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Psychology Module 1 notes

Topics: Psychology / Pages: 6 (1058 words) / Published: Sep 18th, 2014
Module 1
Definition of Psychology
What do phycologist study?
The systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes
Observable actions or responses in both human and animals
Mental Processes
Not directly observable; refer to a world wide range of complex mental processes, such as thinking, imagining, studying, and dreaming
Goals of Psychology
First goal of psychology is to describe the different ways that organisms behave
Second goal is to explain the cause of behavior
Third goal is to predict how organisms will behave in certain situations
Fourth goal is to control an organism’s behavior
Answering Questions
How do psychologists answer questions?
Approaches to understanding behavior include: Biological Cognitive Behavioral Psychoanalytic Humanistic Cross-Cultural Evolutionary

Biological Approach
Focuses on how our genes hormones, and nervous system interact without environment to influence learning, personality, memory, motivation, emotion, and coping techniques
Example) Autism Autism runs in families; supported by the finding in identical twins
If one twin has autism, there is a high chance (90%) the other twin will exhibit signs of autistic behavior
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 processe such as thinking, and planning
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
Social Cognitive Approach
Behaviors are influenced not only by environmental events and reinforces but also by observation, imitation, and thought processes
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
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 free-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
Cross-Cultural Approach
Studies the influence of cultural/ethnic similarities and differences on psychological and social functioning
Differences in how countries diagnose autism:
Symptoms described 60 years ago
First thought to be caused by environmental factors (cold parents)
Researchers believe that probable causes of autism include environmental approach
South Korea Number of people with autism is unknown Once a terrible stigma; children with autism often kept home from public
Doctors in South Korea usually diagnose as a reactive attachment disorder ot “Lack of love”
Evolutionary Approach
Studies how evolutionary ideas, such as adaptation and natural selection, explain human behaviors and mental processes Eclectic approach Uses different approaches to study the same behavior
Historical Approach How did psychology begin? Structuralism: elements of the mind Functionalism: functions of the mind Gestalt approach: sensations versus perceptions Behaviorism: observable behavior
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
Studied the most basic elements, primarily sensations and perceptions, that make up our conscious mental experiences
Method of exploring conscious mental processes by asking subjects to look inward and report their sensations
William James (1842-1910)
Studied the function rather than the structure of consciousness; was interested in how our minds adapt to our changing environment
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
Emphasize the objective, scientific analysis of observable behaviors John Watson; 1913, “Psychology as a behaviorist views it” Psychology should be considered as objective, experimental science Goal: the analysis of observable behaviors and the prediction and control of those behaviors 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)
Careers in psychology Psychologist versus psychiatrists
Psychologist have completed four to five years if 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 experiences in diagnosing and treating a wide range of abnormal behaviors Psychologist versus psychiatrists
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 Psychologists vs. psychiatrists
Counseling psychologists provide many of the same ser3vices as clinical psychologist, 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 with prescription drugs Many career settings
49% of psychologist work as clinical and counseling psychologists in private practice or therapy settings 28% work in college/university settings
Research Areas Areas of specialization Clinical and counseling psychology Social Developmental Experimental Biological Cognitive Psychometrics Industrial/organizational psychology 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 Developmental psychology
Examines moral, social, emotional, and cognitive development throughout a person’s entire life

Experimental psychology
Includes area of sensation, perception, learning, human performance, motivation, and emotion Biological psychology Biological psychology Also called psychobiology
Involves research on the physical and chemical changes that occur during stress learning, and emotions, as well as how or genetic makeup, rain, and nervous system interact with our environment and influence behavior Cognitive psychology
Involves how we process, store, and retrieve information and how cognitive process influence our behaviors Psychometrics
Focuses on the measurement of people’s abilities, skills, intelligence, personality, and abnormal behaviors Industrial/organizational psychology Examines the relationship of people and their work environment

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