PSYCHOLOGY:
Perspectives
2nd Edition
GREGORY J. FEIST
ERIKA L. ROSENBERG
Copyright 2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies,
Inc.
Introduction to
Psychology
Chapter One
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Chapter Outline
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What is Psychology ?
Subdisciplines of Psychology
The Origins of Psychology
Ways of Thinking About Mind, Body, and
Experience
No One Perspective Tells the Whole Story in
Psychology
Bringing It All Together: Making Connections
in Psychology
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Inc.
What is Psychology?

Psychology defined
– Psychology is the scientific study of
thought and behavior
– Distinguishing between the science of
psychology and popular (“folk”)
psychology
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Why Should You Study
Psychology?
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Makes you more aware of how people
work
Makes you more aware of how you work
Can help you be more effective in various
career paths
Can help you relate better to others,
including family members and friends.
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Inc.
Subdisciplines of
Psychology
Insert Figure 1.1
about here
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Inc.
Subdisciplines of
Psychology

Cognitive psychology
– Study of how we perceive information, how we
learn and remember, how we acquire and use
language, and how we solve problems
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Developmental psychology
– Study of how thought and behavior change and
show stability across the life span
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Behavioral neuroscience
– Study of the links among brain, mind, and
behavior
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Subdisciplines of
Psychology

Biological psychology
– Study of the connections between bodily
systems and chemicals, and their relationship to
behavior and thought

Personality psychology
– Study of what makes people unique and the
consistencies in people’s behavior across time
and situations
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Subdisciplines of
Psychology

Social psychology
– Study of how the real or imagined presence of others
influences thought, feeling, and behavior

Clinical psychology
– Study of the treatment of mental, emotional, and
behavioral disorders and ways to promote
psychological health
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Counseling Psychology
-
Similar to clinical psychology, but may work with less
severe psychological disorders
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Subdisciplines of
Psychology

Health psychology
– Study of the role that psychological factors
play in physical health and illness

Educational psychology
– Study of how students learn, the
effectiveness of particular teaching
techniques, the dynamics of school
populations, and the psychology of teaching
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Subdisciplines of
Psychology

Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology
– Applies psychological concepts and
questions to work settings
Industrial side – focuses on selecting workers,
matching employees to jobs, and evaluating
job performance
 Organizational side – focuses on worker
satisfaction, performance, and productivity by
examining management styles and work
environment
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Subdisciplines of
Psychology

Sports psychology
– Examines the psychological factors that
affect performance and participation in
sports and exercise

Forensic psychology
– Field that blends psychology, law, and
criminal justice
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The Origins of Psychology
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A Brief History of the Practice
of Clinical Psychology
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Prehistoric Views
– Shamans
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Medicine men or women
Treated mental problems
by driving out demons
Might use Trephination
– Drilling a small hole in a
person’s skull to release
spirits and demons
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Inc.
A Brief History of the Practice
of Clinical Psychology

Ancient Views
– Moved away from supernatural and toward
natural and physiological explanations of
psychological disorders
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Ancient Chinese
– Made connections between bodily organs and emotions
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Ancient Egyptians and Greeks
– Used narcotics to treat pain
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Hippocrates
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A Brief History of the Practice
of Clinical Psychology
•
Medieval to Early Modern Views
– Middle Ages
•
•
Supernatural causes were blamed (again!)
The Renaissance
– People were thought to be possessed by demons,
spirits, and the devil – not physical disorders
•
The Inquisition
– Float test for witchcraft
•
Asylums – facilities for the mentally ill
– Conditions were deplorable and chaotic – “Bedlam”
– Movements for moral treatment emerged in Europe
and the United States
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Inc.
A Brief History of the Practice
of Clinical Psychology

Modern Views
– Late 1880s
– Emil Kraepelin classified different
disorders
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Dementia praecox was the predecessor to
schizophrenia
– Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis
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Assumes the unconscious mind is the most
powerful force behind thought and behavior
Dreams are an important source of data
about the unconscious mind
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Inc.
A Brief History of the Practice
of Clinical Psychology

Modern Views
– Mid-1900s – Three developments in clinical
psychology
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Psychotherapy
Drug treatment
Criteria for diagnosing mental disorders
– DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,
4th edition, Text Revision

Classification system that includes diagnoses for more
than 250 psychological disorders
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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology
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The Philosophy of Empiricism
– View that all knowledge and thoughts come
from experience
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17th Century
John Locke
– Tabula rasa (“blank slate”)
– Because philosophy does not gather data
to test its ideas, psychology moved in a
different, more scientific direction
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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

