History of Psychology Overview
Psychology’s historical development and current activities lead us to define the field as the science of behavior and mental processes. This introduction discusses the development of psychology and the range of behaviors and mental processes being investigated by psychologists in each of the various specialty areas. In addition, it describes the six major perspectives from which psychologists work. This is followed by a description of three major issues that cut across psychology, including the stability of our traits, the rationality of our thoughts and actions, and the relative contributions of biology and experience to intelligence, personality, and behavior. It then provides an overview of the diverse sub-fields in which psychologists conduct research and provide professional services.
Research Methods Overview
The Methods of Study section explains the limits of intuition and common sense in reasoning about behavior and mental processes. To counteract our human tendency toward faulty reasoning, psychologists adopt a scientific attitude that is based on healthy skepticism, open-minded humility, and critical thinking. This section of the unit also explains how psychologists employ the research designs of description, correlation, and experimentation in order to objectively describe, predict, and explain behavior. It concludes with a discussion of several questions people often ask of psychology, including why animal research is relevant, whether laboratory experiments are ethical, whether behavior varies with gender, and whether psychology’s principles don’t have the potential for misuse. This section of the unit introduces a number of concepts that will play an important role in later units. Make sure you understand the method of experimentation, especially the importance of control conditions and the difference between independent and dependent variables.
Unit 1 Objectives:
*Compare various perspectives in the field of psychology.
*Compare various psychological research methods (survey, naturalistic observation, case study, experiment, and correlational study).
*Analyze the practice of psychology in terms of ethical standards.
*Evaluate psychological research studies in terms of methods, sampling techniques, bias, validity, reliability, ethics, and generalizability.
* Why study psychology?
- How do various approaches to psychology differ?
- How do we ensure a study is ethical and without bias?
- How does biology relate to psychology?
- What is the role of the brain?
- What physical systems influence our decisions and/or behavior?
- How can an injury affect our thoughts and/or behavior?
Unit 1 Power Points
Unit 1 Handouts
Crash Course Psychology Review Videos