CHAPTER 1 SUMMARY: WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?


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The Greek letter "psi" which is the first letter of the Greek word "psuchê, a root of the term psychology.

1. DEFINING PSYCHOLOGY

In psychology we use our minds for ourselfs and for others. There are reasons for the way each and every one of us behave. A psychologist's job is to look deeper into our thoughts and see why we do the things that we do. What exactly do we think about in any situation, and how do we react to our thoughts? They could be positive or negative, and when it comes to psychology as a behavior in science, that is something that can be considered.

2. PSYCHOLOGY IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE



William Wundt (1832-1920) and William James (1842-1910) were two men who had a different view of psychology. Wundt believed that psychology was focused on the mind and what it is, where James believed psychology was about the mind and what it is used for. Darwin was another man who believed something entirely different. He believed any organism will survive if it is better familar to its surroundings. This idea relates to psychology, as observation, which is used from day to day. Overall, it was James' idea of psychology that became well - known to our country. Everyone on this earth is different in many ways, and when it comes down to any type of psychology, it is all about the individual, YOU!
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William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher.



William Wundt was considered one of the founding figures of modern psychology.
William Wundt was considered one of the founding figures of modern psychology.



3. CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO PSYCHOLOGY



There are seven different areas of study, or approaches in Psychology: biological, behavioral, psycho-dynamic, humanistic, cognitive, evolutionary and sociocultural.

Biological
The biological approach focuses on the body, specifically on the brain and central nervous system. Recent advancements in Neuroscience have greatly contributed to our understanding of how people react on a chemical level. Neuroscience is the study of the structure function development, genetics, and biochemistry of the nervous system.

Behavioral
The behavioral approach can be observed in the subjects visible response to environmental variables. Behavioral responses are observed, and do not pertain to thoughts on feelings.

Psycho-Dynamic
The Psycho-Dynamic approach puts emphasis on subconscious thought, the conflict between biological drives (such as the drive for sex). Psychologists who study the Psycho-Dynamic approach believe that people have sexual and aggressive impulses.

Humanistic
The humanistic approach focuses on a persons positive qualities, abilities and the freedom to choose ones destiny. Psychologists who study from the humanistic perspective believe that people can choose to live by higher standards, with values such as altruism- unselfish concern for others people's well-being and free will.

Cognitive
The cognitive approach emphasizes the mental process involved in the knowing: how we direct our attention, perceive, remember, think, and solve problems. Many scientists who adopt this approach focus on information processing, the way a mind processes, uses and stores cognitive information.

Evolutionary
Psychologists who use this approach use evolutionary ideas like adaption, reproduction and natural selection as the basis for explaining human behavior.

Sociocultural
The sociocultural approach examines the ways in which social and cultural environments influence behavior. Psychologists who use this approach argue that in order to understand a subject one must understand their cultural background.

These seven view provide different views of the same behavior and all of them offer insight that other perspectives miss. It is important to take into account all perspectives when analyzing how someone acts.


4. WHAT PSYCHOLOGISTS DO




Careers

Individuals with undergraduate training in psychology may work in human resources and business consulting and case work.
Graduate Trained individuals in psychology might work as therapists, counselors, researchers ,teachers in universities, or as business consultants or marketing researchers.
Practitioners of psychology are primarily engaged in helping others, clinical practice, seeing clients, providing guidance, and scientific research.
Psychologists who focus primarily on therapy engage in evidence-based practice- the use of therapeutic tools that effect the support by empirical research.
Clinical physiologist- doctoral degree in psychology (four to five years of graduate work and one year of internship in a mental health facility)
Psychiatrist- physician with a medical degree that specializes in abnormal behavior and psychotherapy. They also can prescribe drugs.
Most psychologist specialize in one particular area of human behavior and study.

Areas of Specialization

Fifty-six divisions in the American Psychological Association.
Division one- the society of general psychology- integration of the science of psychology in its entirety.
Division two- teaching of psychology to students.

Psychological Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Researchers who are interested in the physical process that underlie mental operations, such as vision and memory, use animal models. Rats are used to gather research information that they cannot get from humans.

Behavioral Neuroscience

Biological processes are focused on the brain’s role in behavior.