The Psychophysics of Human Perception
– First scientific form of psychology
– Laboratory studies of the subjective
experience of physical sensations
– Differs from the study of physics
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Physics – studies the physical properties of light
and sound
Psychophysics – studies human perception of light
and sound
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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

The Psychophysics of Human Perception
– Relationship between the physical and
psychological worlds
– Early important work was done by such
scientists as Ernst Weber, Gustav Fechner, and
Hermann von Helmholtz
– In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt opened the first
psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany
– This date, 1879, is a “red-letter” date in
psychology!
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Inc.
A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

The Psychophysics of Human Perception
– G. Stanley Hall
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Founded the American Psychological Association
(APA)
Established the first psychology laboratory in the
USA, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
Taught Francis Cecil Sumner, the first African
American to earn a PhD in psychology in 1920
William James
• Considered the founder of American psychology
• Taught G. Stanley Hall, and Mary Whiton
Calkins, who went on to be the first female
president of the APA in 1905
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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Structuralism
– 19th century school of thought that
argued that breaking down experience
into its elemental parts offers the best
way to understand thought and behavior
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Introspection – looking into one’s own mind
to determine the structure of consciousness
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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Functionalism
– 19th century school of thought that
argued it was better to look at why the
mind works the way it does than to
describe its parts
Influenced by Darwin’s theory of natural
selection
 Championed by William James
 Used introspection as well

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Inc.
A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Behaviorism
– School of thought that asserts that
psychology can be a true science only if it
examines observable behavior, not ideas,
thoughts, feelings, or motives
John Watson
 B.F. Skinner

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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Humanistic psychology
– Theory of psychology that promotes
personal growth and meaning as a way of
reaching one’s highest potential
Abraham Maslow
 Carl Rogers
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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Positive psychology
– Scientific approach to studying,
understanding, and promoting healthy
and positive psychological functioning
Martin Seligman
 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Can you say that
name three times quickly?)

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A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Cognitivism
– Gestalt psychology
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Theory of psychology
that maintains that we
perceive things as
wholes rather than as a
compilation of parts
– Max Wertheimer
(1880-1943)
Copyright 2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies,
Inc.
A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Cognitivism
– Frederick Bartlett
Stated that memory is not an objective and
accurate representation of events but rather a
highly personal reconstruction based on one’s
own beliefs, ideas, and point of view
 The way we think about things (cognitive
frameworks) organizes how we experience
the world

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Inc.
A Brief History of Scientific
Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology and
Behavioral Neuroscience
– Who we are and what we do is a result of
brain activity, is impacted by genetic
factors, and has a long evolutionary past
– John Tooby and Leda Cosmides published
“The Psychological Foundations of Culture”
in 1992
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
Brain imaging techniques
Human genome
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Insert Figure 1.3 (both parts)
about here
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Inc.
Ways of Thinking About
Mind, Body, and Experience
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Inc.
The Nature-Nurture
Debate

Nature-only side
– Who we are comes from inborn tendencies and
genetically based traits
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Nurture-only side
– We are all essentially the same at birth, and we
are the product of our experiences
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
Either position, alone, presents an
incomplete picture
Nature and nurture are interdependent,
not dichotomous
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The Nature-Nurture
Debate

Nature through nurture
– Position that the environment constantly
interacts with biology to shape who we
are, and what we do
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Mind-Body Dualism

René Descartes
– 17th century philosopher and
mathematician
– Stated that the mind and the body are
separate entities
– Mind controls the body most of the time
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The Evolution of Behavior

Evolution is the change over time in
the frequency with which specific
genes occur within a breeding species
– Natural selection
Chance mutations
 Adaptations

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The Evolution of Behavior

Evolutionary psychology
– Branch of psychology that studies human
behavior by asking what adaptive
problems it may have solved for our early
ancestors
– By-products (or exaptations)
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No One Perspective Tells the
Whole Story in Psychology

How do you determine which perspective
gives the best explanations of psychology?
– The use of science and critical thinking
– Making connections between different
perspectives

Adhering rigidly to one school of
psychological thought will invariably lead to
incomplete explanations
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Inc.
Bringing It All Together
Making Connections in
Psychology: Studying
Electronic Social
Interactions
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Inc.
Studying Electronic Social
Interactions

The world of electronic interaction
provides a context for research in
many subdisciplines of psychology
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Studying Electronic Social
Interactions
• Social Networking Sites
(Facebook)
• Email
• Chat rooms
• Photo posting
• Posting Videos
• Blogging
• Electronic gaming
(with others or
alone)
• Video chats (Skype)
• Bulletin boards
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Inc.
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PSYCHOLOGY: Perspectives 2nd Edition