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Introduction to
History, Application, Methods
What is Psychology
O The science of behavior (what we do) and
mental processes (sensations, perceptions,
dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings)
O Psychologists examine how we process
information--how we organize, interpret,
store, and use it.
O APA: American Psychological Association
largest organization dedicated to the
advancement of Psychology
What do psychologists worry
O Stability vs. Change
O How does age affect personality?
O How does our personality change within the
O Rationality vs. Irrationality
O Are we really “wise”?
O Biology vs. Experience (nature/nurture)
O Nature v. Nurture
The Big One:
Nature v. Nurture
O The question: the relative contribution that genes and
experience make to development of psychological traits
and behaviors
O Notables have said:
selection: principle
that those
O Plato-character
and intelligence
trait variations contributing to survival will most
O John
a “tabula rosa”
(blank slate);
be passed
on toissucceeding
experience writes
O Rene Descartes-ideas are innate
O Charles Darwin-natural selection; survival of the
View Point
Levels of
Approach &
Types of Psychologists
1. Clinical: work in clinics, hospitals, private
practices treating disorders
2. School: work for school districts to treat
mild disorders
3. Counselors: Talk therapy for everyday
4. Psychiatrist: Medical doctor who
specializes in disorders uses
psychotherapy and drugs for treatment
Types Continued
5. Sports/Performance: Work for sports
teams to maximize performance and
minimize anxiety
6. Forensic: Study criminal behavior and/or
testify in court regarding defendant sanity
7. Industrial/Organizational: Work for large
organizations to maximize employee
output and profit
Schools of Psychology
Historical Development
Ancient History
O Stone Age
O Trephination: carving holes in the skull to release
evil spirits
O Greeks
O Socrates and Plato concluded that mind is
separate from the body and knowledge is innate
O Plato and Democritus: Relationship between
thought and behavior
O Aristotle: Observation/data based and
knowledge is aquired
Pre-Scientific Psychology
O Who
1) Rene Descartes (1596-1650)—Pre-Science
2) John Locke (1632-1704)—Science
O What did they ask
1) Is the mind connected to the body or distinct?
O Descartes: mind distinct
2) Are ideas inborn or is the mind a blank slate filled by
O Descartes: inborn
O Locke: filled
The Birth of Psychological
O Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
O Natural Sciences and revolutionary in Scientific
O Empiricism
O Knowledge comes from experience via the senses
O Science flourishes through observation and
O Phrenology
O Study of personality based on head bumps
Fathers of Psychology
O Hermann von Helmholtz
O Physicist
O Conducted simple experiments on perception
and the nervous system
O First to measure the speed of a nerve
O William Wundt (1879 Leipzig, Germany)
O Founded the first formal laboratory
devoted to experimental psychology
O Founder of structuralism,
O Utilized introspection
Fathers of Psychology
O Herman Ebbinghaus
O 1885 published classic studies on
O G. Stanley Hall
O First psychology laboratory in US
(1883) at John Hopkins Univ
O First American Psychology Journal
O First president of American
Psychological Association (1892)
Fathers (and Mothers) of
O Margaret Floy Washburn: First woman to
receive PhD in Psychology (1894)
O Francis Cecil Sumner: First AfricanAmerican PhD in psychology
O Mary Whiton Calkins: First woman elected
president of APA, 1905
Growth of Psychology
Figure 1- British Psychological Society membership
Schools of Psychology
O Edward Titchener (Cornell University)
O Student of Wundt
O Emphasized the “what” of mental illness rather than
“why” or “how” of thinking
O Founder of structuralism
O Founder of experimental psychology
O Uses introspection: the systematic examination by
individuals of their own thoughts and feelings about
specific sensory experiences.
O Emphasized the structure of the mind and behavior.
O Opposition
Reduced all complex human experience to sensations
2) Studied only verbal reports of human conscious
3) Sought to combine parts into a whole rather than study
complex behaviors directly.
O Major opponent to structuralism
O Primary importance to learned habits that
allow organisms to adapt to their
environment and to function effectively
O “What is the function or purpose of any
behavioral act?”
Famous Functionalists
O William James
O John Dewey
O Pragmatist
O Progressive education
O Mary Calkins
O Student of William James
O Denied Harvard PhD
O Posthumously awarded the
O Memory research and President
of the APA
O Margaret Floy Washburn
O First female PhD in psych
O Second female President of the
APA (1921)
O The Animal Mind
William James
O Mind has an ongoing relationship with our environment
(perhaps a product)
Influenced by Darwin
Influence for behaviorists
Consciousness cannot be studied
Published “Principles of Psychology” 1890
O Emphasizes the study of objectively
observable behavior rather than inner
mental experiences.
