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Module 1

Module 1. Discovering Psychology. INTRODUCTION. Growing up in a strange world Autism especially abnormal or impaired development in social interactions, such as hiding to avoid people, not making eye contact, and not wanting to be touched

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Module 1

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  1. Module 1 Discovering Psychology

  2. INTRODUCTION • Growing up in a strange world • Autism • especially abnormal or impaired development in social interactions, such as hiding to avoid people, not making eye contact, and not wanting to be touched • marked by difficulties in communicating, such as grave problems in developing spoken language or in initiating conversations

  3. INTRODUCTION (CONT’D) • Growing up in a strange world • Autistics are characterized by having very few interests, spending long periods repeating the same behaviors, or following the same rituals • Signs of autism appear when a child is two or three years old • Example: Donna Williams

  4. INTRODUCTION (CONT’D) • One question psychologists have studied involves a problem of interest: test anxiety • Test anxiety refers to a combination of physiological, emotional, and cognitive components • Stress of taking exams • Interferes with one’s concentration, planning, and academic performance

  5. DEFINITION OF PSYCHOLOGY • What do psychologists study? • Psychology • the systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes • Behaviors • observable actions or responses in both humans and animals • Mental processes • not directly observable; refer to a wide range of complex mental processes, such as thinking, imagining, studying, and dreaming

  6. GOALS OF PSYCHOLOGY • Describe • First goal of psychology is to describe the different ways that organisms behave • Explain • Second goal is to explain the cause of behavior • Predict • Third goal is to predict how organisms will behave in certain situations • Control • Fourth goal is to control an organism’s behavior

  7. ANSWERING QUESTIONS • How do psychologists answer questions? • Approaches to understanding behavior include • biological • cognitive • behavioral • psychoanalytic • humanistic • cross-cultural • evolutionary

  8. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Biological approach • Focuses on how our genes, hormones, and nervous system interact with our environments to influence learning, personality, memory, motivation, emotions, and coping techniques • Example: autism • Autism runs in families; supported by the findings in identical twins • If one twin has autism, there is a high (90%) chance the other twin will exhibit signs of autistic behavior

  9. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Cognitive approach • Examines how we process, store, and use information and how this information influences what we attend to, perceive, learn, remember, believe, and feel • Cognitive neuroscience • involves taking pictures and identifying the structures and functions of the living brain during performance of a variety of mental or cognitive processes, such as thinking, planning, naming, and recognizing objects

  10. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Behavioral approach • Studies how organisms learn new behaviors or modify existing ones, depending on whether events in their environments reward or punish these behaviors • Some behaviorists, such as Albert Bandura, disagree with strict behaviorism • Formulated a theory that includes mental or cognitive processes in addition to observable behaviors

  11. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Social cognitive approach • Behaviors are influenced not only by environmental events and reinforcers but also by observation, imitation, and thought processes

  12. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Psychoanalytic approach • Based on the belief that childhood experiences greatly influence the development of later personality traits and psychological problems • Stresses the influence of unconscious fears, desires, and motivations on thoughts, behaviors, and the development of personality traits and psychological problems later in life

  13. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Humanistic approach • Emphasizes that each individual has great freedom in directing his or her future, a large capacity for personal growth, a considerable amount of intrinsic worth, and enormous potential for self-fulfillment • Because of its fee-will concept of human nature and lack of experimental methods, many behaviorists regard the humanistic approach as more of a philosophy of life than a science of human behavior

  14. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Cross-cultural approach • Studies the influence of cultural/ethnic similarities and differences on psychological and social functioning • Differences in how countries diagnose autism: US • symptoms described 60 years ago • first thought to be caused by environmental factors (cold parents) • researchers believe the probable causes of autism include environmental and genetic factors • between 1 and 1.5 million Americans with autism • diagnosis begins at two-to-three years of age

  15. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Cross-cultural approach (cont’d) • Differences in how countries diagnose autism: South Korea • number of people with autism is unknown • once a terrible stigma; children with autism often kept home (hidden) from public • doctors in South Korea usually diagnose (what would be considered autism in US) as reactive attachment disorder, or “lack of love” • less stigmatizing now • parents believe they can provide more love • result is that children don’t receive the treatment they need • in past few years, perceptions have changed: some children with autism going to school and out in public

  16. ANSWERING QUESTIONS (CONT’D) • Evolutionary approach • Studies how evolutionary ideas, such as adaptation and natural selection, explain human behaviors and mental processes • Uses different approaches to study the same behavior


  18. HISTORICAL APPROACHES • How did psychology begin? • Structuralism: elements of the mind • Functionalism: functions of the mind • Gestalt approach: sensations versus perceptions • Behaviorism: observable behaviors

  19. HISTORICAL APPROACHES (CONT’D) • Structuralism • Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) • Studied the most basic elements, primarily sensations and perceptions, that make up our conscious mental experiences • Introspection • method of exploring conscious mental processes by asking subjects to look inward and report their sensations


