Welcome to Psychology 437 Advanced Psychology Lab: Research Methods in Personality Psychology web page: http://www.yourpersonality.net/psych437/fall2010/
Why is Psychology One of the Most Popular Majors? • Of all the disciplines that exist, psychology is one of the few that is explicitly concerned with understanding the way people behave, feel, and think.
Why is Psychology One of the Most Popular Majors? • Many of the themes that have characterized intellectual inquiry over the years are studied by psychologists • free will and determinism • mind and matter • nature and nurture • love and loss • relationships and emotion • personality (growth and disorder)
What Makes Psychology Different? • So, what is special about psychology, as opposed to the study of philosophy, literature, or history? • The critical difference is that modern psychology is based on the scientific method.
Psychology the methods of psychology the themes of psychology Natural Science Psychology, like the humanities, is concerned with fundamental issues concerning human experience. However, psychologists use the methods of the natural sciences to better understand psychological phenomena. Philosophy & Humanities
Why Does this Matter? • Why do we need the scientific method in order to study the human mind? • The methods we tend to use are subject to severe limitations—some of which we will review in our next class.
Personality • Although the study of psychology focuses on big issues, such as development, mental functioning, and social behavior, the discipline of psychology is rather dissociated. • Students tend to receive training in specific areas of psychology. • Students focusing on some areas (e.g., psychobiology) may receive little if any training in other areas (e.g., social).
Personality • In my view, personality psychology is the one subdiscipline within psychology that is actually concerned with the issues that originally motivated the scientific study of psychology. • The science of personality is concerned with • The development of people • The way in which people differ from one another • The way the mind works • The way in which people influence, and are influenced, by their cultural and social contexts.
Class Objectives • The objectives of this course are • to illustrate some of the limitations of non-scientific approaches to understanding personality • to teach you how to use the scientific method as it applies to the psychology of personality • to foster your ability to think critically about psychological theories and research (as well as other information) • to help you better understand your own personality through the use of existing research paradigms in personality psychology
Overview of Syllabus • Class web site • http://www.yourpersonality.net/psych437/fall2010/ • Future updates and changes will be reflected in the online version of the syllabus. • Grading • Exams are worth 50% of your grade. Lab activities (40%) and attendance (10%) are the remainder of your grade. • 5 exams total (including the final). Your top 4 exam grades count; the lowest one is discarded.
Important Notes • The lab sections will be meeting in room 35 of the Psychology Department. • Labs will not begin until NEXT WEEK (Tuesday Aug 31)
Computers in Room 35 • You will need to know your account information to log in to the computers in room 35. • Starting this fall, everyone (instructors, students, staff, etc.) will need an Active Directory (AD) password to login to anypsychology computer. • Your students should already have AD passwords. Please go to the CITES website to create your AD password if you do not already haveone. http://www.cites.illinois.edu/accounts/index.html