PSYC 120 General Psychology - Napa Valley College

PSYC 120 GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY Chapter 1 I Introduction What is psychology? Psychology is about understanding all the things we do.

The Goals of Psychology Psychologists investigate questions about human behavior in a scientific way. By seeking to formulate precise questions about behavior and then test possible answers through systematic observation.

Misconceptions Psychology is in the news all the time Unfortunately, this coverage is often distorted or grossly oversimplified, so that misinformation is commonplace. Indicate whether you believe each statement is true (T) or false (F).

1. People are either left-brain or rightbrain thinkers. 2. Genes only affect people during prenatal development. 3. For most people, intelligence peaks in their late 30s or early 40s. 4. During sleep, the brain is mostly resting and inactive. 5. Feeling good can make you smile, but not the reverse. 6. Expressing pent-up anger reduces feelings of aggression. 7. Most relationships follow the idea that

opposites attract Tr Fal ue se T F T F


T F T F II Psychologys Early History New Science

Psychology developed from the disciplines of philosophy and physiology (1870s) Wilhelm Wundt Wundt established

first formal laboratory for research in psychology at the University of Leipzigin, in 1879. the first journal devoted to publishing research on psychology, in 1881. psychology became the scientific study of

conscious experience. The Battle of the Schools Begins: Structuralism Versus Functionalism Structuralism Titchener founded after training in

Wundts lab. Structuralism states the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements & investigate how these elements are related. Structuralism Introspection

The personal observation of our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors Ignore what this object is, and instead, describe your conscious experience of it Functionalism William James (18421910)

consciousness consists of a continuous flow of thoughts. Functionalism was based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure.

Source: WikiQuotes Women Pioneers in Psychology Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930) Founded Psych Lab in America at Wellesley College in 1891.

Margaret Floy Washburn (1871-1939) 1st woman to serve as APA president in 1905. 1st woman to receive PhD degree in psych in 1894 from Cornell. Women Pioneers Leta Stetter Holllingworth (1886 1939).

Pioneer in the fields of adolescent development, mental retardation & gifted children. Regularly debunked theories as to why women are inferior to men. Freud & The Unconscious

Sigmund Freud (18561939) Psychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior. Freud & The Unconscious (cont)

Freud stated that the unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior. Watson Alters Psychologys Course as Behaviorism Makes

its Debut Source: Microsoft Clipart Watson & Behaviorism Founded by John B. Watson (18781958), theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology

should study only observable behavior. Behavior = any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism. Skinner Questions Free will as Behaviorism Flourishes

B. F. Skinner (19041990) All behavior is fully governed by external stimuli. Or your behavior is determined in predictable ways by lawful principles, just as the flight of an arrow is governed by the laws of physics. The Humanists Revolt

Humanism (1950s) = emphasizes unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom & their potential for personal growth. Rogers & Maslow (1954) maintained that to fully understand peoples behavior, must take into account the human drive toward personal growth.

people have a basic need to continue to evolve as human beings and to fulfill their potentials. III Psychologys Modern History Psychology Comes of Age as a Profession

Stimulated by the demands of World War II, clinical psychology grew rapidly in the 1950s. Clinical psychology - concerned with the diagnosis & treatment of psychological problems and disorders.

Source: Psychology Returns to its Roots: Renewed Interest in Cognition and Physiology In 1950s & 1960s advances in study of cognition led to renewed interest in mental processes.

human behavior cannot be fully understood without considering how people think. Psychology Returns to its Roots: Renewed Interest in Cognition and Physiology (cont) Advances in research on the physiological

bases of behavior. biological perspective = human & animal behavior can be explained in terms of bodily structures & biochemical processes that allow organisms to behave. Psychology Broadens Its Horizons: Increased Interest in Cultural Diversity

Traditionally, Western psychologists paid little attention to how well their theories and research might apply to non-Western cultures. In the 1980s,Western psychologists developed a greater interest in how cultural factors influence behavior.

Psychology Adapts: The Emergence of Evolutionary Psychology Pioneered by James Hillman in the 1990s. patterns of behavior seen in a species are products of evolution in the same way

that anatomical characteristics are. Psychology Moves in a Positive Direction Early 21st century, positive psychology movement became an influential force. Positive psychology seeks to better

understand the adaptive, creative, and fulfilling aspects of human existence. Main work settings for contemporary psychologists are (1)private practice, (2)colleges and universities, (3)hospitals and clinics, and (4)business and government.

Source: Cenage Learning Modern Psychological Perspectives Seven Unifying Themes Themes relating to psychology as a field of study

Psychology is empirical because psychologists base their conclusions on observation through research rather than reasoning or common sense. Three unifying themes relating to psychology as a field of study (cont) Psychology is theoretically diverse, as

there are many competing schools of thought in the field. This diversity has fueled progress and is a strength rather than a weakness. Three unifying themes relating to psychology as a field of study (cont) Psychology also evolves in a sociohistorical context, as trends, issues,

and values in society influence what goes on in psychology, and vice versa. Themes Related to Psychologys Subject Matter Behavior is determined by multiple causes, as most aspects of behavior are influenced by complex networks of interacting factors.

Although cultural heritage is often taken for granted, it has a pervasive impact on peoples thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Themes Related to Psychologys Subject Matter (cont) Lively debate about the relative importance of nature versus nurture continues, but it is

clear that heredity and environment jointly influence behavior. Peoples experience of the world is highly subjective, as they sometimes see what they want to see or what they expect to see.

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