas of basic or applied psychology. • Examples include: • Experimental psychologists • Educational psychologists • Developmental psychologists • Industrial/organizational psychologists • Psychometric psychologists

  22. Psychological Practitioners • Counselling psychologists help people deal with problems associated with everyday life. • School psychologists work with parents, teachers, and students to enhance student performance. • Clinical psychologists diagnose, treat, and study mental or emotional problems.

  23. Clinical psychologists are not: • Psychotherapists • Psychoanalysts • Psychiatrists

  24. Sports Consumer issues Advertising Organizational problems Environmental issues Public policy Opinion polls Military training Animal behaviour Legal issues Psychologists in Other Settings

  25. What Areas do Psychology Undergraduates Pursue? • Psychology • Other • Counselling • Education • Social work • Medicine • Law • Health Sciences • Business • Sociology