(What an excellent question!) 1.1 Why Study Psychology? What is psychology? The scientific study (its based on research) of human behavior (observable or measureable action) and mental processes (cognitive activities) For Cognitive Activities, psychologists need to use
psychological constructs Concepts that enable one to discuss something that cannot be seen, touched, or measured directly Identify the following as either a behavior or cognitive activity: Talking Thinking Blood pressure
Dreaming Identify the following as either a behavior or cognitive activity: Talking Behavior Thinking
Cognitive activity Is psychology a false science? Read page 2-3 in your book and answer questions 1-2 on your worksheet Is psychology a false science? Psychology is based on EVIDENCE, even in the case of psychological constructs, there is some type of evidence
False Sciences not based on evidence So then, how is behavior measured? Simple observation Watching people!!! Laboratory instruments EEG measure brain waves
What about Cognitive Activities like dreams or thoughts? Two types of measurement Only the person dreaming knows what it is about, however psychologists can use the information they are told by these individuals We know that they are dreaming, thinking, remembering, imagining, etc. based on measurements of brain activity.
What are the Goals of Psychology? Observe Describe Explain Predict Control behavior and mental processes
How are the goals applied? A-Rod Great player (at one time) but not very good in the clutch Psychologists would observe and describe his behavior in the postseason (choking, stress level, brain activity, etc.) They would explain that his stress and anxiety levels become unmanageable and manifest in decreased performance They would recommend that he use positive visualization to predict
a better outcome and to be prepared to manage his anxiety. Misconception of controlling behavior Allow patients to control their own behavior, not psycho-mindcontrol Psychology as a Science Social Science Deal with the structure of human society and people
within society Includes history, anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, and PSYCHOLOGY. Natural Science Deal with the nature of the physical world
Includes biology, chemistry, and physics. A large part of modern psychology focuses on how brain biology impact human behavior So why do some study rats and monkeys?
Many psychologists believe that studying animals is a very useful method to understand human behaviors Why do psychologists organize studies into theories? GOOD theories allow psychologists to predict behavior
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