1. Nature of Psychology
Role of a psychologist – Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental process in humans. Psychologists seek to understand thoughts, feelings and behaviour and the factors that underlie their development and influence them. What does behaviour and mental processes mean? Term behaviour refers to any observable action made by a living person. The term mental processes refers to an individual’s thoughts and feelings that are personal and cannot be directly observed. Years training for psychologist/psychiatrist – role of each – Psychologists study overall for 6 years and they use various counselling methods to treat their patients. Psychiatrists study for a total of 13 years and they can prescribe medication. Roles of forensic/organisational/sports psychologists. Forensic psychologists work with people in legal and correctional service settings. Organisational psychologists help people in workplaces. Sports psychologists help athletes to develop mental skills to achieve peak performance. 2. Perspective in Psychology
Biological perspective – focuses on the biological (physiological) influences on behaviour and mental processes, including the brain and the rest of the nervous system, the endocrine (hormone) system, the immune system and genetics. There has been advancements in medicine for treating mental illnesses and sophisticated equipment for studying the brain. Greater development in understanding brain chemistry and influence of genes on behaviour and mental processes. Behavioural perspective – focuses on how behaviour is acquired or modified by environmental consequences such as rewards and punishments. Cognitive perspective – focuses on how we acquire, process, remember and use information about ourselves and the world around us. Emphasis is on understanding how we take in information and how we treat the information in order to think, feel and behave as we do. Socio-cultural perspective – focuses on the roles of social and cultural influences on human behaviour and mental processes. It is assumed that socio-cultural factors such as sex, race, age, income level and the culture in which people grow up are important influences. Socio is the influences in society and culture. Culture is the comparisons between groups. 3. Classic Perspectives and theories
Structuralism – Wilhelm Wundt – focused on the structure of consciousness; that is, the basic parts or building blocks that make up consciousness, how the parts are organised and how they are interrelated. Fuctionalism – William James – focuses on studying the functions or purpose that mental processes serve in enabling people to adapt to their environment. Essentially interested in how and why our thoughts and feelings lead us to behave as we do. Research included direct observation of humans and animals in their natural environments. Behaviourism – John B Watson – involves understanding and explaining how behaviour is learned and moulded by experience. Behaviourists believe that almost everything a person (or animal) does is influenced by rewards or punishments in everyday life. Conducted most research on animals. Pseudoscience – means fake or false science. Astrology, numerology, graphology and palmistry are all pseudosciences. 4. Research methods
Independent/dependent variables – The variable that is manipulate or changed is called the independent variable (IV). The variable that is used to observe and measure the effects of the IV is called the dependent variable (DV). The DV is the effect(s) caused by manipulation of or exposure to the IV. Extraneous variables – is a variable other than the IV that can cause a change in the DV. (things that stuff up the experiment) Experimental/control groups – the experimental group is exposed to the experimental conditions; that is, the IV. The control groups is exposed to the controlled conditions; that is, the IV is absent. Identifying research question – The first step in...
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