Sensation and Perception
Physical systems are examined as well as psychological processes that allow us to experience life (smell and vision)

Learning

“A process by which behavior changes to adapt to changing circumstances.” Rats and pigeons are used to collect data on this process.
Cognitive Psychology- a broad name given to the field of psychology that researches attention, consciousness, information processing, and memory. Cognitive psychologists have interests in skills, abilities to problem solve, decision make, expertise, and intelligence. Researches of this type are often called experimental psychologists.
Developmental Psychology- the study of how people become who they are through life to death. With concentration on the biological and environmental factors that effect human development. Aging adults and child development is studied by developmentalists.
Motivation and Emotion- the study of how peoples’ motivation to achieve goals are effected by reward and experience. Psychological and brain processes that stem from emotional experience, emotion expression in health, and the chance of universal emotions are examined by researchers.

Psychology of Women and Gender

Psychological, social, and cultural influences on women’s development and behavior are studied. The topic of gender and biological sex influences our idea about ourselves as man or woman.

Personality Psychology

The study of personality, traits, goals, motives, genetics, personality, development and wellbeing.

Social Psychology

Interactions between humans are observed in relationships, social perceptions, social cognition, and attitudes. Group influences on an individual’s thinking/attitude and behavior is monitored. Interpersonal relationships are also studied.

Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychology

In the work place both workers and organizations that employ them are researched. Industrial psychology and organizational psychology are often divided. Personal issues and human resource management both related to industrial. The examination of social influences in organizations and organizational leaderships are both related to organizational.

Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Clinical and counseling psychology are most commonly specialized in psychology. They have the ability to treat people with psychological problems. Counseling psychologists help people come up with solutions for practical problems in life. Clinical psychologists are dedicated to psychotherapy- the scientific study of psychological disorders and the development of diagnostic categories and treatments of these disorders.

Health Psychology

With emphasis on psychological factors, lifestyle, and healthcare the study of stress and coping in people’s lives are explored. Health psychologists mainly work in physical or mental health areas.

Community Psychology

Community psychology helps improve relationship quality amongst people in their community and all of society. Community psychologists are practitioner scientists who devote their time to those with psychological problems and make care accessible.

School and Educational Psychology

Children’s learning habits are recorded along with their adjustments. School psychologists give tests, provide advice, and create planning teams. Educational psychologist work at colleges and universities teaching classes and doing research on teaching and learning.

Environmental Psychology

The study of the physical environments effect on one’s interactions with it’s surroundings. Physical settings are examined by environmental psychologists. Perception, cognition, learning, development, abnormal behavior, and social relations are all topics and environmental psychologists may study.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology applies to psychological concepts to the legal system. Social and cognitive psychologists conduct experiments on psychology and law. Legal teams use forensic psychologists for jury selection. They can also have clinical training which allows them to testify in court as experts.

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Sport Psychology

Sport psychologists help improve performance and enjoyment of participation in sports. A new field directed toward athletes with the need for improvement.

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Cross-Cultural Psychology

Cross-cultural psychology is the study of culture’s role in understanding behavior, thought, and emotion. They compare the nature of psychological processes in different cultures to research whether psychological phenomena are universal or culture-specific.

Psychologists collaborate and can study and research together because psychology is such a vast science.


5. THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH AND WELLNESS




How the Mind Impacts the Body

The mind sets a goal and the body makes it happen. The mind feeds the body the motivation to perform.

How the Body Impacts the Mind

“What is the impact of nature (genetic heritage) versus nature (social experiences) on a persons’ psychological characteristics?”


QUESTIONS FOR CHAPTER 1



1. What is the definition of psychology?

Answer: The scientific study of behavior and mental process.

2. What were the two approaches discovered by William Wundt and William James?

Answer: Structuralism and Functionalism.

3. What is the scientific study of the structure, function, development, genetics, and biochemistry of the nervous system?

Answer: Neuroscience.

4. What are individuals called who are primarily engaged in helping others?

Answer: Practitioners.

5. What are the seven contemporary approaches to Psychology?

Answer: Biological, behavioral, psycho-dynamic, humanistic, cognitive, evolutionary and sociocultural.