  21. HISTORICAL APPROACHES (CONT’D) • Functionalism • William James (1842-1910) • Studied the function rather than the structure of consciousness; was interested in how our minds adapt to our changing environment


  23. HISTORICAL APPROACHES (CONT’D) • Gestalt approach • Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Koffka • Emphasized that perception is more than the sum of its parts and studied how sensations are assembled into meaningful perceptual experiences


  25. HISTORICAL APPROACHES (CONT’D) • Behaviorism • Emphasized the objective, scientific analysis of observable behaviors • John Watson; 1913, “Psychology as a Behaviorist Views It” • Psychology should be considered an objective, experimental science • Goal: the analysis of observable behaviors and the prediction and control of those behaviors

  26. HISTORICAL APPROACHES (CONT’D) • Behaviorism • 1920s to 1960s; behaviorism was the dominant force in American psychology • Due to work of B.F. Skinner and other behaviorists • Expanded Watson’s ideas in modern-day behavioral approach • 1970s to present; behaviorism challenged by cognitive approach (now surpasses behaviorism)

  27. CULTURAL DIVERSITY: EARLY DISCRIMINATION • Women in psychology • Mary Calkins • Established a laboratory in psychology at Wellesley College in 1891 where she was a faculty member • Completed all requirements for a PhD at Harvard but wasn’t granted the degree because of her sex • Not until 1908 was a woman, Margaret Washburn, awarded a PhD in psychology

  28. CULTURAL DIVERSITY: EARLY DISCRIMINATION(CONT’D) • Minorities in psychology • Inez Prosser was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in psychology (from the University of Cincinnati in 1933) • Taught in black colleges and helped minority students obtain financial aid to attend college • From 1920 to 1966, only 8 PhDs in psychology were awarded to black students, compared to 3,767 to white students

  29. CULTURAL DIVERSITY: EARLY DISCRIMINATION(CONT’D) • Minorities in psychology • George Sanchez (a Latino) conducted pioneering work on the cultural bias of intelligence tests given to minority students • Sanchez showed that intelligence tests contained many questions that were biased against minorities, resulting in lower scores

  30. CAREERS IN PSYCHOLOGY • Psychologist versus psychiatrist • Psychologists have completed four to five years of postgraduate education and have obtained a PhD, PsyD, or EdD in psychology • Clinical psychologists have a PhD, PsyD, or EdD, specialized in a clinical subarea, and spent an additional year in a supervised therapy setting to gain experience in diagnosing and treating a wide range of abnormal behaviors

  31. CAREERS IN PSYCHOLOGY (CONT’D) • Psychologist versus psychiatrist • Neither clinical nor counseling psychologists assess the neurological causes of mental problems • Until recently, no psychologists in the US have been able to prescribe drugs • Now, psychologists in New Mexico and Louisiana (who have completed special medical training) can prescribe drugs like psychiatrists

  32. CAREERS IN PSYCHOLOGY (CONT’D) • Psychologist versus psychiatrist • Counseling psychologists provide many of the same services as clinical psychologists, but usually work with different problems, such as those involving marriage, family, or career counseling • Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MDs) who have spent several years in clinical training, which includes diagnosing possible physical and neurological causes of abnormal behaviors and treating these behaviors, often with prescription drugs

  33. CAREERS IN PSYCHOLOGY (CONT’D) • Many career settings • 49% of psychologists work as clinical or counseling psychologists in private practice or therapy settings • 28% work in college/university settings • 13% work in a variety of other kinds of jobs and career settings • 6% work in industrial settings • 4% work in secondary schools and other settings


  35. RESEARCH AREAS • Areas of specialization • Clinical and counseling psychology • Social • Developmental • Experimental • Biological • Cognitive • Psychometrics • Industrial/organizational

  36. RESEARCH AREAS (CONT’D) • Areas of specialization • Clinical and counseling psychology • includes the assessment and treatment of people with psychological problems, such as grief, anxiety, or stress • Social psychology • involves the study of social interactions, stereotypes, prejudices, attitudes, conformity, group behaviors, and aggression


  38. RESEARCH AREAS (CONT’D) • Areas of specialization • Developmental psychology • examines moral, social, emotional, and cognitive development throughout a person’s entire life • Experimental psychology • includes areas of sensation, perception, learning, human performance, motivation, and emotion


  40. RESEARCH AREAS (CONT’D) • Areas of specialization • Biological psychology • also called psychobiology • involves research on the physical and chemical changes that occur during stress, learning, and emotions, as well as how our genetic makeup, brain, and nervous system interact with our environment and influence our behavior

  41. RESEARCH AREAS (CONT’D) • Areas of specialization • Cognitive psychology • involves how we process, store, and retrieve information and how cognitive processes influence our behaviors • Psychometrics • focuses on the measurement of people’s abilities, skills, intelligence, personality, and abnormal behaviors

  42. RESEARCH AREAS (CONT’D) • Areas of specialization • Industrial/organizational psychology • Examines the relationship of people and their work environments


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