O Emphasizes the role of environment as the
cause of behavior
O From our environment, we learn to do
certain behaviors and learn not to do others.
Sometimes called learning theory.
O Rewards and punishment
Nail Biting
O When nervous I bite my nails
O Behaviorist: Let’s learn how to stop biting your
O Not let’s learn on how to calm down
O If we study aggressive behavior in adults:
O We might conclude that extra attention given to a
child’s classmates or siblings.
O Behaviorismthat children from physically
abusive parents often learn to be abusive
with their own children.
O Behaviorismeducation through positive
reinforcement rather than punishment
Famous Behaviorists
O John B.Watson
O Importance of observable behavior
O The chief goal of psychology was the
prediction and control of behavior.
O B. F. Skinner
O Radical
O Acknowledged
that evolution
provided each
species with a
repertory of
O Ivan Pavlov
O Classical
O The whole is greater than the sum of its’ parts
O Opposes structuralism
O Max Wertheimer
O (1880-1943)
O University of Prague
O Founded psychiatric hospitals in Prague, Frankfurt,
and Vienna
O Professor of Psychology at the University of
O Wolfgang Köhler
O Kurt Koffka
O Kurt Lewin
O The biological school of psychology focuses on the
causes of behavior in the genes, the brain, the
nervous system, and endocrine system.
O Example
O Study the role of specific brain systems in
O Stimulating different regions
O Recording any destructive actions that are elicited.
O Cognition: mental activity including
O Thinking
O Remembering
O Learning
O Using language.
O Behavior is only partly determined by
environmental events and learning
O People act because they think
Cognitive Psychologists Study
O The hostile thoughts and fantasies people
experience when witnessing violent acts
O Noting aggressive imagery and intentions to
harm others
O They study the impact of violence in movies
and videos, including pornography, on
attitudes toward gun control, rape, and war
Predominant Cognitive
O Jerome Bruner
O Developed a learning theory based upon
O David Ausubel
O Attempted to explain meaningful verbal
learning as a product of consciousness rather
than of behavior
O Created the “advance organizer”
O Jean Piaget
O Identified stages of cognitive development.
O Emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts
O Originally also called "psychodynamic"
O Looking at aggression
O Reaction to frustrations caused by barriers to
pleasure, such as unjust authority.
O They view aggression as an adult’s
displacement of hostility originally felt as a child
against his or her parents.
Famous Psychoanalysists
O Sigmund Freud
O Developed from his work with mentally
disturbed patients
O Views a person as being pushed and pulled
by complex network of inner and outer forces.
O Developed stages of life to age 12, claiming
that an individual would change little after
that point.
Erik Erikson
O Expanded on
Freud’s stages of
life to include 8
stages into later
O Carl Jung
O Challenged his mentor Freud
with the hypothesis that
adulthood, not childhood,
represents the most significant
phase of psychology.
O Bernice Neugarten
O Focused on the difference
between chronological age and
social age.
O Emphasize personal growth, self-esteem,
and the achievement of human potential
O Less on the scientific understanding,
prediction, and control of behavior.
O Humans are not driven by the powerful,
instinctive forces suggested by Freudians or
manipulated by environments.
O Developed the Hierarchy of Needs
O Stated that each level of needs must be satisfied
before one moves onto the next.
Carl Rogers
O Developed the idea of active listening and
the concept of UPR (unconditional positive
O Connect contemporary psychology to a central
idea of the life sciences, Charles Darwin’s
theory of evolution by natural selection.
O Researchers focus on the environmental
conditions in which the human brain evolved.
O Survival of the fittest
O Begs the question
O Do selfish genes mean selfish people?
O Is evolutionary psych racist?
O Study cross-cultural differences in the
causes and consequences of behavior.
O Example
O Compare the prevalence of eating
disorders for white Americans vs. African
American teenagers within the U.S.
Social-Cultural Psychologists
O Perceptions of the world as affected by
Languages one speaks, and how it
affects one’s experience of the world
How does culture affect child
development toward adulthood.
Symbolic culture
Individuals within the culture
Acceptable behaviors within a culture
Subfields of Psychology
O Personality psychologists investigate our
persistent traits
Social psychologists explore how we view
and affect one another
Biological psychologists explore the links
between brain and mind
Developmental psychologists study
changing abilities from womb to tomb
Cognitive psychologists study how we
perceive, think, and solve problems