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The Evolution of a
Chapter 1
Prepared by
Melissa S. Terlecki,
Cabrini College, PA
• Psychology: the scientific study of mind and
– Mind: private inner experience
– Behavior: observable actions of human beings and
nonhuman animals
• Functional magnetic resonance imaging
(fMRI): neuroimaging technique which allows
one to see which parts of the brain are active
during a given task
The Path to Freud and Psychoanalytic
• Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): hysteria caused from
painful unconscious experiences
– Unconscious: the part of the mind that operates outside
of awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings,
and actions
– Psychoanalytic theory: approach to understanding
human behavior that emphasizes the importance of
unconscious mental processes in shaping feelings,
thoughts, and behaviors
– Psychoanalysis: a therapeutic approach that focuses on
bringing unconscious material into conscious awareness
to better understand psychological disorders
Influence of Psychoanalysis and the
Humanistic Response
• Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), Carl Rogers
(1902-1987): pioneered a new movement in
Humanistic Psychology
– Humanistic psychology: an approach to
understanding human nature that emphasizes the
positive potential of human beings
The Search for Objective Measurement:
Behaviorism Takes Center Stage
• Behaviorism: an approach that advocates that
psychologists restrict themselves to the
scientific study of objectively observable
The Adaptive Mind: The Emergence of
Evolutionary Psychology
• Evolutionary psychology: a psychological
approach that explains mind and behavior in
terms of the adaptive value of abilities that are
preserved over time by natural selection
– Influenced by Darwin, James, and E.O. Wilson
Beyond the Individual: Social and Cultural
• Human beings are social animals
• Psychology is influenced by the presence and
absence of other people
The Emergence of Cultural Psychology
• Cultural psychology: the study of how cultures
reflect and shape the psychological processes
of their members
– Studied by psychologists and anthropologists
– Absolutionism: culture makes little difference on
– Relativism: psychological phenomena are likely to
vary considerably across cultures
The Real World: Joining the Club
• Social changes have led to openness and
diversity in psychology.
• Women and minority PhDs are growing.
• Psi Chi and Psi Beta organizations are available
to join.
What Psychologists Do: Research Careers
• Most undergraduate psychology students move on
to graduate school and conduct research.
– Postdoctoral fellowships
– Faculty positions
– Research position in industry
• Variety of career paths
– Clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school
psychology, industrial/organizational psychology are just
a few
Figure 1.6
The Major Subfields in Psychology